A few days ago, we introduced you a selection of Pop figurines and derivative products featuring characters from the famous animated series One Piece. And today, we continue in the theme of the universe created by Eiichiro Oda, but this time we go to the next level, with not figurines, but life-size statues, with a last unveiled today in Japan.
the most beautiful of tributes
It is a fact, One Piece has become a reference for manga and anime fans all over the world. The manga has sold over 490 million copies worldwide. of which more than 25 million on French territory. But if the French are among some of the most fervent fans of the work of Eiichiro Oda, there is always a country that remains far in the lead, and that is of course Japan, with one of the most beautiful possible tributes paid today to the mangaka.
Roronoa Zoro, the first member of the Mugiwara crew (lit.: Straw Hats) to have joined Luffy, saw his own bronze statue unveiled in Japan. She is in a town called Ozu, in Kikuchi District of Kumamoto Prefecture. The latter had been badly damaged by the Kumamoto earthquake in 2016.
The unveiling of the statue was streamed live on YouTube, in a most spectacular ceremony. We can thus see different shows, such as that of the kendo club in the city of Ozu, or the cover of the famous anime credits, “We Are!“, by the orchestra of the city’s high school music club. But it is above all the opportunity to see something unusual here, namely members of the administrative body like the mayor of Ozu City or representatives of Kumamoto Prefecture, who after their speech, all lowered their sabers while shouting “Sunacchi” to reveal the famous statue. All of this, of course, alongside two mascots reminiscent of the heroes of One Piece as well as the official voice of Roronoa Zoro’s voice actor. You can watch it on YouTube (revelation starts at about 1 o’clock):
To be able to contemplate this magnificent statue more fully, here are some photos :
And as the mayor of the city mentions in the video, if Eiichiro Oda could not be present for the inauguration, he still wanted to share an illustration specially created for the event :
Mr. Oda presented Zoro’s colored paper!
In reality, this ceremony and this tribute do not come out of nowhere. Indeed, the author of One Piece, Eiichiro Oda, is actually from this Kumamoto prefecture. Thus, after the terrible damage caused by the earthquake of a magnitude of 7.0 in 2016, the author donated about 800 million yen (about 6.2 million euros) to help the victims. They then have commemorated the event by placing statues of the Straw Hat crew members in the affected areas, and the bronze statue of Roronoa Zoro is the ninth. Robin has already received his, and Jinbe will be next, with the grand opening scheduled for July.