What is the No. 1 bestselling comic book series? Superman? Batman? Spider-man? Captain America? Nay! The crown for that record goes to a Japanese manga series “One Piece” (ワンピース Wan Pīsu?) created by Eiichiro Oda.
“One Piece” was officially recognized by Guinness World Records on June 15 this year as the comic book series with the most copies published by a single author.
320,866,000 copies of the manga, set in the world of pirates and marines, had been published worldwide by Shueisha Inc. from December 1997 to December 2014. The manga’s 77th volume was released on April 3 with an initial print run of 3.8 million copies. The series began in the publisher’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1997.
The previous Guinness World Record for “The most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author” was held by Akira Toriyama’s legendary Dragon Ball manga series.
The manga’s story revolves around Monkey D. Luffy, a straw-hat wearing boy who dreams of being the king of pirates as he travels the seas with his buddies in search of a treasure called One Piece. The manga employs colourful and creative motifs that are taken from classic mythology, politics and musical aspects.
One Piece is divided into two halves: Sea of Survival: Super Rookies Saga (サバイバルの海 超新星編 Sabaibaru no Umi: Chōshinsei-hen), and The Final Sea: The New World Saga (最後の海 新世界編 Saigo no Umi: Shinsekai-hen).
Eiichiro Oda was inspired by Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump at a young age. As a child he was inspired by Vikings and he aspired to become a manga artist. Oda had interest in making a pirate manga both from his obsession with vikings as a young man and inspired by various pirate events including the discovery of the pirate ship of Edward Teach (known by his pirate name of Blackbeard).
Originally, Oda wanted his series to run for 5 years (meaning One Piece could have ended in 2002), but he went longer than expected and has no idea how many more years it will take for the story to come to an end. Oda has stated that the end of Chapter 597 marks the end of the first half of One Piece. Oda has already planned the ending for One Piece.
Fans of the manga can rest be assured that it will probably be a couple more years before the series wind to an end.
This YouTube video showcases some of the top One Piece cool moments. Enjoy!