Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is celebrating its 20th anniversary inside the pages of Weekly Shounen Jump! magazine. The manga has now passed its fellow Shounen Jump manga, such as Naruto, Bleach, Nisekoi, and many others in terms of tenure alone, and it doesn’t seem like it will be ending any time soon. Long-time fans of the manga have even joked that the series will go on forever.
But as Eiichiro Oda gives his 20th anniversary message to the fans, he did say that don’t worry, the manga will indeed end someday. Here’s what he said in that message to his readers:
“Well now, I wonder just how old you, the person reading this, are? 20 years ago, were you born yet? At that time, [One Piece protagonist] Luffy was 17, and 20 years later…he’s still 17? Do you know that Luffy’s straw hat was actually given to him by a certain person?”
“In the beginning, Luffy set out onto the seas all by himself, with no companions. One Piece has a lot of flashback scenes, but I have a memory of my own. When I started this series, I wondered if some young readers would one day feel like the characters have become their childhood friends.”
“One day, even the story of Luffy and his friends will end. If you’d continue on this adventure with them until then, I’d be very happy. Thank you for these 20 years, and I ask for your continued support for a little longer!!”
One Piece’s editor previously stated that Oda already has the entire series planned out in his mind, and it might take seven years or so for the series to actually end. Oda is a known workaholic, and with the manga’s current pace, “a little longer” might seem a whole lot more.
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Source: Sora News 24