What is ONE PIECE?
ONE PIECE is arguably one of Japan’s most popular manga. It has been going strong since 1997. Created by legendary manga artist, Eiichiro Oda, it actually holds the coveted record from Guinness World Records for the most copies of a single comic book series.
The anime version has been running since 1999. There have also been 14 anime movies.
Its reach is truly global, now circulated in 43 countries. ONE PIECE has, in fact, been the best-selling manga series every year since 2018.
These stunning achievements make it one of the most popular manga and anime franchises from Japan.
What is the story?
ONE PIECE chronicles the adventures of a boy named Monkey D. Luffy whose body takes on the properties of rubber after eating the supernatural “gum-gum fruit” by accident.
His goal is to become the King of the Pirates in a place called the Grand Line. Along the way, Monkey is accompanied by his crew of fellow pirates who are called the Straw Hat Pirates.
Oda has developed numerous characters which provide cosplayers with plenty of material to develop their own unique take on ONE PIECE.
How has ONE PIECE inspired cosplayers?
Given its global reach, enchanting story, and a vivid cast of characters, cosplayers around the world have been inspired to personify many of the most popular characters.
The Animate Times of Japan recently published some of the most dazzling cosplay renditions. Judge for yourself how well each interpretation resembles their in-print and on-screen ONE PIECE character.
This character possesses many skills including an innate ability to read maps, interpret the weather, and navigate the seas. She is also a thief and pickpocket.
You can, however, see her coming from a distance due to her bright orange hair and svelte body.
Rurusama9 captures Nami’s persona on the beach at her home in Singapore.
Just as sexy, Smougtea Team from Russia has succeeded in another accurate rendition of Nami just in time for Halloween.
Captain of the Bonney Pirates and part of the Worst Generation, Jewelry Bonney should be watched carefully.
Tomoko from Taiwan is all tied up as Jewelry Bonney.
The only female Warlord of the Sea, Boa Hancock is a “pirate empress” and captain of the Kuja Pirates.
Murisaki from China has certainly got Boa Hancock’s skimpy style down.
Wearing slightly more material, Soha from South Korea put a lot of effort into her photoshoot, complete with mysterious smoke emanating from behind a sofa chair.
Tashigi, with her signature glasses, is a marine officer who serves under Vice Admiral Smoker.
Tachibana Haruka from Taiwan is ready to draw her sword as a very realistic Tashigi.
Belo Betty is the commander of the East Army in the Revolutionary Army.
Is that real smoke from Amaya’s cigarette? She hails from Poland.
One of the Mysterious Four, Perona is the former commander of the Wild Zombies.
What is coming out of Fransuaza Stein’s finger? She is a native of Russia.
Known as the “Devil Child”, Nico Robin is an archaeologist.
That’s quite a set for Shippou from China who seems to be ready to board the Ferris wheel as a convincing Nico Robin.
Hailing from Italy, KaoriFrost seems to have grown two extra arms. How did she do that? Double exposure?
While the female characters certainly attract a lot of cosplayers, the main protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy, has no shortage of guys with six-pack abs doing their best to emulate their favorite character.
Monkey D. Luffy
Since the very first episode, Monkey D. Luffy is the main character of ONE PIECE.
While we are not certain who this is and where this photo was taken, he is certainly an accurate rendition of Monkey D. Luffy.
What is next for ONE PIECE?
While for years there have been rumors about the impending conclusion to the long-selling ONE PIECE series, it appears as though the creator, Eiichiro Oda, does not seem ready to hang it up. In the following, somewhat cryptic and free-flowing handwritten note from the Jump Festival dated December 2019, he explained,
Hello to everyone visiting the Jump Festival! It’s King Gnu—no, just kidding! (King Gnu is a Japanese band.) It’s Gnu Oda. We are just about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the television anime production (of ONE PIECE). Keep supporting this event. Thank you very much for your participation. I want to take a moment to recognize and thank my staff for their enduring support. I am, however, not ready to finish writing the original script. The brakes have already been destroyed!
Have you been enjoying the adventures of Kozuki Oden? I am struggling to determine how much to reveal. I may just carelessly draw the entire ONE PIECE. However, as soon as this recollection is revealed, the importance of Luffy’s adventures and the significance of fighting should become clear. Luffy doesn’t think about that. The Wano country edition is finally in the process of being defeated. Wano country came to want to draw here. And behind that, what will Sabo, Bibi, and Hancock do?…Ah…Yes! Development with a view to the final episode has already begun. Don’t take your eyes off it, because next year’s ONE PIECE will very interesting!
Eiichiro Oda, December 2019
Thus, we’ll just have to wait and see what the future may bring to the world of Monkey D. Luffy.
In the meantime, be certain to look for lots more creativity from cosplayers in love with ONE PIECE.
Now a self-declared "lifer" foreigner in Japan, Mark is the founder of the Real Gaijin Substack (https://realgaijin.substack.com/welcome). Now based in Oita Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan, Mark is currently self-employed as an independent contractor focused on management and marketing consulting in the healthcare field. He had a long career at an American medical device manufacturer based in Chicago. Mark helped to found and ultimately run its wholly owned subsidiary in Tokyo. He completed a year-long Fulbright grant at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. Mark is also a 1990 graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, U.S.A. where he earned a BA in both History and the Japanese language. During college Mark was an exchange student at both Waseda University and Nichibeikaiwagakuin in Tokyo where he studied intensive Japanese. Mark speaks business level Japanese and intends to remain in Japan indefinitely where he has lived for a total of more than 20 years. He likes to write about his experiences and has been a frequent contributor to the on-line media resource Japan Insider (https://japaninsider.com/) for which he typically writes about business-related issues, the unique culture of Japan, and travel. Mark likes the outdoors and is passionate about hiking, bicycle touring and marine sports—particularly sailing and windsurfing.