Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hit ‘One Piece’ anime marks milestone with release of 1,000th show

Hit ‘One Piece’ anime marks milestone with release of 1,000th show

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A statue of character Shanks – also known as Red Hair – is displayed at the One Piece anime souvenir shop in Tokyo on Friday. AFP

Hit ‘One Piece’ anime marks milestone with release of 1,000th show

Two decades after One Piece introduced the world to a swashbuckling pirate in a straw hat, fans of the Japanese cartoon series are giddily awaiting last weekend’s release of the 1,000th episode.

One Piece first appeared in manga [comic book] form in Japan in 1997, with an anime [animated TV series] version following two years later.

Since then the franchise has become a global cultural phenomenon, smashing records and winning fans around the globe.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t an immediate hit.

“It’s a miracle,” Ryuji Kochi of Toei Animation, the Japanese company behind the anime series, said of the 1,000-episode landmark.

“From the beginning, it was a tough title. It was not easy to place on the TV,” he said, adding that growing a fanbase for the show was not easy either.

Kochi said it had taken 13 long years for the anime, following the adventures of hat-wearing hero Monkey D Luffy, to reach cult status.

Today, however, hundreds of millions of fans are gripped by every twist in the hunt for the eponymous One Piece, the treasure coveted by all pirates.

Netflix beckons

The popularity of the manga version has also endured as the TV show has taken off.

Its creator Eiichiro Oda holds the Guinness World Record for “most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author” – 490 million, to be precise.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman walks past a poster of characters of ‘One Piece anime at Shibuya Station in Tokyo, ahead of the release of the 1000th episode on Sunday. AFP

The 1,000th episode of the anime series will be released in 80 countries over the weekend.

In Tokyo, a giant banner of the main characters has been erected at Shibuya station, one of the Japanese capital’s main transport hubs.

Special screenings are planned across the US, while in France – the world’s biggest manga and anime market after Japan – more than 100 cinemas are planning a marathon watching binge.

Fans from Africa to Europe to the Middle East have posted some 20,000 selfies to a fan site in honour of the milestone.

“I’ve been a One Piece fan for 20 years!” tweeted one Japanese enthusiast impatient to watch the landmark episode.

“I’ve been watching it since junior high, and I’m still enjoying it even after growing up.”

French fan Alexis Poriel, who runs a manga fan group on online platform Discord, said the broad scope of One Piece was a key reason for its popularity.

“It talks about social issues, there’s action, there’s humour,” the 26-year-old said.

One Piece manages to really make a link with societal questions,” he added, from racism to geopolitical intrigues.

The series also spans geographical and cultural references, from ancient Egypt to medieval Japan, that help to make it feel universal.

As for what’s next – a live-action adaptation by Netflix is in the works, with fans speculating that it could catapult the franchise to global household name status similar to Star Wars or Harry Potter.

Netflix’s announcement of the cast set social media alight earlier this month, with 18-year-old Mexican actor Inaki Godoy preparing to take on the role of Luffy.


  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,