Shonen Jump has big plans for One Piece this year. The long-running franchise is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017, and fans around the world are anticipating the manga’s upcoming releases. At the year’s start, fans were teased with news that a spin-off focusing on Ace would be published by the end of 2017. And, now, it looks like fans may have discovered the author who’ll be behind the project.
Thanks to netizen sleuths, fans have learned that Ryohgo Narita may be the person working on the project. The writer, who famously created Durarara!! and Baccano, has done previous work for franchises like Bleach. In 2012, Narita penned the tie-in novel Spirits Are Forever With You and another project focused on Shūhei Hisagi will be released this spring.
As for how fans discovered the possible connection, it is all thanks to the Internet. Over on Twitter, the editor of One Piece shared a picture of his computer’s desktop screen, and fans were quick to notice a few interesting folders. One folder titled “OP_RANK” is thought to hold information about the Ace’s spin-off while another folder is labeled with Narita’s name.
So far, fans know very little about the spin-off project as Shueisha has kept details about the serialized novel on the down-low. However, the One Piece Magazine did tell fans earlier this year that the story would cover Ace’s exit from Mt. Colubo and the eventual creation of the Spade Pirates. The spin-off will also cover how Ace met Jinbe and finally led his comrades as the Whitebeard Pirates commander.
If you aren’t familiar with Ace or can’t put a name to the face, then you’ll remember him soon enough. Portgas D. Ace is also known as ‘Fire Fist’ and the older brother to Luffy. The adopted brother helped raise the younger kid along with a blond-headed boy name Sabo. Known for his fiery temper and fierce loyalty, Ace was the 2nd division commander of the Whitebeard Pirates and was Luffy’s definitive role model upon the seas.
Of course, fans know how Ace ultimately left the series. After being hunted by the World Government, Ace was sentenced to death because his father was the late Pirate King. Luffy was unable to accept his brother’s execution and interfered, an action that resulted in the Battle of Marineford. Luffy helped Ace escaped custody, but the elder pirate wound up sacrificing his life to save Luffy from a marine named Akainu.
So, what do you think? Would you be satisfied to hear Narita is the person behind the One Piece spin-off? Let us know what you think in the comments below!