One Piece is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the anime series this year, and fans of the series have been looking back fondly on just how far Luffy and the Straw Hats have come over the 20 years time.
The best opportunity to do so has come in the form of the viral "10 Year Challenge" in which an image from 2009 is compared to 2019 and shows how much the subject has grown. It's a stark contrast when you put 2009's Luffy to 2019's Luffy too, as shown by the viral image below.
In 2009, the anime was putting Luffy and the Straw Hats through their most heinous challenge yet. Arguably the biggest event in the series so far, as it set the stage for the coming time-skip, the Sabaody Archipelago Arc saw Luffy and the Straw Hats utterly defeated by Kuma, the Pacifistas, and Admiral Kizaru. Before fans found out that Kuma was actually saving the Straw Hats from destruction by warping them away, it looked as if the Straw Hats were decimated.
This brought Luffy to one of his lowest points in the entire series as despite how hard he fought, he too was defeated and unable to save any one of his allies from Kuma's grasp. Ten years later, the Straw Hats are stronger and doing better than ever. While they are currently being chased by Big Mom, they have managed to hold their own against one of the Yonko, which is something fans would have never guessed would happen ten years ago.
Not only that, Luffy is on his way to mastering a new Haki power in a fight against the powerful Katakuri, a pirate with a one billion belly Bounty on his head. And this is only the latest feat in the Straw Hats' journey through the New World so far. There's no sign of stopping either, so it surely will be fun to look back on where Luffy is in 2029.
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has since been collected into over 80 volumes, and has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author, and is the best-selling manga series worldwide with over 430 million copies sold. The series still ranked number one in manga sales in 2018, which surprised fans of major new entries.