One Piece has been running for 20 years now, and the anime will soon get a major shake-up with the start of the Wano Country arc this July. This shake-up will be overseen by the new director for the anime, Dragon Ball Super: Broly and One Piece Film: Z director Tatsuya Nagamine. In a recent interview for the special One Piece magazine in Japan, Nagamine talked up much of what he hopes to bring to the anime.
But one thing he mentioned got a lot of fans' attention is that Nagamine feels as if the series is reaching its "climax." Though there's no telling what this will mean for the future of the series, but it certainly raises some interesting questions.
According to notes translated by @YonkouProd on Twitter, "Nagamine and the staff get to read the chapters a week before they're released in Jump. Despite that he re-reads the volumes because he enjoys seeing the SBS. He also thinks that we're approaching the 'climax' of One Piece." There's no indication what Nagamine means by this, but by the sounds of the rest of the interview he has a clear understanding of the series.
But this "climax" comment is interesting considering that Oda once mentioned that the series was about 80% done. With the Reverie arc's big reveals, Luffy making his way through the second of the Emperors, and even the potential reveals of crucial characters like Vegapunk potentially on the horizon, the series seems to be setting up the endgame. But "climax" can mean anything with a series like this.
The climax could very well last several years, and there's still no clue as to what form this climax will take. Will it be a huge war with the World Government again? With the Yonko all finally fight for supremacy? Will the plot explore another Straw Hat's past? Even if the climax could be near, fans definitely still have a lot of One Piece to enjoy. At the very least, Nagamine's take on Wano is certainly more enticing now.
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.