One Piece is turning twenty this year, and the franchise is going all out with its celebrations. Eiichiro Oda's pirate-centric series stands as one of Japan's biggest cultural exports of all-time. And, now, the franchise will be getting ten "big projects" to ring in its anniversary.
Shueisha announced the new plans for One Piece in its 31st issue of Weekly Shonen Jump this year. The magazine told fans a total of ten projects will be created especially to honor Oda's Straw Hat Pirates. For now, details about the projects are being kept quiet, but Weekly Shonen Jump is expected to reveal details about the ventures on July 15th.
A few anniversary events for One Piece have already been announced, so fans can go ahead and mark their calendars. July 22 will mark the manga's 20th anniversary, so Shueisha will release a commemorative issue of Weekly Shonen Jump that week to celebrate. The publisher has said another surprise will also be announced on July 22, but no specifics have been released as of yet.
When August rolls around, One Piece will debut a two-hour anime special to honor its anniversary. "One Piece Episode of East Blue: will air on August 26 and be a completely new work. The special will follow Luffy as he reflects on how his four main mates came to join the Straw Hat Pirates, and it will include reanimated scenes from the beginning of One Piece up until now.
Viz Media's synopsis for One Piece can be read below:
As a child, Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally gained the power to stretch like rubber—at the cost of never being able to swim again! Years later, Luffy sets off in search of the One Piece, said to be the greatest treasure in the world…
Eiichiro Oda began his manga career in 1992 at the age of 17, when his one-shot cowboy manga Wanted! won second place in the coveted Tezuka manga awards. Oda went on to work as an assistant to some of the biggest manga artists in the industry, including Nobuhiro Watsuki, before winning the Hop Step Award for new artists. His pirate adventure One Piece, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1997, quickly became one of the most popular manga in Japan.