After briefly returning to Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, One Piece will be going on another brief one week break. The series returned with the latest issue of the magazine with Chapter 980, but confirmed that it will not be releasing the next chapter of the series until two weeks from now. Meaning Chapter 981 is now currently scheduled to release with the June 7th issue of the magazine. This break comes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as Shueisha told fans earlier this month that it would be having an impact on the creators themselves.
Series creator Eiichiro Oda updated fans earlier this month on his current status as well as he noted that because much of the work on the series is done analog, the series has limited its staff to the bare minimum necessary to avoid further spread the novel coronavirus and thus keeping up with better social distancing practices.
As Oda told fans on Twitter, "I'm still drawing every day as usual, but since all our work is analog, we cannot avoid gathering people. So we have limited the staff to its minimum, and I also have to live a life as far from contamination as I can. Because of that, the progress of the original story and other projects have been slowed down to a frustrating extent."
Elaborating on the matter of work being slowed down, Oda mentioned that there might be interruptions going forward (further explaining the latest break), "...I think there will be more interruptions from now on, but please understand we are not taking a break because I am feeling unwell, we are reorganizing work to continue making this manga while staying healthy!"
Unfortunately, there has yet to be any word on the One Piece anime making a return from its hiatus any time soon but at least the original manga is continuing with new releases. They might be slowed down a bit for now, but at least fans can look forward to seeing the next step of Wano Country's third act two weeks from now!
How do you feel about this brief break after the previous two-week break? Excited to see where the Wano arc will be going next when the manga returns? What are you hoping to see in the series' future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!