It's hard to believe, but One Piece has been around for over 20 years. The franchise got its start under Eiichiro Oda in Weekly Shonen Jump all those years ago, and Toei Animation spun it into an anime back in 1999. Next year, the show will hit the double-decade milestone itself, and the series' creator just made fan emotional about the anniversary.
Just leave it to Oda to turn Monkey D. Luffy's biggest supporters into cry babies.
Recently, the creator shared a message with fans in an issue of Weekly Shonen Jump that got them teary. Oda left a comment about One Piece after the anime went live on Netflix Japan's catalog. The long-awaited debut took its time, but fans took the anime's addition as a sign of good things to come.
As for Oda... well, he was too busy crying over the anime to take part in those fan-theories.
The One Piece anime is now streaming on Netflix in Japan," Oda shared with fans. "It's been 20 years, and the first episode still makes me cry."
The adorable comment as made fans weepy, and you cannot blame the fandom for getting emotional. Oda a diehard fan of One Piece, and he is best-known for being its number-one fan. Yes, the artist might have created the Straw Hat gang, but Oda has never gotten tired of his creations. The man has dedicated untold hour to bringing Luffy's pirate adventures to life, and he still gets tearful over its humble anime roots. The debut episode of One Piece might have aired in 1999, but it has only become more meaningful to Oda over the years. And, at the rate the anime is going, the anime could last another 20 before it ends.
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has been collected into 87 volumes, with a few chapters yet to be included. It 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 430 million copies sold worldwide. Currently, One Piece is in the middle of the "Whole Cake Island" arc and is now streaming on Crunchyroll and FunimationNOW.
Which episodes of One Piece get you emotional? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!