One Piece will seemingly be getting a major anime overhaul with the debut of the Wano Country arc this July, and much of this is due to the new character designs overseen by Midori Matsuda. These new character designs are why this big Wano debut has been one of the most anticipated debuts in the anime yet, and fans have been comparing just how much Luffy and the others have changed for this new phase of the anime.
Thanks to @0XMURADX0 on Twitter, fans now have a handy way to compare just how much Luffy has shifted from character designers Kazuya Hisada, Masayuki Sato, and the present day Matsuda. Check it out below!
Left to right: Matsuda, Sato, Hisada. pic.twitter.com/2HRU981cIt— Murad (@0XMURADX0) June 6, 2019
Confirming early reports that a new staff was behind the series' style upgrade for Wano, One Piece announced that the anime will not only have a new character designer in Midori Matsuda (who once served as animation director for One Piece Film: Gold), but the series will be directed by Dragon Ball Super: Broly and One Piece Film: Z. With the Wano arc confirmed to begin on July 7th, there's a lot to look forward to for the next phase of the series.
The art shift isn't the only reason to keep an eye on the future of the anime as the Wano Country arc will be the first time in a long while that the Straw Hats will all be gathered in the same place. This arc also sees the return of long lost faces to the series, and after much teasing, Kaido will finally move into action as Luffy threatens the next Emperor in his way.
Fans have been waiting for this adaptation ever since the manga began the Wano arc, and thankfully the anime looks ready to meet those big expectations! 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.