Eiichiro Oda's One Piece has risen up the ranks of popularity within the world of not only Shonen Series, but anime series in general, and it seems as if new statues honoring the creator, Monkey D. Luffy, and the Straw Hat Pirates in the mangaka's hometown have helped the town hit a big new milestone. Following an earthquake that hit 7.0 on the richter scale, Oda's hometown of Kumamoto needed aid and the mangaka was more than willing to assist in donating millions of dollars, resulting in his hometown erecting statues for the Straw Hats in honor of the prolific creator!
While all the statues of the Straw Hat Pirates have not been erected, those that have have brought in a number of tourists that have sent some much needed funds Kumamoto's way. With Monkey D. Luffy, Sanji, and Usopp already having statues of their own, the remaining monuments have yet to be put into place thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless, a number of students from Shokei University were able to calculate the amount of money that was being raised from tourists visiting Luffy's statue alone and the results were staggering.
The amount of money that has been given to Kumamoto via tourism for fans of One Piece visiting the statue has cleared over $25 million USD, showing that the statue of Monkey D. Luff has paid for itself over "267 times"! Needless to say, it just goes to show how popular One Piece has become and the lengths that some fans of the Straw Hat Pirates will go to honor the greatest swashbuckling anime epic of our time.
Eiichiro Oda has made the news a lot recently, stating in interviews that he is seeking to bring the end of the Straw Hats' journey to a close within five years and the franchise is sure to continue its popular run far after the conclusion of the series. Even with some of these statues being delayed, it's clear that the Straw Hat Pirates that are already standing in Kumamoto are paying for themselves numerous times and we can't wait to see the rest of Luffy's crew be brought to life!
Are you planning to visit these One Piece statues in the future? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Grand Line!