One Piece has been on the air for decades now, and it is reaching an important apex week by week. It will not be long before the show hits 1,000 episodes, and fans are still in shock over the hit series' reign. No one is more surprised than the cast who works to bring the Straw Hats to life, and one of its stars admits they weren't sure they would live to see the anime finish.
Over on Twitter, One Piece fans were reminded of the fact when an interview with Mayumi Tanaka surfaced. The actress is a veteran in the anime industry, and she has voiced Monkey D. Luffy since day one. Fans cannot imagine the anime without her, and Tanaka said she worried at one point whether she should find a successor just in case One Piece outlived her.
"I never thought One Piece would be this long. Every year, Oda told me, "Mayumi-san, it'll end in 10 years." I don't know if I'll be alive when One Piece ends... If I choose a replacement now, maybe One Piece fans will accept it (when I die)," she said (via blondemarimo).
In the interview, Tanaka even says Masako Nozawa could replace her, but the Dragon Ball actress is also up there in years. Fans are as protective of Nozawa as they are Tanaka, so Luffy's actress said it would be a moot point there.
As you can imagine, this interview has drummed up some conflicting emotions are One Piece fans are sending the actress all the good vibes. Thankfully, Tanaka appears to be in good health, and she still performs her role as Luffy with the vibrancy she did in episode one. At age 65, the actress has mastered the art of leading the Straw Hats into battle, and fans are confident the actress will command the crew until One Piece comes to its eventual end.