One Piece has been running for over two decades at this point and thus can be tough to jump into. As it turns out, the voice actress behind Monkey D. Luffy hasn't been reading the manga either for one very good reason. Eiichiro Oda's long-running action manga series is celebrating its 25th Anniversary of launching in the pages of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, and thus has become quite the mountain to climb for fans curious about the series. It has often become the reason why new fans don't jump into the manga or the anime, and even the main actress behind it all hasn't done so either.
But unlike those who use One Piece's length as a reason to not jump into the series, Monkey D. Luffy voice actress Mayumi Tanaka recently opened up about some of her core tenets when it comes to performing for the anime. In a recent interview with 7 Rules in Japan, Tanaka revealed that she has actually never read the One Piece manga either despite playing a very crucial role in the anime. As the star explained about her process, she keeps from reading the series in order to keep her performance and reactions as Luffy as authentic as possible.
"I don't read the manga," Tanaka began. "It might actually be better if I did, but my style is to do my performances while still holding onto that fresh feeling of surprise and going 'Whoa, so this is what happens!' that comes from reading about it in the script for the first time and seeing the artwork for the first time too." So while the series' manga is definitely a massive mountain tough to overcome for many, Tanaka hasn't read any of the series to keep her first reactions and performance as fresh for the final project as possible.
It makes a lot of sense because it's not like Luffy himself can see the future despite learning how to use Observation Haki. It might seem strange to find out that the anime's main star doesn't read the source material, but there have been no complaints about the anime so far! If it were an issue, surely fans would have noticed by now but Tanaka is just as on point in the anime as she was over two decades ago when it all began.
How do you feel about One Piece's voice of Luffy not reading along with the source material? Does it come as a surprise? Let us know all of your thoughts about it in the comments! You can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!