One Piece Shares Its Very First Anime in Special Throwback: Watch

One Piece has told the story of the Straw Hat Pirates for decades, not just with its manga series but its anime adaptation as well. What many fans of the shonen franchise might be surprised to learn is that the long-running anime adaptation from Toei isn't the first attempt at bringing the Grand Line to life. Production I.G. released a special OVA in the late 1990s, and you can now watch the special at your leisure online.

If you aren't familiar with One Piece's original anime project, the OVA was actually produced by a different studio than Toei Animation, with Production I.G. handling the early adventure that saw Luffy, Nami, and Zoro battling against a new opponent. Released in 1998, the original story didn't reference anything that took place from the manga that was created by Eiichiro Oda and had a completely different cast of voice actors that set out to introduce the Straw Hat Pirates to many for the first time. The OVA project was released to a limited amount of theaters and now you can watch the special for the first time on Youtube.

The Official One Piece Youtube Channel shared the OVA project in its entirety, and you can jump into this original take on the Straw Hats from Production I.G. beginning at around "1:51:46" in the long video to get a better idea of what One Piece might have looked like if it didn't make the leap to Toei:

After around a month-long hiatus, creator Eiichiro Oda returned to write and draw the adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece for what is being billed as the Final Arc of the series. With Oda himself having worked on One Piece for over two decades at this point, the mangaka has certainly earned his retirement more than a few times over at this point and fans are continuing to speculate not just whether Luffy will be able to achieve his dreams but whether or not the mystery of the One Piece treasure will be revealed. 

What do you think of the original animation that brought Luffy and company to life? 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.