One Piece's 20th Anniversary has resulted in plenty of great things from the anime. Not only has the main series kicked-off the highly anticipated Wano Country arc, but also saw the release of the massive One Piece: Stampede. The celebration for this landmark isn't over by a long shot as One Piece will be getting one more anime special going way back to before the series really began. Adapting one of the prototypes for what would eventually become One Piece, One Piece: Romance Dawn is an anime special showing off Luffy in an unexpected way.
Premiering on October 20th in Japan, this anime special will feature Luffy in a way most fans probably aren't familiar with as it shows him before Oda gave him Gum Gum powers and his now famous eye scar in the final release of the official series. You can see more of the character designs for the prototype below:
One Piece Romance Dawn TV special character visuals. pic.twitter.com/mJvPxQL87l— SPY (@Spytrue) October 3, 2019
In a recent magazine promo spotted by @Spytrue on Twitter, One Piece fans can see a better look at the characters making an appearance in this anime special. Romance Dawn was the name for a one-shot version of the series before it became official, and it's essentially a rough draft. So here you can see the beginnings for characters like Luffy, Garp, and Nami before they were finalized for the official release of the series.
But it's not quite Luffy, Garp, and Nami either as each of these characters are pretty different from their final version. The basic elements from the series have begun to take shape, and Luffy's personality had been pretty much solidified at this point. So while this anime special will look much different than what fans have come to love from One Piece, it'll still seem a bit familiar.
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.