One Piece manga explained – What to read before the Netflix live-action series

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One Piece is a global phenomenon but has had only a niche impact on popular culture in the UK.

This is surprising given that the ongoing Japanese comic is the world’s best-selling manga and the best-selling comic by volume ever with over 500 million copies sold worldwide

In fact, the series only has to beat Superman and Batman to become the biggest comic series ever.

If that wasn’t enough, its author Eiichiro Oda is the 10th best-selling fiction author in history, not far behind Harry Potter’s JK Rowling. But just what is One Piece?

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One Piece explained

In a nutshell, One Piece is a pirate adventure set in a fantasy world. The story follows a young man called Monkey D Luffy and his crew of Straw Hat Pirates on their quest across the treacherous Grand Line sea route to find the long-lost treasure of Pirate King Gol D. Roger.

In the opening scene of the story, Roger is executed. But just before he dies he announces that his treasure, known as One Piece, is hidden somewhere out in the world and that whoever finds it will become the next King of the Pirates. This is Luffy’s goal.

It’s also worth noting that given it’s a fantasy world, some characters aren’t human and some have superpowers given to them by eating Devil Fruits. Luffy accidentally munches on one as a child and as a result, can stretch his body like Marvel’s Mr Fantastic. However, he can’t swim – something that’s a bit of a problem for a pirate.

One Piece manga and anime so far

One Piece has been going since 1997 with over 100 volumes containing over 1000 chapters published so far. Additionally, an anime adaptation of the manga has been broadcasting since 1999 with over 1000 episodes made to date. There are also 15 One Piece movies set during the events of the show that are somewhat non-canonical.

And now the story is finally getting the live-action treatment with the first season landing on Netflix on August 31. So how far into the manga’s storyline will the new show go?

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Netflix’s live-action One Piece will be eight episodes long and appears to only incorporate stories from the first storyline saga called East Blue. Basically, this follows Luffy setting off on his adventure and assembling his crew before heading into the Grand Line stretch of ocean. So this would encompass the first 100 chapters (the first 11-12 volumes) of Open Piece across six story arcs within the first saga, East Blue. They are in order: Romance Dawn, Orange Town, Syrup Village, Baratie, Arlong Park and Loguetown.

The best and most classic way to read One Piece is in its manga volume format. Now there are over 100 of those published and the cheapest way to buy them is in big box sets. So far four have been published with the fourth going up to Volume 90. The first boxset includes Volumes 1-23, the first half of which covers the storyline of Netflix’s live-action One Piece.

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