One Piece has been selling well for almost four years. Its popularity may be waning now.
Crunchyroll News is reporting that Japanese publisher Shueisha just released the 77th volume of the popular Eiichiro Oda manga. This version sold over 3.8 million first run copies. While most publishing firms would be overjoyed by this, consider that Shueisha, from the 64th volume of One Piece on, each volume exceeded four million first run copies.
Shueisha is also reporting that starting in May of this year, they will be distributing digital versions of the manga’s tankobon. This could possibly indicate why first-run print copies fell below the four million mark on this version.
The first version to hit four million copies, the 64th, occurred in November of 2011. The best-selling volume was the 67th version, released in 2012.
Anime News Network reports that more than 345 million copies of the manga series has been printed since 2013 worldwide. The manga has sold over 130 million copies since 2009. One Piece has printed more copies than any other Shueisha manga series in Japan.
Comic Book Resources reports that Oda’s manga has sold over 310 million copies in Japan alone since its debut in 1997. Another manga, Attack on Titan, is gaining on One Piece, but the Oda manga held the top spot, selling 11.9 million copies last year.
One Piece follows the story of Monkey D. Luffy, an ordinary young man (which is the way most stories begin) who unintentionally eats what is called a devil fruit, whereupon his body gains the properties of rubber. Luffy and his crew of Straw Hat Pirates sail the seas in search of the One Piece, an ultimate treasure which would help Luffy become the next Pirate King.
Kotaku Australia is reporting that the popularity of One Piece has led to the obligatory marketing of action figures and other such memorabilia, including the new One Piece theme park. The Tokyo Tower holds all things One Piece, including statues, food, games, tours, and ends with a melee that is a mixture of CGI and live action for a bigger effect.
Gematsu is reporting that One Piece will continue with its gaming presence. Set for an August release in Europe, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Doflamingo Edition will be made for Playstation 4, Playstation 3, PS Vita, and PC, which includes a 16 CM Doflamingo figurine.
The game’s producer, Bandai Namco, also stated that the title will be set for release for Playstation 4 in North America in the summer, most likely in August.
[Image courtesy of Strawburry 17]