One Piece, the immensely popular and ongoing Japanese manga, has been reportedly progressing well. While each chapter doesn’t involve a lot of events, the series has maintained a good pace. According to mangaka Eiichiro Oda, and the series’ editor, this year will be one of the most important ones for One Piece manga.
According to Oda’s own admission, One Piece manga is about 65 percent complete. While Oda refrains from adding a specific number to his estimation, based on past interviews, fans have routinely predicted that One Piece still has about a decade worth of material. Still, there have been persistent rumors about One Piece winding up in the near future. While quite a few of these rumors have been quelled, it is quite possible that the ongoing Dressrosa arc is quite close to its explosive culmination.
— One Piece Podcast (@OnePiecePodcast) December 9, 2016
If the recent chapters are any indication, the Big Mom arc is speeding towards an end. For quite some time, One Piece‘s protagonist, Luffy D. Monkey, and his band of Straw Hats pirates, had a rather bleak future. The Yonko’s “Chess Barbarian Army” had managed to successfully capture Luffy and Nami, while Carrot and Chopper remained trapped in Brulee’s Mirror World. Meanwhile, Pedro and Brooke were fighting their own uphill battles to secure the coveted Road Poneglyphs for their dear pal Luffy. Whiel Oda has revealed yet, Brooke might have been temporarily trapped by Big Mom in the Room of Offerings.
— Monkey D Luffy (@kaizokuroger) January 1, 2017
However, the biggest surprise Oda threw at his fans was Sanji falling for Big Mom’s daughter, Lady Pudding. Though the marriage was nothing more than a political alliance orchestrated by Big Mom to get control over the Germa 66 army, Luffy’s emotional entanglement has set the stage for a messy confrontation. While Luffy appears convinced about Sanji’s entrapment, the chef has been busy preparing food for his love interest. Fortunately, Sanji became aware of Lady Pudding true evil nature in Chapter 851. If that’s not all, Oda has thrown in a bruised and bloodied Reiju, the Vinsmoke clan’s only daughter. These twists and complications might appear disconnected, but Oda appears to be skillfully bringing pulling all the pirate clans into what appears to be a confrontation of epic proportions.
Heading back to school soon?
(One Piece) pic.twitter.com/PT0WgHfIT2
— Manga US (@mangacom) January 8, 2017
With so many developments, it is common consensus that Oda has been gradually speeding the storyline after dwelling on the Dressrosa arc for two and a half years. Additionally, reading into comments by the series’ editor in School of Jump and by Oda on Jump Festa material, strongly indicates 2017 could be a decisive and definitive year for One Piece, reported Chrunchyroll. The 20th anniversary year is likely to witness the transition of One Piece to a new arc.
Incidentally, the School of Jump netcast began with some interesting revelations about One Piece. The netcast indicated that the currently running Whole Cake Island arc is half-way done. If calculations by fans are any indication, there might be another 20 or 25 chapters left before the Big Mom arc ends. Interestingly, while Oda did not refute or confirm the number of chapters remaining in the ongoing arc, he did note that 2017 will witness the transition of One Piece from the Dressrosa arc into the Reverie council of kings and Wano land of the samurai arcs.
Encore du One Piece! L’arc Whole Cake, pas 1 seul chapitre je répète AUCUN CHAPITRE NE M’A DÉÇUT! Cet arc est une tuerie!???? pic.twitter.com/WoyvOQ2OcP
— ✖KAIZOKU✖ (@BlacKaizoku) December 31, 2016
Chapter 851 of One Piece has just been released, and fans are already getting excited about the daring escape the Straw Hats gang will be soon be attempting with a lot of help from Jinbei. These events merely cement the hypothesis that the Whole Cake Island could soon transform into a battlefield. Moreover, since Reiju has been hurt badly, the Dressrosa arc could have an epic three-way battle between the Luffy’s Straw Hats pirates, the Vinsmokes who control the Germa 66 army, and Big Mom who has her Chess Barbarian Army and her tricks.
[Featured Image by Eiichiro Oda/One Piece Manga]