One of the animators at Toei Animation has promised that "extremely exciting" things are on the horizon for the One Piece anime.
Animator Henry Thurlow took to his personal Twitter to explain why viewers won't see his name in the One Piece credits in the coming months. "I’m working hard everyday but for the next (many) months I’ll be focusing on one particular upcoming episode," he wrote. "Immensely challenging & a lot of responsibility. Also extremely exciting!"
In response, many One Piece fans started speculating about what part of the story Thurlow may be referring to, and the animator weighed in on the speculation, teasing that one of the theories is indeed correct. Toei Animation's anime adaptation is currently translating the events of the "Wano Country" story arc from Eiichiro Oda's beloved manga to the screen. The show premiered its 1041st episode, titled "Showdown Battles of the Monsters! Yamato and Franky," on Nov. 20, and the next episode, called "The Predator's Trap - Black Maria's Temptation," will debut on Nov. 27.
Oda started publishing his iconic pirate story in 1997. So far, the ongoing series has produced over 1,050 individual chapters. The narrative focuses on Monkey D. Luffy, a young pirate captain with a body made out of rubber. Yet, his dream is to become the next King of the Pirates as he and his eclectic crew sail across the sea in search of the titular treasure. While a recent study found that One Piece is one of the most likely manga for readers to abandon, the series maintains a devoted and enormous fan base. With over 516 million copies in circulation around the world, Oda's story is undoubtedly the best-selling manga of all time.
One Piece's Promising Franchise Future
Coming off the international success of the feature One Piece Film: Red, fans have even more to look forward to than just the incredible future episode Thurlow has promised. Notably, two new games will drop early next year. First, there is One Piece Odyssey, which will transport "the Straw Hat Crew to a mysterious new island where they embark on quests and fight powerful enemies and massive bosses in exciting turn-based battles." Second, there is the Choppertchi line of Tamagotchis, which will allow fans to raise their very own Chopper.
Moreover, Netflix is adapting One Piece into a live-action television series. Expected to premiere sometime in 2023, the show will star Iñaki Godoy as Luffy alongside Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro and Emily Rudd as Nami.
The One Piece anime is available to stream on Crunchyroll.