Japanese comic and animation One Piece is immensely popular in Taiwan. In fact, it's so popular that the first ever One Piece exhibition outside of Japan saw over 100,000 guests within its first week.
The One Piece exhibition, the first of its kind outside of Japan started last Tuesday and will run until September 22 in Taipei. Organisers have been planning this event for quite a while. Last year, Toei, the publisher of One Piece, published page long One Piece poster ads in Taiwanese newspapers. This year, they wrapped Taipei metro cars in One Piece ads -- kind of better than the One Piece plane, no?
To kick off the exhibition, exhibitors flew in key members of the Japanese voice cast for the anime, including the voice actress for Monkey D. Luffy.
Inside the exhibition, guests are treated to a recreation of One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda's work desk, some blown up comics and an interactive display. There are also special production cells from the anime on display.
To kick off the first weekend of the exhibit, fans and cosplayers showed up to the event in full force. Dressed up like characters from the comics, cosplayers had to withstand 36C weather with high humidity. Some fans of the series even showed up to hold a One Piece-themed wedding. While the point of the show is One Piece, there were a few misplaced characters. Bleach anyone?
One of the cosplayers created a tiny stir when the media questioned her about her outfit. Dressed as Luffy, a male character from the series, reporters asked her if she was cosplaying with "his" brother. She had to correct them, telling the reporters that she was a woman...
That said, the Expo will run until late September. Who knows if there will be any other cool surprises to come.