In the world of manga, there’s something known as ‘The Big Three’. It’s a term used to describe Naruto, Bleach and One Piece – which were the three most popular running manga series in Jump magazine during the 2000s. Of the three series, Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is the most popular, with over 516 million copies of manga sold worldwide.
I know we were all worried that the recent live action adaptation of One Piece wouldn’t live up to the reputation of the source material, but if you had time to binge it over the weekend, then you’ll know that it’s fantastic and absolutely worth the hype.
But if the Netflix series has left you hungry for more, now’s the time to get into the manga that started it all. The One Piece manga box sets usually retail for $270 to $300, which includes 22 to 23 volumes of the award-winning series. However, Amazon Australia currently has the One Piece manga box sets on sale for under $200 each, which is a bargain considering each set includes at least 22 volumes.
Booktopia and Angus & Robertson also have the first One Piece box set on sale for $199 which includes the East Blue and Baroque Works arcs. So whether you’re a new fan of Luffy or a long time crew member Straw Hat Pirates’ anime adventures, this is the perfect way to start your manga collection and start reading One Piece.
What exactly is One Piece about?
If you’ve somehow managed to dodge the One Piece anime, manga and the live action series, I’m very impressed. One Piece follows Luffy, a boy who wants to be King of the Pirates. To do this, he needs to sail to the Grand Line and find Gol D. Roger’s treasure – The One Piece. But there’s a catch. Luffy has eaten the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit, which gives him the power to stretch his body like rubber, but in exchange he can’t swim or use his powers in sea water. There’s nothing more ironic than a pirate who can’t swim.
If you’ve only seen Netflix’s live action adaptation, now is definitely the time to start reading the One Piece manga. At the time of writing there are currently 106 volumes of One Piece, which equates to 1,091 chapters (with more coming out every week), so you’ll have plenty of reading material for the foreseeable future.
I wholeheartedly recommend One Piece. Oda’s art style can be jarring at first, but the charm of the characters – especially Luffy – is what wins you over. While all of the Straw Hat Pirates are endearing, Luffy’s earnest and charismatic nature makes him the perfect fit for a shounen protagonist in a world full of burly and mean pirates. It’s rare to come across a character that balances comedy and genuine emotion so well, but Oda hit the nail on the head with Luffy. Combine these dynamic characters with a high stakes story about hidden treasure and it’s easy to see why it’s the most popular manga of all time.
You can buy the first One Piece box set here:
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