One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 4, 1997; the individual chapters are being published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first released on December 24, 1997, and the 74th volume released as of June 2014. One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young boy whose body gains the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit, and his diverse crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy explores the ocean in search of the world’s ultimate treasure known as One Piece in order to become the next Pirate King.
The chapters have been adapted into an original video animation (OVA) produced by Production I.G in 1998, and an anime series produced by Toei Animation, which began broadcasting in Japan in 1999. Since then, the still continuing series has aired over 600 episodes. Additionally, Toei has developed eleven animated feature films, two OVA’s, and five television specials. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising such as a trading card game, and a large number of video games.
The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Gollancz Manga, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. The anime series has been licensed by Funimation Entertainment for an English-language release in North America, although the series was originally licensed and distributed by 4Kids Entertainment.
One Piece has received wide critical acclaim, primarily for its art, characterization, humor and story. Several volumes of the manga have broken publishing records, including highest initial print run of any book in Japan and the first book to sell over three million copies in Oricon history. As of 2013, the series had over 345 million volumes in circulation worldwide, making it the best-selling manga series in history.