On October 20, 1999, Toei Animation launched Captain Monkey D. Luffy and his colorful crew of Straw Hat pirates on a voyage that, as of today, has spanned 22 years and created one of the most beloved global anime franchises in history. And in just one month, anime’s favorite pirates will set sail together on the Thousand Sunny for the history-making 1,000th episode of One Piece, which will stream on November 20 in the U.S. and Canada on Funimation; in Germany and Russia on Wakanim; and on their respective broadcast schedules in Australia and New Zealand.
Based on the top-selling manga title of all time by creator Eiichiro Oda, Toei Animation’s One Piece anime series spans more than 990 episodes to date since it first debuted on Japanese TV in October 1999. This iconic series features pirate Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat crew on their epic quest to find “One Piece,” the legendary treasure of the former King of the Pirates, Gol D. Roger.
One Piece‘s global pop culture status is the crowning achievement for this anime franchise, which encompasses theatrical films, home videos, video games, and an ever-expanding catalog of licensed merchandise that includes accessories, toys, novelties, furniture, housewares and apparel.
Since 2014, Oda and One Piece have been encapsulated in The Guinness Book of World Records for “most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author.” To date, the manga has sold over 490 million copies across 58 countries and regions worldwide and is the only manga to run an initial print of volumes of 3+ million copies continuously for more than 10 years since 2010. Monkey D. Luffy was also an official ambassador for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.
“The 1,000th episode of One Piece is truly a history-making moment not only for the franchise, but also for the millions of fans around the world that have supported the series over the last 22 years,” said Masayuki Endo, President & CEO of Toei Animation Inc. “We’re excited to mark this major milestone for One Piece and look forward to celebrating it together with fans at our special global livestream event on November 20.”
“It isn’t every day you get to celebrate such a respected series hit such a grand milestone like this,” shared Asa Suehira, Chief Content Officer of Funimation Global Group. “One Piece has been a huge part of the Funimation family over time and we’re so proud to be a part of the ongoing journey Toei Animation continues to produce.”
To mark this momentous occasion of 1,000 episodes, a celebratory virtual live streamed event will be broadcast across the Funimation and Toei Animation YouTube channels simultaneously, as well as the official One Piece Facebook page. This virtual event will be hosted by YouTuber RogersBase on November 20 at 3 p.m. PST and will feature free streaming of episodes 998 and 999, prize giveaways, fan videos and more.
In addition to the live stream, earlier this month as part of the One Piece 1,000th episode celebration, Toei Animation and Fathom Events announced a special two-night One Piece Film: Strong World theatrical event on November 7 (English Dub) and November 9 (English Sub) in select theaters across the United States. This will be the first-ever U.S. theatrical release of the 2009 movie written by creator Eiichiro Oda and 10th film in the One Piece franchise. For more information, visit fathomevents.com/onepiece.
One Piece features the voices of Mayumi Tanaka (Japanese) / Colleen Clinkenbeard (English) as Monkey D. Luffy, Kazuya Nakai / Christopher R. Sabat as Roronoa Zoro, Akemi Okamura / Luci Christian as Nami, Kappei Yamaguchi / Sonny Strait as Usopp, Hiroaki Hirata / Eric Vale as Vinsmoke Sanji, Ikue Ōtani / Brina Palencia as Tony Tony Chopper, Yuriko Yamaguchi / Stephanie Young as Nico Robin, Kazuki Yao / Patrick Seitz as Franky, Chō / Ian Sinclair as Brook, and Katsuhisa Hōki / Daniel Baugh as Jimbei.