The first 12 volumes of the original One Piece manga are being released free of charge in honor of the premiere of the new live-action series on Netflix. The free release does not cover the entirety of the long-running comic book series, but does include the full East Blue Saga, which is the first major story arc of the manga. Series creator Eiichiro Oda announced the giveaway recently via X (formerly Twitter).
The entire Blue Saga of the One Piece manga is available to read for free in celebration of Netflix’s live-action anime series.
While the new Netflix version of One Piece is a live-action adaptation of the existing anime series, that series was itself an adaptation of the original manga. The manga has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump, a manga magazine, since 1997. Its chapters were compiled into 106 volumes called tankōbon in July of this year.
That means the 12 volumes being given away here on Read Me! are only a piece of One Piece. The series has only continued to increase in popularity, which led to the anime adaptation. The animated TV series has been ongoing since 1999 and currently has over 1,000 episodes, a remarkable achievement for any series. This means the stories and characters of Oda’s universe are now ongoing across three different mediums.
Netflix’s Live-Action One Piece
How long the live-action One Piece will last is anyone’s guess, but with Oda’s careful guidance, it has already met with widespread praise and has been enthusiastically embraced by fans. Of course, with actors and writers still on strike, how soon production on a potential second season could move forward is an open question. With a cast that has widely been recognized as perfect, we’re hopeful production on a new season would be able to move forward as quickly as possible.
The manga giveaway is clearly focused on bringing these stories and characters to a new audience, drawing attention to the iterations that have come before in hopes that readers will want to continue enjoying the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy.
The One Piece comics, which were originally published in Japanese, are being made available free of charge in 21 languages. According to Oda’s post, however, the Japanese version is not being made available in this release.
Like the Netflix series itself, the manga giveaway is clearly focused on bringing these stories and characters to a new audience, drawing attention to the iterations that have come before in hopes that readers will want to continue enjoying the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates.
Though One Piece is already an extensive, ongoing franchise, most of the world is only now becoming aware of Eiichiro Oda’s work. The free release, therefore, is a perfect way to capitalize on the latest version and give new viewers an idea of what to expect. The East Blue Saga contains all the heroes and villains that appear in the Netflix series, making it an excellent introduction.
As fans across the world become familiar with the stories and characters of One Piece, the franchise shows no sign of slowing whether the Netflix series is eventually renewed or not. The appeal of Ona’s creation is clearly undeniable and this new free release of the first 12 volumes of the manga will certainly bring new fans to the One Piece universe.
The success of the live-action series and the broader audience to whom it appeals are set to help this become one of the most globally successful manga and anime properties we’ve seen in a long time.