Luffy recruiting Zoro in One Piece
(Toei Animation)

When Is ‘One Piece’s 25th Anniversary Date?

What’s better than a 25th anniversary? The answer, obviously, is two 25th anniversaries.

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There’s been a lot of high-profile One Piece 25th anniversary celebrations in the States in summer 2024. One Piece took over the infamous Los Vegas sphere for an entire week in June. There’s a One Piece symphony tour of major cities going across the country this summer.

But if you were a One Piece fan two years ago, you might remember the One Piece community holding major anniversary events back then, too. Most of these events were spurred by the Japanese community but took pains to include international fans on a previously unprecedented level. One Piece Film: Red had an anniversary logo right up front. There was the first-ever international One Piece Day YouTube stream and even the series’ first-ever global popularity poll.

Are the powers that be just drawing out a single event over multiple years? How can a seemingly one-year anniversary last over two years?

A tale of two anniversaries

At this point, both the One Piece manga by Eiichiro Oda and Toei’s One Piece anime adaptation are long-running institutions. Both started in the late 1990s and have barely taken a break since, which means that both the manga and anime are in the vicinity of their 25th anniversaries.

The first chapter of One Piece appeared in Weekly Shounen Jump on July 19, 1997. Oda had a couple of proto One Piece chapters before then, including “Romance Dawn,” but that’s the date when One Piece proper began. So all those big events in 2022 were in honor of the manga’s 25th anniversary.

The first episode of the anime aired a little over two years later, on October 20, 1999. That’s the 25th anniversary One Piece fans are celebrating right now. If you find yourself in Japan, there will be a major One Piece Day festival held outside of Tokyo in August, along with an exhibition in Shinjuku.

But what’s curious is that, compared to two years ago, this anniversary has a major presence in the USA, what with the Las Vegas Sphere and the symphony and all. This might be because of the wild success of Netflix’s One Piece live-action adaptation, which helped to finally bring One Piece into some rotational sphere of American mainstream culture. Luffy was even in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last year. Both Toei and Netflix are probably trying to capitalize on that success.

But the celebration itself is absolutely warranted. 25 years of near-weekly chapters and episodes is a huge deal. Congratulations are in order! Plus, you know, One Piece is the greatest story being told in our time and all.

So a very happy 25th anniversary to the anime One Piece anime. You’re better than ever.


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Author
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.