Since 1997, One Piece has become one of the most widely-recognized shounen mangas on Earth, and when its “rival” manga Naruto ended, there were some talks amongst fans that its end was not far behind. However, in a recent interview with the Japanese radio show, Gold Rush, One Piece’s editor revealed that One Piece will not be ending anytime soon.
Weekly Shounen Jump! editor, Suguru Sugita, who is in-charge of editing Eiichiro Oda’s New York Times bestselling manga, was asked during the interview how far along One Piece was in its story. To that he answered:
“He told me that the first part of the story, the part prior to the time-skip, was around halfway through. That was about 60 volumes, so maybe we’re at 70%? I don’t think it’s at 80% yet. Something like that.”
So we are only at about 70% of the story? Now that’s long! If you think that just because we are already in the second half, the story might be ending in a year or two, well, let’s just say that you have to extend your expectations by a bit. If what Sugita is saying is true and about 70% of the story is done, then it’s gonna take a lot longer than 5 – 6 years for the manga to wrap up. Remember, the manga made its debut in 1997 and the time-skip is considered the story’s half-way point.
Sugita also revealed that he already knows how the manga will end as he found out about seven hours since being assigned as Oda’s editor. He said that Oda revealed the ending to him through a phone call. “He asked me whether there was anyone around,” said Sugita. “I told him no, and he said, ‘Alright, I don’t have anyone around me either, so let’s talk,’ and then he told me.” Lucky guy! Don’t you wish you could have listened to that conversation? So will Luffy finally get the One Piece? I guess we will find out in several years.
At age 40, Eiichiro Oda is already one of the most respected mangakas in the world, and when asked if he will be doing another long-term manga like One Piece, he replied
“He hasn’t decided, but he said he probably wouldn’t be able to write one. He’s already been going on for eighteen years, so just how old will he be by the time it’s all over? I think it’s more of a question as to whether he’d be able to write another long serialization after that, realistically speaking.”
Eiichiro Oda is one hardworking mangaka and has been reported to only sleep at two to three hours a day because he works on his manga a lot. If he deserves anything from finishing One Piece, it should be days worth of rest.