Why One Piece Will Never End

    Infinity is a human made concept. An arbitrary term for humans to contend with their own limited grasp of creation. There is no infinity, because doing so would imply there is finality anywhere. Nothing can end because it is always beginning anew. That being said, One Piece Will Never End…until it does.

    Since hitting the scene in 1997, Eichiro Oda’s hit manga, One Piece has dominated the anime/manga landscape. The sole survivor of Shonen Jumps Big 3 (No Boruto’s Dad’s Son the Manga does not count) and remains the number one polling manga. Even if you aren’t an anime fan, it is difficult to believe that you have not heard of Once Piece.

    Image by Funimation Films

    A joke, for some time has been, how long can a show with the base theme of “becoming king of the pirates” last. And the answer is pretty damn long. Spanning 97 Volumes, 947 episodes, 14 movies and a whole slew of minor appearances, few series have lasted as long as One Piece. And we all may be wondering if it will ever end. And the answer is yes, but also maybe. NANI!?

    Oda has already publicly stated that the manga has a definite ending prepared that should come around at some time between 2025-2026 (give or take the world ending). And while that may seem like the biggest indication for an end, we must remember the nature of the anime/manga industry, which adheres to the philosophy, if it makes money, keep it going. Shonen Jump manga usually reach their conclusion due to either a decrease in popularity or health concerns of the mangaka, though clear endings have been given (for more information on the manga landscape I recommend the manga Bakuman by written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata).

    So would Shonen Jump be willing to let go of their staple series which would be, at the time of it’s supposed final chapter, just under 30 years old? My money is on no.

    Earlier we joked about Boruto, but it is our best indicator of where I think Once piece will go. Despite being exhausted and done with the series, Mashashi Kishimoto’s Naruto just can’t stay down. While being offered to draw it, Kishimoto stepped down and allowed Ukyō Kodachi to write and Mikio Ikemoto to illustrate Boruto. While Kishimoto remains on as a supervisor of sorts, it is clear that Naruto is a machine that can exist without the initial creator, and based on its manga and anime sales, this seems to be working.

    Image by Viz Media

    By this logic, I suspect that One Piece may meet a similar fate, continuing on even if Oda decides to step down. With a world as large and all-encompassing as One Piece, there is ample room for spin-offs. Luffy may become King of the Pirates and Find One Piece (whatever any of that means at this point) but who’s to say we wouldn’t get a new character in the universe being given space and time to run about and discover adventures.

    While we may be looking at the end of One Piece the manga, I highly doubt we’ve seen the end of One Piece the brand. Normally, I would call this continuation a cash grab and sort of cheap, but with a world this big, I think you can justifiably let others with a deep love and passion for the world play with it.

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