Shueisha released the Super Kabuki II One Piece ”Idai Naru Sekai” photo collection and information book on Saturday, and the book contained an interview between original One Piece manga creator Eiichiro Oda and Luffy’s kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke IV. In the interview, Ichikawa and Oda are discussing the character Little Oars, Jr. and how the kabuki play portrayed him on stage, when Ichikawa mentioned to Oda that he’s interested in the manga’s upcoming “Wano Country” arc. Oda responded that he thinks that he will get to the arc within 1-2 years, but he will also “probably” draw a story related to Ace within the arc.
The new run of the kabuki play runs in Tokyo from October 6-November 25. Ichikawa had to step down from his roles as Luffy and Hancock after breaking his arm during a curtain call of a performance.
One Piece recently held a collaboration with the city of Kyoto from October 7-22 titled “One Piece 20th x KYOTO: Kyoto Straw Travel Journal: Another Country of Wano.” The collaboration was part of the manga’s 20th anniversary celebrations, but it was also held to celebrate the upcoming Wano Country arc and the traditional city of Kyoto’s similarity to Wano Country. Oda previously told fans that he planned to enter the arc this year.
Oda said in an interview in July 2016 that he had finished around 65% of the manga.
The manga currently has 430 million copies in print worldwide — 360 million copies in print in Japan and 70 million copies in print outside of Japan. Oda began serializing the manga in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997, and the manga has been published in more than 30 countries. Shueisha released the manga’s 87th compiled book volume on November 2, and Viz Media released the 84th volume on November 7.