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One Piece Pirate Anime to Start Simulcast on May 30 (Update 3)

posted on 2009-05-14 13:36 EDT
Free, English-subtitled streams within an hour of the Japanese broadcast

The North American anime distributor Funimation, the Japanese studio Toei Animation, the Japanese publisher Shueisha, and the Japanese broadcaster Fuji Television Network have announced that they will stream the One Piece pirate anime series within an hour of the weekly Japanese broadcast. The free, English-subtitled simulcast will start on Saturday, May 30 at 9:00 p.m. CDT with episode #403 on www.onepieceofficial.com, followed soon thereafter by Funimation's partner sites.

Funimation has also started streaming the first two anime episodes and the Sabaody Archipelago Saga story arc (starting with episode #391) with English dubbing and English subtitles on Thursday. Funimation has been dubbing the anime series since 2007 with Colleen Clinkenbeard as the rubber-bodied captain Monkey D. Luffy and Christopher R. Sabat as the swordsman Roronoa Zolo/Zoro. Funimation's dub once ran on America's Cartoon Network after 4Kids Entertainment's earlier dubbed adaptation had ended. Cartoon Network stopped running One Piece in 2008, the same year it ended its Toonami programming block.

Viz Media will publish the 21st volume of Eiichiro Oda's original manga on June 2. Oda himself is overseeing the production of the 10th anime film, One Piece Film Strong World, which will open in Japan on December 12. Oda created the film's original story and over 120 pages of rough drawings.

Update: More background information added.

Update 2: The streams with both English dubbing and English subtitles begin from the anime's first episode. Funimation is streaming the later Sabaody Archipelago Saga story arc on Thursday, but only with English subtitling. Thanks, wolve3.

Update 3: Viz Media has also revealed that it plans to publish the latest chapters of the original manga in the English Shonen Jump magazine this fall. Thanks, Drac.

Image © Eichiro Oda/Shueisha, Toei Animation


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