News All 56 One Piece Books on Japan's Weekly Top 200 Manga
posted on 2009-12-16 14:54 EST by Egan Loo
All 56 volumes of Eiichiro Oda's One Piece pirate manga ranked on Oricon's chart of the top 200 manga books for the week of December 7-13 in Japan. Shueisha just published 2.85 million copies of volume 56 alone on December 4 — the largest print run that any Japanese manga has ever had in its first printing.
So far, Shueisha has published over 176 million copies of the books in the series, and 14.7 million of them were sold from November 17, 2008 to November 22, 2009. This made One Piece the top-selling series of 2009. The four top-selling manga books published in 2009 were One Piece volumes 52 to 55. (Volume 56 was not included since it shipped after the survey cutoff date.)
The sales of the manga were boosted this past week by the promotions surrounding the 10th One Piece anime film. Oda personally oversaw One Piece Film Strong World, which opened on December 12. The film earned 1.038 billion yen (about US$11.7 million) this past weekend, which is more than Ponyo or Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince garnered in their first two days in Japanese theaters.
Oda confirmed in an Asahi Shimbun article in November that he had planned to end the series in five years and has had the image of the final chapter established in his mind for a long time. However, creating the episodes that lead to that ending has taken longer than he had anticipated. In the manga's 13th year, he would like to say that he is 9/10ths of the way towards the end, but he acknowledged that he is only halfway there.
Viz Media is planning to ship volumes 24 to 53 in North America between January and June of 2010 — or five volumes per month.
Update: More background information added.
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