Funimation Entertainment, Toei Animation, Shueisha and Fuji Television Announce Online Return of One Piece

nime Leaders to Continue Streaming Popular Anime Series, Including Latest Episode Immediately After Japanese Television Debut

Flower Mound, Texas – August 18, 2009 -- FUNimation® Entertainment and the Japanese consortium of producer Toei Animation Co., Ltd., publisher Shueisha, Inc. and broadcaster Fuji Television Network, Inc. have agreed to continue the U.S. and Canadian online simulcast of the studios' signature animated series "One Piece".

Starting Saturday, August 29th at 9:00 p.m. CDT, just one hour after airing in Japan, FUNimation and the consortium will mark the return of “One Piece” online simulcasts with the Amazon Lily Saga story arc beginning with episode 415, via the official One Piece website followed soon thereafter by FUNimation partner sites.

Each new episode of the current season will be rolled out weekly as "One Piece" continues its Japanese television run.

In addition, beginning Friday, August 21st FUNimation will stream episodes from the Sabaody Archipelago Saga story arc starting with episode 391. FUNimation will add three episodes at 9:00 pm CDT daily leading up to the simulcast of 415.

"One Piece" is a story of a time when pirates ruled the seas. With several bands of pirates battling over the great lost treasure called “One Piece” left by the legendary pirate king, Gold Roger. One day, Monkey D. Luffy - a young boy who admired pirates - mistakenly ate the Cursed Fruit turning himself into a rubber man. Ten years later Luffy set out to sea to become King of the Pirates on his own quest to discover the treasure.

After Eiichiro Oda's original manga debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997, this monstrous hit has gone on to surpass 50 volumes and has consistently remained a best-seller; the latest volume, Volume 54, sold 2.6 million copies in its first printing. In 1999, Toei Animation created a popular animated version for television which currently airs on Fuji TV affiliates.

In North America, the original manga appears in the monthly SHONEN JUMP magazine ( by VIZ Media, LLC, which also sells the individual volumes. In addition to this anime simulcast, plans are underway for the latest chapters of the Japanese manga, which are ahead of the anime story, to appear in SHONEN JUMP starting in the fall of 2009.

FUNimation Entertainment will release the next home entertainment volume of the series, "One Piece: Season Two, Second Voyage" on DVD on August 25th.

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