The hallowed 100 volume mark is fast approaching for Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece. Having already seen off the 20 year and 900 chapter milestones with ease, Shueisha is gearing up to make One Piece volume 100 into a pretty big deal.
We know this thanks to a new ad that has been appearing across online bookstores in Japan, detailing the company’s plans to build up hype as the series approaches its 100th volume. Starting on September 14, the long-awaited East Blue, Alabasta, and Skypeia box sets will go on sale alongside the series’ latest, 97th volume.
But these were announced beforehand, so wouldn’t be enough on their own to constitute the kind of celebration that Shueisha is gunning for with One Piece volume 100. Looking at the rest of the schedule, we see what is: volume 98, scheduled for release sometime in December, will also release alongside box sets for Water Seven, Thriller Bark, Saobady Archipelago, Impel Down, and Marineford. Likewise, volume 99 – releasing sometime in April 2021 – will release alongside box sets for Fish-Man Island, Punk Hazard, Dressrosa, Zou, and Whole Cake Island
Some of these arcs will not receive their own box sets, instead being combined with another one (for example, Impel Down and Marineford will come together) but the point is very clear. Shueisha is offering you the opportunity to collect the whole of One Piece into special box sets in the run up to volume 100 – a fitting way to display all of those myriad books, wouldn’t you agree?
To see that Shueisha is widening out the previously announced box set releases to include the whole of the series up until this point makes me wonder what other projects they might have up their sleeves. Granted, the Coronavirus makes in-person events a little touch-and-go at the moment, but things might be cleared up by the time One Piece volume 100 releases in July 2021.
At the very least, we do know that they’re not going to let this occasion slip by without some fanfare – completely understandable, considering how important One Piece has been for Weekly Shonen Jump over the years and how few series have reached a similar number. Pat yourself on the back, Eiichiro Oda – you’ve earned it.