A recent piece of breaking news has got One Piece fans in a tizzy.
Eiichiro Oda announced via Twitter on June 7 that One Piece would be going on a 4-week hiatus from June 27 to July 25 in preparation for the final saga of the series.
This means the manga will be skipping 4 chapters or 4 issues of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. The series will be suspended through the magazine’s 30th issue to the 33rd, returning in the 34th issue which will release on July 25.
The mangaka posted an illustration comprising a handwritten note that gives us a series of reasons why the break is necessary.
Oda has taken breaks before, but for a series that has been running for over 25 years, these have been almost negligible. And while 1-week breaks have been common, a full 1-month break is something we have seen only rarely.
I’ll be breaking down Oda’s latest announcement in this article and by the end of it, you’ll have everything you need to know about the (final?!) One Piece hiatus.
Oda Wants to “Take a Rest”
As per his illustration, Oda in his usual humorous tone, says that he needs a breather, what with all the excitement surrounding the franchise.
There are numerous One Piece events set to take place the following months, and Oda says he needs time to brace himself before they begin.
The first reason Oda gives for the break is that he wants to prepare for the One Piece 25th anniversary, coming up on 22nd July.
The anniversary celebrations will be followed by the release of the 15th feature animated movie, One Piece Film: Red, opening in theatres on 6th August.
Oda is also the executive producer for Netflix’s One Piece live-action series, which is currently being shot in South Africa.
He says that in the break, he wishes to go to Africa to visit the Netflix set. This was a trip he had wanted to take earlier, but his plans were thwarted because of the pandemic restrictions.
At the end of the paragraph, Oda says something that has not only broken the fandom but broken our hearts. He proclaims that after the break, One Piece would be entering “the final saga” which will follow the conclusion of the Wano arc.
In the next illustration, he reminds readers of the official One Piece Youtube broadcast set to happen on 8th June, 7:00pm JST onwards.
Fans can expect a “series of cannons” and Oda lists out an 8-point schedule of the live-stream. These include cast bans in One Piece Film: Red, a poster visual drawn by him, and latest information related to the break.
Of course, Oda’s post was in Japanese, so there are multiple translations of his note – and multiple interpretations.
Is One Piece really Ending?
Oda said that he wants to reorganize the final “chapter” so that it can be closed as soon as possible. He needs 4 weeks to steady his breath and to prepare things.
This could mean that he wants to revise the story in the last chapter so he can start wrapping up the final arc or the final saga.
It cannot be the final arc, because there are way too many storylines that need to happen as of now.
Even though we’ve had the reveal of Joy Boy and the defeat of 2 Yonkos, there are several characters and loose ends that need elaborate storytelling. What about Shanks? Blackbeard? Dragon? The World Government and Im? The Ancient Weapons and the One Piece?
In 2019, Oda had said that he wanted to end the One Piece series in 5 years’ time. In August 2020, Shonen Jump teased fans that One Piece was “headed toward the upcoming final saga”.
Oda’s recent Twitter message does prove that One Piece is nearing its conclusion, but we can rest assured that it isn’t going to happen anytime soon, because his note implies “final saga”, and not chapter or arc.
Basically, Oda needs to gather his thoughts and plan the future story so he can structure it into the final saga.
A saga in manga is an overarching section that consists of multiple arcs. The current saga, the Yonko or the Four Emperor saga, began back in 2016. The current arc, the Wano arc, is the final arc within this saga, first released in 2018.
With the end of the Wano arc, the penultimate One Piece saga will have lasted for 7 years. The new and final saga which will begin post the 1-month hiatus, will likely be as long as the Four Emperor saga, if not longer.
This will give us not less than 5 years more of One Piece. If this happens, Oda can proudly say that his series went on for 30 years. And however sad fans are about the series ending, we cannot possibly have any reason to complain.
Is the Wano arc over?
The Wano arc is not over. The latest chapter, chapter 1051, was released in Shonen Jump’s 27th issue on June 5. Since the manga will be suspended for 4 issues starting June 27, we still have 2 issues or chapters to look forward to before the break.
Chapters 1052 and 1053 will be the last 2 chapters of the Wano arc and will conclude the Four Emperor saga.
The announcement of the long hiatus reminds fans of when Oda took that one long break in 2010 that divided the One Piece timeline into Before and After the Timeskip.
Either way, though, the fandom is universally of the opinion that Oda’s break is well-deserved. If it really is the final saga after Wano, I’d rather Oda rest as much as he needs to than rush the ending of such an iconic series.
The final leg of One Piece is set to release 2 days after the 25th anniversary! Until then, we can look forward to the remaining 2 chapters of the Wano arc, which will give us the conclusion to the longest saga in the series.
About One Piece
One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 22, 1997.
The man who had acquired everything in this world, the Pirate King, is Gol D. Roger. The final words he said at the execution tower were “My treasures? If you want it, I’ll let you have it. Look for it; I left all of it at that place.” These words sent many to the seas, chasing their dreams, headed toward the Grand Line, in search of One Piece. Thus began a new age!
Seeking to be the greatest pirate in the world, young Monkey D. Luffy also heads toward the Grand Line in search of One Piece. His diverse crew is joining him along the way, consisting of a swordsman, marksman, navigator, cook, doctor, archaeologist, and cyborg-shipwright, this will be one memorable adventure.