One Piece (ワンピース Wan Piisu) is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since August 4, 1997; the individual chapters are being published in tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first released on December 24, 1997, and the 67th volume released as of August 2012. One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man whose body gains the properties of rubber after inadvertently eating a supernatural fruit, and his diverse crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy explores the ocean in search of the world's ultimate treasure known as the One Piece and to become the next Pirate King. Along his journey, Luffy makes several friends and battles a wide variety of villains, many of whom try to kill the Straw Hats.
The chapters have been adapted into an original video animation (OVA) produced by Production I.G in 1998, and an anime series produced by Toei Animation, which began broadcasting in Japan in 1999. Since then, the still ongoing series has aired over 557 episodes. Additionally, Toei has developed eleven animated feature films, an OVA, and five television specials. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising such as a trading card game, and a large number of video games.
The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Gollancz Manga, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. The anime series has been licensed by Funimation Entertainment for an English-language release in North America, although the series was originally licensed and distributed by 4Kids Entertainment.
In 2008, One Piece became the highest-circulating manga series. In 2010, Shueisha announced that they sold over 260 million volumes of One Piece manga so far; volume 61 set a new record for the highest initial print run of any book in Japan in history with 3.8 million copies (the previous record belonging to volume 60 with 3.4 million copies). Volume 60 was the first book to sell over two million copies in its opening week on Japan's Oricon book rankings. One Piece is currently ranked as the best-selling series of all time in manga history. It enjoys a very high readership, with more than 260 million volumes of the series sold by 2011 in Japan. One Piece has received wide critical acclaim from reviewers, primarily for its art, characterization, humor and story.