Eiichiro Oda's manga series "One Piece" now has 300 million copies in print with the 72nd volume released Nov. 1, according to publisher Shueisha Inc.
To celebrate the milestone, the new One Piece.com portal opened the same day, offering fans everything they want to know about the pirate manga series.
Officially recognized by series creator Oda, the website provides the latest news on the manga series, sorted out into categories including anime adaptations, feature films, DVDs and CDs, related events and more.
There is also a section where visitors can take a peek at the first few pages of the latest episode every Friday ahead of the release of Shonen Jump, as well as columns by voice actor Kappei Yamaguchi, who plays the role of Usopp in the animated TV series, and hard-core "One Piece" enthusiast Greg Werner.
"One Piece" started its run in the 34th issue of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump comic magazine 16 years ago in 1997, with the first volume released in December that year.
The 57th volume, which was released in March 2010, had an initial print run of 3 million copies. Since the 67th volume came out in November 2011, the publisher has been releasing 4 million copies for the initial release of each volume.
The manga series reached over 100 million printed copies in February 2005, and exceeded 200 million copies in February 2011.
Meanwhile, special "One Piece" promotions are taking the country by storm.
Shueisha launched the special "Nippon Judan! (cutting across Japan) OPJ47 Cruise" campaign project, under which 47 characters are collaborating with newspapers from Tokyo and 46 prefectures across Japan to promote local specialties and tourist spots.
A T-shirt designing contest is also being held. Each entry must include "One Piece" characters and local attractions of Tokyo and 46 prefectures, and the best design from each area will be announced on Shonen Jump in mid-March next year.
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To see the original story in Japanese, go to the official site of "Anime Anime" (http://animeanime.jp/).
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