While in 1997 a certain “Titanic” sailed across the screens and from one cinema record to the next, Leonardo DiCaprio (48) and Kate Winslet (47) set sail at the same time as Leonardo DiCaprio (48) and Kate Winslet (47). The Japanese manga artist Eiichirō Oda (48) conceived his opus magnum called “One Piece” more than 25 years ago, which has also made it to Netflix as a real series since this Thursday (August 31). The “One Piece” phenomenon itself is as exciting as the search for the eponymous treasure.

The manga has been in continuous production since 1997 and has now made it to over 100 editions. What’s more, thanks to a worldwide and extremely loyal fan base, well over 500 million copies have been sold to date, making “One Piece” the best-selling manga series in history. Another benchmark that should illustrate the popularity of the manga: In 2010, “One Piece” broke the previous initial print run record for all books in Japan with three million copies, which was previously held by a certain Harry Potter thanks to the “Order of the Phoenix”.

Similar to George R. R. Martin (74), Oda also finds it difficult to give the fans an exact date on which they can count on the finale of the series. Again and again he postponed the conclusion, the last status was that it could be possible in 2024 or 2025.

But “One Piece” is not only a successful manga, since 1998 the material has also been convincing as an anime. The TV animation series already has more than 1,000 episodes and since it lags behind the manga in terms of story, many more are likely to follow. And if you want to play the shrill members of the straw hat gang yourself, you can do so thanks to numerous video games.

All in all, an incredible calculation emerged in 2019: With over 20 billion dollars in franchise revenue, “One Piece” overtook the “Lord of the Rings” universe! With the Netflix series that has now been released, a dollar or two is likely to be added.

All formats revolve around the would-be pirate Monkey D. Luffy (Luffy in the original), played by Iñaki Godoy (20) in the Netflix series. Thanks to a so-called devil fruit, the lively nuisance has superhuman abilities and can stretch his body like rubber – similar to “Fantastic Four” character Reed Richards.

He is accompanied in his nutshell by a gradually growing and motley crew, which includes swordsman Zorro (Mackenyu, 26), navigator Nami (Emily Rudd, 30) or cook and womanizer Sanji (Taz Skylar, 27). Together they search for the “One Piece”, a legendary treasure whose owner becomes the pirate king.