Created in 1997 by Eiichiro Oda, One Piece is an extremely popular series that isn’t slowing down any time soon. In July, Oda stated the manga is about 65 percent finished. In 2012, the creator mentioned he was about 60 percent finished with the manga – so if it it took 4 years to make such a tiny dent, when (and how) will the show actually come to a close?
There’s a lot of speculation over when One Piece will conclude. Some believe it still has another 15 years to go and will finally end sometime in 2030. This will be an amazing feat, considering we usually don’t see manga/anime run this long. Even some of the most popular manga/anime only lasts a couple of volumes. It means One Piece will have a legion of viewers who grew up reading and watching the tale. The way the story is progressing, Oda can very well keep it going for another 15 years and still keep the story fresh.
But how exactly will One Piece end? The story has so many angles that it’s possible to end it multiple ways. Every character needs to have some type of ending because Oda spent so much time developing each one. The two most important characters who we hope to see an amazing ending for are Zoro and Usopp. Zoro, simply because we often debate about who is the stronger of the two people in the pirate crew, Usopp because he’s probably gone through the greatest change of any character that it would be a shame to see him fall flat in progression.
However, the story revolves around Luffy, and the ending obviously has to focus on him. He’s an extremely dynamic character, whose strength progression always makes sense. But, ever since Ace’s death and the time skip arc, we came to realize that Luffy is not even close to being the strongest pirate in the world. Therefore, we know Luffy still has a lot of growing to do in order to actualize his goal of becoming king of the pirates.
We focus on Luffy’s goal of becoming king of the pirates, which is easy to do because the series always speaks about Luffy’s desire to become king. But, we forget that Luffy’s goal when he decided to be a pirate also involved assembling his own crew and become stronger than Shanks, his idol who rescued Luffy and got his arm chewed off in the process.
Upon Shanks’s departure, he gives Luffy his straw hat and tells Luffy to “give it back to me someday, when you’ve become a great pirate”. Luffy cannot become pirate king without defeating Shanks or any other of the four Yonko, the four strongest pirates in the world. Similarly, Usopp’s father is also part of Shank’s crew and in order to become the best sharpshooter, he will have to surpass his father.
On the way to becoming king of the pirates, Luffy still has to face off against the corrupt Navy - whose admirals rival the strength of the Yonko, rid the world of the ridiculous Celestial Dragon system, plan a catch up session with his father, and avenge the death of the greatest anime character with the smallest amount of camera time, Fire-Fist Ace.
15 years seems like a long time, but it’s a ride we’re willing to embark on. One Piece will go down as one of the greatest manga/anime and deservedly so. It’s gifted us with one of the best adventure stories ever.