France is one of the biggest cultural importers of Japanese pop culture and one of the biggest markets for anime and manga. “One Piece,” written and illustrated by the legendary mangaka Eiichiro Oda, has amassed a lot of fans in the last 24 years. Its fans include the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.
Macron shared on Twitter on July 24 that he had received once in a lifetime gift: a signed “One Piece” illustration from Oda himself. The tweet, which is in French, translates to, “Passionate about One Piece, I share with you this original drawing offered by its author.” He also thanked Oda by tagging him in the post.
The tweet came with a photo of the colorful illustration, which features several “One Piece” characters. On the lower right-hand part of it, one can see the message Oda wrote, in French, for his most popular fan in France.
The gift comes under the context of the President’s recent policy called “Pass Culture.” It stipulates that citizens under the age of 18 will get 300 euros or around $350, which they can spend on “culture.” Those who receive the money can spend it on music, music, concerts, movies, animes or even manga.
For those not familiar with “One Piece,” it is a Japanese manga series that has been serialized in Shueisha’s Shonen magazine Weekly Shonen Jump since July 1997. As of June 2021, the manga series’ individual chapters have been compiled into 99 tankōbon volumes.
The manga is currently on its 1020th chapter while its anime adaptation is now on its 985th episode. Over the years, the manga has grown into a media franchise and has been adapted into a long list of films produced by Production I.G and an anime series by Toei Animation. So far, the series has released 14 animated films, one original video animation and 13 TV specials. The franchise has also released several video games.
As of July 2021, manga has more than 490 million copies in circulation in 58 countries and regions all over the world.
“One Piece” is the best-selling manga series in history and the top-grossing media franchise of all time.
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