The first printing of One Piece Vol. 56, the next volume of the Shueisha manga series, will be a record 2.85 million copies, according to Oricon via Anime News Network.  The volume streets in Japan this week.  Shueisha has printed a total of 176 million copies of the manga series to date, according to the report. 


Viz Media publishes the One Piece manga in North America, where it was the #21 manga property in the most recent quarter (see “Top 25 Manga Properties—Q3 2009”).  Volume 23 will be released here this week. 


Japan, of course, is the world's largest comic market, but the One Piece phenomenon is surprising even there, especially given a generally soft Japanese market for manga sales in recent years.