The 59th collection of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece manga set a new record for manga with an initial printing of 3.2 million copies.  The latest volume in Oda’s rollicking pirate saga then proceeded to sell 1.853 million copies during its first week of release—another record for manga.  The last ten One Piece volumes have all sold over a million copies in Japan during the first week of their release.


According to The Anime News Network, One Piece Vol. 59’s first week sales were the highest of any manga since Oricon began releasing its charts of bestselling Japanese books in April of 2008.


While the One Piece manga is not nearly as popular in North America as it is in Japan, it was up to #3 earlier this year (see “Top 25 Manga Properties”) in the wake of Viz Media’s program to accelerate the publishing of the One Piece manga in order to catch up with the Japanese publication (see “Viz Speeding Up One Piece”).  Viz Media plans to release One Piece Vol. 55 here in October.


The One Piece anime, which is also extremely popular in Japan, is building momentum here in the States as Funimation continues to release the series in its original uncut form.