Japanese Manga: ONEPIECE

Tunisia, Egypt, and the surrounding countries.  In the midst of the instability in the Middle East, I wondered about Japanese manga (comics) as a Frenchman, dressed like the protagonist Luffy from ONEPIECE, flashed across the television.

Last November, circulation of ONEPIECE, Shueisha’s Weekly SHONEN JUMP comic book, surpassed 200 million copies.  Having been made into a television cartoon and movies, the name is known by everyone in Japan.  In all, 10 movies have been released and in December 2009 the ONEPIECE FILM STRONG WORLD, with a story by the author Eiichiro Oda, became the number one grossing film for the second half of 2009.  For the movie release and the visitors, giving the zero (0) volume as a present seemed to work well.  In addition, there are video games, etc. and contents are being expanded through the media mix.  There are things in which the characters are used, as well as times when they appear in other areas or fields and other companies’ product and service television commercials and campaigns, etc. 

ONEPIECE was created to take place in the fantasy Great Pirate Age. ONEPIECE is seeking the team’s hidden treasure and goes to places where that may be.  It is the story of the protagonist Luffy (wearing the straw hat) and his pirate friends (The Straw Hat Pirates) and their travels.  The friends meet during the voyage.  Luffy is the captain and meets the following in order: swordsman (Zoro), navigator (Nami), marksman (Usopp), chef (Sanji), doctor (Chopper), archaeologist (Robin), shipwright (Franky), and musician (Brook).  The episodes are made up of the encounters with these people and the encounters on land, battles (the majority), unknown forces, new discoveries, as well as the tests, etc. given to each individual and the group.  And, it is made up of fairy tale-like elements.  Very soon, the 61st comic book will go on sale and for anyone who has not yet read the entire series, I strongly recommend that you do so.  The books have apparently been translated into a number of different languages. 

While there are modifications and discrepancies because the weekly comics are a series, they are enjoyable because the stories have been taken from the era of pirates after the fall of the Roman Empire.  Of course, they also touch on the old legends of pirates from long ago.  Also, the tug of war between pirates; battles against the world, countries, and societies; as well as the interwoven theme of the greatness of nature, etc. make us really think. 

SHONEN JUMP has three basic principles: friendship, triumph, and effort.  In the case of ONEPIECE, because the feelings (both good and evil) of Luffy and the characters that appear are conveyed toward other people, it seems that love seems to be more correct than friendship.    

To mark the comic’s circulation of over 200 million copies, Shueisha began a campaign yesterday.  In magazines that the company produces and sells itself, ONEPIECE is being used to attract people and promote the comic.  How much are they leveraging to promote their own brands?  Although there are items in which the ONEPIECE characters appear, the content is such things as the cover being the ONEPIECE color.  Lottery presents and supplements also use ONEPIECE information and items.  To conclude, here are some descriptions of some of the presents and supplements introduced in Shueisha magazines used to promote the comic and in yesterday’s WEEKLY JUMP:

SHONEN JUMP (comic magazine): Comic book cover box speaker & illustration by Mr. Oda “mini mini colored paper”
WEEKLY YOUNG JUMP (comic magazine): Special handmade wooden jug (set of 3)
WEEKLY PLAYBOY (men’s magazine): Nami/Robin/Hancock 3D mouse pad
BAILA (women’s magazine): BAILA & AHKAH motif bracelet
SEISHUN TO DOKUSHO (Shueisha reading magazine): Original book card
MYOJO (entertainment magazine): ONEPIECE special pencil board
MORE (women’s magazine): Chopper plastic folder
COBALT (girl’s novel magazine): Premium book cover
JUMP SQ. (comic magazine): Set of 4 serialist-drawn illustration posters
DUET (idol magazine): Set of 3 very cute hair scrunchies
MARGARET (women’s comic magazine): Casual dress
SPUR (women’s magazine): SPUR & beautiful people MANGA pouch
CHORUS (women’s comic magazine): Wooden lunch box set with rubber band fastener
SEVENTEEN (junior/senior high girl’s magazine): Chopper & ST casual socks
MARISOL (women’s magazine): Original tote bag with crystal elements
YOU (women’s comic magazine): Special lunch mat
MAQUIA (women’s magazine): Pirate cosmetic case
ECLAT (women’s magazine): Special pocket electric toothbrush with case
LEE (housewife magazine): Set of 3 sponge wipes
SHOSETSU SUBARU (novel magazine): Pure gold bookmarks (set of 2)
V JUMP (comic magazine): Special 3D decoration sheet (set of 2)
THE MARGARET (girl’s comic magazine): Good dream cushion
BUSINESS JUMP (comic magazine): Original computer keyboard
SUBARU (novel magazine): Original book card (set of 2)
MEN’S NON-NO (men’s magazine): MEN’S NON-NO & BEAMS T bandana
ULTRA JUMP (comic magazine): Miwa Shiro illustrated ONEPIECE T-shirt
OFFICE YOU (women’s comic magazine): Reflectors (set of 3)
UOMO (men’s magazine): Special notepad covers
RIBBON (girl’s comic magazine): limited edition padded stickers (set of 3)
BESSATSU MARGARET (girl’s comic magazine): ONEPIECE tumbler (set of 9)
NON-NO (women’s magazine): Chopper logo hooded dress
SUPER JUMP (comic magazine): ONEPIECE 200 million copies commemorative original 500 piece puzzle
COOKIE (girl’s comic magazine): Going Merry commemorative coin cell phone screen cleaner

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