Everyone from Luffy to Camel the super penguin is in the running.

Having recently reached the impressive milestone of 1,000 chapters and been voted the best manga by Japanese citizens, the manga One Piece certainly has a lot to celebrate.

The series’ publisher Shueisha kicked things off by offering the first 71 volumes for free for a limited time, but that’s hardly all. A commemorative video was also made, showing that after “1,000 Logs” spanning 20-plus years, people have literally grown up on One Piece.

▼ The video has English subtitles, so make sure they’re turned on

Eiichiro Oda also released a statement thanking his vast readership for their support over the years.

“1000 Chapters!!
I, uh, wow…Words pretty much fail to describe the whirlwind these past 23 years have been. Literally half of my life has revolved around the almighty ‘WEEKLY SERIALIZATION’ hehe. But it’s not just me, Luffy and the Strawhats have navigated themselves to so many different islands and found themselves caught up in so many adventures. At this point, even I’m not sure how many lives they’ve touched along the way!
But it’s thanks to them that so many special people have entered my own life; first and foremost among them being my family. All of these people have supported me through the years and I am deeply indebted to each of them. Meanwhile, my readers have been leading their own bustling lives. There’s a certain theory that exists for long-term readership in the entertainment world that states, “A given pool of readers will rotate out of a series after five years.” And so for a while now, I’ve avoided calling my readers, ‘fans’.
It’s like they say, “Pride cometh before a fall.” I convinced myself that I shouldn’t get too full of myself because my readers would eventually leave the series and move on with their lives. Let me say that all of you have put me to shame for thinking such a thing. Your belief in Luffy has led me to believe in all of you, and that is what allows me to continue drawing exactly the kind of manga I want to draw. So here we are, ready to dip our toes into the final stages of the story. It’s taken us a long time to reach one thousand chapters. However, it’s because I’ve completed a thousand chapters that you must believe I’ll take us to the end. The story waiting for you will defy expectations! I mean it!!
I have a favor to ask. This is for everyone with whom —by some means or another— I’ve managed to create a bond, in other words, the ONE PIECE FANS of the world! My story is a long one. But for just a while longer, please watch over Luffy and his crew as they continue their adventure!
January 2021 Eiichiro Oda”

Also, on 3 January, the World Top 100 (WT100) global One Piece character popularity contest kicked off. This is where people from all over the world are being asked to submit their personal favorites from the 1,174 characters that have graced the pages of the epic manga series until the end of Volume 97.

A website in Japanese, English, and Chinese has been set up to register votes but in order to get as many people’s opinions as they can, mail-in voting is also possible. Actually, if you happen to be crazy about a certain character that first appeared after Volume 97 or has yet to appear, they will be accepted as a write-in candidate via mail-in ballot, but not through the online voting system.

Voting is open until midnight on 28 February, Japan Standard Time, and individuals are allowed to vote once per day. Even multiple mail-in ballots are accepted if they are postmarked on different days.

Characters can be found by either searching their name or by looking them up from their respective story arcs in case you happen to forget how to spell “Daaachshund.”

Voting will also give you access to an AR figure to play with. Each figure was 3-D-scanned from an actual Bandai Spirits World Collectable Figurine with Luffy available first and others unlocked with each vote.

The website also has a World Hot Characters section showing daily votes by global region so you can monitor the status of your favorites. But the only way to help them win is by voting every day, so get out there and show your support for Nami, Chopper, or whomever you see fit, and we’ll see who emerges victorious when the WT100 results are announced in May.

Source: One Piece WT100
Images: © Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha
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