‘One Piece’ hyped in U.S., Taiwan ads

Kyodo

Publisher Shueisha Inc. said it was buying full-page ads in two overseas newspapers to tout its “One Piece” adventure manga series as it marks the sale of more than 300 million copies in Japan.

The ads were placed in the Thursday edition of The New York Times and the Friday edition of The China Times in Taiwan.

The illustration of the story’s hero, Luffy, for the ads was drawn by the manga’s creator, Eiichiro Oda. The ads come with the message “Hey world, this is the manga!”

“One Piece,” which started out in 1996, has been one of the most popular and financially successful manga on the Japanese market. It is centered on stories about Luffy and his friends who are looking for treasures left by pirates.

Shueisha launched a similar campaign in Japan, publishing full-page ads in newspapers in all 47 prefectures starting Nov. 1, when the manga’s latest issue was published, through Wednesday. The ads feature the manga’s characters with regional tourist attractions and specialty products.

“To wrap up the campaign, we decided to publish the ads in foreign countries with the hope that the work will be enjoyed by children around the world, not just Japan,” a Shueisha employee said.

Shueisha plans to hold a “One Piece” exhibit in Taiwan next year.