Oricon recently just interviewed Oda’s media editor, Naito, in regards to the success of Stampede and the future of the series. In this interview, Naito goes over a lot of interesting stuff regarding the series’s future and some canon stuff, so I’ve compiled all the relevant information from the interview here.
Be warned that there is a section talking about Stampede spoilers. I’ll section off clearly where it starts and where it ends, so you can skip it if you wish.
Also, I’d like to clarify that I’m not by any means a professional certified translator and I’m simply going over this interview in general. Oda’s editors love to be vague and cryptic and some of the wording might be different based on translation, so take everything you read here with a grain of salt as always.
First the editor expresses his joy at seeing the success of Stampede worldwide and seeing so many fans enjoying it. He fondly talks about the premiere in France organized by @MontCorvo, loving the fact that everyone in the theater started singing ‘We Are’, as well as the big success it has had in China. He feels like Luffy is someone who is becoming recognizable all over the world.
Everyone among the movie staff loved the scope of the movie, claiming it felt almost like watching the end of the series (Naito claims he even cried of excitement and relief when seeing the movie completed). But while Oda did love it as well, he also flexed on the fact that he’s definitely going to one up it by a longshot when it comes to the series’s actual final arc.
-STAMPEDE SPOILERS BELOW-
If you have seen the movie, then you’ll likely know that Raftel, previously never written in English officially and as such its true romanization unknown (despite most of us assuming it was “Raftel”), was actually revealed to be written as “Laugh Tale”. This sparked some debate over if this romanization was canon and chosen by Oda.
Well, in this interview, the editor confirms that the romanization of “Laugh Tale” as seen in Stampede is indeed confirmed to be 100% canon. The decision was made by Oda himself and it’s something he wanted to reveal in the story at some point. He finally settled and decided to do so in Stampede, thinking it would be exciting to put canon info in a movie so many were excited for. Oda’s decision to introduce the concept of the Laugh Tale eternal pose, as well as its romanization, in Stampede was to go against the conceived notion of big reveals being only in the main story of a manga and finding other ways for fans to engage with the series.
He also briefly mentions that Oda and the staff discussed if it would be technically possible to access Laugh Tale with just an eternal pose, if it’d be that easy to just follow its needle, but Oda stated that it very much is possible. He also talks about how Laugh Tale isn’t just a random place that has the One Piece and nothing else anymore. He hints at a bigger meaning for the island and there being a reason why the One Piece is there of all places, which ties into the name Laugh Tale being a big hint for it and why it was revealed in such a grand fashion in this movie.
-STAMPEDE SPOILERS ARE OVER-
The interviewer worries if it’s fine to talk about such things in something so casual like an interview, but the editor claims Oda gave the approval. The series doesn’t have that much left, so he wants people to be hyped and hop on to read the Wano arc while they still can, since a bunch of stuff will be revealed there. He claims that there’s a reason why Oda is placing certain focus on Roger’s past during Wano, what with his bounty reveal and his history with Oden, claiming that, in Oda’s words, “the Wano arc will tie deeply with the final arc in the series”. In the editor’s words, he says this arc will give a major hint on “what the One Piece itself is”.
Interestingly, the beginning of the Wano arc, with Luffy stranded after falling into a whirlpool and meeting Zoro for the first time in a while, is purposefully meant to evoke nostalgia for the beginning of the series and make it feel like Luffy’s embarking on a new journey all over again. It was purposefully made to parallel the start of the series as sort of a fresh start for this arc, kinda acting like a soft reboot to draw fans that might’ve fallen out of touch with the series back in.
Because of this start evoking such parallels with the start of the series, Oda’s editor encourages fans to read the Wano arc starting from Vol. 91 to 94, even to fans that aren’t fully caught up. He encourages those that have fallen out of touch or stopped reading at some point to start reading again, to even skip what happened so far and to just start at volume 91 if necessary. He also briefly pressures fans to read manga chapters as soon as possible, in order to avoid spoilers. He claims that if someone is not caught up to the manga, it’s so easy to get spoiled by social media these days, so he personally recommends to read them as soon as they’re out.
In general, he encourages any fan to just read from volume 91 even if you aren’t fully caught up, to enjoy every chapter that comes out now wile you still can. He claims that One Piece will end eventually, so he encourages fans to ride the wave now, to enjoy this social phenomenon for as long as it lasts.
This ties into a question by Oricon asking if Oda’s claim in the Fischer’s interview some months ago that One Piece would end in 5 years was true. The editor admits that at first, he was skeptical about such a claim, but seeing at how the pacing of Wano has been proceeding and how we’re already at the Onigashima raid, he believes that the series ending in 5 years is a very realistic estimate.
Of course, he iterates, the precise timeframe isn‘t set in stone. They don‘t have a set deadline they are forced to end the series by, just a general estimate based on what they want to tell left, but he believes 5 years is a realistic estimate. He claims that ultimately it all depends on if Oda wants to introduce more elements or islands to explore than he already has, so it could obviously go on longer. In his words, Oda has the habit to stretch plot points all the time, so it could vary. But he warns not to overestimate this timeframe too much and that 5 years might be a very likely reality.
(I should clarify however, that despite all these statements and some clickbait floating around, 5 years is never defined as an undeniable fact. It is stated to be a highly likely possibility, but not confirmed. Just to set the facts straight and avoid misinformation)
Once again, he encourages to not postpone reading the series or catching up, to read the series now and enjoy the moment, to ride the One Piece wave. There’s only so much longer that we’ll be able to enjoy OP, so we should cherish our memories of these days, reading week by week, for as long as we can. There quite is no phenomenon like reading One Piece, a series that is enjoyed so broadly by so many people across the whole world, so we should make the most out of the moment and enjoy it to its fullest.
That ends the interview.
P.S.: On a separate note, there will be a new vivre card pack with “index cards” coming out on December 28th (alongside Vol. 95), essentially allowing for more customization options to classify the cards. There will also be a few extra card/s thrown in this pack, such as that of child Ace. More proper booster pack cards will be coming in the future
I’d like to end all of this with some personal thoughts of mine:
On one hand, I think it’s incalculable when One Piece will end, that’s hard to argue. In the editor’s words, “Oda has a tendency to stretch things at times”, you never know how much he might add. However, we also shouldn’t overestimate it too much, we should remain realistic. I know many either feel skeptical or outright in denial about it, but I feel it’s important to understand that One Piece will end one day and that day won’t be 10+ years from now in chapter 3789 as some joke. Simply refuting that will make the eventual end all the more painful when it does unavoidably come.
It will come, regardless of if it’s 5 years or 8 years, but it will end someday. And it’s important to accept that it will eventually happen to appreciate and enjoy the current story at its fullest as best as we can. Carpe diem. Carpe One Piece.
Also, this might be a bit of a delicate subject and I know many joke about this, but please don’t say things like you’ll kill yourself when One Piece ends. When the day does come, don’t throw away your life. If Oda has given you a chance to live, then I’m sure he wants you to keep living on, even beyond One Piece. This series might be such a fundamental part of all our lives, but there’s so much more to live for even beyond it. Take this chance to live that Oda has given you and live out your life to the fullest.
In a sense, hearing these news makes me a bit depressed, yet at the same time, I feel so much more motivated to enjoy One Piece and life as a whole. It encourages me to keep working on new things and seeing all that life has to offer, within the scope of One Piece and even beyond it. I hope to keep riding this wave with all of you to its fullest for the next few years till the very end ❤️