Eiichiro Oda's popular manga One Piece has set a Guinness World Record for "the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author." As of December, more than 320 million copies of the fantasy adventure have been published worldwide.
According to The Japan News, Weekly Shonen Jump Editor Yoshihisa Heishi attended a ceremony today in place of Oda to accept the certificate from Guinness. The author drew a new illustration of One Piece's Monkey D. Luffy to commemorate the occasion.
"Thank you for this certification for the Guinness World Record," Oda said in a statement. "Manga is an amusing way to pass time, but when I receive reports that say 'through One Piece I made friends,' or 'through One Piece I found my sweetheart,' I am really happy. I feel like this record number has the possibility to bring the same number of people together. I will not forget my predecessors in the manga world, the colleagues whom I work with, and my readers, and from now on I want to continue to draw a work that will not shame this record."
Debuting in July 1997 in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump, One Piece chronicles the adventures of Luffy and his crew of Straw Hat Pirates as he pursues the world's ultimate treasure (the "One Piece" of the title) and become the next Pirate King. With 77 volumes published to date, the manga has inspired anime series and films, video games, light novels, art exhibits, an amusement park, and tons of merchandise.