'One Piece' sets sail for kabuki stage next year

The Straw Hat Pirates of the smash-hit manga One Piece have been for television, film, video games and prose, and next year they'll make the leap to the kabuki stage.

According to The Japan Times, the announcement was made over the weekend by publisher Shueisha, which will partner with movie company Shochiku to stage the production. One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda will supervise the adaptation.

“Even we staffers cannot imagine how the mash-up, mixing kabuki and the popular manga series, will end up,” said Shochiku spokesman Hiroshi Masakawa. “But we are thrilled to depict the One Piece world on a kabuki stage to make something interesting for all audiences, including overseas visitors.”

Added Oda, “I hope everyone will wait with extreme expectations."

Debuting in 1997 in Weekly Shonen Jump, One Piece has sold more than 320 million volumes worldwide.

The kabuki adaptation will be staged in October and November at Tokyo’s Shinbashi Enbujo theater as part of Shochiku's Super Kabuki II.

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