To celebrate the 1000th chapter of the One Piece series and the immense support received from the community around the world, Oda wrote the touching message that you can find below.
1,000 chapters!!! Me, uh, wow … Words cannot describe what a whirlwind the last 23 years have been. Literally half of my life has been about the almighty ‘weekly publication’. But it’s not just me, Luffy and the Straw Hats have gone to so many different islands and have been involved in so many adventures.
I’m not sure how many lives they’ve touched on their way! But it is thanks to them that so many special people have entered my own life; above all, my family. All these people have supported me over the years, and I have a deep gratitude to each of them. In the meantime, my readers have led their own busy lives.
There is a certain theory in the entertainment world that says: “A certain pool of readers will turn away from a series after five years.” And so I avoided calling my readers “fans” for a while. “Arrogance comes before the fall.” I thought that I shouldn’t be too taken by myself, because my readers would eventually turn away from the series and carry on with their own lives.
Let me say that you have all shamed me into thinking something like this. Your faith in Luffy has made me believe in all of you, and that is what allows me to continue to draw exactly the kind of manga I want to draw. So here we are – ready to dip our toes into the final phase of history. It took us a long time to reach 1,000 chapters. But just because I have completed 1,000 chapters, you have to believe me that I will lead us to the end. The story that awaits you will exceed all expectations! I’m serious!!
I must ask you for a favor. This favor is addressed to all those with whom I have built a bond in one way or another. In other words: to all ONE PIECE FANS in this world! My story is a long story. But please watch over Luffy and his crew for a while as they continue their adventure!
Here is the One Piece Special Teaser for Chapter 1,000 on Youtube: