Funimation and Toei Animation have teamed up to host a virtual simulcast event for fans called "One Piece Wano Watch Party" on April 24. The live event will be coinciding with the premiere of Episode 971 of the One Piece anime series.
"It’s no secret that anime fans around the globe have fallen entranced with the world of One Piece," Funimation stated in a press release. "With fans fully engrossed in the Land of Wano Arc, Toei Animation and Funimation are excited to bring viewers worldwide the 'One Piece Wano Watch Party.'"
In the same press release, Funimation revealed the following synopsis for the upcoming One Piece "Land of Wano" arc:
Luffy arrives at the Land of Wano to find its people and its beautiful lands in a disastrous state. The one behind it all is Kaido of the Four Emperors, who is in league with the shogun! The Straw Hats search desperately for allies while the island’s tragic history comes to light. Amid the stories of the past, a tale of Oden and Gol D. Roger surfaces.
As part of the virtual simulcast, the organizers at Funimation and Toei have invited special guests such as One Piece director Tatsuya Nagamine, along with series voice actors Mayumi Tanaka and Kazuya Nakai (who play Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoro respectively) to join hosts Justin Rojas and Roger DiLuigi for the event. Mr. Rojas is a representative of Toei Animation while Mr. DiLuigi is the popular YouTuber known as RogersBase. The director and voice actors have pre-recorded a special Q&A for the event.
The "One Piece Wano Watch Party" is scheduled to start on Saturday, April 24 at 7 pm CT / 8 pm ET in both the US and Canada. The event will also live-stream internationally at 10:00 am AEST in Sydney and 12:00 pm NZST in New Zealand. The Watch Party will be live-streaming episodes 969 and 970 on YouTube, which will also coincide with the premiere of episode 971. During the 75-minute simulcast celebration, both Funimation and Toei will be doing giveaways throughout the stream on their respective YouTube channels.