Barring any unexpected delays, One Piece's landmark 1000th episode should air this fall, and Toei Animation is teasing the event with a new image.
SPOILERS FOR ONE PIECE FOLLOW:
Toei Animation, which produces the One Piece anime, hyped up the upcoming 1000th episode by releasing a new image of Luffy battling the gigantic Kaidou, the governor-general of the Beasts Pirates crew and one of the four emperors of the New World. Strangely, based on the current schedule and the pace at which the show has adapted the original manga so far, this fight should happen after episode 1000, leading some fans to speculate that the show might rush to get to this climactic battle, or that the image may simply be from a new opening sequence that showcases events from later on in the season. Fans will have to wait until Nov. 14 to find out for sure, as that's when Episode 1000 of the series is currently scheduled to air in Japan.
Behold the 1000 Episode Epic Teaser Art for One Piece! 🏴☠️🎨 #OnePiece1000LOGS #OnePiece1000 #OnePiece pic.twitter.com/CssbCuDoVw— Toei Animation (@ToeiAnimation) September 24, 2021
The 1000th episode of the One Piece anime is just one of many major milestones that the series has reached in 2021: the manga published its 1000th chapter earlier in the year, and also recently released its 100th collected volume, which managed to sell over a million copies in under a week. Shueisha, the publisher of the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine where One Piece is serialized, has celebrated the series' recent achievements in numerous ways, including a crossover with the children's book Where's Waldo, as well as a dramatized video series, entitled We Are One, that showcases the cultural impact the series has had across multiple generations of fans. The We Are One videos featured music from Japanese rock band RADWIMPS, who are also known for their contributions to the Your Name soundtrack, and also showcased redone animation for the series' most iconic moments.
One Piece was created by Eiichiro Oda and has been continuously running for over 24 years, yet it still continues to top the best-selling manga charts, while the 1999 anime adaptation continues to be one of the highest rated TV programs in Japan. Despite the franchise seemingly only getting more popular with time, Oda has hinted that the decades-long story may finally be nearing its conclusion. A recent advertisement for the 100th volume stated that the series has already entered its "final stage." While the anime and manga may soon reach their climax, One Piece may find new life in a live-action TV series by Netflix and Tomorrow Pictures, the studio that is also behind the upcoming live-action Cowboy Bebop remake. The new series will be executive produced by Oda himself.