Japanese Twitter claims One Piece has evolved from casual anime to hardcore otaku series

If you’ve read/watched it all, you’ve earned your otaku license.

The manga/anime One Piece is so popular in Japan that it’s even recently appeared in Cup Noodle commercials praised for their beauty and emotion.

But it hasn’t always been this way. Back when One Piece was first getting popular around 20 years ago, it was seen as a kid’s show, not meant to be taken super seriously. Fans of the series were seen as “casual otaku,” similar to people who didn’t really watch anime except for some Dragon Ball here and there.

Nowadays though, after over two decades of running and still going strong, One Piece fans have turned into something else, as described by Japanese Twitter user @waiwai1132.

▼ The pirates have some serious otaku cred.
(Translation below)

昔は「私けっこうオタクですよ、ワンピース全部読んでるし」って言うの歓迎されなかったけど、連載20年も続いてると「ワンピース全部読んでる」ってのはかなりガチな雰囲気になってきた気もする。

— 笹塚スパコミお疲れ様でした (@waiwai1132) May 22, 2019

“Years ago, if you said, ‘Yeah, I’m an otaku, I’ve read all of One Piece,’ you would probably be laughed at. But now, with it continuing for over 20 years, if you say, ‘I’ve read all of One Piece,’ then it feels like you’ve got a pretty serious otaku aura.”

They have a point! With the manga at 81 volumes and 943 chapters (and counting!) and the anime at 20 seasons and 885 episodes (and counting!), that’s a ton to have read/watched.

And that’s not even including all of the bonus material like the stand-alone movies, the information books, the novelizations, the Color Walk series, and plenty more.

▼ If you’ve read all of One Piece,
then consider yourself part of the otaku crew.

Since it’s #OnePiece20th I thought I could show off my collection. It’s one of the manga series I’m most passionate about. #OnePiece pic.twitter.com/NLJeKNuCLI

— Rukster (@Ruki185) June 27, 2017

With over 47,000 likes and 20,000 retweets, it seems as though a lot of people agree with the sentiment. Here’s what Japanese netizens said:

“Yep, there’s not a lot of people who’ve kept up with it the entire time.”
“Well crap. I didn’t think I was an otaku, but I’ve read all of One Piece….”
“Does ‘otaku’ even really mean anything anymore though? You could always just be a ‘One Piece otaku.’”
“I think a lot of people who started reading One Piece in Jump got their first steps into the otaku world by going to events and buying goods.”
“My favorite parts are when they arrive on a new island, see the new culture, eat lots of food, and just have

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