Since it’s serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997, One Piece has become not only the best selling manga of all time but also the second-best-selling comic book overall, only being bested by Superman. However, like most good things even a series like One Piece has to come to an end eventually, right? Well, if we’re to believe series creator Eiichiro Oda’s most recent interview then the ending might be closer than we think.
In January of 2019, Eichiro Oda made a rare appearance on Fuji TV's “Honma dekka!?” program. During the interview, he mentioned that the manga is nearing its completion and will be "just over 100 volumes"(at the time of the interview, the manga had a total of 91 collected volumes). Oda also mentioned that he has had the ending of One Piece in his days in college. When the show’s host Sanma Akashiya asked Oda what he would do if any of his fans guessed the ending, he replied that he would simply change it.
Akashiya also asked Oda whether the titular “One Piece” treasure which the main characters have been after since the very beginning was actually the “family bonds" they have forged along the way. To which Oda replied, "No, I hate that kind of thing”. He later elaborated, saying, "That's like the ending of The Wizard of Oz, which I watched when I was a kid. Adventuring that long, and having the adventure itself be the treasure, is really dissatisfying. Those kinds of stories are impossible. It feels like, 'I've gone on this long adventure, so give me the treasure!'".
Thoughts on when One Piece might end
If we’re to believe what Oda said in this interview and the story really is ending once it hits “just over 100 volumes" then, the ending should be in around two years from now. Since the manga is currently on volume 96 and on average Shueisha publishes four One Piece volumes a year.
However, don’t get too overexcited or jump in a panicking frenzy, as this might be one of Oda’s infamous predictions. You see, in an interview back in July of 2016, Oda said that he had finished around 65% of the manga. Back then, the series was on its 82nd volume. If you do the math(82x35%=28+82=110), it would mean that One Piece would end on around volume 110, meaning it would be around for at least another four years.
So does this mean Oda’s best selling series One Piece is ending in around 4-5 years’ time?
Well, nobody really knows aside from Oda himself. The manga is still Weekly Shonen Jump’s top title and its anime continues to grow with each passing week (to the point that there are even more than 100 episodes of filler in it). It even had its 20th-anniversary film last year! If you look at it from a business perspective, Oda can keep One Piece alive for another ten years if he wanted to, it’s not like most fans would mind it.
Overall, the end of One Piece solely depends on when Oda himself is ready to share his grandiose ending with the world, and who knows when that would be!