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Luffy smiling during the first episode of One Piece, aired in 1999
Image via Toei Animation

First episode of ‘One Piece’ release date, confirmed

The start of an adventure of a lifetime.

In 2024, we are celebrating One Piece‘s 25th anniversary with many new activities. From the Las Vegas Sphere displaying the Straw Hats’ Jolly Roger to a whole new set of t-shirts released by clothing brands — it’s a nationwide celebration.

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This milestone also reminds us that One Piece has been around for longer than some of us have been alive. The greatest adventure story ever told — and I don’t say this lightly — was introduced to us so long ago by the hands of Eiichiro Oda, and to this day, it is still compared to the likes of the Odyssey. If that’s not proof of One Piece‘s influence over these two decades, I don’t know what is. That being said, if you’ve been wondering about the exact date to celebrate One Piece’s 25th anniversary, here’s when the first episode aired.

When did the first episode of One Piece come out?

One Piece anime
Image via Crunchyroll

The first episode of One Piece aired on Oct. 20, 1999, in Japan. It marked the start of the first season of what would become the quintessential shounen anime and a worldwide phenomenon. At the time, the manga was already in its 109th chapter, during the Whiskey Peak arc, but anime fans were just meeting Luffy for the very first time.

The anime has since surpassed 1,000 episodes, a milestone celebrated just last year, while the manga is slightly ahead with over 1,100 chapters. In addition to these achievements, One Piece is the best-selling comic in the world, one of the most-watched anime internationally, and even its live-action adaptation has been viewed hundreds of millions of times on Netflix. Even 25 years after the first episode, no one does it like One Piece.

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Image of Francisca Santos
Francisca Santos
Passionate about gossip, a dedicated music enthusiast, and an unapologetic weeb, Francisca is a freelance writer at WGTG. When she's not writing, she can be found taking her dog on walks, defending BTS' honor, and re-reading 'One Piece'.