The Japanese publisher Shueisha is producing four million copies of the 64th volume of Eiichiro Oda's One Piece pirate manga — the latest volume in the series to set a record for the most copies in its first printing in Japan. The volume is shipping on Friday.
One Piece has been setting records in first printings since volume 56, which held the manga record in December of 2009 for 2.85 million copies. Volume 57 was the first volume to hold the record for all books in Japan, since its 3-million-copy first printing topped Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix's 2.9 million. Since then, every volume except volume 62 (published two months after the March 11 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster) has set a new record in first printing.
As of the 64th volume, Shueisha has published over 250 million copies of the manga series; One Piece has had the highest number of copies printed of any Shueisha manga series in Japan.
The manga follows a rubber-bodied boy named Luffy who aims to become the Pirate King by leading a motley crew, including a three-sword-wielding Zoro and the female navigator Nami. The manga has been running in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine since 1997, and the ongoing television anime series premiered in 1999.