As the Zou arc heads towards closure with the wind in its sails, One Piece is set to embark on its next anime-original arc. Shonen Jump magazine announced last week that the venture in question is the Marine Rookie arc, beginning on March 19th. Kadokawa’s Monthly Newtype magazine added on Friday that the arc will end on April 2nd. A curious thing to note here, is that the kanji for ‘rookie’ in the arc’s title are the same that have thus far been used for the Eleven Supernovas, the most notorious rookie pirates in the series.
In more Straw Hats news, Adult Swim’s Toonami block will wish farewell to One Piece on March 25th. On that day, after a four-year run, the series will be replaced by Tokyo Ghoul. As a final fanfare for the beloved anime, Toonami posted a video tribute.
Getting back to brighter news, Jump and Newtype went into detail on the anime’s approaching storyline. While Luffy and friends are on their travels to rescue Sanji, guess who ends up eating all the food. The pirates then infiltrate a Marine base that had been monitoring Big Mom to resupply, but three rookie members of Aokiji’s crew interrupt their mission. Toei Animation producer Hiroshi Oyama stated that they reached this idea while consulting with manga creator Eiichiro Oda. From April 9th the anime will return to the Totto Land Arc, continuing the quest to rescue Sanji on Whole Cake Island, controlled by Big Mom.
As ever, there will be new enemies to battle and new friends to meet. If there’s anything One Piece is great at, it’s surprising you with who’s who between the two. Here’s the cast of new characters, with some names you’re sure to recognise, along with the character designs revealed today. We wonder, which will end up being allies and enemies?
Natsuki Hanae (Tokyo Ghoul‘s Ken Kaneki) as Grant
Hiroki Yasumoto (Bleach‘s Yasutora Sado) as Bonham
Makoto Furukawa (One Punch Man‘s Saitama) as Sappa
Youhei Tadano as Vice-Admiral Prodi
The Zou arc, adapted from Oda’s original manga, premiered on July 28th in the anime’s 751st episode. Before that, the show traversed the short anime-original Silver Mine arc, which tied in to the story of the movie One Piece Film Gold.
Whether you can’t wait for the new arc, or you’re catching up with the home releases, check out our review of Collection 15 in the thick of the fan-favourite Thriller Bark arc.