Written By Rana G on Sunday, January 16, 2011 | 5:42 AM
Sakai and Hiroaki Miyamoto, it began broadcasting on Fuji Television on October 20, 1999. As of October 30, 2010 (2010 -10-30)[update], 473 episodes of the series have aired, spanning thirteen seasons. One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a 17-year-old boy, whose body gains the properties of rubber from accidentally eating a supernatural fruit, and his crew of diverse pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy’s greatest ambition is to obtain the world’s ultimate treasure, One Piece, and thereby be
come the next King of the Pirates.
The first DVD compilation was released on February 21, 2001, with individual volumes releasing monthly. The Singaporean company Odex released part of the series locally in English and Japanese in the form of dual audio Video CDs. In 2004, 4Kids Entertainment licensed the series for an English-language broadcast in North America. This dub was heavily edited for content, as well as length, reducing the first 143 episodes to 104. One Piece made its U.S. premiere on September 18, 2004 on the Fox network’s Fox Box programming block, and also began airing on the Cartoon Network’s Toonami block in April 2005. In December 2006, 4Kids cancelled
production due to financial reasons. In April 2007, Funimation Entertainment acquired the license of One Piece from 4Kids and would use their in-house voice cast in preparation for the series’ DVD releases. The Funimation dubbed episodes aired from September 2007 until its cancellation in March 2008. In Australia, Cartoon Network resumed airing new One Piece episodes in November 2008, starting with episode 170, lasting until January 2009 following episode 195. The first unedited, bilingual DVD box set, containing 13 episodes, was released on May 27, 2008. Similarly sized sets followed with fourteen sets released as of October 26, 2010 (2010 -10-26)[update].
The series uses thirty different pieces of theme music: thirteen opening themes and eighteen closing themes. Several CDs that contain the theme music and other tracks have been released by Toei Animation. After experimenting with an English dubbed version of “We Are!”, 4Kids decided to create its own theme music with “Pirate Rap” voiced by Russell Velasquez. 4Kids created four vocal versions of the rap as opening themes, one of them unused, and two instrumental versions as ending themes before they lost the rights.