In the anime and manga world, theories and speculation often abound. Fans analyze every detail, trying to piece together clues about what’s to come. One such theory making the rounds concerns Shanks, the popular red-haired captain from One Piece, and his frequent appearances in recent chapters. Could this be a sign that the series is entering its final arc?
It’s not a far-fetched idea, especially considering an interview with series creator Eiichiro Oda from 1998. In that interview, Oda stated that fans would know when One Piece was entering its final arc because Shanks would start to appear more frequently. Given the numerous cameos Shanks has made in recent chapters, it seems that Oda’s prediction may have come true.
Oda’s Hints form series END
Oda (1998): When Shanks appears frequently in manga, you can assume that One Piece has entered the final saga. 😍— sandman (@sandman_AP) April 29, 2023
[source : Oda's talk show at Nakano Sun Plaza in December, 1998] pic.twitter.com/2jzAwvKUW3
Of course, this isn’t the first time Oda has made plans years in advance. He’s known for meticulous planning, and the fact that he had a vision for One Piece’s ending from the beginning is a testament to that. However, as recently unearthed interviews have shown, Oda has also made up plenty of plotlines on the fly. In some cases, he’s even retconned important story elements, such as Law’s prominence after the time skip and the Seven Warlords’ appearance.
Despite this, One Piece remains a beloved franchise, and its latest movie, One Piece Film: Red, was a hit with fans. Although the title suggests a focus on Shanks, the movie primarily follows his teenage daughter, Uta. Some fans felt this was yet another retcon, but the film’s success cannot be denied. It even earned a special Blu-ray release, which includes three additional episodes.
So, what can we expect from One Piece’s final arc? Only time will tell. But with Shanks gunning for Gol D. Roger’s treasure, the One Piece, and on a collision course with Luffy, it’s safe to say that the series is building towards a climactic finale.