Manga, or Japanese comics, is not only a source of entertainment but also a large market whose value is often underplayed in the West, mostly because Western fans don’t really pay much attention to the numbers related to manga editions. But the manga market is truly exceptional in that aspect, and we know that Oda’s One Piece manga is the best-selling one in history. But how does the extremely popular series compare against a globally popular book – the Bible. In this article, you are going to find out whether One Piece managed to outsell the Bible globally or not.
No, One Piece did not outsell the Bible. As of August 2022, One Piece has sold around 516.6 million copies in 61 countries of the world, whereas the Bible has sold over 7 billion copies and has been, fully or partially, translated into more than 3,000 languages. This isn’t surprising, as the Bible has been present in our community for centuries, whereas One Piece debuted back in 1997.
The rest of this article will reveal more precise data about the numbers related to One Piece and the Bible. You will find out more details about these works, how many copies they have sold, and how many languages they’ve been translated into. We are going to give you the latest available data on each of these books.
One Piece is the best-selling manga in history
One Piece is an internationally successful manga series by the Japanese mangaka Eiichirō Oda, which has been running since 1997 and has also been adapted as an anime for television and cinema. It has been published weekly in Shūkan Shōnen Jump since 1997. The individual chapters are also published in bundled editions by Shūeisha, which has broken multiple publication records, including the highest initial print run of a book in Japan and the first book to sell over three million copies.
It is a known fact that One Piece is the world’s best-selling manga series and that it is also one of the longest-running ones. It is definitely the longest-running and best-selling manga out of the “Big Three,” surpassing both Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto series and Tite Kubo’s Bleach. Here are the numbers:
|Manga series||Author(s)||Demographic||No. of collected|
|Serialized||Approximate sales||Average sales|
|One Piece||Eiichiro Oda||Shōnen||104||1997–present||516.6 million||4.97 million|
|Case Closed / Detective Conan||Takao Saito, Saito Production||Seinen||207||1968–present||300 million||1.45 million|
|Case Closed / Detective Conan||Gosho Aoyama||Shōnen||102||1994–present||270 million||2.65 million|
|Dragon Ball||Akira Toriyama||Shōnen||42||1984–1995||260 million||6.19 million|
|Doraemon||Fujiko F. Fujio||Children||45||1969–1996||250 million||4.71 million|
|Naruto||Masashi Kishimoto||Shōnen||72||1999–2014||250 million||3.47 million|
|Slam Dunk||Takehiko Inoue||Shōnen||31||1990–1996||170 million||5.48 million|
|KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops||Osamu Akimoto||Shōnen||201||1976–2016||156.5 million||0.78 million|
|Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba||Koyoharu Gotouge||Shōnen||23||2016–2020||150 million||6.52 million|
|Oishinbo||Tetsu Kariya, Akira Hanasaki||Seinen||111||1983–2014 (on hiatus)||135 million||1.22 million|
|Bleach||Tite Kubo||Shōnen||74||2001–2016||130 million||1.75 million|
|JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure||Hirohiko Araki||Shōnen/Seinen||131||1987–present||120 million||0.92 million|
|Attack on Titan||Hajime Isayama||Shōnen||34||2009–2021||110 million||3.23 million|
|Astro Boy||Osamu Tezuka||Shōnen||23||1952–1968||100 million||4.35 million|
|Fist of the North Star||Buronson, Tetsuo Hara||Shōnen||27||1983–1988||100 million||3.70 million|
|Hajime no Ippo||George Morikawa||Shōnen||134||1989–present||100 million||0.74 million|
|The Kindaichi Case Files||Yōzaburō Kanari, Seimaru Amagi, Fumiya Satō||Shōnen/Seinen||90||1992–present||100 million||1.11 million|
|Touch||Mitsuru Adachi||Shōnen||26||1981–1986||100 million||3.85 million|
As you can see, One Piece surpasses its closes follower by more than 200 million copies, and with the manga still being published in Japan, there is no doubt that these numbers will grow in the future.
As for the availability in other languages, we have to confirm that One Piece is available in 61 countries around the world, but it hasn’t been officially translated into each of them, as some of them have the English version as the only one available. Thus, The manga has been translated into roughly 50-60 languages worldwide.
But it isn’t even close to the Bible
But, when you compare the Bible to One Piece, it becomes clear that the manga doesn’t even come close to the world’s most popular and best-selling religious book in history. The Bible is present in all parts of the world, regardless of where you are, and even countries that don’t have a Christian majority have the Bible present there. This is why this book is so popular and so important.
Now, as for the Bible, it is assumed that, over time, more than 7 billion copies of the book have been sold around the world. We don’t have a precise number, but if you look at the revenues for the last ten years (in millions) when religious books, in general, are concerned, it’ll become clear why the Bible is such a lucrative product:
|Year||Religious books sales revenue ($ million)||Change|
These books are highly popular, and the yearly revenue – for each year – is enormous. When you add these numbers, it becomes quite clear that One Piece never could actually outsell the Bible. Seeing how the Bible is still popular and is sold daily, whereas One Piece will, at one point, end, it is clear that Oda’s popular manga will never surpass the Bible in that aspect.
As for the languages, the Bible is available, fully or partially, in more than 3,000 languages worldwide, so we don’t have much to add there either. The numbers are clearly on the side of the Bible, but in manga-related terms, One Piece stands alone at the top.