Plenty of One Piece fans around the world would love to have a conversation with Luffy, and thanks to AI, now you can. The massive Japanese publisher Shueisha, which publishes One Piece and many other favorites, has made AI Luffy a holographic receptionist.
His first day on the new job was yesterday, and he can be found at the Shueisha building in Tokyo’s Jinbocho Sanchome neighborhood. He was created by office/home security company Secom and video game developer DeNA. Shueisha, Toei Animation, and Luffy’s Japanese voice actor Mayumi Tanaka all helped on the process, so you’ll hear Tanaka’s voice coming from the hologram. However, Tanaka didn’t just record set lines, and that’s all that will play. The dialogue is created by synthesizing Tanaka’s voice, so Luffy can say new and different things depending on how people interact with him.
Here is an example of him talking with a man visiting the office.
— もりみちはる (@moritsuu) March 24, 2022
SoraNews24 provided this translation of the conversation, and you can see Luffy actually respond depending on what is said.
Luffy: “Hey! You here on business or pleasure?”
Man: “I’m here for work.”
Luffy: “Work, huh? You must be working hard.”
Man: “Where is the editorial department?”
Luffy: “The Shonen Jump editorial department is in this building. We need to get you checked in first, so go tell them at the check-in desk.”
Man: “Thank you.”
Luffy: “Naw, no prob!”
Luffy will be working as the building’s receptionist until April 15, and the building is not opened for everyone to just come in and chat with him. But don’t be too disappointed: after April 15, the designers are going to see how they can improve upon Luffy. And the same worker at Shueisha who shared the above video also said that Luffy will be open to the public this summer.
Photo Credit: @moritsuu
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin. She is also the author of its upcoming sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.