This past week the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club and the Fußball-Club Bayern München fought hard in the UEFA Champions League match, and the Paris team had a little side help from none other than Luffy. Yes, the main character of One Piece was part of a giant display in the arena where it looks as if Luffy’s long rubber arm is reaching out to punch the Munich team.
— ライブドアニュース (@livedoornews) February 15, 2023
Alas, even with Luffy on their side, the Paris team did not win the match. But people behind One Piece saw it, and the official Twitter page thanked the soccer fans for their enthusiasm. Their French can be translated as “Big thanks! All! You are the best.” One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda retweeted it.
Grand MERCI! Tous! Vous etes les meilleurs❣️ https://t.co/T4vKIIMZ8D
— ONE PIECE スタッフ【公式】/ Official (@Eiichiro_Staff) February 15, 2023
France is known for its love of comics and manga, and One Piece is especially popular there. More than 25 million copies of the One Piece manga have sold in France in the last ten years, which is almost ten percent of all the manga sold there. Back in 2021, Oda gave French President Emmanuel Macron an original signed One Piece illustration, dedicating it to President Macron and all of the One Piece fans in France. President Macron was so happy with it he took a break from tweeting about politics to sharing a tweet of the artwork and giving thanks in both French and Japanese.
One Piece has been tied to sports before. This last year, the University of Southern California’s marching band performed One Piece Film Red music and was visited by Luffy as well.
It’s also worth noting that other anime have been used as displays at soccer games, too. Here you can check out a tifo of Gogeta from the Dragon Ball series being displayed when the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) and Philadelphia Union competed.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its 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.