Canon, in terms of fictional stories, refers to what is considered to be an official part of the main storyline. In practice, it usually determines the material(s) "appropriate" for fan analyses, speculations, or discussions.
Generally, the parts of the main story contributed by the original creator—which, in the case of One Piece, are predominantly the chapters of the manga and the SBS—are considered indisputable canon. However, One Piece is a multimedia franchise, boasting many different supplementary materials such as anime and databooks; these materials rarely have much direct input from Eiichiro Oda, creating much uncertainty about whether their events and facts belong in the canon.
For the most part, Oda and his staff have not made explicit confirmations about which supplemental works are canon and which are not. The subject is thus left to fan judgments, which tend to differ even within the same community, but usually revolve around two general principles:
- The greater Oda's input in the material, the more likely it is to qualify as canon
- Any non-manga material that contradicts the manga disqualifies itself from canon
Below is a more extensive guide to how this Wiki approaches the canonicity (or lack thereof) of each One Piece media source when documenting knowledge about the series. These considerations have been made carefully, based on how each source is produced, but should not be treated as official declarations about the canonicity of a work. Unless confirmed by an official statement from Oda and his associates, they only apply to the operation of this Wiki, and have no authority in fan discussion.
Being the work that launched the One Piece franchise and the work creator Eiichiro Oda has most directly participated in, the manga is widely accepted as the highest source of One Piece canon. While not free of art mistakes or writing oversights, all facts introduced in the manga are considered reliable canon unless contradicted by a fact introduced later in the manga.
(It should be noted that this Wiki, whenever possible, prioritizes the original Japanese version of the manga. Though the Viz-translated manga is faithful in most respects, it does occasionally diverge due to mistranslation or deliberate censorship.)
Short-Term Focused Cover Page Serials (more often called "Cover stories" or "Cover arcs") tell side-stories in one-page installments, typically following antagonists or side-characters after their initial encounters with the Straw Hats.
Though somewhat lesser-known than the manga's main storyline (as most of them have not been adapted by the anime), cover arcs are considered equally canonical. In fact, many of them have served to explain elements in the main storyline, such as Buggy's return from his first defeat, Hatchan's new career as a takoyaki chef, and CP9's survival of the Buster Call.
Monsters is a one-shot manga Oda created in 1994, several years before One Piece. Initially thought to be an unrelated work, its protagonist Ryuma would later appear in the Thriller Bark Arc as a zombie; shortly after, Oda confirmed in Volume 47's SBS that this was the same Ryuma, making Monsters part of the official canon.
The SBS is a question-and-answer column that has been included in every tankoban volume since Volume 4. The typical column features Oda personally answering fan questions on a wide variety of topics, some concerning the world or characters of One Piece, some concerning the series' production, and some completely unrelated to either.
While - in most cases - directly produced by Oda, the SBS is a slightly more nebulous source of canon than the manga proper, as Oda has been known to give joke answers to even straightfoward story questions (e.g. stating that Luffy can stretch a maximum of "72 Gomu Gomu's" when a fan asked for his limit). Further blurring the issue, some of his ostensible joke answers (e.g. the Marine photographer Attach) later became actualities in the manga proper.
In any case, Oda's serious SBS answers still provide a significant amount of worldbuilding information - the Marine Ranks, the exact parameters of Devil Fruit users' weakness to water, and the backstory between Perona and Gecko Moria, among others - and are thus considered part of the canon unless contradicted by something in a later SBS column or the manga proper.
The databooks are a set of supplementary volumes that examine the world of One Piece as an encyclopedia would. Though they mostly compile information already established in the manga, each one also contains at least a few previously-unrevealed facts, most commonly the names of minor characters, locations, and/or items.
Databooks may be the most contentious source of One Piece canon; while their covers give sole attribution to Oda, fans have suggested that their contents are largely compiled by Shonen Jump editors (or even other fans, as the books are typically called "fanbooks" (ファンブック Fanbukku?) in Japan) and thus cannot stand as canon by themselves. This grew especially controversial around the early 2010s, amid debates over whether Sabo had survived the events of Chapter 588; many fans cited an entry from the databook One Piece Green: Secret Pieces as evidence of his death, only for Chapter 731 to later establish that he had, in fact, survived.
On the other hand, Oda has been known to cite databooks as a valid source of canon on at least one occasion. The general policy of this Wiki is to treat all databook facts as canon, unless contradicted by the manga, an SBS column, or a later databook.
The installments of One Piece Magazine are similar to databooks in that they provide supplemental information about the series and are attributed to Oda himself. They have provided information such as the appearances of multiple Devil Fruits and the size measurements of the series' largest characters. However, parts of the magazine that give information about non-canon works, such as films and live events, are not considered canon. Additionally, the novels contained in the magazines, save for novel A, are not considered canon due to being written by other people.
One Piece novel A, consisting of two volumes, chronicles the life of Portgas D. Ace from the start of his pirating voyage to his time as a member of the Whitebeard Pirates. As stated below, One Piece novels are predominantly considered non-canon. Novel A is currently considered the sole exception, due to being confirmed as an official work supervised by Oda. Additionally, none of the information in novel A has been contradicted by other canon media.
This is a review of material already presented in the manga. It is considered canon. It was made by Oda, when he was ill, to help fans catch up with the series.
Toei's anime version of One Piece, by far the most prominent adaptation of the manga, is correspondingly the largest source of mistaken (or debatable) canon. Though not as divergent as most other anime adaptations of long-running manga, the One Piece anime has still altered, rearranged, expanded, and occasionally removed material from virtually every section of the manga; for his part, Oda has stated that he participates little in anime production beyond supplying concept art.
Sometimes Toei can subtly foreshadow the events that are coming up in the anime (mostly due to events being done in the manga prior). This can be seen when a ghost of the Going Merry is shown during the sea train ride, and also after the Luffy versus Usopp duel, where Toei had Zoro acting cold towards Usopp by telling Chopper not to talk about him. Fans thought that this move was out of his character but in the manga, Zoro acted the same way after Luffy learned that Usopp wanted to re-join but did not like the idea of Luffy being weak like that. In the anime, Boin Archipelago was a giant plant with the mouth in the middle, it was confirmed canon later in the manga, the same goes to the shadowy figures Zoro faced turning out to be apes, who were confirmed in the manga except that they were baboons instead. But the anime is not always trustworthy. The anime was meant to describe the events in the manga, expanding the roles and actions to fill up the 30 minutes time frame. They add events, histories, information, and extra scenes not found in the manga.
Toei has even created some plotholes. For example, in the Warship Island Arc, Zoro stated that there was nothing he could not cut, but the fact that he claimed that the chains he cut were steel is a major plothole as in the manga (and the anime), he was shown to be unable to cut steel until the Alabasta Arc, when he cut Daz Bonez. In the Davy Back Fight Arc, Chopper ate three rumble balls without turning into Monster Chopper, but Chopper was not supposed to eat another rumble ball within 6 hours. In the Diary of Koby-Meppo cover story adaption, Garp, Koby and Helmeppo went up Reverse Mountain, but in the manga they went through the Calm Belt, however Toei covered up the mistake by having Koby state that the newspaper was wrong. In the anime, Toei tried to explain why Sanji was in a sweet dress by saying that Caroline had him release his "inner maiden" which turned Sanji into an Okama, thus causing him to lose his interest in girls and leading to him deciding to be friends with them while in the manga he was forced to wear it. Sanji was no longer wearing it and had reverted to his old self when he met Ivankov. In the Warship Island Arc, the crew saved Ryu, an old and weakened dragon, however, in the Punk Hazard Arc, the crew stated that the dragon they had encountered on Punk Hazard was the first they had seen.
For the purposes of this Wiki, filler refers to material that is exclusive to the serialized TV anime. It can refer to whole episodes or arcs driven by plots not found in the manga, or to individual scenes inserted into otherwise-canon material.
As filler exists mostly for logistical reasons (e.g. preventing the anime from overtaking the manga, making sure an episode reaches the proper length), it cannot meaningfully affect the canonical storyline. However, because the anime also presents itself as a single, serialized story, most filler tries to reconcile with canon events instead of overwriting them.
Here are the list of filler arcs and filler episodes added by Toei Animation.
- Warship Island Arc: The Straw Hats help a young girl named Apis save her friend. In the manga, the Straw Hat Pirates were supposed to escape Loguetown, enter and escape the Calm Belt before going up Reverse Mountain without any interruptions, Luffy was supposed to save Usopp from the Sea King instead of Apis. During this Arc, Oda had just wrapped up the Drum Island Arc and was doing the early chapters of the Alabasta Arc. It takes place between the Loguetown Arc and the Reverse Mountain Arc.
- Post-Alabasta Arc: This arc is composed of stand alone episodes (for each of the crew members excluding Luffy and Robin). It took place after Nico Robin joined the crew. It takes place between the Alabasta Arc and Goat Island Arc.
- Goat Island Arc: The Straw Hats assists an old man named Zenny achived his dreams of becoming a Pirate. It takes place between the Post-Alabasta Arc and Ruluka Island Arc.
- Ruluka Island Arc: The Straw Hats deal with the mysterious Rainbow Mist. In the manga, after Robin joined, a ship fell from the sky; in the anime it happen at the end of this arc. This, and the two previews filler arcs were made because Oda was in the early stage of the Skypiea Arc. It takes place between the Goat Island Arc and the Jaya Arc.
- G-8 Arc: The Straw Hat pirates landed in a bay of a Marine base. In the manga, they landed in an open water after leaving Skypiea, Nami tried out the waver and Luffy discussed the idea of obtaining a shipwright. In the anime, it was Usopp who discussed about getting a shipwright with a repairman. It takes place between the Skypiea Arc and Long Ring Long Land Arc.
- Ocean's Dream Arc: This arc is based on a video game of the same name. It involves Robin trying to reunite the crew, who have lost their memories. It takes place between the Long Ring Long Land Arc and the Foxy's Return Arc.
- Foxy's Return Arc: This arc depicts the Straw Hat Pirates re-encountering Foxy, Porche, and Hamburg. In the anime, this led to the encounter with Aokiji. It takes place between the Ocean's Dream Arc and the Water 7 Arc
- Ice Hunter Arc: This arc chronicles the journey of the Straw Hat Pirates from Water 7, into the Florian Triangle, coming close to a winter island inhabited by the Accino Family. It takes place between the Post-Enies Lobby Arc and Thriller Bark Arc.
- Spa Island Arc: This arc chronicles the Straw Hat's stay at Spa Island, where they run into Foxy, Porche, and Hamburg. It takes place between the Thriller Bark Arc and Sabaody Archipelago Arc.
- Little East Blue Arc: The Straw Hats visit Little East Blue, an island inhabited by former East Blue residents and visitors, inspired by that sea. The Little East Blue Arc is a special arc that serves as a lead into One Piece Film: Strong World. It aired during the Impel Down Arc, and does not fit in the main storyline, though it can be considered to take place between the Thriller Bark Arc and Sabaody Archipelago Arc since it leads into Strong World.
- Z's Ambition Arc: The Straw Hats encounter Lily Enstomach and help her save her father from the Marines and Neo Marines. The Z's Ambition Arc is a special arc that serves as a lead into One Piece Film: Z. It takes place between the Fish-Man Island Arc and Punk Hazard Arc.
- Caesar Retrieval Arc: After Caesar Clown is kidnapped, Luffy, Chopper, and Law goes to retrieve him from Breed. It takes place between the Punk Hazard Arc and Dressrosa Arc.
- Silver Mine Arc: Luffy and Bartolomeo try to escape Silver Mine after getting kidnapped by the Silver Pirate Alliance. The Silver Mine Arc is a special arc that serves as a lead into One Piece Film: Gold. It takes place between the Dressrosa Arc and Zou Arc.
- Marine Rookie Arc: The Sanji Retrieval Team is suffering from food shortage, and disembark on Fron Island to steal from the island's marine base food supply. They are then confronted by the newly arrived Captain All-Hunt Grount and his friends before escaping with the supplies, only to lose then again immediately due to their starving state. It takes place between the Zou Arc and Whole Cake Island Arc.
- Cidre Guild Arc: Luffy embarks on an island to find cola to replenish the Thousand Sunny's supply. While there, he teams up with Boa Hancock and fights the bounty hunting Cidre Guild. The Cidre Guild Arc is a special arc that serves as a lead into One Piece: Stampede. It aired in the middle of the Wano Country Arc, and does not fit in the main storyline, though can be considered to take place after the Whole Cake Island Arc.
Apart from the TV anime, Toei has also produced a number of standalone films and specials under the One Piece license. These typically make no effort to reconcile with the manga's or the TV anime's current storylines beyond the Straw Hats' membership, and are thus not regarded as canonical.
- Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack is the first anime in a movie form created in 1998 one year before Toei took rights to create the series based on the manga. Only Luffy, Zoro and Nami are in it, since it released when One Piece was in the Syrup Village Arc, which is why Usopp did not appear. Ganzack, a villain with a armor with a crab claws was a basic concept for Don Krieg.
- Movie 1 takes place in the East Blue, just before Sanji is introduced.
- Movie 2 takes place between the Loguetown Arc and the Warship Island Arc. While it could be in canon with Ace and Vivi having a cameo appearance in the credits, their color schemes are different from those shown in the manga, and later the anime.
- Movie 3 has Tony Tony Chopper in it, but cannot occur in the canon since neither Nefertari Vivi (who was there when he joined) nor Nico Robin (who joined the crew immediately after leaving Alabasta and Vivi) are in this.
- Movie 4 took place after Alabasta, the confrontation between Gasparde and Luffy was similar to the confrontation between Crocodile and Luffy (Luffy screaming Gasparde's name like he did with Crocodile and coated his hands with powder to fight Gasparde like he used blood to fight Crocodile).
- Movie 5 took place while the series was in Skypiea.
- Movie 7 was supposed to take place before Water 7. Although there are machines in the movie, Oda later added Karakuri Island to the canon storyline, although the only mechanics on this island were the Automata created by Moonwatcher. While this movie is not to be consider canon, it shows Luffy activating Gear Second unwittingly, being a possible explanation for the origin of the technique.
- Movie 8 was supposed to take place during Alabasta Arc but many things were changed. Ace, Rainbase, the Marines, and Mr. 3 did not appear in the movie, making it different from the canon Alabasta.
- Movie 9 is a remake of the Drum Island Arc, but Vivi is not in it, and Robin and Franky make an appearance, and Wapol has an older brother and new subordinates. It is dramatically different from the canon events that occurred at Drum. However, the revised 2014 edition adds an additional scene which retroactively makes it a dream that a post-timeskip Chopper experienced while on board the Thousand Sunny after the crew has reunited, setting the movie sometime after the Fish-Man Island Arc but before the Punk Hazard Arc.
- Movie 10 takes place on Merveille. It takes place between the Thriller Bark Arc and Sabaody Archipelago Arc, because Brook has joined the crew and it occurs before the crew is separated.
- Movie 11 takes place between Thriller Bark Arc and Sabaody Archipelago Arc, because Brook has joined the crew and it occurs before the crew is separated.
- Movie 12 takes place at various locations in the New World and is the first movie set there. It occurs at some point between the anime-only Z's Ambition Arc and the Punk Hazard Arc because the crew has entered the New World but Law is not with them yet.
- Movie 13 takes place after the Dressrosa Arc and before the Zou Arc because it was mentioned Luffy defeated Donquixote Doflamingo and Sabo obtained Ace's Mera Mera no Mi. This could not fit into the storyline because in the Dressrosa Arc, part of the Straw Hats departed to Zou. However, in the movie, the entire crew is present, but Trafalgar Law and Caesar Clown are not present.
- Movie 14 takes place after the Whole Cake Island Arc and before the Wano Country Arc, as Morgans mentioned Luffy to be the "Fifth Emperor" and the Shichibukai system still exists. However, it does not fit into the main storyline as the Straw Hats are all together in the movie, and they did not reunite prior to the Wano Country Arc. Additionally, the Kid Pirates are actively operating in the movie while they are in the Beasts Pirates' custody at this point in the manga, and Killer still has his old appearance.
Colorspreads are double page pieces of artwork by Oda that appear as chapter covers on occasion, with no set schedule. Color Walks are books that collect colorspreads from multiple chapters.
Twelve novels were written depicting various stories connected or separate from actual canon as depicted by Oda. The second novel is an expanded version of the Loguetown arc written by Tatsuya Hamazaki with ideas and concepts by Oda. One of the concepts used in the novel was a sequence left out of the manga explaining how Usopp received his goggles and his encounter with Daddy Masterson, which could be considered continuity or filler dependent on the reader's views.
This is a crossover comic that features the Dragon Ball and One Piece cast, but does not have anything to do with the main storyline, and fans do not consider those canonical.
Video Games may feature characters and events from the manga, but they have nothing to do with the canon storyline. In fact there are games that have original non-canon characters:
- One Piece - Big Secret Treasure of the Seven Phantom Islands: Which features Simon with the Pasa Pasa no Mi.
- One Piece: Unlimited Adventure: Which features Popola and the Evil Guardian/Evil Master Beast.
- One Piece: Unlimited Cruise: Which feature Gaburi and the Doom Guardian/Demon of Doom.
- One Piece: Unlimited World Red: Which features Patrick Redfield with the Batto Batto no Mi, Model: Vampire and Pato the pen that "ate" the Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Bake-danuki.
- One Piece: World Seeker: Which features a large number of original characters who reside on Jewel Island, from the occupying Marines led by Isaac to the citizens led by Jeanne.
There have been a variety of real-world One Piece events in Japan that have original plots and characters. Major events include:
- The One Piece Premier Show, an annual stage show at Universal Studios Japan in which the characters are portrayed by human actors. There is a new plot each year.
- One Piece Live Attraction, a stage show at Tokyo One Piece Tower that has currently undergone four iterations, each with unique plots.
- One Piece x Kyoto, an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the series which contained an art exhibit depicting a story of the Straw Hat Pirates in Wano Country. The climactic scene was drawn by Oda.
The plots created by these live events have little to no connection to Oda or the manga storyline, with the story of One Piece x Kyoto actively contradicting the manga.
Toei has inserted special features that have nothing to do with the canon.
Most of the comics Oda drew in the omake have nothing to do with the canon, despite the fact that Oda drew them. The comics often humorously feature the One Piece cast in different roles and different situations which are standalone stories. However, the only omake which could occur in continuity is Report Time, which chronicles the Straw Hat crew's eating habits during the first parts of their voyage, up to Sanji joining, but it is unconfirmed if it actually is.
Oda has occasionally been involved in non-canon material:
- Oda wrote the story for One Piece Film: Strong World and was executive producer for One Piece Film: Z and One Piece Film: Gold.
- Oda has designed many anime-only characters for Toei (anime) and Bandai (video games).
- Oda provided character designs for the first OVA characters. Sketches of these can be found in one of the early volumes.
- A novelization of the Loguetown Arc written in 2000 had the story of Usopp's encounter with Daddy Masterson and his daughter Carol, explaining where he got his goggles. Oda stated that he did want to include this story in the manga but could not due to the pressure to start the Grand Line story exactly at chapter 100.
- The character Musshuru was created by Oda for the 9th One Piece movie as Wapol's brother. Due to many of the other changes in the story, including the inclusion of Robin and Franky to the story of the discovery and joining of Tony Tony Chopper, it cannot be considered canon in the continuity.
- Oda has also designed other non-canon characters such as Accino, Gasparde, Z, Ratchet, and more.
- Shiki is notable for being a canon character who is much more heavily associated with non-canon media. He is the main antagonist of the movie One Piece Film: Strong World, which like all movies is considered to be non-canon. He is the main character in the special Chapter 0, and although this is considered canon due to being written and drawn by Oda, it is not associated with the main series. Shiki's existence in the original manga has only been established by two brief mentions of him, first in the Impel Down Arc when he is mentioned to have escaped from Impel Down and second in the Wano Country Arc when he is revealed to have been a member of the Rocks Pirates.
- Gally was made into a canon character by appearing in the Whole Cake Island Arc in the manga, after debuting in the non-canon one-shot Romance Dawn, Version 1 and appearing in anime filler in the Loguetown Arc.
- TV Tropes on Canon
- TV Tropes on Adaptation Displacement, a perennial source of mistaken (or ambiguous) canon
- Fanlore Wiki on Canon