With over 800 episodes and counting, One Piece is one of the longest-running anime series in Japan and one of the most popular to boot. Since its debut, One Piece has become a worldwide phenomenon, with broadcasts in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. While sometimes it may be hard to envision the extent of an IP's popularity, a recent impromptu fan engagement between soccer fans in Russia not only showcases One Piece's global popularity, but also illustrates the instant bond individuals foster due to a shared fandom.
Meilleure moment de la journée : chanter la musique de One Piece avec les Japonais après le match 🇸🇳🇷🇺🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/IbQIqOJoVN
— Sulo (@JohnSulo) June 24, 2018
After Senegal and Japan faced off in a fierce tit-for-tat match during the World Cup on Sunday, a few fans from each team gathered to rejoice in the strong efforts of both... and to sing the One Piece theme song together. Captured by comedian John Sulo, who himself led the lively outburst of song, the video is a heartwarming display of the unifying power anime can bring about between sports rivals. They may root for different teams, but at the end of the day, these folks share the same love for soccer. And, apparently, One Piece.
Although the match ended in a 2-2 draw, supporters of both teams were all smiles and high spirits after what was a well-fought match between two seemingly undercard teams. Also, if this interaction between One Piece fans wasn't wholesome enough, fans from both Senegal and Japan have also been seen staying behind after games to help clean up their mess. There is still good in this world.
This is my favourite moment of the World Cup so far; Japan fans picking up litter after their victory vs Columbia. The lessons in life we can take from the game. Why I support 🇯🇵 #class✅#respect✅#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/FyYLhAGDbi
— Christopher McKaig (@Coachmckaig) June 19, 2018
Image: Viz Media