The One Piece manga entered its final arc last year, but that has meant increasing pressure on mangaka Eiichiro Oda to get everything just right for the climax to Luffy’s grand adventure. It looks like Chapter 1098 of the manga has become a casualty of that pressure – the latest chapter of One Piece has been published in an unfinished state due to Oda being unable to turn in finished sketches and scripts in time.
On Wednesday, reports began to circulate that One Piece Chapter 1098 wouldn’t be finished in time, with Oda making the decision to publish some of the pages without color or lineart so that he could hit his release window from his publishers. The chapter is due to be released on November 12, with an English translation coming out via Viz Media on the same day. It is the first time that One Piece has been published in such a rough state in the more than 25 years that it has been published. Though it is supposedly readable, it will be a stark contrast to the usual quality fans have come to expect from the manga.
The reason for the delay hasn’t been officially confirmed, but it probably isn’t cause for concern for fans. Oda often takes breaks from the manga’s rigorous weekly release schedule, but this is usually planned in advance to allow Shonen Jump to fill the publication slot with something else. It isn’t unusual for the publisher to release an unfinished chapter in cases where the mangka simply couldn’t finish it in time, though this is the first time that it has happened in One Piece history. Typically when this happens, the publisher releases the updated, finished chapter as part of the volume at a later point.
With Luffy's Gear 5 form coming to the anime and Netflix’s surprisingly good live-action adaptation releasing earlier this year, 2023 has already been an exciting year for One Piece. It is likely that the extra pressure simply meant Oda needed more time to get Chapter 1098 exactly how he wanted it.
Looking for more One Piece? Check out our guide to how to watch every episode of the anime in order and the latest on the live-action adaptation from Netflix.