Produced by Toei Animation, the One Piece anime series debuted in Japan on Fuji Television on October 20, 1999. Since then, the still ongoing series has aired more than four hundred episodes.
4Kids Entertainment licensed the series for an English language dubbed broadcast and release in North America. The 4Kids episodes aired in the United States on the Fox network as part of the Fox Box block, premiering on September 18, 2004. The first 143 episodes of the original were cut down to 104 in the dubbed version. The remaining content was subject to heavy editing. Sanji's cigarettes for example were turned into lollipops, and "the skin of a black pirate was changed to a tan mulatto / white color." In December 2006, 4Kids cancelled production of the dubbed version.
On April 12, 2007, Funimation Entertainment announced it acquired the license for the series. After producing a new English voice dub, the company released its first unedited, bilingual DVD box set, containing 13 episodes, on May 27, 2008. Similarly sized sets followed with two sets released as of September 16, 2008. The Funimation English dubbed episodes premiered on the Cartoon Network on September 29, 2007 and aired until it was cancelled on March 29, 2008. The remainder of Funimation's dubbed episodes continued being aired on Australia's Cartoon Network, and then shifted into reruns of the Funimation dub before being replaced by Dragon Ball Z. Funimation began streaming English dubbed episodes as well as subbed episodes on their website, onepieceofficial.com. New episodes were to be streamed an hour after their original airing in Japan, though this has been placed on hold until security issues can be resolved.
In Singapore, the anime is licensed by Odex, who produced an English dub which lasted 104 episodes. It was produced in two 52-episode seasons, with some of the original actors leaving in between seasons.
In the July 2008 issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, it was announced that the prototype one-shot that preceded One Piece, Romance Dawn, is being adapted into an anime OVA as part of the Jump Super Anime Tour.
The North American anime distributor Funimation, the Japanese studio Toei Animation, the Japanese publisher Shueisha, and the Japanese broadcaster Fuji Television Network had announced that they would simulcast stream the One Piece pirate anime series within an hour of the weekly Japanese broadcast. The free, English-subtitled simulcast was set to start on Saturday, May 30 at 9:00 p.m. CDT with episode #403 on www.onepieceofficial.com,
followed soon thereafter by Funimation's partner sites. However a security breach resulted in a leak of episode #403 leading to FUNimation to terminate the offer for the foreseeable future.