Okay we already knew it wasn't just for kids but check this out:
Now keep in mind this is only for one venue, but still it's one big venue. It's hard for me to believe that the vast majority of this manga's audience are adults. Maybe the kids read in Shonen Jump and watch the anime on T.V. but the adults buy the tankoubans?
i honestly think that's the case with most manga and anime adaptations. everyone i know who's visited or lives in japan says it's that way: the manga is usually read by an older demographic and is considered slightly less kiddy and debased socially, while the anime version is considered mostly for children too young to read the manga.
i had no idea there were THAT many people who were genuinely elderly reading one piece, though..
I honestly wonder why One Piece is so popular in Japan….I mean a vast majority of the manga that is popular in Japan is mostly garbage with the most generic character designs. One Piece is perhaps the most western of the shonen trinity, yet it's most popular fictional work in the that country by far.... I mean It's just a mystery.
well, dragonquest, which stylistically feels a lot more like lord of the rings/classic european medieval fantasy, is more popular than the final fantasy series, which basically feels like a 3d anime movie at this point. i think japanese fans just like epic, sweeping fantasy stories that are told well.
also, i don't know how 'western' it is, either. one piece seems the MOST japanese of the so-called 'shonen trinity' considering how weird and quirky it is.