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‘One Piece’ chapter 973 release date delayed due to Eiichiro Oda’s ‘sudden illness’; Where to read free official English translations

From an official “One Piece” clip | Photo credit: Funimation / YouTube screenshot

A hiatus is nothing new for the fans of “One Piece” manga. However, the break that has taken place prior to the release of “One Piece” chapter 973 is different. The staff of the series confirmed the delay was due to Eiichiro Oda getting sick suddenly.

On the bright side, a piece of good news regarding the series creator’s health has since been announced. In case some fans still do not know, there are several ways they can read “One Piece” chapter 973’s official English translation for free and online.

One Piece’ chapter 973 release date moved a week later

The physical copy of “One Piece” chapter 973 was initially announced to be released at the beginning of this week. However, the “One Piece” staff announced last Friday on Twitter, “Due to a sudden illness of its author, ONE PIECE story will be temporarily interrupted for Weekly Shonen Jump #14 (in stores from March 2nd).”

Fans should not worry about Oda’s health, though, because the same announcement noted that he has already “fully recovered.” Fans are also promised that “One Piece” chapter 973 will be released along with Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #15 that will land in stores effectively on Monday, March 9.

It can be recalled that there was some confusion about “One Piece” chapter 973’s release date as soon as its preceding chapter was released. Chapter 972’s last page was showing a March 1 release date, but the manga’s official page on the Manga Plus website and mobile app were already indicating a March 9 release date.

Where to read ‘One Piece’ chapter 973 online and for free

Fan-generated English translations, aka scanlations, have been a common source of new “One Piece” chapters over the years. However, prominent websites like Jamini’s Box announced in late 2019 that they would welcome the new decade with the decision to stop distributing scanlations of all Shonen Jump titles.

Luckily, official channels have been more active in releasing new chapters of the series online and for free in a relatively timely manner. The official English translation of “One Piece” chapter 973 is scheduled to be released online through the websites and mobile apps of Manga Plus and Viz Media on March 9.

“One Piece” chapter 973 is going to be an important installment as it will most likely wrap up the series of flashbacks from Oden Kozuki’s life. The series is possibly returning to the present timeline, where Oden’s predicted great war in Wano is unfolding.

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