If you think that One Piece is the only place where you can find pirates nowadays, it’s because you still don’t know this story that happened in Japan a few days ago, as a group of privateers (and anime fans) were prosecuted for illegal fishing while aboard a ship christened the Going Merry.
The criminal group had caught up to 800 kilos of sea cucumbers valued at 3.2 million yen, and while illegal fishing is not a new issue in Japan, several people spotted the straw hat vessel reference when they heard the news via Yahoo News.
“How funny to see a ship with that name involved in an illegal fishing case!”, “I know I shouldn’t laugh, but I couldn’t help myself” and “Unlike One Piece, these pirates are evil.”
The Going Merry was the first ship of the Straw Hat crew from the time they set sail from the East Blue (episode 17) until it was cremated via a “Viking funeral” on the seas of the Grand Line (episode 312). This lamb-masked ship was the crew’s flagship for 295 episodes of the anime.