'One Piece' Editor Reveals How Many Times The Series Was Rejected

Rejection isn’t easy to accept, but the hurdle should never keep you from pursuing your dreams. JK Rowling was rejected 12 times before a publisher took a chance on Harry Potter. Other famous creators like Agatha Christie and Stephenie Meyer also struggled to get published before they struck gold, but they got there.

Oh, and Eiichiro Oda is also on that list. The creator of One Piece may be renowned these days, but Weekly Shonen Jump wasn’t always keen on the swashbuckling series.

Recently, the original editor of One Piece did an interview with TBS in Japan about his work on the manga. Takanori Asada opened up about his days spent with Oda, and fans have posted summaries of the chat online. So, thanks to a translator know as Sandman, readers have learned that One Piece was rejected a few times by Shueisha before the publisher agreed to host it.

One Piece was rejected by high-ups in Jump office 3 times before serialization. Prototype chapter 1 was just a story of Luffy saving a village, but Oda decided to focus on Luffy’s backstory at the beginning,” the interview reveals.

Continuing, the summary explains, “Asada was frustrated with his bosses due to those rejections. He even had a dream at night that he beats up his bosses.”

Apparently, the editor was willing to take his devotion to a whole new level. One day, Asada questioned his bosses again for hours on end after work about why they didn’t understand how good One Piece was.

Of course, Oda and Asada were onto something with the the series. After Shueisha agreed to publish One Piece, the manga went on to become a global phenomenon. To date, the series has sold more than 430 million copies worldwide, outselling titles like Spider-Man and X-Men along the way.

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Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has been collected into 87 volumes, with a few chapters yet to be included. It has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author, and is the best selling manga series worldwide with 430 million copies sold worldwide.

Are you surprised to hear that One Piece was once rejected? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!