For plenty of fans, it is hard to imagine a world where One Piece doesn't exist. Creator Eiichiro Oda has turned the franchise into one of the medium's biggest to date, but he could have gone a different way. It turns out Oda was not always sold on creating manga, and the artist is opening up about what turned him to One Piece in the end.
Recently, a translator known as Sandman AP turned around a previous interview which Oda did on the subject. The piece, which hails from Manga Omo, saw Oda admit he considered working in film before manga drew him in tight.
"The popularity of a film reaches its peak around the release date. But mangaka can keep fascinating [the] audience for a long time as long as the serialization continues," the artist explained.
Continuing, Oda went on to recount an instance where he saw how impactful manga could be. Living in Japan, the artist was in junior high right when Dragon Ball was beginning to gain steam, and Oda says he will never forget how his peers reacted to the manga.
"I sometimes didn't enjoy my junior high school life, but I felt happy when Jump would be released the next day. When Krillin died in Dragon Ball, the whole school was thrown into turmoil. I remember someone kept running and shouting in the school, "Krillin died!!" with Jump in his hand."
Clearly, Dragon Ball helped Oda decide on manga as a career, and fans are ever grateful for the push. One Piece has since gone on to outsell Akira Toriyama's series and then some. After all, One Piece is the best-selling manga to date with it closing in on Batman even. A world without the Straw Hats is difficult to fathom for many who grew up with the pirates, and it seems Oda only has more in store for fans as One Piece continues.
So, do you think Oda could have done well in the film industry? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has since been collected into over 80 volumes, and 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 over 430 million copies sold. The series still ranked number one in manga sales in 2018, which surprised fans of major new entries.