One Piece has been busy with its War for Wano, and the clash has got more fighters in it than fans can name. Kaido and Big Mom have thousands of lackeys between them, but the rebels aren't far off that number. In fact, the rebels have everything from minks to ninjas in their party, and it turns out Eiichiro Oda might have explored the latter sooner if it weren't for Naruto.
Over the last week, fans were treated to an inside look at One Piece when Oda did an interview. The candid piece saw the artist discuss a lot of points about Wano, and one of them had to do with the ninjas. Oda said he really wanted to introduce ninjas earlier on in the series, but he refrained because of one Naruto Uzumaki.
Yes, that is right. Oda may be scared of a few things, but he can be put off by a blond-headed ninja. Naruto persuaded the One Piece creator to hold off on his ninjas, and it is hard to blame the guy for doing so.
After all, Naruto is one of those now-iconic anime franchises. In the same way that Dragon Ball converted a generation of anime fans so did Naruto. Its deep world-building made the Hidden Villages come to life, and creator Masashi Kishimoto mastered the way of ninjutsu. When paired with its heroes, Naruto was hard to beat, and most stories at that time starring ninja were considered clones in some way. It makes sense Oda would want to avoid that accusation, and given his friendship with Kishimoto, fans can see why One Piece held off.
Now, the chains are off as One Piece has moved into Wano wholeheartedly. Its ninjas are very different from those in Naruto, and Oda has been given the space to explore their mythos without fear of offending the Hidden Village. And if Boruto has taken any issue with the competition, he has said nothing.
What do you think of Oda's take on ninja so far? Do you think One Piece has enough room for a Hidden Leaf easter egg? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.