It has been decades since the creator of One Piece thought up the Straw Hat crew. The series has most certainly evolved since its debut, but new and old fans continue to visit the manga's first chapters. In the early days, fans were not sure how Eiichiro Oda came to create the crew, but the artist did give everyone a heads up on one pirate.
After all, you cannot just create a character like Sanji without any backup. It turns out Oda had some specific inspiration for the chef, and his muse is one very few very guessed correctly.
Over on Reddit, the info resurfaced to the delight (and surprise) of many. The note from Oda dates back to a Q&A interview the artist did with One Piece fans when someone asked if Sanji was based loosely on Leonardo DiCaprio.
The answer is no... but the fan was not too far off. Sanji drew some inspiration from another Hollywood actor by the name of Steve Buscemi if that rings a bell.
"Many people would ask about DiCaprio way back then. But as a matter of fact, Sanji's model has a much more obscure background. I didn't model him to the point of wanting an obvious physical resemblance; It was more like I hoped to get his attitude and mannerisms across. Sanji was based on the actor Steve Buscemi, especially his role in Reservoir Dogs," Oda confirmed.
"He's really super cool. The only person who ever guessed it correctly was an employee at Bandai, years ago."
Clearly, the employee at Bandai must have been a big fan of both Buscemi and Oda to have connected Sanji to the actor. The character may not have much in common with the actor now, but early Sanji did. And now that Oda's inspiration has resurfaced, One Piece fans will never be able to see the Straw Hat chef the same.
Can you see the resemblance between the two...? 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.