'One Piece' Creator Pays Tribute to Iconic Pro-Wrestler

Minoru Suzuki is celebrating 30 years in the wrestling industry with a huge "Great Pirate Festival" event (sporting a Jolly Roger as its logo) for his major anniversary, and fans have taken note of One Piece's series creator Eiichiro Oda's cool tribute to him.

As spotted by Twitter user @hEnereyG, Eiichiro Oda is celebrating Suzuki's landmark anniversary with a special artwork capturing Suzuki's coolness.

This cool tribute makes a lot of sense given how far back Oda and Suzuki go. Suzuki is an openly avid fan of the series, and a personal friend of series creator Eiichiro Oda, and his anime fandom even extends to his work. He once voiced the character Minoru Kazeno in episode 336 of the One Piece anime, and his current theme "Kaze ni Nare" is sung by notable anime songstress Ayumi Nakamura.

One of the more notable aspects of his image are his wild haircuts, and for a while he was sporting Luffy's Devil Fruit pattern on his head in his matches. But he unfortunately had to shave it after losing a hair vs. hair match at New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 12 for the NEVER Openweight Championship.

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.


Eiichiro Oda also revealed some upcoming news for One Piece's future at Jump Festa 2018. Not only will the manga see Wano sooner rather than later, the next villain of the series is "one of the legends which lurks in the One Piece world. The greatest enemy ever for Straw Hats will hinder their way...Can you believe Marineford Summit War will look 'cute' compared to that?

The new live-action One Piece series also got some new information as it was revealed that the series will portray the Straw Hats' adventures from the very beginning, and will take place in the East Blue. One Piece's anime series is currently in the middle of the "Whole Cake Island" arc and is now streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.