One Piece Creator On His Favorite Character

This July, anime fans will be witness to a very important milestone. Eiichiro Oda's long-running shonen series will have a big anniversary to celebrate. The franchise will have been running for 20 years once summer gets in full swing, and One Piece fans are eager to celebrate the occasion.

After all, One Piece does stand as one of the most popular manga titles of all-time. Oda's series has sold over 400 million copies since its debut, and the One Piece anime continues to pull in massive ratings both domestically and abroad. The anime has been around since 1999 and more than a dozen movies have spawned from the franchise so far. To date, One Piece has thrilled fans with hundreds of colorful characters, but no pirate has managed to top the crew of of Monkey D. Luffy's gang.

Even the creator of One Piece admits it. For Oda, his favorite character resides amongst the Straw Hat pirates. Well, mostly.

In the past, the artist has spoken at length about his colorful characters, and Oda's pick for favorite pirate should not be surprising. During an interview with Dragon Ball's Akira Toriyama, Oda was asked about his favorite character, and he said there were two people contending for attention.

"I like Luffy. But, the character that I like the most is Gaimon," he said.

"It's hard to think of anyone better than him. Just a man who has been stuck in a treasure box for 20 years. I think that was an amazing setup myself."

Of course, Luffy is a familiar character to anime fans who've never even seen One Piece. The pirate is the lead of One Piece an has become a national anime mascot for Japan. As for Gaimon, the character is a bit more obscure. The character is a former pirate who now lives as a hermit on the Island of Rare Animals.

You can check out a description of One Piece from Viz Media below:

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As a child, Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally gained the power to stretch like rubber—at the cost of never being able to swim again! Years later, Luffy sets off in search of the One Piece, said to be the greatest treasure in the world…

One-Piece-Straw-Hat-Pirates
(Photo: Toei Animation )

Eiichiro Oda began his manga career in 1992 at the age of 17, when his one-shot cowboy manga Wanted! won second place in the coveted Tezuka manga awards. Oda went on to work as an assistant to some of the biggest manga artists in the industry, including Nobuhiro Watsuki, before winning the Hop Step Award for new artists. His pirate adventure One Piece, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1997, quickly became one of the most popular manga in Japan.