One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda is known for his writing as well as his humor and honesty in interviews. Recently the author sat down for an interview with Naruto's author Masashi Kishimoto for a Shonen Jump issue, and the two not only had a hilarious conversation, but Oda released some original art.
As the creators of two of the most popular Shonen manga series of all time, Oda and Kishimoto recognize each other for their hard work, even though some may think that they would naturally be enemies.
"Because we're both at the stance of manga, eventually there'll be a winner and a loser. However, after I've met with him personally, I found he's really a nice and kind man. It suddenly made me think the result didn't matter. I couldn't compete with a man like him. That's what I thought," Oda stated. "I think that's because we both understand each other's hard work," Kishimoto responded.
Things got interesting when Naruto creator was asked what his favorite character or story from One Piece was his favorite.
"I'm saying this not because Oda-san is here, I like all of them. (laugh) As for character, I like Bellamy, both his personality and ability. But my favorite is Chopper. His meeting with Hiluluk and the sakura-snow when he went out to the sea were super touching", Kishimoto said. He then expanded, "Luffy is the protagonist, a beloved character, but that's because of Chopper's existence. I mean the two of them have generated strong multiplication effect. (In Straw Hats) there's sense of presence and atmosphere, actually Chopper plays a key role in the pirates. Though he's a cute one, he's also a monster." Oda then revealed more information about the character,
"Chopper is doing something evil behind everyone's back... Stop it, nonsense. (laugh) Let me tell you a secret. Chopper grew up in a painful environment, I was going to make him a prominent funny character, reindeer walking with 2 legs. But Luffy and his first few nakamas were too popular, I couldn't find a position for Chopper. If I designed him as I initially planned, he would be covered by other characters (people couldn't see his uniqueness), so eventually I made him smaller and cuter." Check out Chopper's original design below.
Viz Media's synopsis for One Piece can be read below:
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…
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.