When it comes to popularity, One Piece cannot be beat in the world of manga. Eiichiro Oda has carved out a niche for the swashbuckling series that cannot be touched, and fans all over the world have come to respect One Piece as such. With 430 million sales total, the manga is poised to overtake comic giants like Batman in sales, so you can see how international One Piece has become.
However, when it comes to localization, Oda says he is never worried about whether his work will translate. Still, the artist does admit he has made changes to One Piece because of its massive audience.
Recently, the acclaimed manga creator sat down to speak with Viz Media about One Piece. It was there Oda opened up about how he's tailored his series in light of its international success, and the artist did say he changed one thing to make reading One Piece easier.
"One thing is that at some point, I started changing the shape of the balloons. Japanese is written vertically, so tall and thin balloons are fine. But that doesn't work so well for English. The text gets smooshed together," Oda said.
While the artist could make changes to his manga's speech boxes, Oda seemed content stopping his alterations there.
"I can make changes like that, but when it comes to jokes aimed at Japanese kids, the might not translate as well. Since I'm not an expert in culture from all around the world, it's basically impossible for me to create the series with the whole world in mind. I don't even try. I leave that to the translators of the series to deal with," he explained.
"I'm thankful for the translators. In terms of the story, I assume that if Japanese children enjoy it, so will everyone else. So I don't worry about that."
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.
Are you glad One Piece has remained the same despite its massive success? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!