One Piece's Whole Cake Island had a bit of a divisive response from fans, but one of the major highlights of the arc was the introduction of Charlotte Katakuri to the series. The one billion belly pirate had many of the same attributes as Luffy, but was just a bit stronger and that made him that much more of a compelling opponent for our favorite pirate captain. His personality was one key aspect of why fans loved the character, but his look definitely propelled him further.
It turns out Katakuri could have been much different if series creator Eiichiro Oda went with his first draft look instead. A new sketch of Katakuri's original design has surfaced online thanks to @newworldartur on Twitter, and it's certainly a much different take.
This is how Katakuri was originally meant to look like across the whole arc, but Oda decided to change his design before his debut. He also originally had the "Kona Kona no Mi" (コナコナの実), but it doesn't specify what it stands for pic.twitter.com/UHOI9q2XY0— Artur - Library of Ohara @Pirate Expo (@newworldartur) August 7, 2019
According to @newworldartur, Oda changed Katakuri's design before his official debut and even changed his Devil Fruit power. Noting that it was referred to as the "Kona Kona no Mi," this mysterious fruit remains unexplained and potentially could have given Katakuri a much different power set than he has officially. This Katakuri is much more in line with the Charlotte Family, too.
With a puffy clothed look much like his brother Daifuku, this Katakuri has a protruding afro. Even more so, this Katakuri doesn't seem to be covering his face at all. This is surprising given how the mystery, and eventual reveal of his face made Katakuri such an impacting character overall.
The fact that Katakuri looks so much different from the rest of his family also helped him stand out further. Not only did his standalone at the top of the siblings, he was a literal loner who was burdened by these feats. His eventual respect for Luffy also came from his outsider status of his family too. Katakuri was, for all intents and purposes, a "black sheep" and his look reflected that. It does make one wonder just how different Katakuri would have been had he debuted with this design instead.
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. The series still ranked number one in manga sales in 2018, which surprised fans of major new entries.