Although Nami's character design has gotten a lot more curvacious in the last few years of One Piece, her original design was a much more rough and tumble version of the Nami fans know.
Eiichiro Oda is known for his quirky character design, and that's especially true of the change Nami went through after the time skip, but what if she fought with a giant axe instead?
The early concept for Nami features a much different version of the Straw Hat Pirates' thief and navigator fans have seen in the original series. The early version of Nami, which fans have lovingly dubbed "Fullmetal Nami," features pigtails, ripped jeans with a single stripped legging, noticeable body scars, boots, a single metal armored boot, a single metal-armored gauntlet, and an axe considerably larger than herself.
Given the nature of her metal gauntlets, fans have made many references to another popular series, Hiromu Arakawa's Fullmetal Alchemist. The reveal of the design has also re-ignited fan debate over whether or not Nami's current design is still apt for her character, with some fans even going as far as trying to make improvements.
Regardless this early look for Nami is much different than her final design, and it's not the only one. Tony Tony Chopper was originally conceived as what fans call a "smoking reindeer burglar" with a design that is a far cry from the cute and merchandise friendly final design for the character. With these two original concepts in mind, it implies a much different version than the one fans eventually got. Some even wonder if the series would have been as popular as it is now with designs like these concept arts.
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.
One Piece is currently in the middle of the "Whole Cake Island" arc and is now streaming on Crunchyroll and FunimationNOW.
Do you prefer the original design or Nami's final design? Talk to me @Valdezology.