The man behind the most successful manga series to have been published by Weekly Shonen Jump, One Piece. Casual fans enjoy his work, dedicated fans love and adore him, and die-hard fans call him god. We dedicate this article to the mastermind Eiichiro Oda. How much do you know about him? How much more would you want to know about him? We’ll tell you 10 things you should know about Eiichiro Oda!
Let’s begin with the basics, Eiichiro Oda was born on January 1, 1975 in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan. As of May 2014, he is 39 years old. Eiichiro Oda claimed that he resolved to become a manga artist at age of four in order to avoid having to get a “real job”.
09. What Inspired Eiichiro Oda To Begin “One Piece”
Undeniably, Oda was inspired by Akira Toriyama’s work (notably, Dragon Ball) and aspired to become a manga artist. He also mentioned that his interest in pirates was sparked by the popular TV animation series called “Vicky the Viking“.
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 manga 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 with sales of over 65 million copies.
08. One Piece! Favorite Villain, Devil Fruit & Who He Would Want To Be
Fans have been very curious to know the authors thoughts on his own creation, who wouldn’t want to know who is his favorite character in his own creation? Several fans asked these questions and Eiichiro Oda has answered them:
- Favorite One Piece Villain: Buggy The Clown
- What Devil Fruit Would He Eat: Bara Bara No Mi / Chop-Chop Fruit
- Manga Character He Would Like To Be: Nico Robin (so that he could “sprout hands and draw manga twenty times as fast.”)
07. Eiichiro Oda’s Family
Yes, although he dedicates most of his time to One Piece he does have a family! In 2002, he met Chiaki Inaba, who played Nami during the Shonen Jump Fiesta and the two started dating. In 2004, they got married, and in 2006, he and his wife had a daughter. He went for Nami eh… sorry all you Robin fans! We can only imagine what great talent their daughter will be born with, probably the best mangaka of the next generation?
06. Eiichiro Oda’s Lifestyle
What does it take to be the best mangaka? Well, certainly it takes lot of dedication, wish to know more about how Oda lives out his everyday life? Do note, some of the information related to his lifestyle is from 2013, certain aspects of his lifestyle may have changed now!
- He is a smoker (in-fact, a chain smoker) and fans believe this is due to the “stress” involved in the profession
- He prefers to work with the least amount of assistants required, he prefers to draw majority of the chapters himself
- He has made it clear that he doesn’t like to copy and paste old art into new chapters, if a event or events have already been illustrated and needs to be re-used, he draws them all over again
- He wakes up at 5 am, works until 2 am (21 hours!) and sleeps from 2 am until 5 am (3 hours) on an average day
- He “lives” in his workplace, his family visits him at his workplace, and he spends an average of one day with them without having to work at the same time
- When asked “how does he blow of stress” Oda stated that he blows of stress by “writing an interesting manga.” When asked “when does he feel the happiest” he answered “while writing an interesting manga”
- He listens to “Soul” music at his workplace
- When asked what is his schedule for the week, he answered “three days of sketching and three days of working on the final piece”
- Eiichiro Oda dreams about products that can’t be made with present technology
05. Oda Is A Fan Of…
We are huge fans of Oda, right? But who is Oda a fan of? Well, we’ll inform you who Oda is a fan of and what Oda loves when it comes to movies, food, etc.
- He highly respects mangaka Hiroyuki Takei.
- He is a huge fan of rapper Eminem.
- He is a fan of singers Avril Lavigne, Bryan Adams, Izumi Katou and Brook Benton.
- His favorite music is ’70s Soul Music
- He is a fan of the following directors, actors & actress: Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, Akira Kurosawa, Hayao Miyazaki and Baz Luhrmann.
- He likes Hayao Miyazaki’s animated works.
- He is a fan of the Dragon Quest game series.
- His top three favorite movies are: Seven Samurai, Young Guns and Nightmare Before Christmas.
- His favorite real pirate is Blackbeard (Edward Teach).
- He is a fan of Mexican Food.
- He wishes to visit Mongolia, Maldives and India at least once.
- His favorite animals are big, gentle dogs.
- He is not a fan of television programs, but likes comedy shows.
- He is a fan of Westerns movie genre.
04. Eiichiro Oda’s Dedication To One Piece And His Fans
With the series now going on for more than 15 years, it’s given that Oda is dedicated to the series as well as the fans who support him. But did you know to what extent his dedication goes to? Well, if you though his dedication ended with just working 21 hours a day, 6 days a week, you are wrong! When Eiichiro Oda was hospitalized in 2013, Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto’s mangaka) visited him at the hospital and witnessed Oda drawing next chapters of One Piece while being bedridden!
That’s right, even being bedridden doesn’t stop him from working on One Piece, the only way to keep him away is to knock him out with really strong sleeping gas! If that isn’t dedication, then I frankly don’t know what is. And it isn’t because Eiichiro Oda needs to work, he earns approximately 2 Billion Yen (about 25 million U.S Dollars) from the royalties related to One Piece each year! He doesn’t need to work, it’s just his dedication that keeps driving him forward even at a place he ought to rest!
03. Eiichiro Oda Has Received Death Threats
If you thought mangakas were safe from death threats… think again! Yep, in 2007 Eiichiro Oda received not one or two, but roughly one hundredthreats (via e-mail) from a woman between September to December.
The woman’s husband was an assistant at Oda’s office who had been dismissed, the woman was arrested in 2009. Well what did we learn from that? Crazed wives of ex-assistants are scary… yep.
02. Eiichiro Oda’s Future Plans
We all know One Piece is going to come to an end sometime in the future, what does Oda have planned after One Piece ends? Is he going to retire and live the rest of his life comfortably? No!
Eiichiro Oda had stated that he would want to create a robot (mecha) manga after One Piece finishes, however he later stated that after One Piece finishes he would like to take the same path Toriyama did and create short-story manga. Once a mangaka, always a mangaka!
01. Eiichiro Oda’s Apology For A 2 Week Hiatus Due To Hospitalization 
Probably something every One Piece fan needs to absolutely know. Eiichiro Oda was hospitalized and treated for peritonsillar abscess, One Piece was put on hiatus for 2 weeks, in #04 we showed his dedication drawing while bedridden, but his dedication to his fans just doesn’t stop there. He issued an apology for making fans wait “2 weeks” to continue reading One Piece and the adventures of Straw Hat Pirates. This is the complete extract of the apology:
“I messed up! I put up with my illness for too long, and my condition got worse. I apologize to all the readers who were looking forward to the next chapters, as well as to all the Straw Hats who were really looking forward to wreaking some havoc. But I’m currently going through some painful treatment. The story was just about to take a new turn, so I really really wanted you all to read the next chapter as soon as possible. I know how long two weeks can feel for all the shonen out there, but please wait for just a bit longer.“
This coming from possibly the best mangaka of our time, it truly made fans shed a tear for his dedication and hard work, he also received millions of get well soon wishes from fans around the world. And to further show you Oda’s simplicity even after gaining such fame and wealth, he almost cried after being “thanked” by fans for his hard work back in 2009.