Eiichiro Oda is the creator, writer and artist who sketches One Piece, which began its manga run in 1997. Itís incredible to believe that after 10 years and 44 volumes with 447 chapters, itís going strong. One Piece is one of Japan's most popular Shonen Jump titles, with an anime spinoff, TV show specials, card games and foreign language translations all over the world.
One Piece is the story of Captain Monkey D. Luffy, 17 year old captain extraordinaire of a ragged bunch of pirates. They are out on a quest to get their hands on a great treasure called One Piece, which is the source of all the power in the world to become the Pirate King.
Being the Pirate King he will be known as the greatest pirate. One Piece was the treasure left behind by the previous Pirate King, Gold Rogers, after he was executed.
Along the way, Captain Monkey has to recruit friends to join his crew and help him obtain the treasure.
Artwork and Characters
The reason for the popularity of the series is not hard to find. For his earliest creation, Eiichiro Oda has put in tremendous effort to define and differentiate his sketches with something new and different. There are twists and turns to keep readers interested. For example, Captain Monkey D. Luffy (Ruffy) is endowed with powers to stretch his body, rather than the use of weapons or combat training. That adds to the humor in every fight. Also, the treatment of the material is nearly perfect. Neat and clean lines, and a focus on black and white pages, instead of haphazard colors, add to the attractiveness. And even the color, where used, only puts greater emphasis on the clean cut and well-defined characters and backgrounds with subtle shading.
But all of this would keep the series alive for maybe a few volumes. The secret of Eiichiro Odaís success with One Piece is his ability to stay at the top of his game, year after year, volume after volume. Every sketch competes with the previous one for perfection. Oda learns from his experience, and like fine wine, the series kept getting better and better.
It Only Gets Better
It would not be too much of a stretch (pun intended) to say that both Eiichiro Oda and Captain Monkey D. Luffy have grown a lot in the 10 years since the first sketch. With no foreseeable end in sight, thereís lots more treasures and rogue pirates and unknown adventures in store for us and Captain Monkey D. Luffy and his band of merry pirates. All courtesy of the artistic genius of one man named Eiichiro Oda.