Eiichiro Oda (Japanese: 尾田 栄一郎, Hepburn: Oda Eiichirō, born January 1, 1975) is a Japanese manga artist known as the creator of the series One Piece (1997–present). With more than 473 million tankōbon copies in circulation worldwide, One Piece is both the best-selling manga and the best-selling comic series of all time, in turn making Oda one of the best-selling fiction authors.The series' popularity resulted in Oda being named one of the manga artists that changed the history of manga.
Eiichiro Oda was born on January 1, 1975 in Kumamoto, Japan. He said that at age four he resolved to become a manga artist in order to avoid having to get a "real job".His biggest influence is Akira Toriyama and his series Dragon Ball.He recalls that his interest in pirates was probably sparked by the popular TV animation series titled Vicky the Viking.He submitted a character named Pandaman for Yudetamago's classic wrestling manga Kinnikuman. Pandaman was not only used in a chapter of the manga but would later return as a recurring cameo character in Oda's own works.
At the age of 17, Oda submitted his work Wanted! and won several awards, including second place in the coveted Tezuka Award. That got him into a job at the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, where he originally worked as assistant to Shinobu Kaitani's series Suizan Police Gang before moving to Masaya Tokuhiro on Jungle King Tar-chan and Mizu no Tomodachi Kappaman,which gave him an unexpected influence on his artistic style. At the age of 19, he began working as an assistant to Nobuhiro Watsuki on Rurouni Kenshin, before winning the Hop Step Award for new manga artists. Watsuki credits Oda for helping create the character Honjō Kamatari who appears in Rurouni Kenshin.
During this time, Oda drew two pirate-themed one-shot stories called "Romance Dawn", which were published in Akamaru Jump and Weekly Shōnen Jump respectively in late 1996."Romance Dawn" featured Monkey D. Luffy as the protagonist, who then became the protagonist of One Piece.
In 1997, One Piece began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump and has become not only one of the most popular manga in Japan, but the best-selling manga series of all time. It sold 100 million collected tankōbon volumes by February 2005,over 200 million by February 2011,had 320,866,000 copies printed worldwide by December 2014,430 million volumes in circulation worldwide as of October 2017,440 million copies sold as of May 2018 and 450 million in print as of March 2019.
Additionally, individual volumes of One Piece have broken publishing records in Japan. Volume 56 received the highest initial print run of any manga, 2.85 million copies, in 2009.Volume 57's print of 3 million in 2010 was the highest first print for any book in Japan, not just manga. A record that was broken several times by subsequent volumes and currently held by 67's 4.05 million initial printing in 2012. In 2013, the series won the 41st Japan Cartoonists Association Award Grand Prize, alongside Kimuchi Yokoyama's Nekodarake Nice.
In a 2008 poll, conducted by marketing research firm Oricon, Oda was elected fifth most favorite manga artists of Japan. He shared the place with Yoshihiro Togashi, creator of YuYu Hakusho and Hunter × Hunter. In their 2010 poll on the Mangaka that Changed the History of Manga, Oda came in fourth.
For the tenth One Piece animated theatrical film, Strong World, Oda created the film's story, drew over 120 drawings for guidance and insisted Mr. Children provide the theme song. Additionally, a special chapter of the manga was created and included in tankōbon volume 0, which was given free to attendees of the film and also contained his drawings for the film.
Oda and Akira Toriyama created a 2007 crossover one-shot called Cross Epoch, that contains characters from Toriyama's Dragon Ball and Oda's One Piece. In 2013, they each designed a Gaist character for the video game Gaist Crusher.
In 2004, Oda married Chiaki Inaba, who had played Nami during Jump Festa One Piece stage performances.
After working as assistants to Watsuki, Oda, Hiroyuki Takei and Mikio Itō remain good friends. He also stated several times that he is friends with Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro, the author of Toriko.
Oda referred to Masashi Kishimoto as both a friend and a rival. For the title page illustration of One Piece chapter 766, which ran in 2014's 50th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump alongside the final two chapters of Kishimoto's Naruto, Oda included a hidden message and other tributes in the art. Kishimoto himself also made a tribute in the ending of Naruto where the character Boruto Uzumaki makes a drawing of the Straw Hat Jolly Roger on a mountain.
In 2009, a woman was arrested for sending roughly one hundred threatening emails to Oda between September to December 2007. The woman's husband was an assistant at Oda's office who had been dismissed.
In 2018, it was revealed that Oda gifted Kumamoto Prefecture 800 million yen (US$8 million) after it suffered a damaging earthquake in 2016 that even affected its iconic Kumamoto Castle. Oda's 800 million yen donation was offered in two separate gifts, one for 500 million yen under Luffy's name and a second donation of 300 million yen. Eiichiro Oda is a long-time supporter of the earthquake-stricken area, writing supportive messages, contributing art for local products, and participating in the ONE PIECE Kumamoto Reconstruction Project.
- Second half of 1992: second place Tezuka Award for Wanted!
- 1993: Hop☆Step Award for Ikki Yakō
- 2000: Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize finalist for One Piece
- 2001: Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize finalist for One Piece
- 2002: Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize finalist for One Piece
- 2005: Sondermann Award in the International Manga category for One Piece
- 2006: Japanese Media Arts Festival 100 Manga Selection for One Piece
- 2008: Sondermann Award in the International Manga category for Volume 44 of One Piece
- 2009: Sondermann Award in the International Manga category for Volume 48 of One Piece
- 2012: Received Grand Prize at 41st Japan Cartoonists Association Award for One Piece
- 2015: Guinness World Record for "the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author" with 320,866,000 copies printed worldwide up until December 2014
- 2018: Kumamoto Prefecture Honorary Prize
- Wanted! (1992)
- God's Present for the Future (神から未来のプレゼント, Kami Kara Mirai no Purezento, 1993)
- Ikki Yakō (一鬼夜行, 1993)
- Monsters (1994)
- Romance Dawn (first version, 1996)
- Romance Dawn (second version, 1996)
- One Piece (1997 – ongoing)
- Wanted! Eiichiro Oda Short Stories (WANTED! 尾田栄一郎短編集, Oda Eiichirō Tan Henshū, collection of previous short stories, 1998)
- Wanted! (1992)
- God's Present for the Future
- Ikki Yakō
- Romance Dawn (second version)
- Cross Epoch (2007) – crossover between Dragon Ball and One Piece with Akira Toriyama
- Taste of the Devil Fruit (実食! 悪魔の実!!, Jisshoku! Akuma no Mi!!, 2011) – crossover between Toriko and One Piece with Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
- One Piece Color Walk 1
- One Piece Color Walk 2
- One Piece Color Walk 3 Lion
- One Piece Color Walk 4 Eagle
- One Piece Color Walk 5 Shark
- One Piece Color Walk 6 Gorilla
- One Piece Color Walk 7 Tyrannosaurus
- One Piece Color Walk 8 Wolf
- One Piece Film: Strong World (2009) – costume design, creature design, story and executive producer
- One Piece Film: Z (2012) – character design, costume design and executive producer
- One Piece Film: Gold (2016) – character design (Straw Hat costume design, Carina, Tesoro, Dice and Baccarat character design) and executive producer
- One Piece: Stampede (2019) – character design, costume design, creative supervisor and executive producer
- Voice actor for Odacchi, a character who appears in the One Piece: Dream Soccer King! special.
- Designed a line of luxury goods, known as the "Sleeping Mermaid Collection", in a collaboration with the French luxury manufacturer S.T. Dupont. While the project is unrelated to One Piece the expensive lighter from the set eventually made two very bold cameos in One Piece Film Z and even in the manga itself.
- One of the executive producer for the ordered One Piece live-action series by Netflix and Tomorrow Studios.