By now, many of you are most likely familiar with One Piece and it’s ever growing popularity over the past decade. Nothing can stop that pirate ship from sinking and the true captain, Eiichiro Oda, will ensure that his multi million dollar franchise will stay afloat for many more decades to come. One Piece may have been the light in the tunnel pertaining to Oda’s remarkable success, but we shouldn’t shy away from the other works of art that Oda created along the way. In our top manga series, we’ll be taking a closer look at Oda’s rise to fame and just how he managed to get there so quickly. There’s much to be learned about the incredible mangaka so strap yourself in and get ready for an adventure!
4. Cross Epoch
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen, Superpower
- Volumes: 1
- Published: December 2006
What would happen if two of the world’s most famous mangaka came together to create a spin off of epic proportions? You’ll end up with Cross Epoch, a one-shot manga series that combined the genius artistry of Akira Toriyama and the masterful storyteller that is Eiichiro Oda. The manga fused together both the Dragonball and One Piece universe and created a wonderful work that embraces the lives of their respective characters. It’s truly incredible to see such a collaboration between two very talented artists, since most of the time you’re either focused primarily on your own work, or there’s just no time to fit anyone else in.
These two clearly had a lot of chemistry prior to coming up with this spin-off as when you dive deeper into the manga, you’ll see that very same connection happen between the One Piece crew and the diverse array of characters in Dragonball. If you ever wanted to see just who would win between Luffy and Goku, or determine if Zoro could ever take down the cocky and ruthless Vegeta, then this manga will surely solve all of your life’s unanswered questions. Cross Epoch is full of laughter, adventure, and is jam packed with enough action that you can sleep soundly at night without any worry.
3. Romance Dawn
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Shounen
- Volumes: 1
- Published: 1996
If you ever wanted to know how the One Piece adventure all began, then look no further as Romance Dawn has everything you need. Think of this one-shot manga as Oda’s blueprint for creating the giant masterpiece that we all know and love today. It was this formula that he came up with in Romance Dawn that continued to drive his inspiration in creating the popular series, and helped to grab attention from those who were curious about what he was up to. Romance Dawn is a representation of Oda’s ideas encapsulated into one small book, which largely stemmed from his childhood love of pirates and wild adventures. It is stated that Romance Dawn was two separate chapters which Oda created in 1996, with the first chapter being focused on One Piece. If it weren’t for the help and encouragement from another famed artist known as Nobuhiro Watsuki, the author of the award winning Rurouni Kenshin series, One Piece perhaps would’ve not seen the light of day or at least catapulted to the top like it has.
This manga is actually quite inspiring because you get to see a different side of Oda prior to him swimming in what’s now a bathtub full of yen. You get to see Oda in his growth stage, as he puts pieces together to see what works and what can be discarded and it’s impressive how he does it. His soul knew from the start what it was he wanted to create, but all he needed was some concrete solutions to turn his dream into reality. If you’re an aspiring mangaka and want some very insightful and perhaps very intriguing information as to how it’s all done, then be sure to grab Romance Dawn as it will give you a raw and unfiltered view on just how Oda matured over time.
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Shounen
- Volumes: 1
- Published: 1992 - September 1996
Wanted! is a collection of short stories created by Oda shortly before his rise to fame with One Piece. It looks at various stories such as Romance Dawn as mentioned earlier on the list, as well as Monsters, Kami kara Mirai no Present, and Ikki Yakou. All of these short stories play somewhat of a role in how One Piece all began, and so if you’re a real devoted fan to Oda’s work then we highly recommend checking out these incredible short stories. They’re nothing short of amazing as they really capture the true passion and commitment Oda has, and his nonstop efforts to ensure that his story is well documented. We’d like to think of these short stories as a precursor to One Piece, since it shines its light on various areas which we may never have known, and you grow an appreciation for all of the minute details.
Wanted! is Oda’s stepping stone and he tries to experiment with numerous story lines and character development to truly create a believable world. Each short story comes with a little surprise at the end that once again shows just how ahead of the game Oda was, and his innate ability to paint such a deep and vivid picture is outstanding. Whether you fancy Oda’s work or not is entirely up to you, but those who can find appreciation in Oda’s work will certainly find these little episodes to be fulfilling and act as sort of an appetizer for the main course that is One Piece.
1. One Piece
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
- Volumes: 82
- Published: July 1997 - Present
This is what we wound up with after years of countless experimentation, discarded ideas, and many sleepless nights. One Piece has transformed into a multi million dollar franchise, which has sold a plethora of merchandise all across the globe. It is one of Japan’s highest grossing media franchises and continues to still ride the waves of success to becoming perhaps the number one selling franchise in Japanese history. Luffy’s adventures just don’t seem to stop and why should they, because everywhere Luffy goes along with his loyal crew you’re always taken on a crazy adventure that really makes you feel as if you’re a part of it all. The wide array of characters is unfathomable that it’s hard to have just one favorite character in the entire series. Whether it’s the sword wielding badass Zoro, the stylish and swift Sanji, or the brave and fearless leader that is Luffy, there’s someone for everyone in this massive pirate world.
Oda really had a huge dream to create a world that’s vast and full of zest, as you can clearly see by its ongoing chapters in the series. Just when you think Luffy and his crew have uncovered the truth, they’re immediately thrown into another conundrum that they now must confront and overcome. Some may say that the series has drawn out and run stale, but we beg to differ as the sales numbers don’t lie and the fact that after more than a decade of its initial release, it’s still going strong, is enough to clarify that Luffy isn’t going to jump ship anytime soon. One Piece Gold released exclusively in Japan during the summer and that movie really showcased just how far Oda’s craft has come, and that so long as his ideas continue to embrace the hearts of diehard fans worldwide, he’ll be seeing lots of gold in his treasure chest for years to come.
There’s no telling where Luffy will go next, with every arc of the story constantly leaving you in loop and you’re so emotionally connected to everything that’s happening around him. He’s become a hero for many young aspiring mangaka, and anywhere you go in Japan or even the world, you’ll see Oda’s legacy shine on.
Eiichiro Oda’s outstanding achievements are a once in a lifetime experience that he must feel extremely blessed to have. Much like his main mascot Luffy, Oda will continue to travel the vast lands of creativity in search for more treasures that he’ll continue to share with the rest of the world. His powerful impact on the manga and anime community are beyond words and we certainly hope that Oda’s contribution will keep going as it will only breed more revolutionary artists who may just be the next big thing in Japan. Let us know what you think of Oda’s achievements and rise to fame in the comments section below! We’ll be sure to read what you have to say and contribute to your passion for this remarkable human being.
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