Fate… Dreams..” is a popular quote from Eiichiro Oda’s “One Piece” manga (Japanese Comics) series. Oda is one of the most popular and successful mangakas (Japanese Comic Writers) of the modern times. Oda was highly inspired by Akira Toriyama, a legendary mangaka and his work in his formative years.
Akira Toriyama received worldwide fame and is regarded as a highly influential artist who changed the history of manga. His most popular work, the “Dragon Ball” series was created in the early 1980s and inspired several writers over time. Toriyama created a new genre “Shonen manga” targeting the teenage male demographic readership. Most of the cliche tropes used in modern manga originated from Dragon Ball. Oda was a ten-year-old kid when the renowned “Dragon Ball” was first published.
He was so mesmerized by the story and artwork in the manga that he decided that he would become a mangaka one day and be as great as Toriyama. He studied the unique artwork and absorbed the intricacies. Techniques like bringing out the emotions of the characters, using of lines to make moving subjects look faster, rotating panels to show intensity, utilizing close-ups of the faces and the style of drawing muscles of the characters made a huge impact on Oda.Oda created a fictional character of a young boy pirate, Luffy having special abilities and developed an engaging storyline of action, journey, and adventure for the “One Piece” manga series. “One Piece” also had a young protagonist similar to that of Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series depicting the theme of “manliness”.
The other theme of similarity is that every successive villain is more formidable, and the protagonist correspondingly becomes more powerful under the mentorship of a master. Oda embellished his storyline with the elements of adventure and travel by making it pirate-themed and went beyond the conventional theme of action that is central to Toriyama’s works. Oda’s work demonstrated his creativity and uniqueness.Oda eventually published his work titled “One Piece” in 1997 and his work has now been applauded by critics and has a huge fan following. One Piece has received praise for its storytelling, art, characterization, and humor.
A staggering four hundred and fifty million copies of the manga have been sold worldwide, making it the best-selling manga series in history. The series is also the longest running manga going strong over the last twenty years.Oda was inspired by Toriyama and emulated him in many ways, but he also added his own signature. This made him distinct and stand out and become a legend in his own right. Oda had enough self-belief not to limit himself to the techniques of his role model but rather challenged himself and his audience to go beyond.
He took his patrons on an unbelievable adventure that has stood the test of time. Oda has paid the greatest tribute to Toriyama by surpassing his success.