Eiichiro Oda to Editor: 'Die for One Piece'
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda is known for his work ethic. He claims to only sleep from 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., take no time off, and work on his manga for basically all his waking hours. Since launching the series in 1997, Oda has only rarely put the manga on hiatus to take care of himself.
Oda would apparently like to see that same hard-working determination in all Shueisha staff members that work on One Piece. Images of an interview Shueisha published to promote the One Piece Film Gold anime recently surfaced online. In the interview, members of the editorial team that have worked on One Piece describe their memories with Oda.
Former One Piece editor Naoki Kawashima said that the thing he remembers most about when he became the series' editor is Oda telling him to "die for One Piece." Kawashima recalled the incident with a laugh but said Oda's words moved him. The editor's initial reaction was "what, really?" but he also thought that "This person really works with that kind of resolution."
Another member of the editorial team compared Oda's efforts to an F1 racecar. However, he described the team as normal people comparable to Japan's common compact cars. The editors sometimes have a hard time keeping up.
Many online commenters reacted to the interview by saying how "amazing" Oda's work ethic is. One person said that "Oda is like Shueisha's workhorse." Another net user said "It's amazing he doesn't get Togashi Disease." Although not an actual medical diagnosis, fans use the term "Togashi Disease" to describe when a creator seems to have a condition where they no longer want to write manga. The name comes from Yoshihiro Togashi, the Hunter X Hunter manga creator who often puts the series on hiatus without a clear explanation.
Oda says One Piece is about 65% complete, so hopefully he can avoid Togashi Disease and maintain his stamina. He already knows what the final panel will be, so that should help pull him towards the finish line.
Apart from writing his mega-hit manga, Oda has also served as executive producer for the anime's last two films, One Piece Film Gold and One Piece Film Z. The creator's amazing devotion to his story is praiseworthy, but it calls to mind some manga and anime artists' complaints about poor working conditions in Japan. Many people in Japan also succumb every year to karōshi, or death from overwork.
Oda, you're amazing, but please sleep more than three hours a night. The fans will understand.