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Shonen Jump Editors Apologize for Eiichiro Oda's Comments in One Piece Manga's 89th Volume

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

The editorial department of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine posted an apology on Thursday related to One Piece manga creator Eiichiro Oda's comments in the series' 89th compiled book volume (seen right), which shipped on June 4. The statement cited a "lack of consideration" in Oda's comments and said that both the editorial department and Oda are reflecting on the situation.

Oda's controversial comments appear on the inside flap of the front cover of the manga volume. In the comment, Oda described eating together with a group of people when only one piece of karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken) was left on the serving plate. Someone decided to name the chicken piece "Sergeant Yokoi" as if to say, "Sergent Yokoi is left behind! Someone end the war!" Oda then advised young children to look up the reference. He closed his comments by saying, "With embarrassment!! Volume 89 begins!!!"

Oda's remarks appear to reference Shōichi Yokoi, a sergeant in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. He was one of the army's last holdouts after the war ended in 1945, and he was discovered living in the jungles of Guam in 1972. After returning to Japan, he famously said, "It is with much embarrassment that I return."

Although some online commenters believe Oda's comments were innocuous, many people said they think his remarks were insensitive and inappropriate. Some commenters believe the comments were inconsiderate and disrespectful to Yokoi because he was a soldier who decided to remain loyal to Japan as he was instructed, rather than return to his home country in shame. Some commenters think Yokoi's determination is commendable and he deserves pity for living in hardship for nearly 28 years for the sake of his country. Commenters are criticizing Oda for making a joke that they believe mocks and disparages Yokoi.

On the other hand, certain commenters said recent reactions to creators' personal comments are leaning towards suppression of freedom of speech. Some people referenced the controversy related to MINE and his [New Life+] Young Again in Another World (Nidome no Jinsei o Isekai de) light novels, which led to halted shipments and cancellation of a planned anime.

Source: Shonen Jump's website via Nijimen, Otakomu

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