Eiichiro Oda claimed 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 forYudetamago‘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 Jumpmagazine, 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 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, and had over 345 million volumes in circulation worldwide as of 2013. 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.
- 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)
- Cross Epoch (2007) – with Akira Toriyama
- Taste of the Devil Fruit (実食! 悪魔の実!! Jisshoku! Akuma no Mi!!, 2011) – 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