One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda had originally planned to give the character Sanji the name Naruto, but he changed it due to the release of Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto manga. Oda explained that Sanji’s name was initially based on his swirling eyebrows, which resemble the white and pink “swirling” topping on Japanese noodles called Naruto. However, when he learned that Naruto would be a long-running series, Oda quickly changed Sanji’s name.
Sanji from One Piece Unveiled by its Creator
In addition to the name change, Oda also altered several aspects of Sanji’s original design. Sanji was initially drawn as a gunslinger, but the character eventually became known for his powerful kicking techniques and acrobatic movements in the “Black Leg” martial arts style. Sanji is known for refusing to use his hands in combat because he needs them to cook.
Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto, the creators of One Piece and Naruto respectively, have had a friendly rivalry for many years. In a published conversation between the two artists, Oda stated that Naruto was the more popular series and that it consistently motivated him throughout his career. Despite One Piece being the best-selling manga series in the world, Oda mentioned that Naruto was the comic that made him work the hardest.
Fans of Sanji can look forward to seeing the character in the upcoming live-action adaptation of One Piece, which is set to premiere on August 31st. Produced by Netflix and Tomorrow Studios, the series will follow Luffy and the Straw Hats as they embark on their first voyage to find the legendary One Piece treasure. The first official trailer for the show was recently released, although it had to be re-edited after a Game of Thrones-style blooper was spotted.
Both One Piece and Naruto are available in English from VIZ Media, and their respective anime adaptations can be found on Hulu and Netflix.