Eiichiro Oda, the creator of the popular manga series One Piece, recently stated in a 2009 interview that he doesn’t include romance in his manga because it is targeted towards boys. He believes that if readers want to read romance, they should turn to shoujo manga, which is specifically aimed at girls. Oda mentioned that he doesn’t mind if female fans love the male protagonist, Luffy, but he doesn’t think it’s necessary for the characters to love each other romantically.
One Piece, despite being classified as a shonen manga, has a large female audience. Surveys from Shonen Jump indicate that around half of Oda’s audience consists of women. The series also features storylines that focus on female characters. The latest theatrical installment, One Piece Film: Red, revolves around a female pop idol named Uta, who aims to change the world with her music. Uta has gained a dedicated following, with fans expressing their support through cosplay and fanart. She even appeared in NHK’s Red-and-White song festival earlier this year, performing her hit song “New Genesis.”
Currently, One Piece is preparing for its first live-action adaptation, produced by Netflix and Tomorrow Studios. The series will cover the early part of Luffy’s journey to become the King of the Pirates. The first official trailer for the show was recently released at SDCC, featuring iconic scenes from the manga. The cast includes Inaki Godoy as Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, Jacob Romero as Usopp, and Taz Skylar as Sanji. The series is set to premiere on August 31.
Apart from the live-action adaptation, Oda’s fans can also look forward to a new animated adaptation of his one-shot manga, Monsters. Originally released in 1994, Monsters follows the story of a famous samurai named Shimotsuki Ryuma and his involvement in a plot surrounding a dragon’s horn with magical powers. E&H Production, the studio behind the anime, released a promotional video for the project. However, there is no set release date for Monsters at the moment.
The One Piece manga is available in English from VIZ Media, and the anime adaptation can be streamed on Hulu, Netflix, and Crunchyroll.