One Piece is a very special series. It has an infectious enthusiasm about it, which makes you excited every time you get to spend more time with Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates. Reading a new issue of One Piece makes you feel like a kid who is picking up his first ever X-Men comic.
Things aren’t always happy and playful in the world of One Piece. There is a lot of shady things going on with the production of the series. Eiichiro Oda is a genius, who is pushing himself to the edge of his health in order to entertain us. It seems that the people at Weekly Shonen Jump magazine are content to let him kill himself, so long as he keeps producing content. Oda himself also has a dark streak to him, as he has hidden some very nasty and uncomfortable concepts within One Piece.
We are here today to look at the darkest and most disturbing facts about the most popular anime/manga series in the world. From the author’s frequent collaborations with a pedophile to the details of how the Devil Fruit affects the love life of its user.
Here are Twenty Dark Facts You Never Knew About One Piece!
20. Maybe This Guy Should Have Been Fired…
There are likely a lot of you out there who are familiar with a manga/anime series called Toriko. It ran in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and it is one of the few series to officially cross over with both One Piece and Dragon Ball Z.
You may not be aware that the creator of Toriko, Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro, was working on a different series in the early ’00s. It was canceled before it could be finished because Shimabukuro was arrested and convicted of bad things. He was caught paying 16-year-old girls for services.
Despite his despicable crime, Shimabukuro was allowed to return to Weekly Shonen Jump. He is still good friends with Eiichiro Oda and the two of them have collaborated on several Toriko/One Piece crossovers in recent years.
19. The Disturbing Sixth Movie
There have been several One Piece movies that have received a theatrical release in Japan. These are similar to the films that were created for series like Dragon Ball Z and Naruto: they have almost no bearing on the plot and are usually not part of the canon. It is for this reason that most movies that exist as part of anime franchises are ignored by the fans.
The sixth One Piece movie is well worth checking out, due to how utterly different it is from the rest of the series. Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island has a final battle that may feature the most disturbing scene in the whole series. This is because all of the Straw Hats (save Luffy) are absorbed into a plant monster.
18. 4Kids Actually Made Bell-mère’s Death Even Worse
The 4Kids dub of One Piece is notorious for being so awful that it killed the franchise in the west for years. The biggest manga series in the world only found an audience due to word of mouth among those who were reading the illegal English scanlations online. It was always harder to convince someone to read One Piece after they had been subjected to the horrors of the rap songfrom the intro.
The changes made in the 4Kids dub sometimes made events even more violent than they were in the original version of the show. One example of this happened to Bell-mère, the adopted mother of Nami. In the Japanese version of the One Piece anime & manga, Bell-mère is shot in the head by Arlong. In the 4Kids dub, she is imprisoned for life. Bell-mère presumably dies while in prison, as she isn’t freed by Nami when Arlong is defeated.
17. Luffy The Sadist
The protagonists of superhero comics tend not to kill their foes. This is due to the fact that it would be morally wrong of them to do so… and it would also ruin the series if Batman killed the Joker within five minutes of meeting him.
Manga protagonists aren’t held to the same standard. Goku had no problem killing King Piccolo and Naruto was responsible for the death of Yura. Monkey D. Luffy has yet to kill any of his enemies in One Piece. Indeed, it took thirteen years for any character to die in One Piece.
Eiichiro Oda was asked why Luffy doesn’t kill anyone in the letters section that appears in the collected volumes of One Piece, which is called the SBS. Oda claims that the reason Luffy doesn’t kill anyone is that he prefers to destroy the dreams of his enemies, which is far more painful than simply taking their life.
16. Big Mom Ate Her Adopted Mother
One Piece has featured some dark content, such as the death of Ace and the destruction of Ohara. The One Piece manga runs in Weekly Shonen Jump, whose main demographic is still young kids and teenagers. As such, the series has limits on what it can publish. This is why you won’t see nudity or brutal decapitations in the page of One Piece or My Hero Academia.
An example of Eiichiro Oda having to restrict himself happened recently during the origin story of Big Mom. The manga highly suggests that she ate her adopted mother and family. This would explain how she gained the Devil Fruit ability of her adopted mother. The reason it could only be hinted at is that the editors at Weekly Shonen Jump didn’t want to have a little girl performing cannibalism on her family in the pages of their comic.
15. The Tragic Blackbeard Connection
The main reason that Whitebeard was the most feared pirate of his era was due to his Devil Fruit ability. Whitebeard had the ability to cause earthquakes, which could also be used to create tsunamis. If Whitebeard was so inclined, he could wash away entire countries. This power later falls into the hands of Blackbeard, who might actually be despicable enough to sink a nation.
It wasn’t long after Blackbeard gained the ability to create earthquakes that Japan suffered one of its most destructive natural disasters of all time. An earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 happened on the Pacific Coast of Tohaku, which triggered a massive tsunami. Had the episodes involving Whitebeard & Blackbeard been broadcast a few weeks later, then they would have caused controversy over their content and likely would have had to be edited or skipped.
14. Real Life Pirates Have Used Shank’s Jolly Roger
When people think of pirates, they generally imagine the aesthetic that was created by Treasure Island, which has been used for a long time. We still think of pirates as a relic of a forgotten age. This is partly due to the fact that ships are a lot rarer now, as it is far more convenient to travel by air.
Pirates are still very much a real thing. They exist in the South China Sea and off the coast of Somalia, as well as other parts of the world.
It seems that some Somali pirates have Internet access, as a video exists of a ship bearing the jolly roger of Shanks from One Piece. These pirates actually used Shank’s flag on their vessel.
13. The Series Is Outliving The Voice Actors
One Piece has been running since 1997 and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. This length of time isn’t that impressive, as Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has been in publication since 1987 and Golgo 13 has been running since 1968!
With One Piece having gone on for so long, it is only natural that a few of its voice actors have passed away during the run of the show. These include Kazuyuki Sogabe (Benn Beckman, Silvers Rayleigh), Daisuke Gori (Jinbei, Dorry), Takeshi Aono (Dracule Mihawk), Takashi Taniguchi (Montblanc Cricket), Takkou Ishimori (Sengoku), Ginzo Matsuo (Smoker), and Chikao Otsuka (Gol D. Roger).
For the English voice actors of One Piece, we have lost Cole Brown (Blackbeard), Jerry Russell (Crocus), and Ed Blaylock (Sengoku). We can only hope that One Piece doesn’t lose any more voice actors before the story concludes.
12. The Only People Who Know How It’ll End…
There is always a suspicion with a long-running series that the author is just making things up as they go along. There have been some authors who are honest about how they didn’t know the ending (like Stephen King with The Dark Tower series) and there are those who lie and claim that they have planned everything out (like the creators of Lost.)
Eiichiro Oda has always maintained that he has the story of One Piece planned out. It’s hard to refute this, considering how many plot elements are hinted at years or even decades before they became relevant.
There was at least one One Piece fan who knew the ending of the series. Hinati Fujinami was a kid from Japan who was dying of lung cancer. The Make-A-Wish Foundation helped to fulfill Hinati’s final request, which was to learn how One Piece ended. Oda visited the child personally and revealed the ending to One Piece in private.
11. If You Work On The Series, You Give Up Everything
Every mangaka who works for Weekly Shonen Jump has to run their ideas past an editor. This relationship was brilliantly outlined in Bakuman, which was a comic about the inner-workings of the manga industry. The editor of a series can have a tremendous amount of power and influence over the story. The most famous example of this happened in Dragon Ball Z, as the entire Cell Saga was created due to one of Akira Toriyama’s former editors not liking the design of Android 19 & 20.
Eiichiro Oda works himself to the bone for One Piece. He also expects his editors to do the same, as he has told previous editors that they must be willing to “Die for One Piece” if they are to work on the series with him. Going on what we know of Oda’s schedule, he definitely isn’t kidding when he says this.