One Piece mangaka Eiichiro Oda has given an interview explaining his dissatisfaction with the fact that there are no ranks amongst mangaka, and that there is no special title other than plain “mangaka” available to demonstrate he is no mere mangaka.

The interview, with fellow mangaka Shinobu Kaitani, author of One Outs and others:

Kaitani: I think a good thing about being a mangaka is that there is no rank. Of course, there are differences in popularity, but when everyone is a pro we are all putting all we have into our works according to our abilities.”

Oda: Well, I think the opposite. I want to have a rank. It’s like I’m trying as hard as I do, and I’m just a “mangaka” like everyone else?

Of course, if you are a long-time veteran you get called “master” [shishou], but there should be a title for younger masters. “Fantasista” or something.

Kaitani: You want an official position or something?

Oda: Right, right, that’s it! You get a title like “section chief” as a working adult. It’s like proof of how hard you tried. As a mangaka you are always just a “mangaka.”

Kaitani: You want to be able to level up from “mangaka” to “manga-sennin” then?

Oda: Yes, yes – I want to be able to level up like that. Being able to aim for that would be good.


That Oda has such authoritarian leanings is perhaps surprising – apparently being a multi-millionaire and author of the most popular manga in history is not recognition enough.

Reactions vary from considering his desires embarrassingly juvenile to sympathy at his lack of “recognition” – although it seems unlikely his fellow mangaka, most of whom languish in relative poverty at the mercy of rapacious publishers, will be too pleased.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    21:56 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    He didn't say he's better, he just wants to have a work title to show how hard he had to work to get where he is, that's understandable.
    If you work with selling gadgets and you've been doing it for along time, you want something to show off for it.

    Avatar of Carrot_Glace
    Comment by Carrot_Glace
    00:01 23/03/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    You need to read better between the lines.

    Avatar of Riiya932
    Comment by Riiya932
    23:50 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Oda just wants to be a Master Mangaka Pencil Mangaka Important Person of Mangaka Extreme...! Don't we all?

    Avatar of Ecchi-BANZAII
    Comment by Ecchi-BANZAII
    23:48 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    He certainly is among the best.
    Good art is nothing if the art itself has no soul.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:58 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    true, i've read Haruhi Suzumiya, haruhi chan, k-on, one piece, lucky star, bleach, Dragon ball and Love com

    he really is a top list competitor (up there with Haruhi, Lucky star and bleach)

    well in my opinion good on him! he has really covered a lot of ground and up to vol 61 he's still going strong

    well done Oda (manga wise one) ^-^

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:25 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    YES give this man a throne

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:55 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I shall call him The One Mangaka.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:23 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    It sounds like he's just joking only it's not translating well through text. I doubt he's serious.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:27 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    It sounds like a joke. But he could be provoking other mangaka.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:28 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    he's jokin

    but even then, I agree with him

    he's one awesome dude

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:54 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Lol why so serious?

    How I read it it's typical Oda style joking around imo the problem is that when you see it written it appears without those connotations

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:45 26/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope he is serious. To be able to write and continue writing One Piece you would atleast need that level of arrogance. If not you might crumble under the pressure.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:51 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    sankaku's title.. always misleading...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:25 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    ITT: People that don't know how to judge art.
    Christ people, have you fucking looked at his backgrounds? Sure, how he draws might not be your kind of style, but before you call him a shit artist, look at his battle scenes, then look at your favorite author, and tell me that he isn't miles ahead. Not many people care to draw battle scenes like he does.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:25 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    everyone of you is talking about art terms of dialogue and storytelling he is NOT the best.

    Avatar of fakegaijin
    Comment by fakegaijin
    14:10 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    still better than Bleach or Naruto. At least One Piece has some direction.

    Comment by Anonymous


    Nihei demolishes Oda, absolutely demolishes. So yeah, Oda isn't 'miles ahead'. You act like mangaka are an endangered species. Try actually reading different manga

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:34 23/03/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    hes got nothing on takehiko inoue

    Avatar of TC-man
    Comment by TC-man
    19:27 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Joking aside, isn't a Pulitzer prize or Oscar for mangaka better, besides there are already several manga awards for new talents in Japan? Obviously Oda is joking around with his colleague.

    Avatar of Carrot_Glace
    Comment by Carrot_Glace
    23:40 22/03/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    What are you talking about? There's a lot of prizes for manga and mangaka, like Shogakukan Awards.

    And Osars mean shit since "Titanic" and "Shakespeare in love" won.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:33 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    This interview is two years old - It's from 2009!

    With this and all the galleries and bad-humor tsunami posts lately, seems like this site is running out of things to try and make news about...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:46 23/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    The site never had anything to make news about; its only purpose is coming up with funny headlines to troll the readers into making lulzy comments ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:14 29/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    and there is nothing wrong with that XD

    Avatar of phisaki
    Comment by phisaki
    18:50 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Oda only wishes to looked upon as a manga god. Is that too much to ask for?

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    19:10 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Oda, you don't need a rank. We know you're great.
    You've already sealed your name in history as the man who created OP.
    If you still feel uneasy about your "rank" among others, look back at the 2010 sales list, which sold more than 32 million copies in 2010 []. Even the total from rank 2 to 5 can't possibly reach you.

    So just remain who you are, Oda

    - Sincerely, a One Piece Pirate

    21:12 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Oda you the MAN-gaka

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:00 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Artefact's trolling striked again with misleading title -_-

    But Oda's words are not without problems. In real life, we got electrician, doctors, physicists, teacher, lawyer, artist... etc, and we don't see each of them have a different name for their level.
    Mangaka is just a word to describe a person's profession, getting obsessed over a higher title is unjust.

    Oda's skill might be higher than other mangaka, but imagined how other mangaka would feel being classed differently by levels, how can a beginner mangaka hope to compete with a person with a higher title just because he has been at the job for a longer period.

    Simply, calling Oda "an excellent mangaka" is good enough. Also, I am pretty sure Oda just happened to have a bad week or something to say something like that, we slipped our toungue and mispoke all the time, just because Oda is a famous person, that doesn't mean he doesn't have the right to slipped up

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:57 22/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Except for doctors, physicists and whatnot, they do have ranks. Never heard of an associates, bachelor's, doctorate, or phd?

    Avatar of Carrot_Glace
    Comment by Carrot_Glace
    00:22 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    They earn those ranks by presenting thesis and dissertations.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:09 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    He's joking, man, it's clear, didn't you read what he said?!

    Avatar of Godot
    Comment by Godot
    19:02 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I kinda of see his logic. Its like for an editor you start as a basic editor then graduate to editor-in-chief over time if you are capable. But for a mangaka theres no advancement in rank.

    Artefact, whats the highest recognition a mangaka can achieve? Like for a journalist they get a Pulitzer.

    Maybe from here on out we should refere to Oda as "King Oda" or " O-oda"

    Avatar of Shima-kun989
    Comment by Shima-kun989
    19:59 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    maybe Oda should have an award named after him. that would solve Everything...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:56 22/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.9)

    One Piece beats the shit out of Naruto and Bleach anyday.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:39 22/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Oda: "I Am Better Than Other Mangaka!".

    Avatar of Aliaus
    Comment by Aliaus
    03:32 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    yea it sounds a bit conceited but its really hard to argue against the point.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:15 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ^anatomy, but yes everything he draws is completely obscure like the extra large breast that could never belong to that girl >.>

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:10 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "My self and anyone else who happens to know anything about anatomy would beg to differ."

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:52 23/03/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    One piece is the shittiest manga on earth.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:07 23/03/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    me and anybody else who know anything about anatamy would beg to differ.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:55 23/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    While I like his best out of the big three, in this interview, he doesn't even say he's the best. Let's not put things out of perspective.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Oda's real rank => .: GEAR SECOND :.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:58 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    or Manga King

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:21 23/03/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    popularity doesnt define skill. in terms of quailiy story telling he is no better than naruto or bleach.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:27 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Pretty much everything beats the shit out of Naruto and Bleach anyday.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:08 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    w/e im a huge fan n i bet everyone will hate me but i do want him to be ranked officially. kinda like michael or elvis being ranked king of pop and rock respectively. King of shounen wouldn't be a bad idea. grandfather/god would go to the author of db or some other in the past.

    Besides he really is good I mean I love reading troll comments about them, I actually prefer people who go against op or oda its kind of like philosophy. So I can strengthen my stand on how I feel about him and op.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:18 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    U speak the truth :D

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:06 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your only saying that because naruto and bleach are so popular.

    I do not understand why they are that popular but none the less I can atleast admit they are above average

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:13 23/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    so now you can read minds? don't selfishly project your own oppinions onto other people who you know nothing about.

    how can you tell that he doesn't just dislike it because the story is juvenilie, and idiotic, and the characters are annoying and whiny?

    "when you ASSUME you make an ASS out of U and ME. but mostly just you"

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:05 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    so now your opinions are facts? don't selfishly declare yourself better using morals you know nothing about.

    how can you tell he isn't making an educated guess because the first guy typed like an opinionated retard and you're just being annoying and whiny?

    "when you USE CAPS everywhere EXCEPT WHERE THEY BELONG you are just a colossal ass"

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:10 22/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    In term of sell yes, in my opinion yes, in the opinion of others maybe not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:36 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i like Fist of the North Star by Mangaka Tetsuo Hara better. I never like OP because of the draw style. Everyone got their own interest.

    Avatar of TFish
    Comment by TFish
    00:11 23/03/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    I really don't understand how it's still popular as it is, it just started getting way to retarded after that reindeer joined the crew.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:42 23/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    "I don't understand how lord of the rings is so popular it just started getting way too retarded after that tree started to talk to those hobits."

    "psh tree don't talk"

    Sounds like a person without imagination/respect for those who do.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:50 23/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    People always bash the industry and say OMG why are things so unoriginal, " i can guess whats gonna happen next", BORING, man why can't they show me something new, I've seen this a million times, the hero will always win...

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA cry me a river. Its ppl like you that make the anime/ game/ book/ etc stagnant.

    New ideas/imagination makes the world go round. Of course most new ideas fail but without them the industry will get stagnant and ultimately drive that industry into nothing.

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