One Piece Mangaka Oda: “I Am Better Than Other Mangaka!”

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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.

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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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299 Comments

  • oda say im “just” an mangaka lol. mangaka are allrdy gods who are able not only to draw good but put all this together into a story and a comicbook. besides he shouldnt be so arrogant. he is an veteran but there are many ppl out there who draw like much better than him the quality of his drawings are rather low and his use of colors are at a beginners level to be honest. hes just good at manga but as an artist he has much to learn as we all.

  • I think he’s just criticizing the system… It’s not really about himself, it’s about the system as a whole. He wants mangaka, especially the younger generation, to have set goals and stuff to aim for maybe?

  • Anonymous says:

    So now mangakas want a level up system like in MMOs? what next? they gonna name their own drawing styles as “Skills” and “Spells”? and have PK system to “kill off” unpopular mangakas?

    Maybe they should elect a GM to oversee everything to make sure no mangaka haxxorx around!!!

  • The One Piece fans SAW this interview when it first came out 2 years ago (you guys sure move fast huh?). Also… Your bringing the interview out of context, he didn’t say it as you’ve put it. Nice way to misled everyone, well done. Next time, try getting a better translator… and actually report the news in the current centry not the next one! 😀

  • Whats wrong with him wanting Ranks ? he is better then others, why would he be called the same. If u’re better, you want recognition, so whats wrong with that. 80% of mangas are crap, 90% of mangas aren’t even trying, why would they be called the same as someone obviously superior and better.

    And no, they’re not all “pro” in what they do, I could droodle something and if I egt a publisher, i’d be a mangaka too, wow…how pro.

    The man’s right and he deserves it, same with any other decent Mangaka.

  • Oda works very hard to produce One Piece. During the last month-long break OP took for Oda and his staff he returned to work after 2 weeks instead of 4!

    Shounen Manga already has a King, and that is Akira Toriyama. Even One Piece heavily draws inspiration from that series, Oda having stated in interviews that Dragonball was/is his favourite manga, as well as other series, but without making the same cliched mistakes as others.

    Oda’s comments seem to be misinterpreted in this interview; I believe Oda is saying that mangaka all work very hard, and old/new mangaka starting out would be like kyu and dan rankings in karate or something.

    Haters gon hate, and that’s fine because that’s how it is, but Oda isn’t speaking only for himself, saying some mangaka deserve a title beyond “mangaka”. He, if serious, is implying his colleagues, who, too, have worked for the respect of fans and professionals, deserve recognition.

    People are quick to bash a series, even Naruto and Bleach, and, while I am no longer a fan of Bleach, Kubo has a really sharp art style, and fashion sense, and deserves respect for his series. It may have ripped off yuyu hakusho a lot, but in the same way OP ripped off Dragonball (read Cross Epoch?) or South Park ripped of the Simpsons. Creators deserve respect is Oda’s message; he knows there are hard working artists and writers who care for their stories and get little recognition amidst the sea of moeblobs and yugiohs.

  • Even if he’s joking I don’t really see a problem with more recognition with this sort of thing. But he’s gotta be joking, or someone decided to choose the most crazy word they could. Fantasista? Lol.

  • Never read a single chapter of One Piece, nor do I feel like I’m missing anything all the other mangka provide in the industry compare to his.

    – Love hina; best love harem fad starter
    – K-on; slice of life at its peak(Never watched)
    – Sailor Moon; transforming girls-mainstream
    – Transformers; platinum screen worthiness over ODA.
    – Hellsing; legendary in its own right, hail Dracula.
    – Naruto; That is my way of the Ninja!
    – Bleach, sailor moon sword transformation scenes?
    – Haruhi, written books that made GREAT shows. RARE.

    How can you beat a lot of fads, harem, moe, horror, humor, but any of the aboue you can slap hentai/sports inside for competition in romance or health advice, and you got a good manga.

    Problem is, this; self motivation Oda is a king of self motivation that is ALL.

  • Artefact has clearly never read any of Oda’s SBS. He constantly acts haughty for comedic effect, and he does a good job of playing the elitist role. It’s called satire, my good friend.

    • A fool is someone who gives interviews that you shouldn’t “take seriously”. Or do you enjoy listening to a guy who fucking wastes interview time when plenty of other mangaka would actually utilize the time

      • Again read his other interviews, they’re full of humor, fun and informative of his character, he doesn’t take things so fucking emo or ridiculously serious, so how about you calm your you-so-mad clown ass down.

  • 2 Years old comment.
    He was joking.
    It was already stated and confirmed by many that he was messing arround.

    Even if he wasn’t he still deserves a better ranking than many others otu there.

  • 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.

  • Wait, wait. People are taking things Eiichiro Oda says in an interview seriously? When has he -not- dicked around in one? Guess it’ll take another 10 years until we learn our lesson…..

    • His art isn’t bad; he has a very expressive style, which is more than can be said for most manga where everyone looks like they were made from a cookie-cutter. It’s just stylized in a very Western-inspired and cartoonish way that can be jarring to manga readers used to only seeing moe girls.

  • Although sales wise he is the best mangaka, he is totally not art wise. Which makes up a great amount of manga. He should ask him self do authors get ranked? No.
    So because his manga is like 70% only successfull because of the story and how that was built he is pretty dam arrogant to say that. But he could just be joking about it. I hope he is but i guess seeing how much volumes his sold I kind of understand where his point of view is from.
    But if he want to be a master or something he should draw a manga even a one shot with amazing art. Because I’m not saying change the art in one piece it actually does suit the story really well. I just think we all know he’s a great writer but aren’t sure about the art.
    And manga is pretty much about both, if the one person can’t do both get some one else to do the other half as many have.

  • I guess I could understand Oda’s desire for an ‘official’ rank. But Kaitani’s view is perhaps most appealing to me. The only downfall of giving Oda his desired ‘rank’ is that every other new mangaka may just aim for the rank and not putting out good manga for the enjoyment of others.

    Although I might be biased in the fact that I personally did not like One Piece, and preferred One Outs and Liar Game much more.

  • 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…

  • Once you have money, you don’t care about money anymore. The fact that he is still doing anything other than sitting on his ass with a chick fellating him all day means he cares about what he does and wants to recognized as a GOOD artist. Because as anyone can tell you, being rich or popular has very little to do with how good you are at something. Realistically any jackass can make money if they are lucky, being known as good is something that is much more self fulfilling.

  • this is bullshit, I hate fanboys ’cause they discourage people to dicover new mangaka, therefor discourage new mangaka to develop their own style. And if this bullshit happen, fanboys will be even more arrogant and hostile …

  • He’s just joking around.
    The mere fact that he’s created a 62 volume ongoing manga, not to mention a 490+ episode anime adaptation should speak volumes about his position as a top mangaka.
    Rankings would be subjective anyway. How would he rank against Kentaro Miura (Berserk) or Kousuke Fujishima (Oh My Goddess!)?
    Different styles and different genres can’t be lumped together.

    • He didn’t ask for gender comparison, he asked for a certain title for mangaka that have some recognition of their talent. It wouldn’t be a number where he would fight for position with Miura. They will both have the title.

  • One Piece is published in Jump, king of shonen battle mangas. This is the same publication that features Bleach and Naruto. You know, titles where titles are a sign of level. Jounin, Hokage, Captain, etc. If these people want to have irl rankings, why not? I would love to see them have a battle system in place for ranking titles. Maybe we might see some of the weaker mangakas disappear for a year to come back as “powered up.” That already seems to be the case with Togashi, minus the fact that he hasn’t actually made any noticeable power ups.

    • 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) ^-^

  • I hope it’s a joke. There are some really awful aspects to Japanese culture, among all the good ones. I don’t have any use at all for his work but, hey, I’m not a kid, so what do I know.

  • 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.

  • He has to be joking, because that kind of public boastfulness is very un-Japanese. Besides, he knows his success is based upon satisfying the lowest common denominator. Appeasing the masses is usually not a mark of greatness — in fact it is usually quite the opposite.

  • God. Stop with the misleading titles. It feels like you are trying to get more readers but in doing so you are saying false information. The title is your own interpretation and is probably not what he feels and wanted to say. Try looking at what he said in an objective light and you will see that he isn’t saying that he is the best. Isn’t it normal to want to get rewarded for something that you have achieved? Also in having a title, it can be a motivation to work even harder to live up to his title. Just like he said, it’s like in society. There are different position and there are obviously leaders and different positions. People are ranked by their competence and there are leaders. Do they all feel “I am better than the other” because they are in a higher position? It can be true but the other way can also be true because to be a good leader there must a position of equality. For example, if there were no rank in society, what would be the point of working harder than others? None.

    • Sandalphon says:

      In light of keeping things objectively, I will compliment/counter the points you made.

      1. Isn’t it normal to want to get rewarded for something that you have achieved?

      There are different prizes and awards in the mangaka business. These are the “recognition of achievement” system in this profession. Oda might not think it’s enough and that’s a valid point, but he can’t deny the function of the awards.

      2. it can be a motivation to work even harder to live up to his title

      It’s also a source of elitism and caste systems.

      3. There are different position and there are obviously leaders and different positions

      There already are positions for mangakas. Authors are the leaders of a team of 5 or so people doing their part in creating the manga. Usually not the story because that’s entirely up to the author and the publishing house’s editor.

      4. ranked by their competence and there are leaders.

      And here’s a good point, but how do you measure “competence” in the manga business? so far it’s been by the sales of the issues/volumes, but these are already the source for the afore mentioned prizes and awards.

      Also, there can be no leaders between mangakas because manga are half business half artistic expressions. The moment a handful of people start dictating how many others should express themselves artistically, there is stifling of creativity. That’s why no one is going to tell an author what to do with his own work [except maybe editors].

      5. if there were no rank in society, what would be the point of working harder than others?

      This is a bit political, but oh well. Surely sheer peer pressure is not the basic principle of capitalism. The basic principle for it is that a person works harder for the betterment of himself/herself than for the betterment of someone else whoever that may be.

      Not approving of it, but capitalism has proven the principle it stands on to be true, and it has lifted many of the western powers.

      That aside, the only well-established rankings in society are in business, where an individual’s performance and worth can be measured by the output it produces for the business.

      How would you measure your performance and worth of your non job-related everyday life when there’s no “output” for it?

      This is why whatever rank one may achieve in one’s professional career, it means little outside of job related stuff. Except maybe if one is a public worker.

      • I remember when we all used to read the title, laugh, post a “lololol” and be done with it. Now, I guess the cool thing is to complain about. Like the rest of the web.
        Although a bit of moderation is always good.

    • Truth. I normally enjoy the Arte-darts around here, targeting politicians, performers & cellar-dwellers. Oda though? He doesn’t deserve the spin treatment. Was his joke a little big-headed & in poor taste? Yeah, it really was. Was it an honest proposition? No.

      To have kept a single plotline as upbeat and readable as One Piece still manages to be after 10+ years of continuous publication, the guy deserves credit & respect. Save the mockery for slackers & deceivers, please. =)

      • Sandalphon says:

        @22:47 Anon

        “Was it an honest proposition? No.”

        And you know this, how exactly? Mayhap I didn’t read enough between the lines, but it seems to me he actually wants an official entitlement to look down on his fellow mangaka.

        Be objective, don’t let your admiration for Oda distort his words into what you would want them to be.

        And no I don’t read/watch One Piece. Not because I’m not intrigued, but I just can’t bring myself to watch 500+ episodes to get to 1/3 of the story.

  • It doesn’t even matter if he joked or not, because in no sentence was he actually arrogant.
    Heck, even the misleading title is just a fact IF he had said that. How can you NOT be a better mangaka(not artist, MANGAKA, manga creator, person who makes and sells manga) if you are the most selling mangaka in all of japan? He works very hard for onepiece, and he knows other people do not do that, but he gets grouped together with them just because they all have the same profession.

    Yes, ART can’t be ranked(well, at least most think so), however we are not talking about ART(like picasso and shit) but Entertainment! Manga are entertainment not art per se.
    And…god, why am i even trying to prove something which doesn’t need to be proven?

    • Yeah, and those shitty Transformers live-action films are some of the best movies ever created because they made lots of money.

      Or I suppose Avatar is the greates film ever created because it’s the highest grossing film of all time, hm? Making lots of money and making something really popular doesn’t mean it’s the best or even quality.

  • you’re comparing him to smaller big time mangaka. your mistaken, surely. He doesn’t think he’s the only mangaka which works hard, there’s no way he could. He never said he wants to be the best, he just wants a title which recognises that he’s a full blown professional who spends all of his time on it and is successful. He doesn’t put anyone down except people who don’t try hard with their manga but have the same title

      • agreed to Got Fuck yourself anon.
        The guy is cocky now that he made a lil money. better mangaka than him have failed simply due to bad management on the business side. He got lucky. and now his die hard fans fuel the fire.

  • he has a point.

    think of it in these terms.

    what if everyone was a medium build, you have mussle and a layer of fat but not enough to make a big deal about it.

    you work out every day, become stronger, but always look the same, wouldn’t it piss you off, that you still look like those people who don’t work out and over eat?

    every where else, you get a title, even if its just a fake made up one to show you are more important.

    in an mmo, if you do a long, involved and hard quest, and didn’t get any kind of trophy for doing it, just saying you did, wouldn’t that piss you off, or at least make you not want to try as hard.

    what he is saying is some amount of ranks, not just a new title because you are old, but a title that you get because you did so damn good.

    if you were an artist, and did realistic portraits, would you want to be lumped together with the guy who uses his ass and dick as a paint brush?

  • 1) He’s obviously joking.
    2) His “juvenile” sense of humor is exactly what makes his work so fun to read.
    3) He poses an interesting point. (Personally, I think it would be awesome if they started calling mangaka with famous work “super-sensei” or something.)

    • What kind of bullshit is that? The only thing that matters is the money. He dont give a crap about the fans, its kinda sad when people aim for some title. Workaholics are all losers, u must aim for a better life, and not a better job. That’s all about Low self esteem, if he wants to check if he’s going good, just check how the manga is doing.

      Screw the english, i have annother mother language.

  • I think that if you post an article about a mangaka(even if you do it in a biased and rather misconstrued way…), the picture that goes along with it should actually be drawn by said mangaka, rather than just feature characters from his work.

  • 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.

  • i thinks what oda’s trying to do is that it will force other mangakas to pursue the title. And it will encourage all mangaka into polishing their quality ( especially storyline) and produce more quality manga.

    just my point of view, while he’s trying to play the role of bad guy for manga’s development

  • Remember the manga Hikaru No Go? Even Go have a ranking system. I see nothing wrong with it.

    Would you rather be called a tennis player all your life even though you won many competition

  • You know businesses tend to create their own titles for all their employees. So why don’t Oda just create titles for those who work for him. Maybe such ranking system will be adopted by other bushinesses. All ranking start from somewhere. e.g Chief Executive Mangaka

  • 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”

    • you say that, but a large group of people here believe he’s saying that there should be some sort of career progression for mangaka. others say he wants a numbered rank system, and still more say that he wants governing responsiblity(implied obviously with a title)….so one thing is obvious…obviously the masses dont know what hes saying

    • Yeah, I agree with the other anon. In his interview, it’s okay to joke around.

      But an interesting note, he doesn’t say “I Am Better Than Other Mangaka!” or rather that he is a veteran mangaka and hope their is a better term than just “plain mangaka”.

      I think other Veteran Mangaka like Oda, feels the same way. Where it should be something like Sensei or Boss. But I don’t think they want to be referred to as “Rich” Mangaka or to other beginning Mangaka as “Newbie” or “Poor” Mangaka.

      But overall, I feel he was just joking around and should not be taken seriously.

    • is this such a bad thing? anyone thats worked for something can tell you that once you achieve a certain goal or status that youre gonna be looking for the next milestone to work towards. in a culture like japan where a hierarchy is clearly established in the work place its understandable that he would be a little disappointed that hes seen as an equal to someone who just entered the business. i dont even like one piece but i gotta admit, its a top seller in japan so hes doing something right.

      • that’s where you’re wrong. having no rank makes the manga and anime industry worthwhile to work for. imagine that if you sold 1mil copies you would gain a title. how would the others think about that? besides, if that’s the case, you’ll just sell artbooks instead of manga if the title is what you’re after. not having ranks among mangaka means that they work hard to make the readers love the industry and invoke imaginative ideas. having titles would just promote self consciousness that would degrade the anime and manga industry. Bottom line is that you should be happy with what you have. aren’t you happy that you’re selling well? if you wanna be known, then do other stuff that would grant you such thing. this is entertainment. you either sacrifice and be passionate and make the people happy or just open a restaurant if you want shallow titles

        • Well going back to what I said up top with titles like king of pop and such it doesn’t have to be in every single manga volume.

          I mean you don’t see in Michael’s CD’s or elvis’. “The king of pop” michael jackson’s thriller album. that sounds silly as well.

          Just a title would be more than enough to satisfy someone like Oda.

        • being mangaka is just the same as writer or singer…no matter how much money you sold or how many copies your product sold…in the end they’re just artist,,what matter’s is the product and the artists themselves is the part of the commodity,,so why need title? it wouldn’t justify anything or even less guarantee the product…

        • When you get a title you’d be selling it a lot based on the title a lot as well as the actual content.

          One Piece by Grand Mangaka Oda does give a bit of weight to the title rather than just One Piece by mangaka Oda.

      • Carrot_Glace says:

        Yes, it’s a bad thing. Picasso, Dalí, Delacroix, Goya, Pollock and my former highschool classmate are all “painters” or “artists”, no matter how rich they become (which is the case of this Oda guy), or how talented they are (which isn’t the case of this Oda guy).

        • “in what? playing darts? chess? Not in drawing, that’s for sure.”

          He is making a Manga since 14 Years. Unlike many other long running Manga out there his Manga kept getting better per arc and is even after 14 Years still incredible exiting and entertaining. He has an incredibly fantasy. His ability to tell interesting and exiting stories is incredible high but his talent for drama is even higher. He is able to move his readers in their hearts. One Piece even changed lives like the NHK documentary proves.
          I have read over 150 Manga but only few others managed to have such a strong impact on me like One Piece had
          Oda is not only talented but a hardworking genius. Everyone who has read more than 1 interview with him knows that he likes to joke around. But If I were him I wouldn’t want to be in the same category like let’s say kubo (only mentioning him because many people know him). I’m sure Tolkien wouldn’t want to be in the same category like the twilight author.
          And to say something about the art. Yes he doesn’t draw anatomical correct people. What’s the big deal? His imagination, Backgrounds and the level of detail for a weekly series are phenomenal. But what makes Art truly great is when the Artist is able to send his feelings through the art to the reader. Oda is able to do it. When you read OP you are able to feel his soul in his work. At least I and many other people are able to and that’s the reason why he is one of the best.

        • Yeah defiantly in drawing his style is no and original he can draw a wide range of unique characters, great at drawing perspectives, puts a lot of detail in his work ( allow it can get kind of chaotic”, good color pages ( though it may be to colorful depending on your taste). I think he’s the best artist in jump. One piece also has a good story.

    • CEO, Managing Director, Senior Manager, Junior Manager, Supervisor. They’re all leadership roles with different titles but obviously the CEO is on the top

      CEM = Chief Executive Mangaka
      Managing Mangaka
      Senior Mangaka
      Junior Mangaka
      Supervising Mangaka
      Start the trend

      • Maybe, just maybe, since he’s already on the top and is going to stay there for a while, he needs something new to strive for. It could be motivation and ambition that he truly wants? IS that so bad?

      • Honestly, yes, it kind of is. But at the same time, as an artist myself, there is something to be said for the levels of ego-stripping we go through in order to achieve the levels we have. And our reward for that is to never truly be able to accept our level, unless we’re willing to risk stagnation. We’re always in a constant war with our own egos once we reach a certain level, at some point, you can understand an artist wanting there to finally just be something to officially call you a master in your profession. From the outside observer, it may appear like there is, but most of them are strange. Like how much your painting is worth after you die, or seeing breathtaking concept art from a videogame that trounces 98% of anything in a museum.

        It’s hard to describe, but it’s almost like wanting tenure. As artists, you earn it. There is no nepotism in art. If you suck, on a long enough time line, you will fail no matter how much you try to hide it until you get better and rise to the challenge. There is no easy way. Much like martial arts. When you are bombarded with that much of your own restrictions and judgments of others, and yet know you cannot let your ego stop you from growing, at some point you just sometimes want a sigh of relief and have someone officially declaring you as something recognizably good so you get a sort of egoic platform under you. As if you would lose all your artistic ability if you suddenly let your ego sink in for even a moment.

        I’m not sure I’m describing it well, but I get the feeling other artists who’ve gone through training can generally understand what I mean.

        He sounds arrogant, and he could be. But at the same time, I cannot blame him for it yet. I’d be curious to hear how he said it, actually.

        • If you ever go to any of the museums where the old masters who devoted their lives to their art and mastery of it, and are able to see at all the level of skill involved in it, you wouldn’t say anything as thoughtless as what you say. You may speak of ego and childishness, yet it’s completely childish to say we’re not in competition with one another in some form. We gain inspiration from one another, that too is competition. It’s not always combative, but it is competition.

          Also, the vast majority of what the old masters did is commercial art, as I and many others do now. I hate the idealistic fools who believe that artists do things for themselves and take people along for the ride. If that were true, we never would even need to draw anything, we’d sit around and bask in our own imaginations. And is also the very ego I was describing that we’re constantly at war with. We are the sole proprietors of what we see in our heads, and honestly, there is a calling to bring it into the world, because art isn’t meant to be self-indulgence, it’s communication. Always has been, and always will be.

          The ones who have the ego you speak of are the ones who want refrigerator art. That is the ego you grow out of, into the ego I speak of. Ego and arrogance are not the same thing. If you’re an artist who doesn’t recognize the presence of your ego in your work, then you have become unconscious to it and it’s already overtaking your ability to perceive your work in multiple ways. It is a simple fact. In every single case where people pretend their ego isn’t there about their work, it means the ego has hidden behind a belief and they’re blind to it. Basic psychology.

        • “As an artist myself…”

          You are definitely in the wrong field/not an artist. An artist creates for themselves, art is self-expression. When you talk about ego you sound like all those people who draw up a bunch of shit and try to show everyone who will pat their ass and make them feel good.

          Most great artists weren’t even that well known in their lives. They just did their shit and gave people the opportunity to share in it with them by looking at pieces if they were interested.

          There are no masters in art, everyone sucks in certain ways and rocks in others. Some lack technical skills, some have technical skills but have no passion.

          So yeah, ‘ego’… I dunno what the fuck you’re talking about, but artists don’t give a shit about ego. This isn’t martial arts, we don’t stack against eachother, and the only limits are the ones we set upon ourselves. I use the term ‘we’ which doesn’t include ‘you’. Honestly an artist with an ego is just a kids who wants attention

      • After getting in the manga business they will know each others abilities and style so I guess That depends on the person. Whether they like to know everyones position officially or not. Same thing either way.

    • I agree. In alot of people’s eyes, as a mangaka, his work is in the same category as pandering rubbish like Kuroshitsuji and Bleach. He wants some kind of recognition beyond that.

      It’s like a serious and talented singer, who based solely on their trade, is grouped together and associated with the likes of Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black.

  • 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

  • Gotta stop with the misleading title. Viewers start entering a page raring to post without reading(sometimes at least) The last thing I want is a nerve being struck only to realize it was not needed.There should be a class at least official titles at least to recognize the pros without having to read every existing manga out there

    • Agreed. He just wants his job as a Mangaka to have rankings and progression, much like many other jobs. He may have implied that he would be pretty high up, but there wasn’t any arrogance in what he said.

      • He essentially stated he should be at the top of the ranking, and in any case it is clearly unusual for creators to expect rank and authority over other creators, given that there are no objective standards for art and that he has no formal authority over other artists of any sort.

        Should art be judged solely on popular acclaim or revenue? This is grossly insulting to artists who deliberately create works designed to appeal to specific groups.

        It is also insulting to people with differing tastes – how would you like to be told your favourite mangaka can never be considered a “sennin” because he is not popular enough or doesn’t have a coterie of editors and industry figures to grant him authority?

        The only alternative is seniority based on years active, which obviously has no place in a meritocratic environment.

        • Do you even read what you post?

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

          This line pretty succintly displays that it would be a goal for him to reach. One he has yet to attain, or else he would no longer be able to aim for it. Sure, he’s clearly confident in his work, and certain he’d be able to gain such a title, but he has good reason to be, as successful creator of one of the longer-running, best-selling mangas in the world. One that is widely perceived to actually be worthy of its position (or at least not as patently unworthy as its nearest competition).

          And what bodily orifice did you pull the whole “authoritarian” spiel out from? Nothing in the posted portion of the interview even hints at there being any kind of authority given by Oda’s hypothetical “Fantatista” title, and if there was any in the unposted portion, I think it wouldn’t have gone unposted. Besides, any suggestion that such a title would carry authority is ludicrous. Does Kobe Bryant have authority over Kevin Garnett because he was named the NBA Finals MVP? Does LeBron James rule over them both because he was named the MVP for the whole 2009-10 season? Do all three bow to Larry Bird because he’s in the Hall of Fame?

          Your penchant for yellow journalism is bad enough, but if you’re going to try to defend it, it would be advisable to actually pick one of your few stories in which you actually have a leg to stand on, instead of a laughably misleading fluff piece like this one…

          Plus, Oda is clearly joking around. Mangaka, seiyuu, and their counterparts in other countries are quite prone to do that in such interviews, you know.

        • So working only on One Piece and a few miniworks means he thinks he’s better than other mangaka? No. He works on One Piece because he wants to give his fans a story worth reading. It has nothing to do with One Piece’s popularity. He doesn’t want One Piece to have a disappointing, half-assed ending like many manga do.

        • Yes, rankings is probably not needed within a field such as arts. Much like directors and writers, there isn’t a rank as such because as you’ve said, art is an expression of an individual and how it is received depends on the audience.

          However as to how art should be judged, Oda did not say explicitly how it would be done in interview – it was more a passing comment. You’re the one assuming that it’ll only be based on popularity when you mentioned something about feeling insulted your favourite mangaka didn’t get in.

          Of course for a medium of narrative, it’ll be judged on many similar criteria that film critics use such as plot, setting, writing, length and so on. So to be honest, if the rankings for a mangaka should ever come in, if an anime or manga that I liked such as K-on was not recognised as a work of “art”, I wouldn’t be fazed. Most anime including the fetishes that the above poster mentioned just simply tend not to have good writing.

          In the end, anime/manga is meant to tell a story, and there ARE criteria to judge it though it is probably for the best if there are no such things as ranks.

        • Basically if he had his way the only ‘otaku’ left would be the mainstream that reads OP.

          All the niche stuff that gets posted here on SC would disappear. It wasn’t a ‘joke’ when he definitely didn’t say it was a joke, and it definitely wasn’t implied as a joke, and you read this same shit from other ‘tier 1’ mangaka/ other artists. Just because it was ‘out there’ doesn’t make it a joke.

          He’s serious, he actually thinks he’s better, thats why he hasn’t done a fucking thing other than OP and 5 other ‘miniworks’ over his career.

          I like the fact that theres DFC, armpits, -pan stuff, cosplay, etc ‘weird shit’.

          I like that we include everyone here, no one is an outsider and we are all accepted where we never would be elsewhere. So fuck you Oda, we love the little guys who in a ranking system, would be higher than you.

        • Carrot_Glace says:

          “However as to how art should be judged, Oda did not say explicitly how it would be done in interview – it was more a passing comment.”

          Well, it’s a little too elaborate to be a “passing comment”…

          “You’re the one assuming that it’ll only be based on popularity when you mentioned something about feeling insulted your favourite mangaka didn’t get in.”

          It’s pretty obvious what Oda is thinking, being the big guy right now. He wants a badge and a gun.

          Anyway, he’s just a shonen manga artist, and not a very good one compared to other shonen manga like “Slam Dunk” or “Hajime no Ippo”, with more elaborate art.

  • He’s not wrong, quite frankly.

    The entire world is governed by rankings and positions. I think it’s rather sad that no matter how hard you work in the industry, you’ll always just be ‘mangaka’.

    I hardly see him saying he’s better than everyone ever.

  • Well he does have a point in a way. Its like how everyone who can write is called a author, no matter if they write epic stories or trash like you pick up in the supermarkey checkout line. Sometimes you want to show your above the trash, and considering all the lolicon and poorly done mangakas out there, I cant blame him for wanting to show he is above them.

  • I hate One Piece’s art. The lines are too skinny, the chicks aren’t that hot. Give me Amazume Ryuuta’s (Nana to Kaoru) or Fumizuki Kou’s (Umi no Misaki) work any day over his.

    • So you think the USA are the world? *LOL* Sorry buddy but in europa and asia all together One Piece is more popular than Naruto. When Naruto finishes it will be forgotten after a few years, while One Piece will be mentioned in one breath with DragonBall as a true classic for all eternity! So yeah, deal with it!

  • Hmm. You Oda supporters sound just like pro-Mcfarlanists from back in the 90s when he was making millions off Spawn. It’s not the 1st time this has happened (e.g. Kevin Smith, Alan Moore, Chris Claremont) and it won’t be the last.

  • now that i recall we used to have a title for above others for outstanding artists/creators. there even was a tv documentary series interviewing such great
    individuals. but that title was given more on a consensus by both industry and fans alike. maybe Oda sells a lot but is not as great as he believes himself to be.
    I am not mentioning the title i describe because i would never give it to this guy,
    I don’t hate him but i am definitely not a fan of his work either, and i don’t want his fans to name him that way either. if he deserve it it would have come to him
    naturally long ago. but maybe he is just a media product as i fear because i feel there are an many mangaka more worthy than him and while not unrecognized they aren’t as overexposed as this guy.

  • Kinda reminds me of wanting to be a title than just a web developer for years and years.

    It seems reasonable until he starts picking on the little people.

    I’d still read One Piece despite all that.

  • oda…you and ur one piece of shit manga are garbage…simply garbage…popularity is not proof of skill…look at dragonball z, naruto, bleach, pokemon and others as a example of such…you are shit.

  • LanceRayne says:

    sigh.
    i cant get past the blatant misrepresentation of the female anatomy. cmon.. top wtf? no. SKILL. tenure.. if you as an artist ca over the last 10 years show that you have improved your art skills and story writing skills as well as pull the tenure. then i do believe you are allowed a “thank you” and a nice pat on the back. oh yea a raise.
    HAHAHAHHAAA
    still have yet to read the manga or watch the anime. just cannot get past the blatant disregard for basics. even if it is fiction.

    • thing is he didn’t say that he just wants something to strive for. I mean he knows he is number one amongst fans but if he gets too comfortable with just that, than he will also cease to be better.

      All jokes aside. He is at the top of his craft, putting something above him is probably more motivation to keep getting better. He didn’t say im the best He said in the interview he wanted to keep leveling up.

  • Actually I don’t think he’s the best. He may have created a fucking awesome story. But his I think his drawing style is poor. Really poor. I mean… look at the girls body. WTF is that?

    • It’s people like you who put pretty above everything that makes a story good. I like Oda’s art, OP can be wacky at times and the art fit’s the humor perfectly. It’s funny how americans love to bash OP for having ugly art, but look at all those ugly american cartoons they love to watch so much.
      Think of it this way, OP – ugly art, but gets praised, Bleach – pretty art, but gets bashed. Take it or leave it.

  • That’s kind of a weird statement. Manga artists are already in hierarchy in relation to one another in terms of job benefits and salary regardless of title, so a title in this case would only serve as a way to show one’s superior status to others.I don’t know what he wants, perhaps that such system would encourage young manga artists to try harder?

    • True, his artistic abilities are very limited. He’s not Kentaro Miura nor is he Hiroaki Samura.

      What sets him above most is his ability to plot out the story. Which is something the mangaka of Bleach knows nothing of, for example.

      But, IMO, the best mangaka, in terms of plot and overall story is Nagano Mamoru. Not only did he have a firm idea of where FSS was going, he laid out the entire timeline from day zero. Major plot lines were carved in stone, so he could concentrate on telling the story to those events.

      • You can’t really compare Miura to Oda.

        Actually, I’d say Oda’s more impressive as a mangaka because of the quality of his series that he’s able to release on a weekly basis. Miura’s art is fantastic, but he and his group only release it what, a chapter every four months for a magazine that’s released twice a month? That’s pretty lazy. Even Hirohiko Araki draws as nicely as him and SBR is still released once a month.

        • cant stand the people always talking about pretty art. Story telling and dialogue is whats important. The art is simply there to help you visually the artist concept. Basic Comic Theory.
          OP story is better than bleach’s (still not very good)
          Dialouge is also better. Bleach looks better (still immature and standard for the genre) but is overall a weak manga and anime. OP beats bleach but neither is very well put together.

    • He dont need to ‘reconsider’ his drawing capability, that art of his earn him a shit tons of money.

      his art gives the atmosphere of ‘THIS IS MY WORK’ while his plot (as usual) drive the manga into something that you keep wanna looking forward to.

      Actually, joking or not. His background shouts of how powerful has he become in the industry.

  • Yoshihiro Togashi is probably rolling in even more dough than Oda since Hunter x Hunter is one of the “legendary” status manga. Don’t believe me? I wonder why it still holds such a high popularity despite being on hiatus for in total, quite a long time.

  • Lol@the OPtards actually thinking the title “King of Manga” is something he deserves xD
    As good as One Piece might be it’s nowhere near the top layer of epic manga’s, it’s above the middle section at best.

  • Creating a shitty Jump manga with shitty art quality (not knocking his style, though) is reason enough to never have a higher “rank”. I don’t care if he’s been doing it for over 10 years, the quality of his art and manga in general are bottom of the barrel.

  • Hmm. You Oda supporters sound just like pro-Mcfarlanists from back in the 90s when he was making millions off Spawn. Don’t feed into his hype. In the next 10 years he’ll be history and the ride will be over. Only those who truly love comics will continue on to create great works that will grab our attention. His self proclamation of how great he his just detracts from what’s REALLY important: the manga. Attention anywhere else just feeds the ego, as a result he’ll keep this up and will lose interest or derail from writing a good story because he thinks he’s larger than slice bread. It’s not the 1st time this has happened (e.g. Kevin Smith, Alan Moore, Chris Claremont) and it won’t be the last.

  • Carrot_Glace says:

    Just call this jerk “General”, but in exchange, let’s call Taiyo Matsumoto “Shogun” Tsutomu Takahashi “King”, Naoki Urasawa “Emperor”, and Takehiko Inoue “God”