Most of us know Oda, Eiichiro Oda, the creator of the world we're so amazed of. I decided to do an analysis on the style he uses in the creation of the series this encyclopedia has been created for.
There are many things to point out, but the one thing that I find most important of all is how well he planned his entire series. Oda knows how to get from point A to point B
From the very first chapters he already planned out very many things. In the first sage there was a really large amount of references to future events, all playing key roles in the future:
- Haki (first chapter, when shanks loses his arm for saving Luffy)
- Ace and Whitebeard (the explination of DF abilities by Morgan)
- Luffy's inheritage (Loguetown and there is also the cover story where Garp is shown)
- Jinbe and the Fishman island arc
There are also lots and lots of other elements that have a major role, BUT, one of the most important foreshadowings are those from Ace searching for Blackbeard, which seem not so important at first.
- In the Drum Island arc, Ace is shown searching for someone.
- In Arabasta arc, Ace meets Luffy! He even tells him that he is searching for Blackbeard.
- In the Jaya arc, we see Blackbeard for the first time.
- After Enies Lobby, it finally happens, the two fight each other
Their battle, known as the Banaro Incident is what lead to a great war and a change in eras.
There was a huge, really huge amount of elements from the story in the Marineford arc. I would like to present a few of them starting with the ones I mentioned above in the East Blue saga:
- Haki (you can all imagine the widespread use of haki in the war)
- Luffy fighting Buggy lead to Buggy's participation in the war
- The same goes for Mr 3
- The explination of DF, huge tidal waves and creating fire are the Devil Fruits of the two major characters that died in the war, two of the biggest plot keys were obviously created from the very beginning by Oda
- Luffy's inheritage lead to Ivankov, Crocodile and Daz Bones joining the war on Luffy's side adding to the story with more elements
- Smoker was present at the war, because he had met Luffy in Loguetown
- Meeting Law earlier at Sabaody lead to Luffy managing to get away from the war alive
- All shichibukais were shown before throughout the story on different occasions
- Jinbe was mentioned back in the Baratie arc, he manages to play a great role along with Law in the story, being one of the men who save Luffy from Sakazuki's might
- Aokiji, Garp, Sengoku and many other marines have been shown throughout the story, way before Marineford, there were few new and important faces, except for one huge exception, the main villain of the Marineford arc, Sakazuki!!!!
So many examples show that Oda is amazingly good at putting together the pieces of puzzle from his story, most likely planning certain plot points and the rest are simple genius combinations of ideas.
This huge amount of things leads to another great thing to describe Oda's style.
It is very slow.
Oda seems to be always full of ideas. You can see them EVERYWHERE, in every chapter, there is no need for examples since all of these ideas are what he fills the road from A to B as I mentioned before. They are always coming out at a realistic pace, never too rushed and almost always fitting in perfectly with the story. They are the jokes, the powers, the names, the small things, the images, the easter eggs, all the discussions and relationships between characters.
The characters in One Piece are the best characters as an average from all that I've seen until now. All those fillings, all the dialogue and interactions, basically ALL THE SMALL THINGS lead to the major ideas that Oda's style gets into us. Oda's been incredibely good at this, getting to be respected by many people, including former enemies like Crocodile, there are reasons for everything in One Piece (although there is a great exception that has its reason too). The sheer amount of small things make up the whole relationship between characters and character development, but also to the even greater impact fights have on us.
The best example of this would be also in Marineford. There was a huge war, many fight scenes, deaths, so many other things happening. Everyone was doing their best, all those feelings accumulating, the tension, Luffy almost dying many times. After all that, finally Ace is saved!!! Finally! Not only that, but for a whole story! Since the very beginning, feelings have been accumulating all for saving Ace. The Impel Down arc was all just for rescuing Ace. After all those small things, all the small fights, all the big fights, after all that, Sakazuki kills Ace in Luffy's arms. (as a sidenote, I did not cry at this, but I did cry at the death of the strongest man in the world, starting a war for one nakama is simply too much!)
Merry's death, the saddest moment is easily explained, it was the death of a nakama... someone whom they spent so much time together, Luffy even fought Usopp because of that. A whole arc was dedicated to this and to Robin's past affecting the present! The best arc (in my opinion ofc), Water 7. Even the foreshadowing from the Skypiea arc!
All the small things and all the big things gave the word nakama a powerful meaning, not that of a simple crewmember, but that of someone greater than a friend! Oda's style is reflected in the power that simple word has. Being able to give a word another meaning that what it would in reality is not easily achieved.
I must also include in "the small things" all the funny moments that make us laugh. Planting a zombie (my personal favorite), Luffy, Zoro and Sanji sleeping and later looking like 3 retards, Nami getting angry and owning the 3 and so many others! One of the most recent moments is Law finally meeting Luffy and his crew.
The countless small elements leading to the bigger, the whole, make Oda's style very complex and long, but also his characters complex and interesting. They also make the series so long, since Oda's style is so full of details, simply fully presenting key elements takes so many chapter and smaller elements. He was supposed to finish One Piece about 9-10 years ago, but it only reached half.
This complexity and amount of elements makes it impossible to show them all at once all the time, which is a down side to Oda's style, but his cover stories are a great compensation for that.
As one important note on Oda's style, I would like to mention the fact that the whole story is incredibely unexpected, full of turns of events!!! You all noticed that you can never fully predict something and how it will turn out to be like in One Piece, because the story is so twisted. There are many unexpected things happening! Some foreshadowed!
- Luffy losing to Crocodile
- Ace being Roger's son
- Dragon and Garp being Luffy's father and grandfather
- Roger and his crew have went to Skypiea
- Ace's death
- Law appearing at Marineford
And the list goes on, but for me the most shocking thing was Hody's reason or should I say. lack of reason. Because the story of One Piece has always been so full of reasons and Hody was going so far, as to destroy his entire island, I consider this to be the most shocking thing from the story. (I went numb for 5 minutes with my jaw dropped, unable to speak when I heard that so yeah...)
I should also mention that very, but very very many chapters have cliffhangers. Even the latest 4 chapters have them to a certain degree:
- Law mentioning his plan
- The slime being fully shown
- Luffy, Robin and Franky not listening to Law's plan and bargning in on the fight
- Luffy grabbing CC
These elements are very important in Oda's style to make the reader follow the story in the next chapter as well!
One of the best elements in the story of One Piece is humor that seems to be everywhere. Even Luffy's ability was supposed to be something to make people laugh whenever they see it (although, now it has become much more serious). Oda is amazing at making scenes from which you laugh to which you cry from one panel to another (exaggerating).
As an example, I would like to take one of the most amazing scenes from One Piece: http://www.mangapanda.com/103-2497-17/one-piece/chapter-390.html
From all the seriousness shown there, the discussion Luffy is having with Robin, her refusal to come back no matter what. The battle and the defeat of Yokozuna along with the imminent defeat of the pirates is followed by the funny ways in which the strawhats reach the roof and the way Luffy is talking, completely opposite to what Luffy is actually talking to Robin, which is something truly serious and so powerful that it even makes her cry! The whole Enies Lobby arc was filled with funny moments, although it was incredibely serious. The situation they were in was clearly shown by the side characters, whilst the SH made it seem so easy!
Two of the most important comic points in One Piece are the incredible face-faults like my avatar, Jinbe's reaction to seeing Shirahoshi out of the tower and many others, that are seen often throughout the series! There are also the different perspective on situations! Side-characters and even some strawhats (like Nami, Usopp and Chopper) always play a role in shouting (with a face-fault most of the time) a realistic perspective on the situation the SH are in, whilst Oda presents with great humor, the opposite, the fun and adventurous perspective of Luffy. This contrast creates great comic scenes!
I might have gotten some information wrong, I might have omitted some elements and you might have a different opinion than be. So please excuse me in those cases. Hope I understood at least something and managed to explain well enough the incredible style of our God, ODA!
The blog idea and some points I made came from my discussion/argument with Kaity a while ago.