One Piece is one of the most popular Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It’s centered on the journey of a boy named Monkey D. Luffy, who dreamt of becoming the next pirate king. One Piece began in 1997, and no one has an idea when it will come to an end.
In a recent author’s column, as translated by Japan Today, Eiichiro Oda revealed that One Piece was only supposed to last for five years and the original storyline would be the battle of Luffy and the Strawhat Pirates against the Four Emperors of the Sea. The addition of powerful villains called the Seven Warlords of the Sea is the main reason why the popular manga is still running until today.
“The reason why ‘One Piece’ has been continually running for the past 20 years is because of the Seven Warlords of the Sea (the Shichibukai),” Oda said. “‘One Piece’ was initially intended to be a tale of fighting against the Four Emperors (the Yonko), wrapping up after just five years. It struck me that having these cool Seven Warlords of the Sea in the comic would be awesome; it was just a passing thought really. And then, just like a horror movie, it’s spiraled into such a long series!!”
Eiichiro Oda decided to create the Seven Warlords of the Sea because the phrase “sounded so much cooler.” The inclusion of the villains indeed made One Piece more interesting. The Seven Warlords of the Sea are powerful pirates who allied themselves with the World Government. On his journey to become the next pirate king, Luffy defeated several warlords, including Crocodile at Alabasta arc, Gecko Moria at Thriller Bark arc, and the most recent, Donquixote Doflamingo at Dressrosa arc.
Some warlords decided to team up with Luffy. These include Pirate Empress Boa Hancock, Jinbe, and Trafalgar D. Water Law. As of now, there is no doubt that Oda made the right decision to have the Seven Warlords of the Sea in One Piece.
The villains gave the manga more thrill and excitement and fans are surely waiting to see how the new warlord, Edward Weevil, can affect the story. So far, One Piece manga and TV series are featuring Whole Cake Island arc with Luffy finally facing one of the Four Emperors of the Sea, Charlotte Linlin a.k.a. Big Mom.