Eiichiro Oda's 2014 Interview with GHIBLI Magazine
(Source: http://onepiece.ria10.com/Entry/3206/ / Translation: rio poneglyph from the http://opforum.net)
Eiichiro Oda: ''The special work connecting past and future is exactly the One Piece that I've been drawing.''
I'm a Hayao Miyazaki fan, it's a great happiness to see his drawings, which gave me huge satisfaction after visiting this exhibit.
When I was a child, most of the WSJ series didn't have much coherence in terms of their stories. Both mangakas and readers only cared about the amusement without taking the coherence of story into consideration. That said, when I became a mangaka, the story I wanted to draw should be clear and coherent. Nowadays, readers are fastidious. I feel this trend is like the closer the readers see, the better they are. Maybe it's because adults started to read what originally belonged to the kids.
Mangakas began to organize content because they wanted to get approval from those adult readers. But there's a nonexistent rule for creating a story that everything of it must cohere as a whole and there must be foreshadowing. Free imagination, on the other hand, is what will make readers happy and should exist.
I'm currently drawing a story about a toy soldier. Speaking of toys, the common impression is they'll be broken one day. Unlike humans, they won't recover. It's also unusual to fix it. This kind of illusory feeling isn't bad.
I started drawing with imagination as well. This time (Dressrosa), I first drew a scene where Toy Soldier and a little girl walk forward holding hands. Later every step progresses from this point. My impression of soldiers, to put it bluntly, is they're dead men. Drawing a young girl next to the toy soldier makes it feel alive.
Girls are usually more fragile and in need of help, for sure. It's even more so when I think about my daughter. The impact of environment is significant. I couldn't have imagined drawing a parent-child story before I got married. (rio: As it says 'Art comes from life, and goes beyond life.')
There's a female character, Nico Robin, when drawing that respective arc for her, I was taken aback because it was the first time drawing a parent-child story. Up until then, I had never thought of drawing something like it. When I look around, my wife is there, my daughter is there, I can't remember since when my impression of parent-child has changed from my parents to my wife and daughter.
As for manga, it does happen that someone's story is a repetition of another completely unknown one. More likely to happen when it comes to long serialization.
There'll be some same motives in mangakas' mind to put stuff happening around, historical background or one's own thoughts into his manga. I'll of course take it for granted, but it also influences the society. When there's a depression/recession, manga with optimistic content would be popular. It's always simple to accept things that walk towards the opposite direction of the era. I'll more look forward to having a look at that unimaginable ideal world only when I feel painful.
Last words said to Hayao Miyazaki, whichever way you choose, I hope you keep drawing, I really want to see it.