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Eiichiro Oda Thinks Up New One Piece Ideas By Pushing Himself To Exhaustion

Manga offers its readers a variety of themes and storylines, but few series have come close to how "One Piece" continuously expands and delivers new, creative beats. The long-running series tells the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man who aspires to be King of the Pirates. Along the way, he builds up a loyal crew of friends and an equally impressive list of enemies.

The popular manga, written by Eiichiro Oda, has gone through over 1000 chapters, and its anime adaptation is also over 1000 episodes. Over the decades, "One Piece" has delivered heartbreaking losses, as well as the joy that comes from a successful quest. While some of the adventures Luffy and crew go on are easier than others, each arc captures Oda's instinct to keep the material top-tier.

With that in mind, pressure to maintain a level of quality would stress anyone out, and Oda deals with these rigors in his own way.  

Oda's exhaustion creates stories and medical maladies

Eiichiro Oda revealed to Viz Media what it takes to come up with any "One Piece" storyline. It might be surprising to long-time readers, but the creator spoke about bouts of boredom while developing the manga. "If my manga was just about the action, or comedy, or tear-jerking moments, more than anybody, I would get bored," Oda said. 

The boredom, as Oda pointed out, is what prompts him to change up the style of the series; however, there is another secret that keeps Oda motivated, and it has a physical toll. Coming up with all these characters, emotional beats, and plotlines is a lot, and new ideas often come to mind when Oda is exhausted. "I think of the plots and scenes when I'm tired. The only way that I can think of a new idea is to think about it a lot without sleeping or eating," Oda said. "That's the only way that I know because humans can only come up with truly new ideas when they reach their limit."

To no surprise, functioning off of a few hours of sleep can take a serious toll on the body. In fact, Oda told the official One Piece newspaper that it was producing physical issues for him, like swollen tonsils. This became such a problem that the "One Piece" creator even needed surgery to remove them (via One Piece Podcast). Oda has been hard at work on this manga for decades, and while it has affected him physically at points, there is no denying "One Piece" will go down in history as one of the most beloved manga out there.