Masashi Kishimoto’s Main Character Almost Had To Share His Name With One of the Straw Hat Pirates.


One Piece and Naruto are two of the most popular series to ever feature in Weekly Shonen Jump.
One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda and Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto are fierce competitors in the manga scene.
Oda almost named a Straw Hat Pirate after the protagonist of Masashi Kishimoto’s manga, Naruto, when creating one of his characters.

One Piece and Naruto are two of the most popular series ever to appear in Weekly Shonen Jump. With millions of fans worldwide, these stories are among the best, and their value has won over admirers from all over the world. Eiichiro Oda, the author of One Piece, and Masashi Kishimoto, the author of Naruto, are rivals in the manga industry but good friends in real life.
Naruto and LuffyNaruto and Luffy
As many may be aware, One Piece and Naruto are both part of “The Big Three,” the world’s most popular anime series, granting their creators the same prominence. The two artists have frequently expressed appreciation for one another’s work and have even included references to it in their pieces.

However, the story doesn’t stop there. Oda while writing one of his characters nearly made the massive mistake of naming a Straw Hat Pirate after Masashi Kishimoto’s manga’s main character Naruto. The character from One Piece was none other than Vinsmoke Sanji, the cook of the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece.

Eiichiro Oda Almost Named Sanji as Naruto in One Piece

In 2015, Oda in an interview which was later translated by @sandman_AP talked about how he was originally going to name the character of Sanji as Naruto. However, when Naruto manga started two years after One Piece, Eiichiro Oda knew that it was going to be a success, thus he had to change the name.

Oda stated:

“Sanji’s name was originally Naruto. But when Naruto manga started, I knew it was going to be a long-running series, so I quickly changed his name. Do you see Sanji’s eyebrows swirling? (Naruto is the white and pink *swirling* toppings on Japanese noodles.)”

Black Leg SanjiBlack Leg Sanji – One Piece
Oda while explaining the original meaning behind the name Naruto pointed out that Sanji was going to be named Naruto because of his swirling eyebrows which directly resemble Naruto which is a white and pink swirling topping used in ramen or Japanese noodles. He knew that the name would create a problem with the fans, so he changed it.

The Rivalry of Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto

For many years, Kishimoto and Oda have had a cordial rivalry. Although there was competition between Oda and Masashi Kishimoto to become the best in manga and anime, Oda and Kishimoto are actually extremely good friends, and Oda has even occasionally drawn inspiration from Kishimoto for his own works.
Naruto vs LuffyNaruto and One Piece
These stories began to be serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine around the same period. While Naruto started airing in 1999, One Piece started airing in 1997. Additionally, their friendship reached its zenith as their manga developed. The rivalry between One Piece and Naruto stayed limited to their work and both manga creators got a new friend.

The two have always given off the impression of being extremely close, and it is wonderful to see fellow mangaka value one other’s artistic creations in addition to being close friends in real life. Now, Kishimoto is working on the sequel spin-off series of Naruto called Boruto, and Oda is working on the final saga of One Piece.