5 ways One Piece and My Hero Academia are similar (and 5 ways they are different)
Despite key differences, My Hero Academia takes heavy inspiration from the One Piece series.
A decade before My Hero Academia began, Kohei Horikoshi sent fan art to Eiichiro Oda. The young mangaka showed his appreciation through Usopp's Pirate Gallery, which ran back in One Piece Volume 23.
Their respective series have been major successes for Weekly Shōnen Jump. Oda and Horikoshi are responsible for wildly popular works of art. It's also clear that both men have a deeply profound respect for each other.
Note: This article solely reflects the opinions of the writer
Five ways One Piece and My Hero Academia are similar
1) Devil Fruits and Quirks have three types
Both series use a power system that can be classified into three different types.
One Piece grants special abilities via Devil Fruits:
- Paramecia: Users are given a random ability
- Zoan: Users can turn into a specific animal
- Logia: Users can transform into a particular element
My Hero Academia follows suit with their Quirks:
- Emitter: Users can generate or even control something
- Transformation: Users can alter their appearances for various purposes
- Mutant: Users have physical abnormalities that give them powers
Horikoshi grew up reading Oda's work, so it's very likely he took inspiration here. It's a simple but effective way to diversify a power system. The authors just need to split it into three sub-categories.
2) Some Quirks are very similar to Devil Fruit powers
Horikoshi has certainly learned a lot from Oda, given his creative mindset for special powers. My Hero Academia has more than a few Quirks that function very similarly to Devil Fruits.
For example, Setsuna Tokage has the ability to split her body into several different pieces. She can also control each piece manually.
Lizard Tail Splitter is very similar to Buggy's Devil Fruit from One Piece. The Bara Bara no Mi gives him those same exact powers. Of course, the only difference is that Setsuna can regenerate, while Buggy has immunity to slash attacks.
3) Both series have a strong concept of justice
Izuku Midoriya always felt the need to look after people. Better known by the hero name Deku, he never hesitates to help those around him.
Deku often puts himself in danger in My Hero Academia. He truly wants to become the Symbol of Peace for Japan, regardless of the potential risks.
One Piece also deals with a main character and their moral convictions. No matter what, Luffy will always protect his friends.
The notorious pirate was more than willing to punch out a World Noble, given their abusive power and corrupt practices. Luffy doesn't even care about the consequences. He just does what he feels is right.
4) The strongest characters serve as mentors
Ever since he was a small child, Deku wanted to become just like his favorite superhero. All Might was the Symbol of Peace for Japan. With the use of his OFA Quirk, he became the strongest character in the series.
Meanwhile, Luffy wanted to become the Pirate King because of a single man. Shanks is among the strongest pirates in the world, but it was his belief in freedom that caught Luffy's attention.
Interestingly, both of these mentors sacrificed their strength just for the sake of their proteges. All Might gave Deku his powers, while Shanks lost his arm protecting Luffy.
5) Main protagonists can read the inner thoughts of people
Luffy has the special ability to figure out what his friends are thinking. Whenever they are put in a painful situation, the Straw Hat will know exactly how they really feel. His compassionate instincts really start to kick in.
Deku also shares a similar trait in his own series. He is very good at understanding emotional problems. For instance, when he went to a family dinner with Shoto Todoroki, Deku knew that he wanted to forgive his father. Shoto was just looking for the right time and place.
Five ways One Piece and My Hero Academia are different
1) Anarchy versus order
My Hero Academia regularly deals with the concept of law versus chaos. Heroes want to establish order within the world. For better or worse, everybody must follow a set of rules. In response, villains represent disorder and disarray since they seek to destroy regulations.
One Piece is completely different in that regard. The main heroes are pirates with a strong belief in freedom. Meanwhile, the Marines want to enforce their will onto everybody, which makes them major antagonists.
In a way, My Hero Academia represents tradition, while One Piece speaks for the exact opposite. Deku and Luffy couldn't be more diametrically opposed.
2) My Hero Academia doesn’t have a timeskip
Sadly, My Hero Academia will end in the very near future. Of course, there is a possibility for a timeskip in the final chapters, just like Naruto and Bleach.
However, the entire main story has gone without one. Deku will still be in high school by the time he defeats Tomura Shigaraki. My Hero Academia didn't consider a timeskip necessary for the story.
One Piece, on the other hand, has been running for over 25 years now, so it's been a long journey. The Straw Hat Pirates needed to train for the New World since they weren't strong enough.
With that in mind, One Piece underwent a two-year timeskip. This resulted in major physical changes for all the main characters.
3) Deku is far more intelligent than Luffy
For all intents and purposes, Luffy is a very simple-minded person. His intelligence wouldn't rank very high among One Piece characters. This is someone who often says what's on his mind out loud without realizing that he said it.
Deku's analytical mindset is a far cry from Luffy. My Hero Academia has repeatedly showcased his genius intellect on several occasions. He takes notes in class, always scores high grades and never fails to notice something.
4) One Piece is far bigger in size and scope
Human creativity has no limits, and Eiichiro Oda never ceases to amaze his fans. One Piece offers a breathtaking world of fantastical races, beautiful kingdoms, and various animal species. The history and lore behind the series are also second to none. Very few anime series can even compare in that regard.
World-building has never been a major strength for My Hero Academia. While the cast is very colorful, the same cannot be said of the main setting. The modern city landscapes are fairly unimaginative, especially when compared to Water 7 or Wano Country.
Horikoshi rarely explores the world beyond Japan, which limits the size and scope of the series. Outside of movies, Deku rarely sees what lies beyond the boundaries. It would be more fun to have a vacation in the One Piece universe than My Hero Academia.
5) Luffy doesn’t always play the role of a hero
For the most part, Deku is a law-abiding citizen in My Hero Academia. However, there will be times when he does break a few rules. One example involves him going after the Hero Killer Stain when he wasn't supposed to. To be fair to him, he would never let criminals run free to do as they please.
Luffy can be considered a rogue anti-hero. He is more than willing to get those hands dirty in One Piece. Infamously, he broke into Impel Down just to release his brother from captivity. By doing so, he also freed several dangerous criminals, all of whom were societal threats.
If someone like Bakugo were sent to Tartarus for a crime he committed, it's hard to believe that Deku would break the law and bust him out. He certainly wouldn't let the other inmates run wild, either.
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