5 ways Naruto and One Piece are similar (and 5 ways they aren’t)

Restaurant sales would certainly rise with these two (Image via Sportskeeda)
Restaurant sales would certainly rise with these two (Image via Sportskeeda)

Ninjas and pirates may not have anything in common, but Naruto and One Piece certainly do.

Eiichiro Oda and Masashi Kishimoto are very good friends in real life. Their shared interests can also be found in their respective series. Fans will take note of the similarities right away. For instance, food and friendship is a recurring theme.

Of course, that is only scratching the surface. Naruto and One Piece have a lot in common, but they also have distinct identities. Weekly Shōnen Jump owes a lot to Oda and Kishimoto, given the massive popularity of their series. Perhaps both authors use a similar model for success.


Five ways Naruto and One Piece are very similar


5) The main characters embrace their goofiness

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Naruto and One Piece are definitely not afraid of making their main characters look funny. Visual gags, exaggerated facial expressions, and immature jokes are what set them apart from the likes of Bleach.

They can be a major source of comedy for many anime fans. Both series know about not taking themselves too seriously.


4) Worldbuilding is a very important aspect for both series

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A living and breathing world is a basic necessity for all-time great animes.

Naruto deals with geographical warfare on a major scale. Several clans rule over villages, each with their own specialty. For example, the Land of Water is typically shrouded in heavy mist. They mainly focus on Water Release techniques.

Speaking of water, the One Piece world is surrounded by it. The series is known for its deep lore, such as the mysterious Red Line that divides the seas. Very few creative works have the rich history of this series. It's arguably Oda's biggest strength.


3) Neither protagonist is afraid of danger

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Shōnen manga protagonists never let fear take hold of their hearts. Even in the face of grave danger, both Luffy and Naruto will do anything to protect their friends. Whether it's fighting a world government or a shadowy clan of ninjas, they stop at nothing to achieve their goals.


2) They love to eat

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Akira Toriyama has definitely inspired future generations of manga writers. Goku from Dragon Ball Z has always been a big eater. Naturally, Oda and Kishimoto made sure their main characters would share those traits.

Luffy and Naruto love devouring food in their free time. Neither protagonist would ever leave a bowl of ramen empty. Good exercise is the only reason why they haven't gotten fat over the years.

Funny enough, One Piece even has an official cookbook.


1) Friendship is a very important theme

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The Straw Hats have always been there for each other in the One Piece series. Friendship is a key aspect of Luffy's adventures. He could've never gotten as far as he did without the likes of Zoro and Sanji backing him up. Mutual trust is a major advantage in One Piece.

Meanwhile, Naruto has always desired acknowledgement from the Hidden Leaf Village. Camaraderie is a valuable concept to him, which is why he inspires everyone around him. Even major villains can be reasoned with via Talk-No-Jutsu.


Five ways Naruto and One Piece are very different


5) The power scaling is far more broken in Naruto

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The strongest Naruto characters have access to story breaking abilities. Some of them can rewrite the laws of reality or bend space and time.

Madara Uchiha was infamous for his extreme feats. For example, his Perfect Susanoo gives him the ultimate offense and defense. That's not even getting to his other broken powers. He can trap opponents under his Genjutsu spells and use invisible attacks with Limbo: Border Jail.

One Piece is far more subdued with their power scaling. Kaido may be the world's strongest creature, but he doesn't use broken attacks. He's a physically powerful fighter who simply knocks people down.


4) One Piece doesn’t focus on romance that much

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Kishimoto likes to explore romantic feelings between his main characters. The most prominent examples involve Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno. For better or worse, it's a defining aspect of Sakura's characterization. They even married each other after the series ended.

On the flip side, Oda doesn't really care about the subject matter. With the exception of Sanji, none of the Straw Hat Pirates display any romantic feelings for each other. Even then, Sanji's perversion is played up for laughs.

Luffy also tends to ignore the advances of Boa Hancock, showing that he doesn't really care about love at the moment.


3) Naruto has already fulfilled his dream

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The famous ninja spent his entire life trying to become the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village, also known as Konohagakure. It's a highly respectable position of power in this series. Now that his journey has ended back in 2014, he finally became the Seventh Hokage.

Meanwhile, Luffy's journey to become the Pirate King is still ongoing. Some fans even joke that Luffy's child will have a spin-off around the same time as Boruto's grandchildren.


2) Luffy is far more anti-heroic

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Naruto is far more noble with his intentions. He strives to be a good person just for the sake of doing so. By comparison, Luffy committed some rather questionable crimes in the One Piece series.

For all intents and purposes, he is a rogue pirate who does whatever he wants. When Luffy tried to save his sworn brother Ace from the Impel Down prison, he also released some dangerous criminals along the way.


1) A massive difference in Western popularity

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The English dub for Naruto first aired on Cartoon Network, which gave them a larger platform with a younger audience. What really helped is the excellent performance from the voice cast. An entire generation grew up with this pop culturel phenomenom.

By comparison, One Piece was completely ruined by the 4Kids! dub. It was defined by questionable voice acting, cringeworthy dialog, and nonsensical removal of certain plots. This really hurt their overall perception from western countries, specifically the United States.

One Piece is still the highest selling manga in history, so it's not a failure by any means. However, given its clumsy headstart, it never took off in the United States. At the very least, it maintains popularity in countries like France.


Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

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