Oda's inspiration for the One Piece series has finally been found and the similarities are shocking

One Piece
One Piece's ending could be predicted by a major inspiration for the series (Image via Toei Animation).

One Piece is praised for its world-building, lore, and several mysteries that are yet to be confirmed. However, it is no secret that author Eiichiro Oda takes inspiration from a lot of sources to make his magnum opus. There are some obvious examples, such as Dressrosa being inspired by Spanish culture or Wano Country being a direct copy of feudal Japan. That being said, there are other lesser-known influences that have defined the series over the years.

Many One Piece fans are unaware that several of the series' biggest and most prominent plot points are inspired by an anime Oda was a huge fan of when he was a kid in the 80s. This doesn't mean that he copied or plagiarized the series but it does have several clear influences from that story, structuring what would become the highest-selling manga of all time.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the One Piece series. Any opinion expressed here belongs to the author and not Sportskeeda.


Explaining the similarities between One Piece and one of author Eiichiro Oda's favorite series when he was a kid

The series in question is a 1982 production called The Mysterious Cities of Gold and, with 39 episodes, holds a lot of similarities with One Piece. One of the first similarities, and one of the most notorious, is that Esteban, the protagonist, is known as the child of the Sun God. This is just like how Luffy is the wielder of the Sun God Nika fruit.

Additionally, the characters in that series are traveling to the New World, much like the Straw Hats. To add to that, a girl from the crew, Zia, is the only one who can read ancient texts, much like Nico Robin. The 1982 production also has four locations that lead people to the Cities of Gold. This matches the Road Poneglyphs in Oda's story and Poneglyphs look very similar to the ancient texts in The Mysterious Cities of Gold.

There is one of the cities of gold introduced in the older series that is entirely made out of gold, much like Shandora in the Skypiea arc in One Piece. That 80s anime also had ancient technology, as has been shown in Oda's work. There also is an explanation that the cities of gold were created to save people from an impending war, which could work as a reference to the Void Century. However, this last part is mere speculation.


What does this mean for One Piece?

Luffy is bound to become the King of the Pirates (Image via Toei Animation).
Luffy is bound to become the King of the Pirates (Image via Toei Animation).

It makes sense that a lot of One Piece fans might be thinking that Oda plagiarized the series or that this anime is a roadmap to predict the former's ending. However, the truth of the matter is that none of those perspectives are really true. While it is fairly obvious that Oda took a lot of inspiration from the earlier series, it is worth pointing out that his manga has a lot of unique elements. Thus, making Oda's series its own thing throughout the years.

The World Government has a different role and Oda's series has a much more serious tone, despite its goofy moments, than The Mysterious Cities of Gold. Therefore, it is safe to assume that is not going to end the same way. Both series have strong similarities but also have a lot of prominent differences that make them their own individual stories.


Final thoughts

The Mysterious Cities of Gold is an 80s anime series that holds a lot of similarities with One Piece and there is a strong argument to be made that Oda was inspired by it. The connections are quite obvious, so it makes sense that a lot of people believe that anime could be a hint of the ending of Oda's manga.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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