“It was a deliberate subversion of Dragon Ball”: Eiichiro Oda Made One Piece Much Different from Akira Toriyama’s Masterpiece After Calling it ‘Too Simple’

Eiichiro Oda wanted to create a story that was completely different from his inspiration.

dragon-ball, one-piece


  • One Piece's creator, Eiichiro Oda, has frequently acknowledged that he is a huge fan of Akira Toriyama and that his masterpiece, Dragon Ball, served as inspiration.
  • However, Suguru Sugita, one of the One Piece editors, claimed that Oda sought to undermine Dragon Ball's simplicity in order to create a more complex story.
  • Oda was successful in this endeavor, creating one of the most popular anime narratives of all time.
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Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, has confessed multiple times that he is a big fan of Akira Toriyama and has been inspired by his magnum opus, Dragon Ball. There have been instances where fans have pointed out the reference to Dragon Ball in One Piece, pointing out the respect and admiration Oda has for Toriyama.

Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z

However, one of the One Piece editors, Suguru Sugita, once revealed that Oda wanted to subvert the simplicity of Dragon Ball as he wanted to create a more intricate narrative for the One Piece world, which would make it much more different than Toriyama’s masterpiece. Oda was successful in doing so and managed to make one of the biggest anime storylines of all time.

But this doesn’t mean that Dragon Ball’s simplicity was undermined in any way by the manga. While some anime and manga fans prefer a simple storyline like Dragon Ball, others want to delve deeper into the narrative, which is why they prefer One Piece.


Eiichiro Oda Wanted to Subvert Dragon Ball

In one of his interviews, which was later shared by Anime Hunch, One Piece’s eighth editor, Sugita, revealed that Eiichiro Oda once told him that One Piece has more complex plots and characters than Dragon Ball, which is why it subverts the Dragon Ball story, which is too simple compared to One Piece.

Sugita stated:

“One Piece was a deliberate subversion of Dragon Ball due to its significantly more complex tale and characters, whereas Dragon Ball is a Manga renowned for its simplicity.”

Although the central plot of One Piece revolves around the treasure, the different narratives that are introduced in the arcs are all quite complex and indirectly connect everything to the conclusion of the story.

One Piece has entered it's final arc
One Piece

Although Dragon Ball also has a lot of plots and storylines, they mostly focus on making Goku, the protagonist of Dragon Ball, stronger while he faces different enemies every time. This makes the story rather simple.

The Simplicity of Dragon Ball vs. The Complexity of One Piece

As mentioned earlier, Dragon Ball follows a simple storyline where the major characters train hard to fight the enemies that are introduced and ultimately defeat them. However, it is different for Luffy. Although he also fights the main enemies introduced in every arc, the story does not just land on it as it does in Dragon Ball.

Goku and Luffy
Goku and Luffy

There are multiple complexities introduced in the middle of the narrative that hint at the “secret” of One Piece’s treasure, either directly or indirectly, and connect the villains to the central plot. Even the philosophies and ambitions of every villain introduced in One Piece are completely different from their predecessors or their successors.


Although Oda is inspired by Akira Toriyama and Dragon Ball, he has managed to create a completely different storyline that is loved and supported by the One Piece fandom. Fans have been following One Piece for almost 30 years, and the series has become more interesting than ever with the beginning of the finale saga.

You can watch One Piece and Dragon Ball on Crunchyroll.


Written by Tarun Kohli

Articles Published: 1162

Konichiwa! With a Master's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a 2-year experience in Digital media writing, I am on my way to becoming one of the biggest anime content writers in my country. My passion for writing and Anime has helped me connect with Fandomwire, and share my love and experience with the world.