This was something I wrote about on my Anime Vice Blog, but thought I might share it here as well.
What If One Piece was in the Real World?!
As most people know. A great deal of mangas or animes either try to take place in the 'real world', somewhere just to the left of reality, or they make up their own little universe. The same can be said for many comics. The series Bleach quite obviously takes place in it's own town placed in Japan, Naruto has it's own Japanese-esque super continent, but the series One Piece literally has it's own world and set of rules. If you have ever wondered about where the rather eclectic Straw Hat Pirates from One Piece might of come from if it was set in the real world. The series creator Eiichiro Oda has finally answered that question.
The volumes of the manga have what is referred to as the "SBS". This is short for Shitsumon o Boshū Suru (質問を募集する), and translates to "I'm Taking Questions". It's pretty much as it appears. It's a "Q & A" session where Oda answers both the serious and silly questions from real fans. On a request he even drew the crew if their genders had all been switched. Here is an excerpt from the SBS of Volume 56 of the manga where Oda was asked about the crew in the real world.
SBS- Volume 56
" R: Nice to meet you Oda-sensei. I have a question. If One Piece was set in the real world, which countries would the nine Straw Hats come from? "
" O: Well, I'll just put up what fits the character's image. "
I should point out that Oda didn't specify which region of Africa Usopp would be from. Since it's a continent and not a country. I also always thought Robin had more of a Brazilian vibe to her, but I see where the idea of Russian comes from.
-Kristoffer Remmell (FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.-