I talk a little about this in the Vice Pit episode that’s going up later today, but I’ve got to say that the interview Foxxfireart forwarded to me has inescapably underlined my enjoyment of this episode with some somberness.
Basically, Oda claims that he works 21 hours every day - - going to bed at 2AM and waking at 5AM - - to make ONE PIECE at the pace that’s made it the #1 phenom that is. I’ve seen reports on the kind of inhuman schedules that mangaka keep up, certainly, but I’ve also seen blurbs about Oda making upwards of $20 million a year off of ONE PIECE. I really assumed that the guy would be able to delegate enough duties to assistants by that point and make the job a lot easier for himself.
No matter how different the work ethic is in Japan, I find it fundamentally impossible to believe that any human being could be cartooning at all times like that. However, since I haven’t researched this too deeply, I’m not ready to call BS on any claims he might be exaggerating. So, taking at face value this guy’s stated wish to get some time to go outside, anywhere, as an indication that he’s actually trapped in this lifestyle, I can't help but see all this frolicking pirate fun as the product of something very unhealthy.
(I mean, how many years is this guy probably taking off his life with that kind of sleep deprivation? How pointless is all that ONE PIECE royalty if he can’t even get outside?)
As much as I’d like to center this on how charming the “micromacro” borrower girl is, or on how fun the freaky and fantastical weather in the New World is, or on how Luffy’s ridiculously touristy t-shirt made me snicker… I’m honestly more interested in getting to bottom of this, because it’s seriously bursting my beach ball here. Any of you more learned lunatics care to reassure me about this?