Ussop and Kaya One Piece Live Action
Image Courtesy of Netflix

Ever since One Piece Live Action made it to the news with the announcement and the promotional interviews, Oda’s involvement in the project has been consistently highlighted. Oda had a special say in everything. It has come to the attention of fans that Eiichiro Oda had a peculiar request about the relationship between the Strawhats. Steve Maeda revealed that Oda specified that there shouldn’t be any romance amongst the crew members. 

This is not the first time when the mangaka has spoken this idea out loud. Long-time fans of the series are aware that Oda has reiterated the idea of no romance between the Strawhats multiple times over the years. This article explores the reason behind the no romance stance and the importance of romance in One Piece. 

One Piece Live Action has brought the focus back to romance in One Piece

Nami and Luffy in One Piece Live Action
The Strawhats on their way to Baratie | Image Courtesy of Netflix

Fans of the manga and anime are familiar with the relationship dynamics between the crew. If the One Piece live-action attracts new fans, which it must be doing given the viewership. It’s important that the live-action correctly spells out the relationship between the crew members.

The scene between Nami and Zoro at Baratie reflects amazing chemistry. To make sure that this chemistry isn’t misinterpreted to be romantic by the new members, Nami says out loud that they are friends and care about each other. With this, the One Piece Live action has brought focus again to romance in One Piece. 

No Romance amongst the Crew in One Piece Live Action: The Reason Behind it

Sanji and Nami
Sanji saved Nami from Absalom in Thriller Bark | Image Courtesy via IMDb

In a Jump Festa event and American Jump, when he was enquired about Nami’s potential love interest by a fan, Oda stated that there would be no romance among the crew. He went on to say that One Piece is a shonen manga and it’s aimed at boys. Also, boys don’t care about romance. In the SBS of volume 34, he mentioned that the straw hats are in love with the adventure. 

From these statements, we can assume that Oda isn’t against romance. He just doesn’t want it to be the central focus until the Strawhats achieve their goals. There are side quests in One Piece which are romantic. We also need to consider how the straw hats perceive each other. Their bond is family-like. All of them share a past of solitude. It unites them on a deeper level.

The Strawhats Pirates | Image Courtesy via IMDb

They have grown to understand and cherish each other. Oda has clarified that One Piece will be something materialistic and not a journey. At the same time, we can’t undermine the importance of the relationships made along the way. He probably wants to preserve the bond shared by the crew without introducing any romantic angles. 

Oda and Romance in One Piece

Senor Pink One Piece
Senor Pink in Dressrosa Arc, One Piece anime | Image Courtesy via IMDb

Regardless of his initial feelings about romance in One Piece, Oda has written some great romantic subplots in the story. Even in the initial stages of One Piece, there’s Usopp and Kaya. While they aren’t exclusively romantic with each other, there’s a tinge of romance between them. Even after that, there are more explicitly romantic plot lines: 

  • Senor Pink’s flashback is peak romance. There’s drama and a lot of emotions, enough to move a heartless grown man(Akainu) to tears. 
  • There’s the gag of a romance between Boa and Luffy. It lacks reciprocation and some seriousness, but you can’t discount the heart-throbbing romance. 
  • In Whole Cake Island, we have the sad bit between Sanji and Pudding. A well-done romance with lots of emotions and drama. 
Zoro and Sanji
Zoro and Sanji doing dishes | Image Courtesy of Toei Animations

It’s not like Oda can’t write romance. He writes great romance bits, it’s simply a wish he has, to not introduce romance between the Strawhats. 


Sanji One Piece Live Action
The Embodiment of Romance and Chivalry | Image Courtesy of Netflix

One Piece is not entirely devoid of romance. Additionally, it has never been the main focus. Maybe shipping wars is one of the reasons Oda doesn’t want to introduce romance among the Strawhats. As they always get ugly and shift the focus of the stories at times. According to Oda, it seems like we shouldn’t get any romance within the crew before we get to One Piece. After all pirate adventures as romance doesn’t sound all that bad. 

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Primarily a content-writer at Spiel Anime, Laveena is an avid anime watcher and cosplay enthusiast. She enjoys trying different foods when not working and while working. She is a Japanese culture nerd or as they say an Otaku.