One Piece: Oda Proves That Nika Was In His Plans Before One Piece Even Began (2024)


  • Oda's meticulous planning and intricate storylines make One Piece a fan favorite.
  • Nika, the Sun God, has a significant role in One Piece, connecting to Luffy's Devil Fruit.
  • Oda's early prototypes reveal his vision for the spirit of the rubber tree, now linked to Nika.

One Piece has continued its incredible run over the course of more than 25 years now, and fans absolutely adore everything about Oda's magnum opus. The story has been nothing short of fascinating for the fans, and one of the reasons why they love it so much is because Oda often tends to plan things years in advance and then craft very intricate storylines to deliver the best possible plot to all the readers.


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Oda's ability to craft things decades before they end up taking place is highly valued by fans of anime and manga in general. Recently, one of Oda's editors revealed quite a lot of exciting things about the stories that he crafted long before One Piece, such as different prototypes. One of them had a prototype for Luffy's Devil Fruit, and it is actually closely related to Nika, the Sun God.

Oda's Introduction Of Nika In One Piece

Nika, The Sun God Showed Up In Wano In One Piece

When speaking of Nika, fans know that this mysterious individual was introduced in the story not long ago. The first mention of Nika came in Wano, through Who's Who. However, the first mention of the Sun God actually came long ago in the story, specifically, and the Skypiea arc of the series. Many cultures worshiped the Sun God and even the Giants of Elbaf were revealed to have connections to this God back in the Whole Cake Island arc, where fans got their first look at this country through Big Mom. Clearly, the Sun God was widely worshiped in the world of One Piece, but the name of the Sun God was only revealed in the Wano Country arc. There, Nika's lore was expanded upon greatly, especially after Luffy ended up Awakening his Devil Fruit. It was through the Gorosei that fans found out that Nika is an incredible godly entity that existed long ago in the One Piece world who brought laughter and joy to wherever he went, and at the same time, it was also clearly mentioned in the story that Nika Warrior of Liberation, with a rubbery body and the freedom to do whatever he wanted.

It was said he would bring laughter to their lips and free them from their suffering!

Then, fans got to see Nika in action against Kaido, as Luffy awakened his Devil Fruit. Ever since then, Nika has been incredibly important in the story, and fans have continued to see him build in terms of power and influence in the One Piece World. More information was provided about Nika in the Egghead Island arc through Vegapunk, and clearly, fans will most definitely continue to see and hear more about this mystical entity. What fans know clearly is that the Sun God was always going to be a massive piece of influence in One Piece, and Oda always wanted to equate Luffy to him. Now, this parallel has come true as fans know that Luffy has the powers of Nika.

When Oda introduced Nika, first of all, fans started wondering whether this individual was truly planned by Oda years in advance, or not. That is not to say that introducing things in the spur of the moment is a bad decision. There are different types of writers. Some plan their stories years in advance, and others plant seeds and then see how their tree grows. Then, based on that, they adjust the story accordingly. Both methods are good and cannot be criticized just for existing. However, in the case of Oda, it has been more of a mix of the two. As such, it could very well have been possible that Oda did not think of Nika long ago. However, now, fans have received a prototype of One Piece that existed long before the series, from 30 years ago, when Oda was only 19. This prototype clearly showcases a lot of exciting things, including drawing connections to Nika as well.

Oda's First Idea Of Nika Before One Piece Revealed

Oda Showcased Nika To Be A Spirit Of The Rubber Tree

One Piece: Oda Proves That Nika Was In His Plans Before One Piece Even Began (2)

Recently, one of Oda's former editors revealed his early prototypes for the story. One of these prototypes was called Forward, and it is from around 30 years ago. Back then, Oda was only 19 and he crafted an exciting prototype with a very important character who fans know draws similarities to Luffy.

This character was none other than Monkey D. Pao. He looked just like Luffy and even had a bandana on his head, the design of which resembles the Gomu Gomu no Mi’s swirly patents. Essentially, Oda always had this idea in his head and this certainly is very exciting for the fans to see. However, one intriguing thing that sticks out is that Oda had already thought about incorporating the spirit of the rubber tree into his story long ago. In this prototype, Oda clearly shows the spirit of the rubber tree, from 5,008 years ago, and the spirit's name is Merry. Merry is seen as a very jolly individual and the spirit is always laughing.


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Oda drew the spirit himself, and clearly, it was always having fun and showcased as a very easy-going individual. Fans have gotten two sentences from Merry the spirit, and both of them see him laugh like there is no tomorrow. Clearly, the spirit of the rubber tree is what eventually ended up becoming Nika, but the fact is that Oda had already thought of this individual who laughs a lot to be a spirit that would later on be a part of Luffy's journey in many ways.

The fact that the name of the spirit is also named Merry is yet another good indication of the fact that Oda always wanted the power of the Gomu Gomu no Mi to be one where the individual is carefree, cheerful, and always laughs. Merry in itself implies a happy individual without any worries. Furthermore, the many laughs that Oda wrote in the dialogue for the character of Merry just goes to prove that. Fans now know for sure that Nika was always supposed to exist.

Oda's True Genius Shines Through His Old Works

Oda Drew The Rubber Spirit As An Early Nika Concept

One Piece: Oda Proves That Nika Was In His Plans Before One Piece Even Began (4)

Of course, the existence of Merry doesn't mean that Oda had the name Nika planned long ago. It could essentially have had a different name back then, or the idea itself could have been slightly different too. All that doesn't matter. What does matter is that the idea that Oda had for the spirit of the Gomu Gomu no Mi was to exist as a carefree, laughing spirit, and it has now become a reality. Furthermore, the fact that the rubber tree was seen as having a will of its own is yet another proof of the fact that Oda always wanted this fruit to have its own personality in one way or another.

He was the first to take to the seas. The first that came be known as a pirate!

One Piece: Oda Proves That Nika Was In His Plans Before One Piece Even Began (5)

This is truly a mark of a genius, and fans can only sit back and appreciate how this changes the world of One Piece in amazing ways. Of course, there are always going to be those people who do not like one concept or another, but, as things stand, Nika has been nothing but fantastic for the story in general.

One Piece is available to read via Viz Media. The series can be read by the fans officially and for free on the Shonen Jump and the Manga Plus app. The release date for the next chapter of One Piece, One Piece 1120, is set to be July 14, 2024.

One Piece: Oda Proves That Nika Was In His Plans Before One Piece Even Began (6)
One Piece (1999)

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Eiichiro Oda
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One Piece: Oda Proves That Nika Was In His Plans Before One Piece Even Began (2024)
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