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Oda’s AI-‘written’ One Piece chapter weirdly makes sense

Aliens board the ship, and the Straw Hats help them out

Tony Tony Chopper, a reindeer-type creature in One Piece looking surprised. Image: Toei Animation/Funimation

One Piece, one of the world’s most popular and enduring manga, might get a chapter written by AI. Last week, One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda asked ChatGPT to write the next chapter of the manga. The result was a semi-nonsensical story with alien stowaways and Robin Nico searching out a hidden tribe, according to a translation from Anime Hunch.

It started when the official One Piece Twitter account shared a video recording of Oda asking ChatGPT “the forbidden question,” which was asking AI to write the next chapter of One Piece, according to Anime Hunch’s translation of the tweet. The video, which you can view below, then showed a feed of the AI generating a story on the spot.

The AI started by writing a story that about a new enemy it called “The King of Shadows.” In this proposed story, the king kidnaps Tony Tony Chopper and his crew rescues him. After it concluded, Oda asked the AI to write a “more interesting” story.

In the second story, an alien stowaway boards the ship and enlists Luffy and the crew to help defeat an evil spaceship that attacked its planet. Along the way, the gang has to fight an evil witch, who wishes to take a “piece of star” that the aliens have. This is a problem because the aliens need that star piece to restore their world. Together with the Straw Hats, the characters end up beating the witch and proceed to rebuild the alien’s planet.

The story doesn’t quite match up with where One Piece is now. Sans spoilers, the Straw Hats are currently on an island called Egghead, which is basically like a high-tech futuristic world. Although there could be some thematic and meta parallels between the use of AI and the technology of the island, Luffy and his friends are currently in a fight, so it would be a big turn to suddenly have them back on their boat with a bunch of aliens.

Of course, there are limitations to ChatGPT’s AI. For starters, it uses generative AI to write a story, but it can’t create any visuals — which is obviously important in a visual medium like manga. However, the story it wrote does weirdly make sense. Many arcs feature the Straw Hats aiding quasi-strangers on various islands. There is a running joke that Luffy will literally die to save any person who is kind enough to feed him lunch. Also, the AI chapter fits given the general chaos of One Piece. The series is about a pirate with the power to stretch like rubber; it’s an inherently goofy series that doesn’t take itself too seriously. So, maybe it could introduce a new alien species.

We don’t know exactly how or if this AI exercise will actually impact the official story of One Piece. As it is now, One Piece is amidst its final saga, and Oda has a plan to finish the series. However, in the video, he said that he didn’t know what to do with next week’s chapter, so perhaps he will take inspiration from this.

Overall, Oda’s experiment seems like a playful way to use the software to engage with his own work, and it can serve as a gimmick to drum up interest and engage with fans. However, not everyone is so nonchalant about using AI in their creative productions. Notably, figures like the legendary directors like Hayao Miyazaki and Guillermo del Toro have said AI art used in film would be “an insult to life itself.”

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