A piece of artwork from One Piece author and illustrator Eiichiro Oda was recently leaked by lead series’ leaker Redon, who posted the image to Twitter and various social media and series forum sites.
The photo in question features fan-favorite character Yamato, whom fans were first introduced to in the series’ Wano arc.
The artwork shows the beloved One Piece warrior reimagined as an Oiran of Wano, a role whom Komurasaki, better known as Hiyori Kozuki, once played herself. The term oiran stems from real-world Japanese culture and is a collective term used to refer to the highest-ranking courtesans in Japanese history.
Follow along as this article fully breaks down the latest leaked One Piece artwork, as well as addresses fans’ reactions to the illustration.
Latest One Piece illustration reimagines Yamato in a role that Hiyori Kozuki once played herself
The sketch and fan reaction
The aforementioned One Piece illustration features Yamato in much different garb than fans are used to seeing them in. The illustration seems to be done with paint, or at the very least uses a digital effect to give it a painting-like appearance. The background specifically suggests this illustration to be a painting rather than a drawing or sketch.
Yamato is seen wearing a crimson-red robe with orange graphics on it. The image of a bird is prominent on the clothing, possibly alluding to her current role in the series as the protector deity of Wano. The whiteness of the bird against the red and orange attire evokes a sense of holiness and purity.
Yamato is also seen wearing heavy makeup, as well as holding a Japanese kiseru smoking pipe. Yamato’s horns are still present, flanked by two swaths of hair done up in a style very similar to Hiyori’s when she was known as Komurasaki. While this could be the general hairstyle of Wano’s Oirans, it seems more likely that Oda is portraying Yamato as an alternate version of Komurasaki in the illustration.
One Piece fans seem pleased with the latest illustration, with some likening Yamato’s image to that of Daki from Demon Slayer’s Entertainment District arc. Fans are also imagining how different the series would be with Yamato as an Oiran rather than Komurasaki. Some are even going as far as to say it would have been more interesting this way.
Others are suggesting that once Oda does finally end One Piece, he could just do a spin-off series or set of illustrations in the vein of Marvel’s What If…? series. As discussed in the paragraph above, this idea seems to come from this illustration’s apparent portrayal of Yamato as an alternate version of Komurasaki.
A common thread amongst all fans who’ve seen the image is the criticism of Redon’s watermarking the illustration to show that he leaked it. Redon has been the focus of criticism from fans before, usually resulting from his attempts to monopolize the series’ spoiler market, for lack of a better phrase.
While this has died down in recent months as other leakers and news sources for the series have found their niches, the act of watermarking this illustration has rekindled these criticisms. Redon’s apparent need for self-gratification in watermarking Oda’s artwork has left many fans extremely dissatisfied.
Follow along for more One Piece anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2023 progresses.