One Piece is one of the most successful action and adventure films in history. Since 1997, it has set a benchmark for Anime and the worldwide franchise makes the work attract a wider audience.
With a long storyline, each Arc in One Piece has an impressive landscape. The unique architecture created by Oda makes the adventure of the main character more attractive. Some of the masterpieces are inspired by real-life wonders.
It’s not uncommon for authors to draw practical inspiration for their artistic creations, and so is One Piece. There are quite a few islands and locations in the work that will make the audience feel familiar.
These architectural marvels are related to various places such as London, Egypt, Spain and France. VietOtaku’s article will summarize some of the islands in One Piece that have borrowed ideas from real-world locations and architecture.
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Mariejois Sanctuary is an important place that serves as the headquarters of the World Government. Mariejois is the residence of the Five Elders, World Nobles and Commander-in-Chief Kong. All decisions affecting the whole world come from here.
It’s also where the Levely conference is held. The meeting was attended by all the leaders of the kingdoms affiliated with the World Government.
Because Mariejois is considered a sacred place, not everyone is allowed in. This place is inspired by a French castle called Château de Chambord.
This is a castle with French Renaissance architecture. The combination of classical Renaissance structures and traditional French medieval forms has created one of the world’s architectural marvels.
The overall structures of Mariejois such as conical domes, spires, and windows are all similar to French castles. Although Oda never confirmed it, it is not difficult for the audience to notice the following similarity of the two architectures.
Alabasta is the fourth island the Straw Hat Pirates have landed on on the Grand Line. The history of the kingdom dates back to the Drum Century. Alabasta was among the 20 founding kingdoms of the World Government.
However, the Alabasta family, the Nefertari, did not live in Mariejois, but continued to govern their kingdom for many centuries. Arc Alabasta is an important turning point in the work with many special events taking place.
Luffy is reunited with his brother Ace and confronts a Shichibukai for the first time. Moreover, this is also the first time the audience knows the existence of Poneglyph and ancient weapons.
According to One Piece’s Rurubu diary, Alabasta’s geographical, architectural and cultural elements were inspired by India. In addition, some details also show similarities with ancient Egypt and the modern Middle East.
The domes, towers and other details all resemble the beautiful traditional architecture of the Middle East. The Kingdom’s name may be derived from “alabaster”, a mineral used to make tools in ancient Egypt.
Dressrosa is a prosperous country in the New World ruled by the former Shichibukai Doflamingo. It is also one of the twenty founding kingdoms of the World Government.
However, deep beneath that glitz is a dark reality. Doflamingo only allows those who support his ideals to live freely while punishing those who oppose him.
When watching the work, the audience will probably realize that the colorful landscape in Dressrosa has similarities with the architecture in Spain, especially the Barcelona Park. Not only the architecture but also the people’s costumes and flamenco dances are very similar to the culture of the country “the sun never sets”.
In addition, the murders that occur every day in Dressrosa are also rooted in Spanish literature, especially during the period when Romanticism took the throne in the 19th century.
However, the architecture of both Dressrosa and Park Güell has features of Modernism, such as organic architectural forms that emphasize natural curves combined with vivid colors.
Furthermore, the Corrida Colosseum in Dressrosa is somewhat similar to Rome’s Colosseum. Both are four-story citadel with identical columns, domes, and circles.
Although they do not co-exist in the same world, the giant stone structures in real life and in One Piece both fascinate viewers in their own way.
This island is a women’s empire located in the Ring of Silence. The residents living here are all members of the Kuja clan and some of them are members of the Kuja Pirates.
Boa Hancock was both the Queen and the great captain in their eyes. During the Sabaody Arc, Kuma divided the Straw Hats and sent them to different places.
In it, Amazon Lily is Luffy’s destination and this is also the first time the audience has witnessed the beauty of the Pirate Queen.
Oda has confirmed Amazon Lily is inspired by China. The architecture and decoration of the island resembles ancient China, and Kuja castle is an imitation of the Hanging Temple. Both buildings were leaning against a giant cliff.
The castle’s sloping roof, structure, pillars, basic form and color are all the same as the Hanging Temple. In addition to the main palace, the kingdom also has houses on either side of the mountain bearing the characteristics of ancient China.
The combination of white, red, and yellow creates an ancient Chinese aesthetic. Even the layout of buildings and cities has many similarities.
In both Amazon Lily and ancient China, the structure of the buildings was the same whether it was owned by a rich or poor family, a temple or a palace.
It can be said that no Arc in One Piece offers the audience as many iconic scenes as the Wano Arc. It has been waiting for almost a decade to show off its full on-screen magnificence.
The scene is clearly very similar to the setting of Japan, the home of Anime. Not only that, Samurai and Ninja warriors are also included in the Wano Arc to make the work more attractive.
Although Kaido’s industrialization has ruined most of the land, the Flower Capital is still very charming with its scenery, cherry blossoms and people. In terms of architecture, it is inspired by Japan’s Edo period when it comes to elements such as thatched roofs, wooden floors, and mud.
The castle in Wano Kingdom is similar to Ninja Kingdom, an amusement park in Mie, Japan. The color, form, roof style and golden figurines on the roof of the castle were all inspired by this landmark.
All of that combined with the colorful houses and wastelands adds to the charm of Wano country.
The Rommel Kingdom was only mentioned once when Vice Admiral Bastille recounted the legend of Hakuba in the Dressrosa Arc. Hakuba is another personality of Prince Cavendish’s White Horse.
He was a noble from Rommel Kingdom but had to leave his homeland and become a pirate due to possessing multiple personalities. Whenever Cavendish sleeps, Hakuba will control his body and rush to kill, knocking down anyone who stands in his way.
Anyone can recognize the reference from London’s Clock Tower in the Kingdom of Rommel. The beautiful 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture is the inspiration for so many Anime.
The most prominent is the Clock Tower with features such as lance-shaped windows, ornate ornaments, and a stone spire.
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