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Oda-sensei's words (year 2)
[rika's footnotes and clarifications are in brackets.]

  #34, 1998  

So, this is its fourth week. That series which is getting rave reviews. Drawing serials next to one another, which we swore we would do when we were both assistants for Rurouni [Kenshin]. It's a vow from many years ago, but we finally did it. Wow, isn't it a joyous occasion, [Hiroyuki] Takei-san?

  #35, 1998  

All the voice actors for the anime have been decided, and I visited a recording session. I was just in awe at all the wonderful performances by everyone that went over what I had imagined.

  #36, 1998  

WOOOW!! I saw the preview for the ONE PIECE anime!! It was a wonderful job!! You have to go see it!!

  #37/8, 1998  

My debut work will be in the next AKAMARU JUMP. It's a western piece. Oh yeah, I heard that said magazine will have another western piece. The author is... Mikio Itoo? I've heard that name somewhere... could it be? [Itoo-sensei is an RuroKen assistant friend of Oda-sensei and Takei-sensei... the name pops up all over RK and OP, if you look between the pages.]

  #39, 1998  

I found an even bigger pirate ship in an old LEGO catalog!! Has that model been discontinued!? Yoohoo, LEGO Japan folks...?

  #40, 1998  

I can't get rid of that phrase "Kanashii toki--!! [When I'm sad!!]" from my head. "Itsumo Kokokara [always from here]" is a weird [comedy] duo name but they are funny!

  #41, 1998  

Recently, I don't feel ashamed to look at merchandise at a toy store next to all the kids. I wonder if it has something to do with my realization that I am a manga artist.

  #42, 1998  

I cleaned my room because I was running out of room to lay out my futon. I am somewhat lonely now because all the piles of magazines and laundry were cleaned out. But I'm sure that it will all be back again in a few weeks.

  #43, 1998  

Japan has lost the greatest entertainer of the century. Review once again... the spirit that Akira Kurosawa had.

  #44, 1998  

When you eat orange-flavored jell-o with beef jerky, it tastes like Ajinomoto [MSG]. It made me sick.

  #45, 1998  

I bought a Akiko Wada album. This is a soul shoutin' singer. It is the scream of the soul!

  #46, 1998  

ONE PIECE volume 5 has been released. It ends the Usopp ark. Yosaku, Johnny, and Sanji make appearances too! It's really fun!!

  #47, 1998  

Thank you to all the peoplw who participated in the character poll. I was happy that Luffy was in first place. I was worried that Zorro or Shanks might do better than he did.

  #48, 1998  

I saw [HANASAKA TENSHI] TENTEN-KUN [the anime]. That song is just too funny. I'm sure it will catch on. A great anime started!!

  #49, 1998  

I've been noticing that a lot more envelopes that I receive recently have "tarepanda" on it. It's a fad. But when you look at it closely, that panda really is drooping!!

  #50, 1998  

I got the legendary LEGO Dark Shark pirate ship that is no longer in production!! Thank you very much, S-san, employee of a certain Kiddy Land, for your information that you had some in stock!! Hurray to LEGO!

  #51, 1998  

Shinya-ppo, who has a short story this issue, has helped out with ONE PIECE a few times. His sales point is manga full of power!

  #52, 1998  

Izumi Katoh has a new single out. This is just too great! It's making its way around really well in my room!

  #1, 1999  

There are a lot of maxi-singles [12cm singles as opposed to the 8cm CD singles which used to dominate the Japanese CD-S market] out in CD stores lately. They only have 2 or 3 songs, so it's sad when you get one thinking it's an album.

  #2/3, 1999  

The AKAMARU JUMP out on the 14th has a work by [Tatsuma] Ejiri-san, one of my staffers. Good going on your manuscript!

  #4/5, 1999  

I went to Nakano Sun Plaza as part of the anime tour. It was a precious experience to talk in front of over 2000 people. It was really fun.

  #6, 1999  

I always wanted to write big like that. But you know, it really is a happy occasion...

  #7, 1999  

1999, seventh month. A Mongolian will fall from the sky. Beware of the Leg Lariat.

  #8, 1999  

The kids in the neighborhood are really into those noisy fireworks lately. I usually don't care, but stop it when I'm cutting my names [the "rough draft" that gets sketched out before the actual drawing process]!

  #9, 1999  

Thank you for the mounds of New Year's cards and birthday gifts!! I will return the favor by moving you [with my work]!!

  #10, 1999  

Swing will be big this year!! I'm going to go with this fun gang-rock as the BGM for ONE PIECE this year.

  #11, 1999  

I went to the New Year's reception. It was a learning experience, being able to ask a question I've been wanting to ask to an artist that I wanted to ask the question to.

  #12, 1999  

Professional wresling is amusing because there is some drama in each and every match. I hope the great entertainer, Giant Baba rests in peace.

  #13, 1999  

I have received many angry voices from Sanji fans regarding the ONE PIECE splash page for issue #6!! That was totally my error!!! (big laugh) [in the 2-page spread splash page for #6, Sanji's face was rather small and towards the center, such that the binding made it impossible to see the face without tearing the seam. Even then, the face was broken up...]

  #14, 1999  

My nose is bleeding!! Thank you for all the chocolate!! Now my brain will be in full gear!!

  #15, 1999  

I was shocked by the new Gundam. TURN A GUNDAM. I didn't think it would evolve that way from the First Gundam that I was hooked in as a grade school kid.... so that's what they did!

  #16, 1999  

I have three watches that I like. But none tick out the time. All the batteries are dead. Gotta go to the watch shop.

  #17, 1999  

Finally, Star Wars series LEGOs! I will definitely buy them, I will buy them all!! The problem is where to put them...

  #18, 1999  

I was touched by [Masanori] Morita-sensei's comment in #16!! ["I cried reading ONE PIECE in #14. Oda-sensei, I want to shake your hand (heart)"] Yeah, I am going to do my best. Thank you very much!

  #19, 1999  

I am a man not pushed along by all the fads. Dango [rice-ball kabobs, so to say. this is around the time that "Dango 3-Kyoudai", a song on a children's show, was selling about as well as Hikaru Utada's album.] sure are yummy nowadays!! I am definitely one a man not pushed along....

  #20, 1999  

FINAL FANTASY [VIII] is getting in the way of my work! It's a problem. So I thought of a plan. Do my best to finish the game. Yeah.

  #21, 1999  

There is such a thing as a foot-bath, but if I try it I think my legs will blow away!! No... that's all. [this is just a bad pun. to blow away is "futtobasu" in Japanese, and since "th" turns into "su" in Japanese...]

  #22/3, 1999  

The AKAMARU JUMP coming out on April 30th will have mangas from [Tsutomu] Kusanagi-san, an ex-ONE PIECE staffer, and a mysterious figure known as Kiyu-san. I wanna read it now!!

  #24, 1999  

I found a wonderful composer!! Her name is Yoko Kanno. You are.... just truly amazing!!

  #25, 1999  

The CD for the stereo I bought just last year broke. I called a repair guy, and it got fixed. I'm glad.

  #26, 1999  

Sagara-san, friend of my editor Mr. A-da [Asada], thank you for setting up the Mac! It moved me to tears.

  #27, 1999  

I went to a judging for the Tezuka awards. It was fun being able to listen to so many incredible stores from incredible people.

  #28, 1999  

Playmobile, building blocks from Germany, just has an irresistable atmosphere!! The pirate series is just wonderful!

  #29, 1999  

Can you believe it? The ONE PIECE novel that came out on June 3rd has a flip-through animation on it!

  #30, 1999  

"Ota-san, it's raining!!" "Oh, thank you." That's a real conversation of the neighborhood elderly. It's really heartwarming.

  #31, 1999  

I saw Star Wars Episode I!!! It really totally knocked me out!! Good job!!! STAR WARS!!!

  #32, 1999  

So that monkey is called "Pipozaru"? That thing is amusing. That dance. GET YOU!

  #33, 1999  

We're gonna drink lotsa Pepsi! Yeah!! We'll collect the bottlecaps!! Yeah!! ... so I swore with my staff. [Pepsi in Japan had TPM-related bottlecaps.]

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