Netflix is going at it again! This time with the expansive and beloved One Piece franchise! While there is much to be excited in joining the Straw Hat pirates as their Captain Monkey D. Luffy searches the Grand Line for the elusive One Piece, the key to becoming King of the Pirates, could the Going Mary face troubled water?
In the last couple decades, we have had a number of very unsuccessful live action Anime attempts. Dragon Ball Evolution (2009), M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender (2010), Ghost in the Shell (2017) and even more recently, Cowboy BeBop (2021) which was done by Netflix (note: I will not include Netflix’s Death Note from 2017, thought not good, Willem Dafoe saves the film for me). One can only have a bit of dread that this won’t turn out well. Let’s do a break down.
One Piece, the highly successful Manga written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, that has been adapted by Toei Animation since 1999 has done extremely well in it’s adaptations, as well as their stand alone films, including the recent One Piece Film: Red (2022).
Netflix is working again with Tomorrow Studios, the studio responsible for the Cowboy Bebop live action which garnered less than stellar, more like lukewarm reactions from critics. The show was cancelled less than three weeks after the premiere on November 21, 2021 to the shock of the cast and crew. Tomorrow Studios has had better success with it’s TV adaptation of Snowpiercer with it currently shopping around for a home for season 4 as well as subsequent spinoffs.
Early posters released by Netflix are causing a buzz and images appear to align very closely to the look of the Manga/Anime. The cast appear to be extremely excited, as well as have good chemistry together. If Netflix and Tomorrow Studios stick to the essence of the characters, stories, and avoid massive filler content this show could be the best the streaming service has to offer! Eiichiro Oda is playing a role to help keep the series closely aligned with the manga/anime. If the studio correctly implements Oda’s notes focusing on better words, making it true to the source there is a better chance for this adaptation’s success.
Starring Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, Emily Rudd as Nami, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp and Taz Skylar as Sanji, the live action pirate adventure ONE PIECE is based on the most popular manga series in history created by Eiichiro Oda (who also serves as executive producer).
In partnership with Shueisha, ONE PIECE is produced by Tomorrow Studios and Netflix. Matt Owens and Steven Maeda are writers, executive producers and showrunners. Oda, Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements also executive produce. Previously announced cast includes McKinley Belcher III, Morgan Davies, Aidan Scott, Vincent Regan, Jeff Ward, Craig Fairbrass, Langley Kirkwood, Celeste Loots, Alexander Maniatis, Ilia Isorelýs Paulino, Chioma Umeala and Steven Ward. Additional cast to be announced.
Live Action One Piece will be premiering later this year, streaming only on Netflix.
While the style and body image of the characters in One Piece are often exaggerated and emphasized, we will not be concerned or participate in discussions about the body image of the cast.