Gearing up for another adventure? How about we take the high seas, sail through the Grand Line and search for the legendary treasure known as the One Piece!
With multiple western adaptations that are releasing left and right recently, one live action adaptation seems to be at the forefront of the fleet, and that is no other than Netflix’s One Piece. The series has been making waves ever since it was first announced way back 2017, when Weekly Shōnen Jump editor-in-chief Hiroyuki Nakano revealed it at the commemoration of the manga’s 20th anniversary.
Despite being one of the longest-running anime and manga in the world, and the best as of the moment, it took a long time for One Piece to finally get a live-action adaptation. The first season of the series will cover the East Blue arc from the manga where Monkey D. Luffy, the story’s protagonist, begins his grand journey and sets out to become the “King of the Pirates”. Luffy is a pirate that, as a kid, ate a devil fruit named the Gomu Gomu no Mi or the Gum Gum fruit, which gave him powers that turned his body all rubber-like, bending, stretching and inflating at will. Inspired by his childhood hero, the “Red Haired” Shanks, Luffy, full of hope, sets out to reach for his dream by discovering the secret treasure of the legendary Gol D. Roger, infamously known as the One Piece. You will definitely see more of these when you watch the live action adaptation.
If you are familiar with the anime and manga scene, throughout the recent years live action adaptations of anime and manga have found little to no success, gaining a bad reputation to fans of different franchises all over the world. That is why there is a lot of doubt from a number of One Piece fans whether the series is gonna live up to its hype. So here are some of the reasons why I think this series will prove that live action anime adaptations can be awesome and why you should definitely watch Netflix’s One Piece!
ONE PIECE IS THE BEST-SELLING MANGA OF ALL TIME
With over 500 million copies sold and in circulation, Eiichiro Oda’s epic masterpiece One Piece is now the best-selling manga of all time, well by some margin. In the last decade, we have witnessed the popularity of One piece increasing across the entire world, especially in the West. The best thing about this is that the manga is still ongoing and the story just keeps getting better and more exciting for the fans to enjoy.
One Piece truly stands the test of time, making its debut on July 22, 1997 in an issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, the manga series now has over 1,000 chapters published and definitely more to come, along with 95 volumes and is currently in its final arc. The series’ anime adaptation is also one of the longest-running anime of all time, currently in its twentieth season with over 1,000 episodes aired and released, definitely more yet to be released.
Oda has stated in the past that he now wants to wrap up the series within the next two to three years, so we should be ready for when that time comes, but we should not worry since we will definitely be seeing a major growth for the series between now and then especially with the live action adaptation coming up! I definitely would not be surprised if One Piece ends up with over 700 million copies sold.
ACTION-PACKED PIRATE ADVENTURE
If you live action-packed pirate adventures such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Black Sails, and of course, Treasure Planet then you will surely love the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his amazing crew of extremely diverse backgrounds.
One Piece’s unique and compelling fantasy world is like no other. Eiichiro Oda is famous for his dynamic and expansive worldbuilding, with islands and landscapes, backstories, and political structures being a big part of what makes the anime distinct from many others, and I would definitely love to see that in the live action adaptation of the series.
Every twist and turn in the story of the series we witness a multitude of different races, beautiful places and sceneries, and most importantly, a very well thought out power system that will surely immerse any reader or viewer of all kinds. One of Oda’s awe-inspiring talents is how thorough and detailed he is as he weaves the story of each character in the series.
UNIQUE AND EXCITING CHARACTERS
Each and every character introduced in the story has unique personalities, deep backstories and portrays exciting character development. Throughout the journey, the manga and anime series has successfully provided us with a variety of characters to cheer for.
Our main character, Monkey D. Luffy, is the best example of course! The way he enjoys the journey, how he deals with the struggles and challenges that he is faced with and his motivation and drive to reach his goals and dreams inspires the fans of the series.
Even supporting characters that the crew meets in the islands and locations they travel to make an impact on the viewers with their compelling stories and their personal drive to reach their goals in life. Oda truly knows how to create a character that is unique, exciting, and most importantly, inspiring to all of us.
THE CAST OF THE LIVE ACTION ARE PERFECT
One of the challenges when creating a live adaptation is looking for the perfect cast to portray the amazing characters that a lot of people from around the globe look up to. Well, a surprising but definitely good news for us is that Netflix, along with the active participation of Eiichiro Oda, the creator himself, has found the perfect cast for our unique and beloved characters.
In a recent promotional video we see a wholesome interaction between manga creator Eiichiro Oda and live-action Luffy actor Iñaki Godoy. Here the 20-year-old actor got emotional when Oda said that he “can’t imagine anyone else” playing his beloved character other than Godoy, who impressed him with his lively personality in his audition tape.
In a previous promotion we also get to see another wholesome interaction between Iñaki and Mayumi Tanaka, who is Luffy’s voice actor in the long-running anime series, where we see her give her blessing to Godoy by ceremoniously placing a straw hat on the actor.
Along with Iñaki Godoy, the rest of the main cast are:
- Arata Mackenyu plays the former pirate bounty hunter and the extremely powerful master swordsman, Roronoa Zoro. Mackenyu is a famous actor who played the villain Yukishiro Enishi in Rurouni Kenshin: The Final (2021) and we’ve seen his skill with swords and stunts so I am really looking forward to his performance here. He is also a big fan of One Piece so capturing how the character of Zoro should be would not be too hard for him.
- Emily Rudd plays the navigator of the Straw Hat Pirates, Nami. This undoubtedly is definitely one of the best casting for the live action series since the actress herself is a massive One Piece fan, at the same time, has put in a lot of effort to perfectly capture the essence of the character that she is playing.
- Jacob Romero Gibson plays the sniper of the Straw Hat Pirates, Usopp. His appearance, his quirky nature while acting, and everything is perfect and I just can’t wait to see his performance.
- Taz Skylar plays the cook of the Straw Hat Pirates, Sanji. Taz for sure is the actor most dedicated to his craft and to his character. He even took martial arts and cooking classes just to perfectly encapsulate the character of Sanji. I mean if that incredible dedication does not inspire you, I don’t know what will.
Aside from the actors we also have seen the showrunners, Maeda and Owens standing in a set that looks a lot like The Straw Hats’ first ship, the Going Merry. We also get a glimpse of the concept art of Miss Love Duck (Alvida’s ship) and Baratie (Sanji’s alma mater), where we also got a chance to watch a timelapse video of Baratie being constructed, and honestly, the attention to the detailing of the set is really impressive and something to really look forward to.
DEFINITELY A CULTURAL PHENOMENON
Fans from all over the world love One Piece so much that it has evolved from being just a simple manga and anime that the creator dreamed of to definitely becoming a cultural phenomenon. So the biggest challenge the Netflix live action adaptation has to face right now is the reception of hardcore fans and to get new fans, readers and viewers of the series.
Aside from actively helping in the selection of the cast, the creator of One Piece Eiichiro Oda, also has been actively involved all the way to fine-tuning the last details of the live action adaption before its release. He is excited for everyone to experience the epic live action series which he assures has been made with love and care, he also advises to see it on a screen as big as possible, with the volume cranked all the way up, to capture it in a cinematic scope.
So are you ready to enter the world of these amazing pirates? One Piece will land on Netflix sooner than expected, arriving on August 31, 2023. Interested to know more about treasures? Why don’t you come and check spingenie.com out?