The One Piece live action adaptation has garnered attention for capturing the essence of the original source material and breaking the ‘curse’ often associated with manga-to-film adaptations. Many adaptations of manga or anime, such as Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball: Evolution (2009), and Death Note (2017), have been criticized. For instance, Dragon Ball: Evolution received a dismal 15% ‘rotten’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 2.5 rating on IMDb with over 78,000 reviews. The main reason for these failures lies in the significant alterations to the source material, which stripped away the core elements of the original.
In stark contrast, One Piece has skillfully crafted its screenplay and character designs to closely align with the original manga. Numerous scenes faithfully recreate the anime, leaving the majority of fans satisfied. Changes were made only when necessary to fit the eight-episode format, without adversely affecting the main storyline or character development. The author, Eiichiro Oda, personally selected the cast and supervised the entire production process, ensuring the manga’s spirit remained intact.
Furthermore, the series employs a cohesive narrative style that allows even non-readers to follow along easily. With many adaptations, viewers unfamiliar with the source material often struggle to grasp the plot. The producers of One Piece have taken note of this challenge and made efforts to create a world that appeals to a broad audience.
The series made a lasting impact due to meticulous investments in every aspect, ranging from promotion, screenplay, settings, costumes, to the actors’ training. Prior to the film’s release, the production team organized over 10 global media events in cities such as Los Angeles, Paris, Jakarta, and Tokyo. They also collaborated with brands like Zara, Hot Toys, and U.K.’s HMV to unveil character clothing and figurines.
A group consisting of executives from Netflix in the United States, Japan, and South Korea was formed to develop the project. Each episode had a budget of approximately $17 million, making it one of the most expensive series ever produced. The show predominantly utilized real locations for shooting and minimized the use of CGI, allowing viewers to feel as though they were immersed in a tangible world.
In order to deliver authentic battle scenes, the actors underwent rigorous training for their roles, often performing most of the action sequences themselves. Portraying Luffy, Iñaki Godoy had to participate in numerous training sessions, dubbing himself a ‘stunt deity.’ Stunt coordinator Franz Spilhaus mentioned the team’s efforts to convey the fun and agility in Luffy’s fighting style, and he praised Godoy by saying, ‘He handles it like a fish in water; this kid can even fly.’
Arata Mackenyu, a fan of One Piece and the character Zoro, was determined to prove his abilities through his role. Having a background in martial arts and swordsmanship, Mackenyu brought a wealth of styles and experience to his battles.
Taz Skylar, in the role of Sanji, trained 8-10 hours a day, which included taekwondo, mixed martial arts with experts, and even professional cooking lessons. Emily Rudd, who had practiced karate from a young age, added an extra element of daring to her portrayal of Nami. Playing Usopp, Romero learned how to handle rubber guns for his character.
The series currently reigns as the top-streamed show on Netflix in 86 countries and territories, shattering the viewership record in 83 nations previously held by Stranger Things 4 (2022) and Wednesday (2022). It revolves around the quest to find the greatest treasure in One Piece, belonging to the Straw Hat pirate crew. On film discussion forums, many fans are hailing it as the best live-action adaptation to date.
According to Variety on September 8th, the producers confirmed that the script for the second season has been completed, with an expected release following the end of the Hollywood strike in 12-18 months.
Author Eiichiro Oda began writing One Piece in 1997 and continues to release new chapters, with an anticipated completion date in 2025. According to CBR, One Piece stands as one of the highest-grossing franchises, generating over $14.5 billion in revenue from manga, anime, video games, and related merchandise.
One Piece Live Action: A Legendary Return
With a faithful storyline, impressive martial arts scenes, and stunning cinematography, One Piece Live Action has garnered high praise from both audiences and film critics.
One Piece Live Action is a Netflix and Tomorrow Studios project that was just released on August 31, 2023. It has been 26 years since its initial debut, yet the One Piece manga continues to captivate audiences. The series stands as a monument in the realm of youth-oriented adventure manga.
When the manga was adapted into an anime, it quickly won over viewers. And now, with the recent release of the live-action version, the series has once again captured the hearts of One Piece enthusiasts.
To ensure the project’s quality, the film production team enlisted Eiichiro Oda, the manga’s creator, as a producer.
Eiichiro Oda is someone who truly understands the fans’ concerns: the risk of failure when adapting One Piece into a live-action format.
To the delight of fans, the live-action adaptation has not disappointed, earning praise for its faithful adherence to the source material. It has delivered thrilling action sequences and a well-paced narrative.
Netflix’s One Piece live-action has excelled in creating impressive settings and visual effects. With a budget of $18 million per episode, the series showcased substantial investment right from the outset, with meticulously crafted and breathtaking grand scenes.
Throughout its 8 episodes, the show leaves a vivid visual imprint. The special effects are seamless, especially in action sequences, such as Luffy’s acrobatics and Zoro’s swordsmanship, which are incredibly smooth.
The series also takes care to provide character backstories in detail, making it easily accessible to first-time viewers.
The success of the series also stems from the faithful character portrayal and acting of the cast. Viewers have remarked that the character designs, besides being true to their manga counterparts in terms of proportions, leave no room for criticism.
The actors taking on these roles are relatively newcomers. However, their character designs and performances give the audience a sense of authenticity, epitomizing what ‘live action’ truly means – transitioning from the pages to the screen.
Following numerous debates about the viability of live-action adaptations, given past failures like Dragon Ball, Death Note, and Cowboy Bebop, the One Piece live-action marks a significant stride forward in Netflix’s endeavors to adapt manga and anime.
One Piece live-action season 2 has announced its broadcast date
Right after the spectacular debut, the producers of One Piece announced that the script for the second season has already been completed and may hit screens in another year.
“We’ve got the script ready,” said Marty Adelstein, CEO of Tomorrow Studios, the production company behind the One Piece live-action adaptation, in collaboration with manga creator Eiichiro Oda and publisher Shueisha, as shared with Variety on September 8th.
However, the current production of the series is on hold due to the ongoing strike involving Hollywood’s screenwriters, actors, and more. Only when the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) reaches an agreement on their rights with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will the One Piece series, along with other Hollywood productions, be ready to commence filming.
Becky Clements, the President of Tomorrow Studios, has mentioned that the series could potentially air in as little as one year from now. She stated, ‘If we work at full capacity, we hope the series can be on air within the next 12 to 18 months.’
With its release of 8 episodes on August 31st, the One Piece live-action adaptation has become a global sensation. Netflix has not disappointed its audience in successfully bringing to life one of the world’s most iconic 2D manga series on the screen.
One Piece unfolds in a fantastical world where pirates and the navy vie for control over the Blue Sea. Monkey D. Luffy (played by Iñaki Godoy) harbors the ambition of becoming the Pirate King. He possesses unique strength and a body with rubber-like properties due to consuming the Devil Fruit, Gum Gum.
Throughout Luffy’s journey across the East Blue sea in search of the legendary treasure of Pirate King Gold Roger (played by Michael Dorman), he assembles a group of like-minded comrades who all set sail on the Going Merry towards the Grand Line.
The production boasts a promising cast, with the direct involvement of manga author Eiichiro Oda in the filmmaking process, aiding in script adjustments. The series has earned praise from both audiences and industry experts for its faithfulness to the source material, adapting the storyline while staying true to the essence of the narrative.
In fact, One Piece is considered Netflix’s most successful live-action adaptation to date. In less than a week, it skyrocketed to become the number one TV show in 86 countries and territories worldwide, surpassing the records set by Stranger Things season 4 and Wednesday (in 83 countries).
On Netflix’s Weekly Global Top 10 ranking, the series garnered 18.5 million views (equivalent to 140.10 million hours), marking the highest for an English-language series since the ranking system was updated in June 2023.
At the same time, One Piece live-action has also received positive feedback with a 96% audience score from over 10,000 users and an 83% Tomatometer rating on the aggregate film and TV series review website, which compiles ratings from both critics and the public.
These milestone achievements are pivotal in determining whether the series will have a second season, and fans are eagerly awaiting Netflix’s decision.
The success of One Piece is a significant victory for Tomorrow Studios, as the company had faced setbacks after the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop failed. Netflix canceled the series less than a month after its release in 2021.
Mr. Adelstein stated that the next step to prove One Piece as a “giant $250 million blockbuster movie” deserving of a second season is to maintain the initial large viewership numbers by attracting new audiences who may not have been exposed to the One Piece manga or anime.
“I think the producers are considering various scenarios regarding the number of episodes, whether they’ll break them down or not. I believe they’re trying to figure that out this week. Perhaps we’ll get feedback from them in the coming week or two. We need to continue to develop a long-term strategy for the series,” Adelstein remarked.