Netflix’s new live action ‘One Piece’ adaptation has fans thrilled

When Netflix announced they’d be doing another live action version of an anime, the collective reaction from anime fans was, “Oh not again!” Netflix later specified that the anime receiving this live action treatment would be “One Piece,” the story of a boy named Monkey D. Luffy as he gathers a crew and follows his dreams of becoming King of the Pirates — causing audiences to quickly turn to fear and concern, and questions spread like wildfire across social media.

The company’s history with live action anime remakes has been rocky at best, and people were speculating that it would fail immediately, like past Netflix live action adaptations. It wouldn’t be until a few months later that more news on the project was received, including details that the series creator Eiichiro Oda would be working on the live action adaptation as executive producer. Oda promised that the adaptation wouldn’t be released until he saw it as perfect and that none of the characters’ backstories would be changed.

He matches anime Luffy’s charisma and is amazing when it comes to the fight scenes, which were choreographed perfectly.

Sometime later, the cast of the Straw Hat Pirates was finally revealed to the world, with Iñaki Godoy playing the iconic pirate captain, Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd playing the navigator Nami, Mackenyu playing the pirate hunter Roronoa Zoro, Jacob Gibson playing the sniper Usopp, and Taz Skylar playing the cook Sanji. When the casting was announced, fans started thinking about the series in a more positive way — the cast looked promising, and Netflix revealed that they built actual boats and sets for the show.

It was then explained that the show’s first season would cover the East Blue Saga, with some changes being made for the adaptation. The live action adaptation of “One Piece” was released on Aug. 31st , 2023, as a ten-episode season. Each episode’s budget was approximately $17.27 million which equates to $138 million for the first season. However, did the show live up to Oda’s promise and the hype?

As someone currently 583 episodes into the anime, I felt like I was the right person for this review. When I sat down to watch the show, I had low expectations as I had been let down before by Netflix’s live action anime adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. To my surprise, Netflix did it — they broke the curse and made a good live action anime adaptation. I was genuinely shocked!

Right off the bat, the show had me smiling — they recreated the original intro to the show where Gol D. Roger was at his public execution, saying his final words and starting the great pirate era. Godoy does a fantastic job of portraying Luffy. He matches anime Luffy’s charisma and is amazing when it comes to the fight scenes, which were choreographed perfectly. Luffy’s rubber powers look great in the show as well, as they are realistic looking and not overly exaggerated CGI. 

The sets have a lot of detail put into them to the point that they look like they were ripped straight out of the anime itself. You can tell that love was put in everywhere for the show. The changes that were made to the storyline were worth it and for the better, as they just got rid of some filler that wasn’t important.

Plus (and this is a big plus), Oda kept his promise, and none of the characters’ back stories were changed. The only negative I could find (and I had to look hard for this) is there are a few awkward camera shots of close-ups that are not necessary, but that is really it. I think it’s safe to say the show lived up to the hype. Other viewers must agree with me — at the time of writing this review, Netflix has confirmed that the adaptation will have a second season.

5/5 stars

Featured photo courtesy of @onepiecenetflix, X