Greetings and salutations, dear reader! we are just a month away from the release of Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece- and yeah, I’m very cautious about this. This series will be joining a number of Netflix’s live-action adaptations including the infamously bad Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, and Fullmetal Alchemist movies. There is hope however as the creator Eiichiro Oda will be an executive producer on the series, perhaps this will alleviate fan concerns of the series and Netflix’s track record. While we won’t know the end result for a few more days, what can we expect from this series?
For startars, Netflix has already committed to producing at least eight episodes for the first season, with showrunners Steven Maeda and Matt Owens, known for shows such Lost and Agents of SHIELD respectively. Season 1 loosely cover the East Blue Sage which ran for the first 100 chapters in the manga and first 60 episodes, a total six story arcs worth of material.
If we look at the behind the scene trailer, giving us a glimpse of sets being used. It is evident Netflix spared no expanse in bringing the world of One Piece in live-action. Of the sets being made, you can somewhat make out what seems to be “The Going Merry,” the Straw Hats’ first ship. Besides that, we concept art for the Miss Love Duck and the Baratie. Speaking of the Baratie, we’re even shown a timelapse of the ship being built.
Just by looking at the trailer, Netflix has invested large amounts of money into this show and has been reported it cost around $18million per episode- and while not the most expensive production to date. To put into context and to make a comparison; shows like Sandman, Game of Thrones, and the Mandalorian only cost around $15million an episode. While a much more expensive show to make like Netflix’s own Stranger Things cost $30million an episode.
Now, with a confirmed total of 8 episodes for the first season, that makes a total $144million on production cost alone- and that’s not including marketing. This is more money than the anime spends on production since it’s been on the air for the last 20+ years! Now you may ask, where is all this money going to? If I were to guessed, a majority of that budget is going towards visual and effects.
Now, whenever there’s an adaptation of a beloved franchise, there’s bound to be some concern- most notably when it comes to the casting of the characters. In recent years we’ve seen a surge of “needed” diversity in media, and I’m not one to get too political, ‘cause all I care about is the story. For this adaptation, Netflix has assembled a wide range of actors and actresses, the likes of which include Mexican actor Iñaki Godoy plays Monkey D. Luffy, the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates. Also, it’s been confirmed that Mackenyu Arata will be the ship’s seceonf-in-commandm Roronoa Zoro, and Emily Rudd from Fear Street as the ship’s navigator Nami. Then we have Taz Tyler and Romero Gibson, known for the Lazarus project and Grey’s Anatomy respectively, as the chef Sanji and the sniper Usop. Check the video below for more:
Its also worth noting that the series will be bringing back the original voice cast and will be reprising their roles, but at what capacity. Confirmed cast members from the anime voice cast who will appear in the live-action series include Mayumi Tanaka, Kazuya Nakai, Akemi Okamura, Kappei Yamaguchi, and Hiroaki Hirata.
While not much is known about the overall plot of the first season other than that it’ll be adapting parts of the East Blue Saga as I’ve mentioned earlier. But it will be more than likely the series will follow a majority of the manga/anime’s plot with minor changes here and there. So, only time will tell if the series is any good or go down like those that came before. With that said, there is still no confirmation if this series will be getting a second season, but judging how popular the One Piece IP, a second season is very likely.