The successful One Piece anime TV series currently has 1052 episodes, a massive feat for an anime that has been running for over a decade. And within the anime community, if you are caught up on the series, you are commended for the feat. However, while the show is extremely good, the problem lies in the fact that it is challenging to keep up to date with the most recent episodes due to the sheer number. However, this problem may be solved through Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the popular anime series. And western live-action adaptations are things that strike fear into the hearts of anime fans everywhere, so will this be good or not?
The series is arguably the biggest and most popular anime currently running, grossing over $21 billion in revenue worldwide. In addition, it has sold more copies of its manga than the likes of other big anime such as Dragon Ball and Naruto. And this is understandable, as the anime will probably go down in history as one of the most iconic shows to date. And to the surprise of no one, Netflix also wanted in on the hype, announcing their live-action series a few years ago. Here is everything we know about Netflix’s upcoming One Piece TV series so far.
One great thing about Netflix was the decision to release a whole season of a series in one go. This makes it much easier for binge-watchers to eat up good shows. And so, upon hearing that they would be doing a live-action series instead of a film, fans at least have the option to decide whether it’s good within a day. As the live-action One Piece TV series was announced in January 2020, it should be safe to assume that the production of the series is now reaching its close.
In a tweet from the official Netflix account on Twitter, they shared that the show would hit our screens sometime this year. Some people are speculating an August 2023 release, but no specific date has been confirmed. The tweet included a photo of Monkey D. Luffy’s back and his fist raised in the sky below a caption that read:
“Adventure is on the horizon! One Piece sets sail in 2023.”
Naturally, fans showed a colossal lack of enthusiasm upon hearing this news. This is because previous live-action adaptations by Westerners have resulted in significant failures. Netflix’s Death Note (2017) film was an absolute nightmare, turning one of the most intelligent anime characters, Light Yagami, into a shrivelling mess. And then there was the Cowboy Bebop live-action series that was cancelled after one season because of how bad it is. The manga creator stepped in to mention that the series looked nothing like the manga or anime and was only similar in name.
And this is beside the other live-action anime adaptations that were a disaster. This includes the likes of Scarlett Johansson’s white-washed casting in Ghost in the Shell (2017) and the disaster that was Dragon Ball Evolution (2009). Only time will tell whether this adaptation will fall victim to the same fate.
Since the live-action Netflix One Piece TV series is set to release later this year, it would be strange if there was not an official cast. And surprisingly, the actors set to play some of the most beloved anime characters in the world all seem fitting for the part. As can be seen in the animated series, these characters are all from different backgrounds and would benefit from having a multiracial cast. The actors are as follows:
Inaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy
Emily Rudd as Nami
Mackery Arata as Roronao Zoro
Jacob Gibson as Usopp
Peter Gadiot as Shanks
Morgan Davies as Koby
Vincent Regan as Garp
Taz Skylar as Vinsmoke Sanji
Unfortunately, there has yet to be any trailer or clips released regarding the series’ progress and storyline. Therefore, it would be hard to gauge what any of these actors will look like in the roles of these characters. Part of the reason many live-action adaptations of anime fail is because of the actor’s failure to bring the characters to life on screen. Coming from a place that is very in touch with the human heart, portraying Japanese-written characters can prove to be a feat. And become even more complicated when the showrunners do not grasp the original content.
Furthermore, the show will be produced by Tomorrow Studios, news that many fans did not take well. This is because they are the same studio that produced the Cowboy Bebop series, which did not do well at all. The showrunners will see Matt Owens and Steven Maeda behind the project, and based on their track records, hopefully, the show will be better than the other adaptations. Unfortunately, it would be a lie to say that this show is something fans are looking forward to, but that does leave room for viewers to be pleasantly surprised if it is good.
But it is probably best not to get your hopes up for this one.