One Piece Live-Action: Why Could It Mean Netflix's Rebirth?

Netflix's new Live-Action adaptation is in the final stretch of its release. But can she cope with all the expectations that are placed on her? These are the expectations about One Piece Live-Action.

One Piece Netflix series cover

Photo: Netflix

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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One Piece is one of the most popular stories on the planet. Created in 1997 by Eiichiro Oda and continuing to this day, this manga is the world's best-selling single-author comic and book series, with nearly 500 million global units. This makes her surpass authors like JK Rowling, for example.

Well, the One Piece manga had and has its anime adaptation, which is in charge of Toei Animation and is also considered one of the "big 3", along with Dragon Ball and Naruto. Thus, its longevity has been maintained over time, thanks to its great synopsis and narrative.

Its story is about Monkey D. Luffy, a young pirate who decides to embark on an adventure to get One Piece, a legendary treasure left behind by Gol D. Roger, the only pirate who traveled the entire world. After that, Luffy must overcome hundreds of obstacles together with the help of his crew.

Read also: "Puss in Boots 2" review: The rise of an animated legend

Does Netflix bet Everything on the Live-Action of One Piece?

Netflix acquired the rights to adapt a few years ago. In 2021, the official cast of the work was known. It is known that it will be released in 2023, and we are waiting for the first teaser, although the poster for this first season, which will adapt the East Blue Saga, has already been released.

And why could this be an excellent success for Netflix? First of all, for the budget. Although there are no official numbers, it is said that it could be more expensive than other emblematic productions, such as Game of Thrones. The high value of this story is due to many reasons, among which is the construction of its world.

Let's remember that in One Piece, powers of all kinds are used: characters that throw fire, others that are anthropomorphic, and even the protagonist himself stretches like rubber. Therefore, the CGI must be up to faithfully representing said world. It also happens with the settings, such as the ships, many of which had to be built from scratch.

But will it be a good story? Everything points to yes. Being the best-selling manga in history and one of the most popular anime of all time, most of these fans will give this adaptation a vote of confidence. This will imply that there will be a large number of users who will watch the first season.

However, this is not all. Indeed, there will be people who have never seen this anime due to prejudice or lack of interest in a series with more than 1000 episodes. However, by visiting the first season with real actors, they may give it a chance, which will also make it an unprecedented success in the platform's history.

Thus, the objective of Netflix with this work is twofold. On the one hand, to satisfy One Piece fans, who want a representation as faithful as possible to the original anime. On the other, to catch those who have never seen an anime but are interested in the synopsis of this series of adventures and fantasy.

This explains why Netflix seeks to make it a "franchise," just as Stranger Things was. This is something that explains the fact that this company has bought the rights to have the original anime on its platform. Therefore, those who see the first season can continue it in the original format.

Now, what will happen if something goes wrong? Well, that will be added to the list of historical failures of live-action anime adaptations. Emblematic stories, such as Dragon Ball, Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist, or Cowboy Bebop, were slammed by critics due to not faithfully representing the original spirit of the story.

If One Piece gets it right, it will mean a resurgence for Netflix, which has been losing ground in recent years compared to other platforms. This 2023 will be released, so we will be waiting to see a new trailer. And you, will you want to see this symbolic story of pirates?