The Mirror

The Student News Site of Merrillville High School

The Mirror

The Mirror

Netflix’s One Piece breaks cycle of failed live action adaptations


(*Warning: Contains some minor spoilers from season 1 of both the anime and live action version.*)

Netflix’s “One Piece” is the latest live anime adaptation to be brought to screen. It tells the story of a young boy with a straw hat, named Luffy, forming a crew in aspiration to be king of the pirates. 

The show stars Iñaki Godoy as Luffy, who does a wonderful job portraying the chaotic yet cheerful attitude of Luffy, along with the rest of the Straw Hat crew, who also do a great job portraying their characters. The acting is amazing, and the show is very well-written, despite not strictly following the source material. Out of all live-action adaptations you could watch, this one is definitely worth your time.

If you haven’t seen the anime or Netflix series, “One Piece” is a Japanese manga series and anime written by Eiichiro Oda that takes place in an older time period where pirates and marines are in endless conflict. Pirates are demonstrated as villains while the marines are meant to pursue them. In this world, some people have been granted special abilities by eating what is known as a “Devil Fruit”. 

A famous treasure, the One Piece, is hidden in a vicious area of the sea, The Grand Line, granting whoever gets it the title of “King of the Pirates”. The story focuses on a 17 year-old boy named “Luffy”, who eats the “Gum-Gum Fruit” and sets out to the Grand Line to become king of the Pirates. But before doing that, he needs a loyal crew and this is where the story kicks off.

This is the first live anime adaptation to succeed well with critics and general audiences, having a critic’s score above 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Many have voiced their opinions online and the show has received nothing but positive feedback. The feedback is well-deserved as the show perfectly captures the spirit of each character and is exactly what many “One Piece” fans could have asked for in a live-action adaptation.

One thing that sets this show apart from other live-action adaptations is how the show is in no rush to tell a story. Most live-action adaptations usually are rushing to get as much information and storyline in as possible. This makes the characters feel rushed and then there ends up being zero attachment to the characters and you end up not caring about what’s going on. 

This live adaptation is different for it carefully explores each character while not taking up too much episode time, allowing the episodes to stay on track with the story. You learn a lot about the characters and you actually end up caring about them. What’s even more impressive is that Netflix’s “One Piece” condenses the first season of the anime into 8 episodes and does it successfully. The first season of the anime is 61 episodes long.

Another thing that makes a bad live adaptation is how most of them try to follow the anime too closely. When you try to take everything from an anime and put it onto the big screen, it just doesn’t end up working. Netflix’s “One Piece” isn’t afraid to depart from the accuracy of their scenes compared to the anime. For example, the fight scenes are very different from the anime; however, they work. The fight choreography is beautifully done and works for a live adaptation. While most scenes play out differently than their anime counterpart, they still deliver the same end results, they don’t unnecessarily alter any relationships between characters, and it allows the events to flow smoothly and remain on track.

Additionally, the show contains a very skilled set of actors. Each one portrays their character just as their character would act in the anime. This is especially shown when it comes to the “Nami’s Breakdown” scene, where the character, Nami, has a meltdown based off of her poor choices and the friends and family she’s had to push away. Luffy then comforts her and helps her even though she betrayed him. The purpose of the scene is meant to build the relationship between Nami and the rest of the crew, and it shows how much Luffy cares about his friends. Iñaki Godoy, Luffy, and Emily Rudd, Nami, captured this scene perfectly.

Season 1 concludes with The Straw Hat crew coming full circle, mutually agreeing to never give up on their dreams. When watching this final scene, you can really feel the impact and depth within it and it makes you wish for another episode. If you have seen and enjoyed Netflix’s “One Piece”, you’ll be glad to know there has been confirmation that there will be another season. Overall, this series is a step in the right direction for live adaptations and it’s a perfect example that they can be done well. It makes you wonder how good Netflix’s second try at a live-action “Avatar: The Last Airbender” will be.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Mirror Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *