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The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of popular anime and manga series, ‘One Piece’: a treasure to watch

Image used with permission from Netflix
Nami (left), Monkey D. Luffy and Zoro stand victorious after a battle against marine soldiers and captain Morgan, also known as Axe-Hand Morgan, in episode one of Netflix’s newest live action adaptation of the anime series “One Piece.”

The first episode of the Netflix live action adaptation of the famous Japanese manga, “One Piece,” sets the series up to truly capture the creative and exciting essence of the pirate world filled with treacherous seas, heartwarming camaraderie and a united mission. 

Though long-time fans may have had some concerns about whether the adaptation will be able to encapsulate the ongoing animation series of 20 seasons into merely eight episodes, the modern take manages to tell the narrative in an engaging way that welcomes newcomers to the fandom.

In fact, the series developed by Matt Owens and Steven Maeda has reached No. 1 on Netflix since all eight episodes dropped on Thursday, Aug. 31. This high-seas odyssey was first created by Eiichiro Oda in 1996. Since then, “One Piece” has taken its fans on an emotionally rich journey and is deemed as the world’s best-selling manga.

Video used with permission from Netflix

In this first season, the live action adaptation covers the East Blue Saga. Each episode, which lasts for about an hour, takes viewers along Monkey D. Luffy’s (Iñaki Godoy, “The Imperfects”) voyage across the East Blue Sea to become King of the Pirates and obtain the legendary fabled treasure, One Piece. 

“One Piece” fans strike a pose on the Straw Hat crew’s pirate ship dressed up in their favorite characters at the series’ fan celebration at Santa Monica Pier on Thursday, Aug. 24. The fan celebration also gave an early screening of the first episode. (Photo by Jaimie Chun)

Prior to the premiere, Netflix held a fan celebration at Santa Monica Pier on Thursday, Aug. 24, to show fans an early screening of the first episode; the Los Angeles destination was the first stop of the franchise’s 10 global promotion events. 

Beyond the joy of being able to relate back to the beloved series and cheering at the casting that complements the animated characters in both looks and personalities, the live action reignites the themes of dreams, family and friendship.


The story unfolds alongside the renowned team called the Straw Hat Crew that Luffy leads with his honorable and adventurous personality. In the first episode, which has the longest runtime of the eight, Luffy makes a visit to marine enemy base, where he meets and forms a tenuous alliance with future crewmates Zoro (Mackenyu Maeda, “Knights of the Zodiac”) and Nami (Emily Rudd, “Fear Street”).

The live action defies the odds by successfully recreating Luffy’s unique power — derived from eating a magical “devil fruit” — that lets him stretch like rubber, allowing the lanky character to achieve impossible feats like bouncing bullets off himself and launching powerful punches. 

Luffy, played by Iñaki Godoy, stretches his mouth to show his rubbery abilities. (Image used with permission from Netflix)

With the entrance of each character, such as the astute navigator Nami with her ruby-colored hair and the world’s greatest swordsman Zoro with his undeniable charisma, this latest version taps into the escapism that the original series gifted viewers decades ago. 

One of the reasons why the adaptation hits home for fans is because of how well the directors were able to bring to life the characters’ idiosyncrasies. Each has its own compelling personal journeys that add depth to the series — and viewers can experience these sooner in the live action. 

For example, through time skips, the audience meets red-haired Shanks (Peter Gadiot, “Queen of the South”) — Luffy’s inspiration and goal — in the first episode. In less than 20 minutes of the initial showing, Zoro and Mr. 7, member of a bounty hunter group called Baroque Works, clash in an eye-widening sword sequence. In the original anime series, Baroque Works appears well into the show as part of Zoro’s backstory. 

As a result, the Netflix series streamlines into the adventure while also introducing the emotional arc of its characters early on — all the while not losing the heart of the original storyline. For newcomers who don’t want to catch up on the over 1,000 episodes, this condensed, yet rich plot is a great way to immerse into the One Piece world. 

The first 15 seasons of the original anime series are also available on Netflix.  


The downfall of fitting such a dense tale into eight episodes is that the live action misses out on the more goofy and youthful spirit the anime carries. Inevitably, the series isn’t able to portray the dramatic expressions and action that’s possible in an animation. 

Instead, the newest version establishes a darker mood and doesn’t shy away from more adult themes and graphic fight scenes. With striking pirate ships and vivid settings, the live action’s set design gives the animation’s colorful depictions a run for its money. Even the shot of Buggy the Star Clown with his distinct clown nose and wicked smile at the end of the first episode brings his character out even better than the illustrated version.

Though Netflix has not made any official announcements about a second season, with so much sea left to cover in the rest of the sagas, the show deserves a sequel. By extending the series, viewers should look forward to seeing the Straw Hat crew finally reach the anticipated Grand Line, which the first season leaves off from. 

For those seeking a gripping and spirited adventure, Netflix’s twist on the legendary anime series certainly won’t leave the audience high and dry. 

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Jaimie Chun
Jaimie Chun, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Jaimie Chun returns excited and grateful to lead The Accolade as the editor-in-chief. Since her first year on staff two years ago, The Accolade newsroom has become a home away from home. She looks forward to each issue, story, audio and video reaching the biggest audience possible and bringing the community together. Chun will continue honing her skills as a journalist to ensure that her storytelling is informative and empathetic. Because of her love for print journalism, she hopes that The Accolade's publications will be read by many people and equally appreciated. When Chun isn't in the newsroom, you can find her searching to try new food, exploring new music or reading in the nook of her room.
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    Pedro GonzalezSep 10, 2023 at 5:31 pm

    This is so interesting! Loved this story! Truly a treasure to watch.