Anime is mistakenly considered a niche genre by many despite countless different series boasting millions of dedicated followers. This very assumption leads to a lack of commitment and focus from mainstream Hollywood studios when they attempt to make quick bucks from live-action adaptations.

Most importantly many shows fail to bring the much-loved essence of the original manga series to the storyline of their live-action projects, as they grapple between mimicking their source material to keep traditional fans happy and adding their own Americanized touch to attract new viewers.

Eiichiro Oda's One Piece.
One Piece.

The likes of Speed Racer, Kite, Oldboy, and The Guyver tried to win over Anime fans with their live-action attempts and they all failed spectacularly. Now the spotlight is on Netflix’s next big project, One Piece.

Read more: “That made me into who I am”: Netflix’s Live-Action Nami Actress Reveals Her Favorite Anime That Changed Her Life and It’s Not One Piece

How Netflix Plans to Stay True to the Original One Piece

Eiichiro Oda‘s manga series One Piece sits at the summit of comic books. The story, which focuses on the journey of a young rubbery pirate Monkey D. Luffy through the East Blue Sea in his quest for the ultimate treasure “One Piece”, has been consistently leaving readers in awe since its inception in 1997. It has sold more than half a billion copies worldwide. The early rise to prominence meant Oda quickly got a dedicated TV series of the same title.

Eiichiro Oda's One Piece.
Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece.

Now, after 20 seasons of the TV series, Netflix has decided to bring the story to a live-action. Their collaboration with Oda – who will be the Executive Producer of the series – has attracted huge limelight but also intensified the pressure on the producers to not miss a beat.

The showrunner, Matt Owen, is already aware that he needs to keep the series light-hearted as it has always been. He said:

“A lot of the big epic series that are on tv at the moment – and no disrespect to them, I love them – but they’re all so dark. We wanted to build a show with just as much mythology and lore and brilliance as some of those other blockbuster shows, but be the blue skies, sunny, optimistic version of them. We want to be able to sit on the same shelf as them, but be a beacon of light.”

Oda is also very sensitive about how his brainchild will be presented by Netflix and has already made multiple demands, including insisting on keeping the Straw Hat’s backstories the same, to ensure live-action One Piece captures the personality of Luffy’s team. But the streaming giants are not putting brakes on pleasing Oda and One Piece fans in general just there.

Read more: One Piece Creator Eiichiro Oda Laid Out 2 Demands for Netflix’s Live-Action Adaptation That Were Non-Negotiable

What Netflix Has Promised to Eiichiro Oda Ahead of One Piece’s Premiere

Through their X account, Netflix sent a message to Oda about their vision for the show that is set to premiere on August 31 and underlined how they plan to avoid repeating mistakes that many other live-action adaptations have made.

Netflix's One Piece.
Netflix’s One Piece.

Perhaps more than the Japanese artist himself, the traditional anime fans are on the edge regarding the way the showrunner Owen will shape the storyline. But Netflix ensures its goal is to “rewrite the history of live-action adaptations” and not betray the fans with their half-baked reenactment.

If the official trailer of One Piece is anything to go by, Netflix is putting its money where its mouth is. The trailer impressed the fans, who appreciated the way they captured Luffy’s rubbery powers. If they can do the same with other trademark powers of Devil Fruits, it’ll certainly instill a lot of confidence in the well-wishers of the iconic manga tale.

Read more: Netflix’s One Piece Series Hires ‘The Witcher’ Composers for Iconic Score

Source: One Piece Netflix – X

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