When Netflix adapted One Piece as a live-action series, changes from the long-running anime had to be made. The recently announced Season 2 will also include changes as it adapts the Arabasta Saga, but there’s one that we hope it makes from the anime. Ace, Luffy’s brother, is introduced during the Arabasta Saga, but he needs to be a much larger part of the live-action series than in the anime.
When One Piece Season 2 adapts the Arabasta Sage, it should introduce Ace, Luffy’s brother, a lot earlier and then keep him around.
Technically, Ace isn’t actually Luffy’s brother, but rather his sworn brother, after the pair and Sabo performed a Sakazuki using stolen sake when they were 10. Regardless of blood, the bond between the two is incredibly close, even if Ace is frequently annoyed and embarrassed by Luffy’s antics. Everyone who has a younger sibling understands.
Like Luffy, Ace is another of One Piece’s Devil Fruit users; powered by the Mera Mera No Mi (Flame-flame fruit), he’s able to generate massive amounts of fire. Typically, Ace would use this to enhance his fists, earning the name “Fire Fist Ace.” His personality is a great counterpoint to Luffy, and his powers are perfect for impressive-looking fights, which is why we want Ace to be introduced earlier and used more in Season 2 than he was in the anime.
Like Luffy, Ace is another of One Piece’s Devil Fruit users; powered by the Mera Mera No Mi (Flame-flame fruit), he’s able to generate massive amounts of fire.
In the One Piece anime, Ace is finally seen at the start of the Arabasta arc, during an incident with Marine Captain Smoker (the villain teased at the end of Season 1). Ace saves the Straw Hat Pirate crew from Smoker, hands a message to Luffy, destroys the ships of Baroque Works….and then he’s gone.
It’s a great introduction to the character since it leaves fans wanting to know a lot more about Luffy’s brother. The anime trope of a strong character being introduced and then vanishing for entire story arcs is common, and yes, One Piece does it very well, but the live-action adaptation is a chance to do something different.
Already, the live-action One Piece has increased the screentime of Garp and Koby, to great effect, we should add, so why can’t they do the same for Ace? The answer is that they could, and likely will, perhaps even an early reveal of Ace’s father in the process. Luffy’s almost nonchalant shout of “Grandpa” in Season 1 would go great with the casual drop of Gol D. Roger as Ace’s father.
Netflix’s One Piece already made drastic changes from the anime, most of them good, and we think including Ace earlier could also allow for more Garp in Season 2.
The flashbacks from One Piece Season 1 could return, now including a young Ace alongside Luffy as they are both being trained by Garp. More Garp, and more Ace, make this seemingly minor change a win-win for fans of the franchise.
No one expected Netflix’s One Piece series to be a one-for-one adaptation of the anime, which in turn made changes from the original manga, and while not all the changes were good (we still miss Shoushou and the Usopp Pirates), most of them were for the better. That’s why we think that an early introduction for Ace, and keeping him around for longer, would be another great change from the anime.