Netflix’s One Piece live-action adaptation has not only made up for the streamer’s lackluster Cowboy Bebop and Death Note shows but has set a new standard. From the day it debuted, the series has been putting up impressive numbers for the service while helping new fans join one of the oldest and largest anime fandoms.
And yet, despite the success, there was concern that the large budget for the series may have set expectations too high. And up until the first episode went live, there were doubts about the quality of the show.
Even though Netflix hasn’t officially confirmed the fate of One Piece Season 2, it was deemed a success by Greg Peters, Co-CEO of Netflix, while speaking at an investor conference.
As with Squid Game, the series’ overwhelming popularity makes the second season a question of when and not if.
Season 2 Has Already Been Written
In an interview with Variety, One Piece producer Marty Adelstein said that the scripts for Season 2 are already done. Optimistically, he says that new episodes can drop 12-18 months after the end of the WGA and SGA-AFTRA strikes currently paralyzing Hollywood. If the strikes end early enough, a new season could stream as soon as 2024.
Becky Clemens, president of Tomorrow Studios, the company producing One Piece for Netflix, had this to say about Season 2: “Realistically, hopefully, a year away, if we move very quickly, and that is a possibility. Somewhere between a year and 18 months, we could be ready for air.”
Though the scripts are good to go, and the studio is anxious to start production, nothing has been officially stated about a second season, but based on the anime and how Season 1 adapted the East Blue Saga, we can make some very good guesses about what to expect.
The Returning One Piece Cast
One Piece fans nervous about the casting of Season 1 were able to rest easy the moment Inaki Godoy popped out of the barrel as Luffy D. Monkey. The young star has been in mainly Spanish-language productions his entire career, but he brought across the infectious enthusiasm of the next “King of the Pirates” without making it seem corny…well…more corny than the jubilant pirate always is.
Joining Godoy are the Star Hat Pirates of Season 1: Emily Rudd as Nami, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, Taz Skylar as Sanji, and Jacob Romero as Usopp.
In addition to our intrepid heroes, One Piece Season 2 will bring back some of the villains for another go-round, notably Aidan Scott as the obnoxious Helmeppo, Jeff Ward as Buggy the killer clown pirate, and Vincent Regan as Vice Admiral Garp (but in what capacity is unknown, as the series made a huge diversion from the anime with his character).
Koby, played by Morgan Davies with the right amount of earnestness, will also return, again as both a friend and a foe to Luffy.
Season 2 Should Cover The Arabasta Saga
One Piece Season 2 will likely follow the same pace and trajectory as Season 1, which managed to cram nearly 100 chapters of the manga and 60 episodes of the anime into eight hour-long episodes.
Going by the marks already set, that would mean Season 2 will cover the entire Arabasta Saga, which lasted for 117 volumes in the manga and 74 episodes of the anime.
The first part of the Saga, the Reverse Mountain arc, sounds impossible for a live-action series to get right, but One Piece has earned the benefit of the doubt, so we’ll see how it handles Luboon, the giant ship-eating whale.
What’s going to be interesting, given the choice in the very first episode to introduce Baroque Works, is the Whiskey Peak arc, which is the first time that the group is mentioned in the manga and anime.
In fact, don’t be surprised if both arcs are part of the same episode, which will then give more time for the Arabasta Arc to develop properly.
The Arabasta Arc is one of the most important in the overall story of One Piece, representing a turning point for the story with the introduction of Ace, Nico Robin, and Luffy’s battles with Crocodile. The True History and the corruption of the World Government are acknowledged for the first time, both of which elevate the stakes beyond “boy pirate getting into adventures with his friends.”
The New Cast Joining The Crew
No announcements have been made about the casting, and none are expected until the end of the Hollywood strikes. But that hasn’t stopped rumors from leaking out. A One Piece fan account revealed Dean Damonse will appear as Dragon, the world’s worst criminal (as dictated by the World Government, which he is trying to overthrow).
Dragon has a connection to Luffy and, technically, should have appeared last season as part of the Loguetown arc, which the Netflix series cut out. Will it be what starts Season 2 instead of Reverse Mountain?
As of now, it’s only a rumor, and there’s a chance that Dragon won’t appear until later in the season, as the live-action One Piece has already shown it will play with the established timeline.
Instead, fans can expect to see Ace, Crocodile, Rose, and the Baroque Agents, including Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday. More importantly, who gets to play the giants, Brogy and Dorry?
There Is No Current Release Date For Netflix’s One Piece Season 2
One Piece Season 2, in a perfect world with no labor unrest in Hollywood, would be airing next year. As it stands, the release date entirely depends on the end of the strikes. With scripts already written and an award-winning cast in place (not yet, at least, but they will clean up this year, and they deserve it), a lot of the work is already done.
It’s safe to assume the casting for the new characters has already been discussed and will be quickly announced following the end of the strikes.
The biggest problem facing One Piece Season 2 is surpassing the bar set by the incredible first season, which even managed to work in Chouchou, for another set of episodes. Can the cast and crew rise to the challenge, or will it follow the trajectory of Netflix’s The Witcher?