Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece is officially a hit. Based on the ongoing manga of the same name by Eiichiro Oda, the series currently holds a 96 percent audience score based on over 500 viewer ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. The critic score is holding steady at 73 percent based on 15 reviews to date. However, these scores may change as more people tune in.
One Piece is sitting at 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with audiences and 76 percent with critics
Considering that Netflix has had a less-than-impressive track record with anime adaptations, One Piece manages to capture the essence of the original source material. Its success is owed to bold stylistic choices and a cast of characters that leave a lasting impression. This accomplishment challenges the notion that live-action anime and manga adaptations are doomed to fail.
One Piece transports viewers into a world of high-seas adventure, where pirate crews search for the legendary One Piece treasure left behind by the famed King of the Pirates, Gold Rogers. This treasure promises immense power and glory, attracting daring pirates who set out on perilous voyages to pursue their dreams.
The soul of One Piece is Monkey D. Luffy (Innaki Godoy), a young, enthusiastic adventurer who can stretch his body like rubber. Godoy’s portrayal of Luffy infuses infectious joy into the series, making him a genuinely endearing protagonist. As Luffy gathers his Straw Hat Pirates, which includes Nami (Emily Rudd) and Zoro (Mackenyu), their interactions mirror the camaraderie that defines the original manga.
Each episode of the first season boasts elaborate set pieces, whether they involve intense battles, daring heists, or thrilling naval clashes. But what truly elevates the One Piece series is its captivating lineup of adversaries. Characters like Buggy the Clown (Jeff Ward), Dracule Mihawk (Steven Ward), and fishman pirate Arlong (McKinley Belcher III) add complexity to the story.
One Piece transports viewers into a world of high-seas adventure, where pirate crews search for the legendary One Piece treasure
However, translating the whimsical world of One Piece from anime to live-action is no small feat. While the series strives to capture the unique physicality and explosive combat scenes of its source material, it also grapples with the limitations of live-action. The scenes often rely on extreme close-ups and innovative camera angles to evoke the feel of anime.
Nevertheless, these challenges do not hinder the show’s execution. Instead, they contribute to the larger-than-life charm of One Piece, which remains rooted in its heartwarming themes of camaraderie and personal growth. The series not only surpasses expectations but also signifies a positive turning point in the world of live-action adaptations of anime and manga.
One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda praised the live-action series days before its release. In a video shared by the show’s official Instagram account, Oda says, “As a Hollywood production, the action and the VFX are great, not to mention the performance by the cast,” he added, “But above all, I want to call attention to how perfect the Straw Hat cast are. It’s like you’re watching the straw hats in real life.”
Interestingly, Oda, known for being mildly reclusive, wasn’t shy about telling the Netflix team about any changes he wanted during production. Director Emma Sullivan previously detailed how he would ask for reshoots and script changes if something didn’t adhere to his standards. “You want fans to be happy, you know, but I think the only way we can do that is to make Oda happy,” Sullivan said.
Fans who expressed concerns about the live-action One Piece series seem to be very happy with how the show turned out. All eight episodes are currently streaming worldwide on Netflix.