The live action adaptation of One Piece is here, and the Netflix series is a certifiable hit. The phenomenon has the world interested in a whole new cast of actors, including Fear Street’s Emily Rudd in the role of Nami. Rudd is a longtime anime fan, and Fandomwire reports that she had a childhood obsession with Sailor Moon that drove her parents batty.
Emily Rudd, Nami in the live-action One Piece, admits she was obsessed with Sailor Moon growing up.
Emily Rudd is a key component of One Piece, and while she is a fan of the original manga and anime, Sailor Moon is the series that set Rudd on her otaku path. “I made my parents rent the Sailor Moon movie all the time and they were so sick of it,” Rudd explained to Netflix Geeked, “but I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Women are so cool and so powerful and they can do anything.’”
The Sailor Moon women are, indeed, so cool and powerful. Inspired by superpowered teenagers, Emily Rudd carried a love for anime into adulthood. That love blossomed with her role in One Piece, and she is now a cool, powerful anime woman herself.
Rudd pursued her part as Nami for three years before she was cast in the series. She dyed her hair red, cut it to match the character, and shared her acrobatic skills on social media in hopes of catching the attention of the right people. Her lobbying paid off, and she nailed the audition.
A reader of the One Piece manga, Emily Rudd always felt especially connected to Nami. Landing the part in the live-action series was a dream come true.
“I made my parents rent the Sailor Moon movie all the time and they were so sick of it, but I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Women are so cool and so powerful and they can do anything.’”Emily Rudd, the live-action Nami on One Piece
Sailor Moon stirred Rudd’s anime love in early life, but she is also versed in series like Yu-Gi-oh!, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and, more recently, Demon Slayer. With bonafide otaku status, Emily Rudd plays her One Piece part with pitch-perfect faithfulness.
The entire cast brings that same level of dedication and understanding to the project. Each member channels the energy of the manga and its anime adaptation with care. The love and reverence for the source material is baked into every frame of One Piece, making the passion of its creators palpable enough to ooze through the LEDs and entrance living rooms around the world.
Some critics of One Piece have argued that the show is faithful to a fault, but that has not stopped it from becoming a juggernaut. Hitting records reserved for hits like Stranger Things and Wednesday, One Piece marks yet another cultural phenomenon for Netflix. A second season is already in development.
Sailor Moon stirred Rudd’s anime love in early life, but she is also versed in series like Yu-Gi-oh!, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and, more recently, Demon Slayer.
The series follows a group of pirates dubbed the Straw Hats as they hit the high seas in search of One Piece, a mythical treasure that will grant their captain, Monkey D. Luffy, status as king of the pirates. The Straw Hats are not alone in the search, and the quest for the treasure turns out to be full of action, adventure, drama, and plenty of laughs along the way.
Live-action attempts at anime and manga projects rarely work, but One Piece has charted the proper course. Its swashbuckling story about the bonds of friendship and the pursuit of dreams comes to life in the Netflix series. For Emily Rudd, telling this story is the dream. And who knows, maybe she will bring it full circle and tackle Sailor Moon next!