ONE PIECE (Netflix Series)
STARRING: INAKI GODOY, EMILY RUDD, MACKENYU, TAZ SKYLAR, JACOB GIBSON, AND VINCENT REGAN
DIRECTED BY: MARC JOBST
RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 31, 2023
Regarded as one of the most popular Anime’s of all time, Netflix has quite literally brought “One Piece” to life in an eight-episode live-action series. Released on August 31, 2023, the show is directed by Marc Jobst. Jobst has also directed the 2015 TV show Daredevil and the ongoing 2019 series The Witcher. This carefully selected cast includes Inaki Godoy, Mackenyu, Emily Rudd, Taz Skylar, Jacob Gibson, and Vincent Regan. Eiichiro Oda, the creator and Manga artist of “One Piece” himself, participated in the casting process. Actors who truly captured the roles of the characters and natural chemistry were of the utmost importance when finalizing the lineup. Oda regarded the results as better than he could’ve imagined. This series was produced by Kaji Productions, Tomorrow Studios, and Shueisha, and was distributed by Netflix. The running time of each episode is between 49 and 69 minutes. The season’s budget was set around $144 million as each episode was roughly about $18 million.
This action-packed, comedic series chronicles the exploits of the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy (Inaki Godoy), Zoro (Mackenyu), Nami (Emily Rudd), Sanji (Taz Skylar), and Usopp, (Jacob Gibson) as they journey across perilous seas, hostile nations, and beyond in quest of the “One Piece.” This legendary treasure will elevate their captain, Monkey D. Luffy, to the title of ‘King of the Pirates’. Luffy’s recruiting process in finding crewmates and the requirements to be a Straw Hat are both unconventional and unintentional. His adventures are nothing short of exciting, risky, and inspiring. This first season of the “One Piece” live-action series covers about 90 chapters of the Manga; the current amount is over 1000.
Although the live action is only eight episodes, the Anime, which was first released in 1999, is still ongoing and currently at 1,078 episodes. Given the title, finding the “One Piece” is the end goal for the Straw Hat crew. It’s the goal for all the pirates who are willing to face the dangers that accompany this search. Because this first season is not even one-tenth of the existing Manga chapters, it serves as an introduction to the plot and the characters we will grow to love or hate. If you’re already expecting a conclusion where Luffy succeeds and becomes the King of the Pirates this season, slow down. If there’s one thing this series teaches, it’s patience.
“It’s not the destination, but the journey.” American Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote truly embodies “One Piece”. Finding the “One Piece” and becoming King of the Pirates may be Luffy’s dream, but sailing and going on adventures with his pirate crew has become his favorite dream. Each member of the Straw Hat crew endured their fair share of hardships and trauma before finding each other. Despite your past, you can grow and even find some incredible friends. This series really illustrates the value of friendship. This is the exact reason why the casting crew focused so heavily on natural chemistry.
In my opinion, the casting was perfect. Not only did the actors and actresses beautifully replicate their character, but they were able to convey the true nature of their relationships. I was extremely impressed with Inaki Godoy’s portrayal of Luffy. I honestly believe it may have been method acting. As for the live action in its entirety, it did not disappoint. It was well produced and precise. Netflix has already renewed the series for its second season given its huge success since its release.