The School Newspaper of Southwest Career and Technical Academy.

Southwest Shadow

Southwest Shadow

Southwest Shadow

LISTEN UP
Fashion Students to Round Two - Fashion Forward Competition

‘One Piece’ breaks the live-action anime curse

Season two has already been confirmed
%E2%80%9COne+Piece%E2%80%9D+changes+many+aspects+of+the+source+material+but+still+holds+onto+its+main+themes.%0ARating%3A+A-Photo+Credit%3A+Netflix+
NETFLIX ©2023
“One Piece” changes many aspects of the source material but still holds onto its main themes.
Rating: A-
Photo Credit: Netflix

Over the course of 1000 episodes, this swash-buckling crew embarked on a grand journey to find the greatest treasure the world can offer, the “One Piece”. This anime/manga  captured the hearts of millions, and that popularity placed them next in line to be added to Netflix’s live-action roster.

When I stumbled upon the original anime two and a half years ago, I thought it would be another typical battle Shonen (a manga publishing company whose target audience is young male teens). Little did I know how much it would change my life. As I witnessed the story shape over the countless arcs, I was awe-struck by how much I was absorbed into the epic. I felt like I was a part of the crew, and ever since then, I’ve been waiting in anticipation week after week for the newest chapter to be released. 

The cast is one of the aspects that I think they did perfectly, especially with Straw-Hat Luffy, the main character.

And because “One Piece” is my favorite show of all time, when I heard Netflix was creating a live-action adaptation, I was a bit apprehensive yet hopeful nonetheless. Netflix’s previous live-action attempts like Death Note (2017) and Cowboy Bebop (2021) ultimately both fell short because they strayed too far from the source material, and lost the true essence of what those shows were. If Netflix is just going to do a repeat of their previous live-action attempts, I would much rather a “One Piece” live-action not be created at all.

Fortunately, some of my fears were alleviated after learning that the series’ original author, Eiichiro Oda, would be supervising production and making the final decision on who is cast. The cast is one of the aspects that I think they did perfectly, especially with Straw-Hat Luffy, the main character. Luffy is an unintelligent and silly, but passionate, captain who wants nothing more than to create a crew full of close comrades and to achieve his lofty dream of becoming the “King of the Pirates” (as he says in nearly every episode). 

This works great in an animated environment, but it does look pretty cringe in a live-action setting. However, Iñaki Godoy manages to truly capture Luffy’s character in a natural way. Even though he doesn’t stack up to the personality and mannerisms of his animated counterpart, I couldn’t imagine a better person to play a more grounded, real-life version of Luffy.

The plot of the show stays mostly faithful to the original, but a lot of story beats were cut or edited to save time as they condensed the first 60 episodes into eight one-hour episodes. Though, I think the plot changes work really well for this show. A shot-for-shot remake would be pointless, and I do appreciate a lot of the new elements like Buggy the Clown’s “Circus from Hell” or the horrific Captain Kuro’s “Mansion” sequence. 

One small grievance I have with the show is the CGI, especially with how Luffy’s rubber powers are portrayed.

One small grievance I have with the show is the CGI, especially with how Luffy’s rubber powers are portrayed. In the show, Luffy eats the “Gum Gum Fruit” which turns his body into rubber and grants him the ability to stretch any part of his body. In the anime and manga, Luffy is constantly stretching his limbs; there is no Luffy without his stretchy body. When animating or drawing manga, creating a stretchy body effect is only really limited by the skill of the artist, but recreating that same effect in live-action costs a lot more time and money. The result of the poor special effects is fake-looking limbs, which are sometimes hidden decently in darker scenes. All the other uses of CGI were solid, but I hope they can find ways to improve Luffy’s stretch in the future.

This live-action is a great introduction to “One Piece” for non-anime fans, and a fun new perspective for veterans of the series. I can say with the utmost certainty that “One Piece” has broken the curse of awful anime live actions.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Southwest Shadow Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    Ayma MalikOct 3, 2023 at

    luffy and zoro kinda fine

    Reply