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Can the Upcoming Live-Action Series Live Up to the Anime?


Despite having aired over a thousand episodes, One Piece has not yet reached its conclusion and is still widely considered the best anime of all time. Apparently, the creator of the One Piece manga and anime, Eiichiro Oda, has no intention of ending the anime anytime soon, and it will take at least five years to finish the series.


The plot revolves around Monkey D. Luffy, a young pirate who wishes to be a pirate king like Gol D. Roger, who hid an invaluable treasure known as “One Piece” before his untimely demise. Luffy gathers his own ragtag crew and sets sail, making new friends and encountering numerous terrifying enemies.

Oda said in 2020 that he would create a ten-episode live-action adaptation titled “One Piece” with Netflix. However, rather than being enthusiastic, anime communities have voiced disappointment, which is unusual given that it seldom happens. The reasoning is based exclusively on previous examples of Netflix live-action adaptations.

Regardless, almost every anime lover who has been a fan of One Piece is eagerly awaiting the series’ outcome. That said, how will the new One Piece live-action match up to the anime’s success?


Netflix’s History of Terrible Live-Action Adaptations

Netflix

While Netflix is well-known for producing fantastic Korean live-action adaptations based on webtoons, it also has an unfavorable track record for adapting Japanese manga series. For instance, Avatar: The Last Airbender was such a flop that fans blatantly questioned its existence following its release.

Furthermore, live-action movies and series such as Dragon Ball Evolution, Death Note, Parasyte, Attack on Titan, and Fullmetal Alchemist fell short in almost every aspect, causing anime fans to lose faith in Netflix’s Japanese live-action adaptations.

While many people believe that Japanese manga and anime aren’t meant for live-action, we’ve seen plenty of spectacular adaptations, such as the Rurouni Kenshin movie series, that were just as good as the source material. Perhaps because Korean webtoons are primarily set in the modern world and heavily focus on romance, Netflix finds it easier to make them successful.

Given Netflix’s history with live-action adaptations of Japanese manga, fans have little faith that their new One Piece series will measure up to the standard set by the anime, which dominates the entire anime industry.

Related: These 8 Dragon Ball Movies Have the Best Fight Scenes in the Franchise

It’s Difficult To Fit the Anime’s Long Story

One Piece live action series
Toei Animation

One Piece, which started in 1999, is currently the longest-running anime, with over 1050 episodes and counting. Oda, unlike many manga artists who work on numerous projects simultaneously, spent his whole career working on One Piece, a sprawling saga full of secrets and expansive world-building.

The multiple interconnected story arcs in One Piece make it a series that can take months to binge-watch in its entirety. Adapting this enormous story into a live-action series will require at least 400 episodes with the existing story, assuming that filler episodes (unrelated to the main story) aren’t included.

Although there is a story compression option that will shorten the story by removing unnecessary scenes from the manga, One Piece is the type of anime where you shouldn’t miss any moments because they contribute to its exceptional entertainment.

Furthermore, as the story is constantly progressing, the live-action should be prepared to create at least 500+ episodes to tell the story without missing any crucial plotlines or character arcs. In any case, it’s difficult to put such a detailed and long-running story into a live-action series.

Related: One Piece: The Best Characters, Ranked

It’s possible to skip over minor antagonists that only show up in a few arcs, such as Enel in the Skypiea arc. However, given Oda’s innovative use of detail, we can’t be sure how the character won’t become important in the future. So, every canon confrontation Luffy has had in the anime and manga would be impossible to overlook in the live-action series, which is another reason why a live-action adaptation of One Piece is impossible.

Can the Live-Action Live Up to the Anime?

One Piece live action series
Netflix

While we have previously discussed how it is virtually impossible to create a One Piece live-action series, there is still reason to believe this new adaptation will succeed. Ted Biaselli, the director of Original Series, revealed to The Gayest Episode Ever how Oda oversees the series himself. As he put it,

“We’re working directly with Eiichiro Oda, who is the creator. You know, he’s got a vision, and he’s also never worked in television, so there’s this give and take in education of what works in live-action and what doesn’t work in live-action. He’ll tell us we’re missing the point; that’s not what this scene is about… Then we’ll all go, oh, okay.”

Unlike other Japanese live-action adaptations, Netflix might be handling this one seriously and could create a successful series. While it is impossible to fit such a long story into a live-action series, that is most likely not what Oda and Netflix are aiming for because even if the live-action series only gives us some moments from the original anime, it will be worthwhile as long as they are of high quality and reciprocate the authentic moments.

So, despite all the negative buzz and expectations, One Piece‘s live-action success is very much a possibility, even if it will never match the triumph of the anime.



This story originally appeared on Movieweb

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