So this afternoon, I learned that Netflix planned on making a live-action adaptation of One Piece in the near future. How I never caught wind of this, I don’t know. Then, at the very same time, I learned that Eichiro Oda himself, the creator of One Piece, would be helming production.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has sought to adapt an anime. Their ill-fated version of Death Note got a lot of flak. On top of this, adapting anime or anime-esque stories into live action has a poor track record. Dragon Ball: Evolution proved to be so terrible that the man who wrote it apologized. And that doesn’t even come close to the complete tragedy that was The Last Airbender. Which I’m still holding over Shyamalan.
However, I think the odds are in One Piece’s favor, for several reasons. Firstly, Netflix made the decision to give the creator of One Piece the role of Co-Exec Producer. That means he’ll get to decide what will work and what won’t. Secondly, he’s working alongside some serious talent. Matt Owen, who’s worked on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Luke Cage, is a big fan of One Piece. Having a fan help make this works because they’ll know what people want from it!
One Piece is the highest-selling manga of all time, and decades from now, I hope it’s remembered as one of the greatest works of fiction in human history. If Eichiro Oda thinks that now’s the time to let One Piece go live-action, then I want to see how he can adapt the crazy world he’s created. Rumor has it the budget’s going to be higher than Game of Thrones, so I think it will do well. Fingers crossed!