As anime adaptations fail one after the other, Netflix takes on a giant of the genre and gives the first details.
Death Note and cowboy bebop already got the awful treatment from Netflix, and those slights stuck in our throats. Anime has rarely (if ever) been able to adapt to a live-action format created by Western studios. Obviously, Netflix are not the only ones to massacre Japanese works with the primary objective of paying tribute. Ghost in the Shell by Rupert Sander and Nicky Larson by Philippe Lacheau can also serve as an example to show that this type of project very often brings only soulless nanars.
Despite bitter failures and bitter feedback from fans of the adapted licenses, Netflix continues its momentum with a major project. Announced in 2017, adaptation of One Piece in live-action series is a very risky bet on the part of the streaming giant. With Eiichiro Oda in person at the helm of the series as executive producer, this new project will have two possible directions: a crushing victory signing a first for the genre or a crushing defeat marking the platform of the worst adaptation ever created.
While Netflix’s history with this type of work only suggests a future outright failure, the first images unveiled during Netflix Geeked Week suggest a little hope for this project that many consider as stillborn.
Steven Maeda and Matt Owens, directors at the head of the series show themselves in an exclusive video withIñaki Godoy, the young actor who will play the role of Luffy to show us the filming sets of the series. We then discover the Merry, the ship of the Straw Hat crew, as well as Captain Alvida’s Miss Love Duck come to life among other iconic places in the series such as the Baratie.
The attention to detail is impressive, and the use of physical sets rather than simple synthetic images is a real guarantee of quality for the future series. The energy of the Luffy actor in this short excerpt also hints at a quality casting choice that bodes well for the rest of the characters. Speaking of the characters, Netflix also took the opportunity to unveil new actors who will play secondary characters in the saga, and we must admit that the choices are quite good.
—Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) June 6, 2022
So while there’s a strong urge to spit in Netflix’s soup after the recent failures of cowboy bebop and Death Note, One Piece could well and truly stand out. It is still too early to judge whether this project will manage to establish itself as a success, but conversely nothing suggests for the moment that it will be a fiasco. Patience is therefore required before discovering the fate that the streaming platform has in store for Oda’s work since no release date has yet been revealed.