The Mexican Luffy and the curious revival of One Piece in the West | Spaghetti Code

I was also very surprised to see that Iñaki Godoy will be Luffy in the live-action from One Piece. Not precisely because of him, but because Netflix is ​​a rare customer when it comes to making adaptations, but also for some reason Eiichiro Oda’s manga is becoming popular like it couldn’t in the nineties.

Let’s jump back in time to when Cheetos cost 3 pesos and 1 peso of salsa was like a whole bottle. The wonderful nineties and the beginning of the 21st century were a blessing for anime fans in Latin America. Well, not exactly, but yes for those who watched TV and had Slam Dunk, Saint Seiya, Dragon Ball, Sakura Cardcaptor, Doraemon and much more to enjoy.

Among all the franchises that could be expected to succeed, there was also One Piece, a shonen with equal or more force than Dragon Ball and with equal or more renown than Slam Dunk, but it failed to take off in Latin America.

The Grand Line is not sailed in a week | Image: Toei Animation

Some blame the dubbing, which was confusing and in many ways ambiguous and not very relevant to the development of the story. Others to censorship, which was brutal and did not allow those who want to see action as in Dragon Ball go into nothing; but most likely the reason was itself One Piece.

Unlike his peers in the Big Three, Dragon Ball O Saint Seiya, Eiichiro Oda is a mangaka with more determination for his work than anyone and he made it known to the Shonen Jump from the beginning, something that their sales supported month after month, but also something that Western audiences are not used to.

We already spoke in another moment of why you have to continue with One Piece and the virtues of Eiichiro Oda, so today we will no longer throw flowers to this great mangaka, but we will talk about the strange revival that this franchise is experiencing, the same one that will make it have an adaptation of live action.

One Piece over the years

The evolution of One Piece is curious. Unlike other stories, its characters They have raised their “power level” very little, something all western anime fans fantasize about, who even fight to see who would beat goku or if Saitama, a character destined to criticize the absurdity of this situation, would be able to defeat other protagonists.

On One Piece We continue to see fights between beings that take physical capacities to the extreme, but they fight on boats, they hurt their bodies with wounds that last towards posterity and, more importantly, are still susceptible to die from a dip. Something that to the nose that came out of the sewer to say “Goku refuses” would not like it.

Luffy’s scar on his chest shows the development of the story | Source: Toei Animation

But the great virtue of this manga is exactly that. It is slow, it has a rhythm that is explained throughout its hundreds of chapters and it has visible consequences; there is no way to escape from what Eiichiro Oda has written, there is no way not to understand this as a battle between two sides who are aware of how devastating a war is.

A story that has been cooked for decades, being formed from an army of dedicated and committed fans to not only see the superficial parts, but to understand the background through which its author has moved, whether in a subtle or cynical way, perfectly instructed to attract more fans when necessary.

During the last two years the news about One Piece they have been much more intense. Partly because most of the world’s population entered a pandemic state and that made possible both the explosion of anime and the consumption of digital content, but also because entered the band of the record number exceeding 1 thousand chapters.

Luffy smiles for 20 years on the charts | Source: Toei Animation

The moment that his community waited for years came and the context was provided for everything to happen in a positive way. One Pace exists, TikTok exists, Twitter exists, TuMangaOnline exists, YouTube exists and there where a mugiwara was, he was ready to introduce others to the path of the Grand Line.

It seems like a story written by Eiichiro Oda himself, but it is also today more than ever what he criticizes One Piece is a reality. The rise of ultra-right governments, as well as extremist groups taking more weight in all latitudes, they bring to mind that world in which there is nothing to do but live in revolt by pirates who exploit usurped land, or governments that exploit lands ready to be usurped.

Armies and bodies of power are exposed, and there where the world puts a doubt and an uncertainty, One Piece and Luffy give an answer.

Yes OK Netflix may dilute this intense political commentary in its live-actionThe time is ripe for the word of Eiichiro Oda to continue to haunt the world, because it has been doing so for more than 20 years in Asia and is finally finding the echo it wanted in the West.