Netflix’s One Piece live-action series is one of the most anticipated adaptations in history, and for a reason. Fans have really liked the trailers, and Oda’s heavy involvement in the making of the show has kept fans’ expectations high.
Recently, author Eiichiro Oda was in Los Angeles in secret, where he spoke through interpreter Taro Goto in an interview to talk about One Piece and the live-action adaptation of his manga.
Oda observing fans watch Netflix’s One Piece Live-Action
While it may be confusing as to why so many fans didn’t recognize Oda, it’s because he has refused to have photos of his face clicked.
In the Interview, Oda was asked about the One Piece Live-Action as well:
Q: The live-action “One Piece” uses more extensive dialogue than the manga or the animated series, which focus more on the visuals.
A: “In a manga, the more dialogue you put in, the less space you have to draw, so I cut the words as much as possible.
But when people actually talk, the conversations are different.
In live-action dramas, there’s always a lot of dialogue. If the characters spoke in real life, their speeches would have the natural feel that’s in the scripts. I’m very happy about how that turned out.”
Q: Actors have portrayed Luffy and his crew in stage shows and even in a Kabuki play. But attempts to adapt popular anime into American live-action movies and series have generally been unsuccessful, as in the widely panned “Ghost in the Shell” (2017) and the short-lived “Cowboy Bebop” (2021). Did that worry you?
A: “Various manga had been made into live action, but there was a history of failure; no one in Japan could name a successful example. Would fans of “One Piece” — and viewers who don’t know the manga — accept it?
Perhaps it was time to search for the answer.
Thankfully, Netflix agreed that they wouldn’t go out with the show until I agreed it was satisfactory. I read the scripts, gave notes, and acted as a guard dog to ensure the material was being adapted in the correct way.”
Q: As a boy, Luffy ate the accursed gum-gum fruit and it turned his body into rubber, allowing him to deliver fantastic stretchy kicks and punches in fights. Isn’t he better suited to animation than to live action?
A: “When I first started, I didn’t think there was any point in drawing a manga that could be remade in live-action.
But when I saw the movie “Shaolin Soccer,” it felt like a manga-esque world brought to life. I changed my mind.
I realized times had changed, and there was technology available that could make a live-action “One Piece” happen.
So I shifted to finding the right partner to bring the manga to life.”
Netflix’s One Piece live-action drama was released on August 31 exclusively on its online streaming service worldwide.