Netflix’s ‘One Piece’ Live-Action Adaptation Sets a New Standard

by Hazel

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of “One Piece” has garnered praise for setting a new benchmark for adaptations of anime and manga. The series successfully translates Eiichiro Oda’s beloved manga to the screen, remaining faithful while making strategic changes for a better storytelling experience. One notable change is the introduction of Garp earlier, establishing him as an overarching antagonist for the season.

A crucial element of the adaptation’s success is its cast, who perfectly embody the characters that fans have cherished. The series follows Monkey D. Luffy and his quest to assemble a pirate crew to search for the mythical treasure, One Piece, across perilous waters.


Adapting over 90 chapters into an eight-hour season meant some content had to be left out. One such exclusion was the beloved character Chouchou the dog, who had a significant and heartbreaking flashback in the original manga. In Orange Town, Chouchou vigilantly guards his deceased owner’s pet-food shop, which is destroyed by Mohji and his lion Richie. This destruction prompts Luffy to fiercely defend the dog.


Co-showrunner Steven Maeda revealed in an interview with Screen Rant that there were plans to include a Chouchou subplot. “It was slightly different than the manga story,” Maeda said. “At the end of the day, we ended up separating it out of this version of the story, and we never actually shot it. We had a scene and an arc with [Chouchou] and Zoro, and it was very different. And ultimately, we decided it was too different.”


Maeda explained that the decision was made to keep Zoro with Luffy and Nami when they encounter Buggy, rather than having him off on a separate side story. Despite his affection for the Chouchou story, it was deemed more important for the main narrative.


Although Chouchou’s subplot was omitted, his story in the manga continues after his encounter with the Straw Hats. Post time-skip, Chouchou becomes the guardian of a rebuilt and expanded pet-food shop named after him, with a statue erected in his likeness by the villagers of Orange Town.

This isn’t the only storyline cut from the final version. Maeda also mentioned a cut sequence featuring Hachi, an octopus fishman and one of Arlong’s henchmen who later becomes an ally of the Straw Hats. “Oh boy, did I want Hachi in the show,” Maeda confessed. A planned fight between Hachi and Zoro had to be scrapped due to time and budget constraints. This was particularly disappointing as Hachi is a unique and important character in later arcs.

The “One Piece” live-action adaptation has made waves with its careful balance of fidelity to the source material and thoughtful modifications, setting a new standard for future anime and manga adaptations.


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