Luffy from One Piece.
(image: Viz Media)

Meet the Cast of Netflix’s Live-Action ‘One Piece’ Adaptation!

When Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece was announced way back in July 2017, I was skeptical. Even though I was merely a casual fan back them. After all, Netflix’s production track record of anime-to-live-action adaptations is rough. A Cowboy Bebop adaptation got canceled after only one season. Just a few months after the One Piece announcement, the comically horrid Death Note film was released.

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But, because capitalism, the adaptions are only ramping up in number. Fortunately, there’s reason to be optimistic that the live action One Piece won’t be wildly tonally off like Death Note or doomed like Cowboy Bebop. There’s even reason to believe it will be—wait for it—good. Namely, One Piece’s creator, Eiichiro Oda is deeply involved. He even said the show will not air until he is personally satisfied. And he made t-shirts for the cast! Very cute. Oda-sensei’s involvement shows in how clearly some of the cast really nails their characters. And the core cast are all deeply delightful.

Keep in mind that this adaptation is only covering the East Blue Saga. If it’s renewed, we’ll likely get Drum Island and Alabasta next season. However, whether this season includes Loguetown/Roguetown (pronunciation depending on who you ask), and will therefore debut Smoker and Tashigi, seems doubtful. Here’s the cast announced thus far.

Monkey D. Luffy: Iñaki Godoy

Iñaki Godoy cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

Monkey D. Luffy is the protagonist of One Piece, and therefore the character with the most pressure to get right. Luffy’s the captain of the Straw Hats and a very particular personality. He’s not traditionally cool—that’s Zoro’s job. He’s an excitable, enthusiastic, lovable weirdo, and so I was initially terrified for them to announce the actor that would have to live up to Luffy. I did not want Luffy to be some gritty, suave actor. But, friends, they nailed the casting with Iñaki Godoy. See him in action, and you’ll see what I mean.

Right?! That energy!! That’s my boy Luffy’s energy!

Godoy is a Mexican actor who is most well-known for starring in the crime-soap Who Killed Sara? He doesn’t have a lot of comedic roles in his previous portfolio, but again, it seems like he can easily bring that energy.

Rononoa Zoro: Mackenyu

One Piece Mackenyu cast photo.
(Netflix)

As mentioned above, Zoro is The Cool Guy of One Piece. He’s a badass swordsman, confident, cool-headed and hot-tempered (at the same time!), and very bad with directions. And he’s almost as popular as Luffy.

Mackenyu seems to share Zoro’s pointed, tense, and yet somehow also laid-back vibe. Born in L.A., he started constructing his career in Japan. Notably, this isn’t his first time in a live-action anime adaptation: He played Enishi Yukishiro in the Japanese Rurouni Kenshin films.

Nami: Emily Rudd

Emily Rudd cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

Emily Rudd has said very sincerely and empathically that Nami is her dream role. Her Twitter profile right now is just pictures of Nami, and she retweets fan art all the time. With that enthusiasm, I’m quite convinced this woman deserves this role. Before her Nami-fication, Rudd was known for her role in the Netflix horror film series Fear Street.

Nami is the navigator of the Straw Hats, and the East Blue Saga is quite rocky for her. There’s a bit of a “hero or villain” vibe until we learn her tragic backstory. Nami’s one of the best characters in the series, and her character development in the Arlong Park arc is what made me fall head-over-heels for One Piece. You got this, girl.

Usopp: Jacob Romero Gibson

Jacob Romero Gibson cast photo One Piece.
(Netflix)

As with Godoy, every video I’ve seen of Jacob Romero Gibson gives me Usopp Energy. He’s excitable, sincere, and goofy. Give him a slingshot, and you’re golden. Gibson’s resume includes bit parts in Grey’s Anatomy—because why not?

Usopp is the Straw Hat’s sniper, and as his name implies, he has a penchant for telling tall tales (“uso” is Japanese for “lie”). The East Blue arc includes every Straw Hat’s origin story (with some spoiler-y caveats), and I find myself looking forward to seeing Usopp outside Kaya’s window, telling her ridiculous stories of his “adventures” as “captain.”

Sanji: Taz Skylar

Taz Skylar cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

Sanji is the lady-loving chef of the Straw Hats who is very good at kicking. He loves to play the cool guy and act very suave, but at heart, Sanji is very much a goober. This imbalance is what makes Sanji one of my favorite characters in One Piece.

Like Sanji himself, Taz Skylar brings the “very cool up front, kind goober at heart” vibes. He’s an English actor who has starred in a number of crime dramas. He’s been nominated for an Olivier Award for writing (their equivalent of the Tonys, essentially). Notably, he’s also in Boiling Point, which is about the pressures of being in a restaurant kitchen. His Instagram is filled with shirtless pictures of him making beautiful food, so … why not?

Koby: Morgan Davies

Morgan Davies cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

Whether or not Netflix’s One Piece adaptation gets to Water Seven and Hot Koby remains to be seen. When we first meet Koby, he’s a wee, sniveling rando. However, from the casting choice, Netflix may be planning on skipping Sniveling Koby and jumping straight to Hot Koby. The East Blue Saga is Koby’s origin story, as Luffy inspires him to pursue his dream of joining the Navy.

Davies is an Australian actor who has primarily starred in dramas. Most notably, Davies starred in the TV show The End as a trans teen in the processing of transitioning (Davies is also trans). They will also be in the upcoming Evil Dead: Rise.

Helmeppo: Aidan Scott

Helmeppo cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

Look at this guy. Do I even have to tell you he’s Helmeppo? He probably got the part the second he walked into his audition.

Helmeppo begins as a bratty antagonist who would like very much for his daddy to kill Luffy and Zoro. He then grows to be slightly less bratty and slightly less of an antagonist. Scott has landed some TV roles and should not be confused, upon Googling his name, with a Philadelphia-based DJ.

Alvida: IIia Isorelýs Paulino

Alvida cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

Alvida’s a tricky one to figure. When she starts out, her sense of her own beauty is played as a gag that may not translate well into 2022. The next time we see Alvida, she has transformed into traditional-male-gaze hot. But she’s also an example, right out of the gate, that women can kick men’s ass in One Piece.

However, IIia Isorelýs Paulino is an actress and writer who seems up to the task of navigating such a weird dynamic. Paulino is best known for starring in HBO’s The Sex Lives of College Girls.

Buggy: Jeff Ward

Buggy cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

Buggy is maybe one of my favorite One Piece villains—though the time he really starts to shine is way down the line at Marineford. As is typical of One Piece, Buggy isn’t funny because of his clown appearance, which would be the obvious reason. Buggy is funny because he’s a brazen doofus who hates it when you talk about his nose.

Jeff Ward’s resume seems to strike a balance between comedy and drama, which is good news. Anyone who’s appeared on PEN15 has an impressive comedy in their resume. Ward also played Deke Shaw in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Arlong: McKinley Belcher III

Arlong cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

As I mentioned earlier, Arlong Park was the arc that made me fall in love with One Piece. In part, that’s because Arlong has series staying power as a villain. The trauma he inflicted upon Nami, her family, and her village remains a relevant plot point, even after the time skip. Arlong, the ruthless sawshark fish-man leader of the Arlong Pirates, has to be terrifying.

You’re most likely to have bumped into McKinley Belcher III as Agent Trevor Evans in Netflix’s Ozark. He has a heavy background in drama, which also includes the miniseries We Own This City.

Monkey D. Garp: Vincent Regan

Garp cast photo One Piece. (image: Netflix)
(Netflix)

Look at this guy. He’s Garp! He’s the grittiest possible version of Garp! He’s Gritty Garp! Vincent Regan played a Captain in 300, so he’s got the intimidating soldier vibe down. His resume is littered with action films. Hell, he’s going to be in the next Aquaman.

Garp is Luffy’s grandfather. But whereas the grandson wants to be King of the Pirates, Garp is known as “the Hero of the Marines.” He’s a well-respected veteran and the kind of guy who throws a four-year-old child into the jungle for days so that he gets stronger.

Shanks: Peter Gadiot

Shanks is British! Who knew? Given that combination of likability and authority, I suppose a British Shanks makes sense. Gadiot doesn’t naturally have red hair—rather important for the captain of the Red Hair Pirates—but luckily, hair dye, wigs, and general TV/movie magic exist.

You’re most likely to recognize Gadiot from Yellowjackets, where he plays Adam. He’s also James on Queen of the South, Caesar in Matador, and Mr. Mxyzptlk on the CW’s Supergirl.

Yasopp: Stevel Marc

Usopp’s absentee pops will be played by Stevel Marc. Marc has worked a lot as a model, so we’ll be getting a particularly pretty version of Yasopp here. He’s also had roles in The Mauritanian, Professionals, and The Honeymoon.

Kaya: Celeste Loots

Kaya is Usopp’s love interest—a kind, secluded, sickly, and very wealthy girl from Syrup Village. Usopp is still very much interested. Celeste Loots has been in a handful of short films, like Sporadies Nomadies and The Date.

Klahadore: Alexander Maniatis

alexander maniatis headshot
(Netflix)

Look, obviously Klahadore (AKA Captain Kuro) had to be hot. The captain of the Black Cat Pirates has that energy about him. Granted, most of these actors are very hot. Alexander Maniatis also played “rough cop” on HBO Max’s Warriors. Kuro’s definitely that kind of style.

Nojiko: Chioma Umeala

Nojiko is Nami’s sister. Like her sister, Nojiko is a badass, strong-willed woman. She’s being played by Nigerian-South African actress Chioma Umeala, who recently played Tara in The Woman King.

Also—I love this casting, and so have fans. (Nojiko is portrayed as white in the manga.) I’ve come across some truly wonderful fan art for Umeala’s Nojiko, and you simply love to see it.

Kuroobi: Jandre le Roux

Kuroobi, one of the main officers of the Arlong Pirates, doesn’t mess around. And, it seems, neither does Jandre le Roux. le Roux has had several small parts in major action films, like Tomb Raider (2018) and Transformers: The Last Night. Kuroobi his biggest role to date.

Chew: Len-Barry Simons

Strangely, we don’t know who’s playing objectively the best member of the Arlong Pirate: Hachi. But we do know Chew! His actor, Len-Barry Simons, has starred in several South African dramas and soap operas, like Arendsvlei and Somerkersfees.

Steven John Ward: Dracule Mihawk

steven ward headshot
(Netflix)

Ladies and gentleman, we have a Mihawk! As one of the Seven Warlords and the greatest living swordsman in the series, Mihawk is kind of an important character. And Steven John Ward definitely gives off Mihawk energy in his headshot. Ward’s had roles on House on Willow Street, Triggered, and Inconceivable.

Chef Zeff: Craig Fairbrass

Chef Zeff was recently and tenderly placed back in my brain by—surprise—a One Piece collaboration with Japanese McDonald’s. Zeff is Sanji’s father figure, the head chef of the Baratie, and a former pirate. Or, in Craig Fairbrass’ words, “red leg Zeff cook pirate.”

Fairbrass is a British actor perhaps best known for starring alongside Sylvester Stallone in the 1990 film Cliffhanger.

Fullbody: Jean Henry

“Double Ironfist” Fullbody is a Navy hot-shot who has a particularly heated encounter with Sanji at the Baratie, right when we first meet the future cook of the Straw Hats. Fullbody loves to act suave, so a suave-looking man, Jean Henry, is playing him. This is Henry’s second-ever role, though he’s certainly cut his acting teeth as Arno on the South African telenovela, Diepe Waters.

“Axe-Hand” Morgan: Langley Kirkwood

langley kirkwood headshot
(Netlifx)

Yes, One Piece does indeed introduce you to a Captain Morgan within its opening chapters. Because of course it does. This guy’s a total POS, though. Langley Kirkwood said on Twitter he dyed his hair blonde and gained 22 pound for the role. Kirkwood is a South African actor with roles in Warrior, Dredd, Mia and the White Lion, and Banshee.

(featured image: Fuji TV)


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Author
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.