Holy Shit, Netflix’s Live-Action ‘One Piece’ Straight-Up Built the Merry and the Baratie
Let Zoro and I hang out in that fish mouth bar right NOW.
After endlessly fangirling over Our Flag Means Death, I should’ve been prepared for the idea that a live-action pirate show would build real, physical ships. And yet, when it comes to Netflix’s upcoming live-action adaptation of One Piece, the idea that there would be a real-life Going Merry somewhere in the world seemed like a step too far in my fan-daydreaming. But as part of day one of Netflix’s Geeked Week, we got our first look at the live-action sets, and friends, there is not only a real-life Going Merry, but a real-life Baratie and Miss Love Duck, too.
Given Netflix’s less-than-spectacular track record when it comes to live-action anime adaptations, I’ve been trying very hard not to get too excited about their take on One Piece. But I must admit that maintaining control over my excitement is getting increasingly difficult. It’s been a slow chip away at my cynicism. First, there was the announcement that creator Eiichiro Oda is a producer. Then, there’s the fact that Iñaki Godoy carries Big Luffy Energy in every clip I’ve seen, and finally, they fully built the ships. When you show any One Piece fan concept art of the Going Merry—the Straw Hats’ OG ship, which ranked in the top 100 characters of the series in a recent Global Popularity poll—you cannot expect them not to lose their shit. Indeed, I lost my shit.
The teaser doesn’t showcase the finished Merry—just the concept art, plus it lurks in the background of one shot (peep at 1:30). As emotional as I got, my personal jury is out on how I feel about Merry’s mouth being open. For one thing, it sure invites a lot of bugs and bird poop into Merry’s mouth. But that, combined with the horn-type material coming out of the ram’s neck and onto the hull, makes Merry look … scarier? Instead of fun and kind? Again, jury’s out. Netflix appears to recognize that a full-on Merry reveal is a big deal, so they’re clearly saving it.
Instead, the Baratie gets the spotlight for most of the trailer. In the series, the Baratie is a floating restaurant of high prestige, and it’s where we meet my incredible and sometimes cringey best friend, Sanji. The real-life Baratie looks freaking incredible. The concept art of the inside looks like it might be a little … gloomy? It looks incredibly posh and green. But the exterior …! The exterior! They made the excellent creative decision to put a bar inside of the iconic fish mouth at the ship’s head. (“It’s going to be Zoro’s favorite spot,” one of the showrunners quips.)
We also get a few shots of the Miss Love Duck. If you remembered the look of Alvida’s ship but not the name, please take solace in that I Googled it, too. That ship is way less important to the overall plot than the Merry or the Baratie, but it still looks awesome—as in, I want to hijack it and start my own set of adventures on the seven seas with it. We also get a quick glance at the sign outside Partys Bar, Makino’s bar where young Luffy hangs out with Shanks. We even get to few some of the windmills for Luffy’s hometown.
All of this made me realize that, even if Netflix’s One Piece adaptation is as bad as the cynical parts of me fear it will be, I’m going to have a ball just looking at the sets. Taking something out of a manga and building it in real life, to scale, is an incredible undertaking. Just watching the time-lapse of building the Baratie really shoves in your face the ridiculous amount of planning and work that goes into making a set. And for a series like One Piece, where one of your key sets is, again, a fan-favorite character, it’s heartening to see that the crew is pouring a lot of passion into nailing the environments. So I’m probably going to lose my shit every time a new iconic place hits the screen. Hot damn, I can’t wait to see Arlong Park.
(featured image: Netflix)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]