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Netflix Will Try to Pull off a 10-Episode, Live-Action One Piece Series

Good luck.

Sanji in One Piece

Sometimes they talk about works of fiction that are so complex, long, or intricate that they are dubbed unadaptable. “Unadaptable” is what I thought when it was announced that Netflix is going to make a ten-episode adaptation of the anime series One Piece.

Creator of the series, Eiichiro Oda, tweeted on Wednesday, shared by TV Line: “I know I announced the production of this back in 2017, but these things take time! Preparations have been slowly progressing behind the scenes, and it seems I can finally make the big announcement: Netflix, the world’s leading streaming entertainment service, will be lending us their tremendous production support! This is so encouraging!! How far will the story progress over the 10 episodes of Season 1? Who will be cast!? Please be patient a little longer and stay tuned!!”

According to a tweet from the One Piece Netflix account, Oda will oversee the series, and it’ll be showrun by Steven Maeda and Matt Owens. Maeda was supervising producer and writer for the second season of Lost and left in season three, while Owens has written for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.

One Piece, the anime series based on the still ongoing manga by Eiichiro Oda, currently has 919 episodes and has been airing without pause since October of 1999. Babies born in October of 1999 and before will be able to drink this year. The manga has been serialized since 1997.  It is currently the 25th-longest manga series by volume count and 17th-longest anime by episode count.

To simplify it, One Piece is about a young pirate boy named Monkey D. Luffy who wants to be King of the Pirates by finding world’s ultimate treasure, known as “One Piece.” He is joined by his crew, known as the Straw Hat Crew, and due to eating a magical fruit known as a Devil Fruit, his body is extra stretchy like rubber.

All this to say there is a lot of content to be adapted, and ten episodes, even if it is taking a specific arc and simplifying it, seems truly overwhelming considering the long impact of the series on anime culture. And I say this as someone who tapped out after 200 episodes. Still, there are those who have been loyal fans since the beginning or have managed to catch up on the series. Considering it is almost 21 years old, that is impressive, and I hope that those involved have a genuine love for the series. Because, while very long, One Piece has been very profitable.

According to an article from back in March of 2019, One Piece “surpassed J.R.R. Tolkein’s iconic fantasy franchise in total gross” and “earned a whopping $8.87 billion to date with its merchandise sales and video games coming in close behind. As for The Lord of the Rings, it has hefty grosses pulling in with book sales at $9.13 billion.”

As of January 2020, it “has over 462 million copies in circulation in 43 countries worldwide” and gets franchise revenue from the manga, anime, films, games, and merchandise. Sadly, with the delays on Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop and the mess that was the Death Note adaptation, we are going to need the streaming service to actually deliver a good anime adaptation before anime fans fully back their projects.

In honor of this news, remember the terrible dub rap they tried to do? If not … here you go.

(via TV Line, image: Fuji TV)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.