Netflix’s ‘One Piece’ Renewed for Season 2, Which Means My Beautiful Boy Is Coming
Just two weeks after the live action One Piece series premiered on Netflix, and in the midst of a dual strike from SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America, Netflix recruited mangaka Eiichiro Oda himself to deliver some astounding news: the widely acclaimed adaptation has been renewed for a second season.
Given that One Piece has broken an internal record for Netflix by ranking number one in 84 different countries simultaneously, a second season was beginning to feel inevitable. Still, it’s an astounding achievement, considering that Tomorrow Studio’s previous adaptation attempt, the widely-panned Cowboy Bebop, never made it past season one.
But to me, the real reason to be excited about the news is what a second season means. Or, rather, who it means. Because as Oda himself pointed out the second the renewal announcement left his lips, the Straw Hats will be needing a doctor.
Friends, it’s time for Tony Tony Chopper.
Ladies and gentleman, Tony Tony Chopper
For me and a sizable subsection of One Piece fans, the main reason to be excited about a season 2 of Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece is that the Straw Hat Pirates will recruit their doctor, Tony Tony Chopper. Oda confirmed as much when he drew Chopper in response to the announcement. Considering that Chopper will prove difficult to translate to live action, the confirmation was necessary. And it generated enough hype that I lost all sense of self-control.
Chopper is a reindeer who ate a Devil Fruit called the Human-Human Fruit, which gave him transformative powers and the mental faculties of a human, including speech. Heartbreakingly, being not-quite-reindeer, not-quite-human made Chopper an outcast. The result is a sad tale about the ability to trust others and be yourself. On a personal note, Chopper’s tale gave me a lot of vocabulary on how to talk about trauma, and so I love him forever.
However, a chibi reindeer isn’t exactly the easiest character to translate into live action. The big question is whether the team will illustrate Chopper with CGI or if, like the Snail Transponders throughout the series, they will go the practical route. The fact that Oda’s announcement focused so heavily on the Snail Transponder is, I hope, a clue.
What I’m saying is, I need Netflix to come together with Jim Henson Studios or Industrial Light and Magic to give us all the being which will save the world: a fuzzy Chopper Muppet. The hashtag #makechopperamuppet is spreading on social media, and I’d be much obliged if you shared it.
The other members of the cast to revel in Chopper’s shadow
Literally the only things that have been announced are One Piece‘s renewal for a second season and Tony Tony Chopper’s inclusion. Oda also mentioned seeing the “further adventures” of Iñaki Godoy, who plays Luffy, so it’s safe to assume that Godoy and the rest of the main cast will return.
Besides my beautiful boy Tony Tony Chopper, the second season will introduce a plethora of important characters. Nefeltari Vivi in particular is an incredibly exciting prospect—a fan-favorite character who will be central to the probable climax of the second season. Just as importantly, Vivi has a giant duck named Karoo who is a member of the Supersonic Duck Squad.
We’ll also meet likely meet the members of Baroque Works; Crocodile, Nico Robin, and Bon Clay are easily the most anticipated characters on that front. But just in case someone not familiar with the larger narrative of One Piece is reading this, I won’t get into further details here.
The other character to look out for is Chopper’s adoptive (grand)mother figure, Dr. Kureha. Jamie Lee Curtis has expressed interest in the role, and One Piece fans want a Curtis Kureha almost as badly as we want a Muppet Chopper.
Season 2 plot expectations
Season 2’s plot points have not been announced yet, but since Chopper is involved, we know the series will at least go through Drum Island. But before the Straw Hats can get there, there are three other islands they have to drop by first.
In all likelihood, the season will start off at Loguetown, which caps off the East Blue saga in the manga. Considering that the final episode of season 1 teases Buggy and Alvida’s team-up and the existence of Captain Smoker, it seems likely that season 2 will pick up here. As long as the narrative doesn’t go the same way as the horrendous 4Kids dub, we’ll then follow through to Reverse Island and meet a wonderful whale named Laboon.
Next up would be Whiskey Peak. That should be interesting, considering season 1 introduces Zoro by having him cut a member of Baroque Works in half. After that there’s Little Garden, where the Straw hats meet two giants and even more members of Baroque Works. Then, finally, we arrive at Drum Island and Chopper.
The big question is whether, after Drum Island, this season will include the Alabasta arc, which is the climax of Vivi’s character arc (for now). It seems incredibly likely, but it would be a lot of material for a single season.
When can we see season 2?
Oda warns in the renewal announcement that the scripts for season 2 aren’t finished, so the premiere will be a ways off. Considering that One Piece is an American production, and both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are on strike, this shouldn’t come as any surprise. Give the writers and actors the wages, working conditions, and protections against AI that they deserve. And then give us Chopper.
Season 1’s production took seven years, but it’s notable that COVID caused major delays in filming. Still, despite Tomorrow Studios recently saying the show could be ready “next year,” I’d caution fans to expect season 2 to drop in 2025 at the earliest—if they want the same back-and-forth with Oda which contributed to the success of season 1.
But still, the fact that One Piece was successful enough to get a renewal only two weeks after its premiere, in the middle of industry-wide strikes, is impressive. Here’s to hoping that season 2 is even better than season 1. And to hoping that Chopper is a Muppet.
(featured image: Eiichiro Oda / Netflix)
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