Eiichiro Oda's drawing of Tony Tony Chopper in 'One Piece'
(Eiichiro Oda / Netflix)

Netflix’s ‘One Piece’ Adds a Big Name to the Season 2 Cast

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.

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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

Chopper from one piece

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

Nami, Luffy, and Zoro in the 'One Piece' live-action series

In his initial announcement of season 2, Oda mentioned he was looking forward to seeing the “further adventures” of Iñaki Godoy, who plays Luffy. It’s safe to assume that Godoy and the rest of the Straw Hats will return. That means Mackenyu as Zoro, Emily Rudd as Nami, Taz Skyler as Sanji, and Jacob Romero as Usopp are all coming back.

The main characters from the Navy side—Vicent Regan as Garp, Morgan Davis as Koby, Aidan Scott as Helmeppo, and Armand Aucamp as Bogard—will also be returning. In the manga and anime during this stretch, Koby and Helmeppo begin their hardcore training under Garp. When we next see that crew on the other side of that training, a few arcs from now, Koby’s super hot. However, given how much season one altered the Navy storyline, it’s highly likely the live action won’t stick directly to the manga / anime.

Jeff Ward’s Buggy the Clown, who went straight-up viral during season one, is heavily rumored to return, alongside Ilia Isorelýs Paulino as Alvida. Both characters play a major role in the Roguetown arc, which will be the opener of season 2.

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 next several arcs. Just as importantly, Vivi has a giant duck named Karoo. Karoo is a member of the Supersonic Duck Squad.

Beyond Vivi and Baroque Works, arguably the most important characters season two will introduce are Captain Smoker and his right-hand, Tashigi. Smoker and Tashigi are recurring Navy officiers throughout the series, and they’re both fan-favorites. Callum Kerr, a Scottish soap opera star, will be playing Smoker, while Fear Steet‘s Julia Rehwald will be our new Tashigi.

In the same announcement, we got two of the central figures for Chopper’s Drum Island arc. Rob Colletti, a Broadway actor who played Jack Black’s role in the musical version of School of Rock, will be Wapol—which sounds about right. South African actor Ty Keogh will play Dalton.

We’ll also meet the members of Baroque Works; Crocodile, Nico Robin, and Bon Clay are the most anticipated characters on that front. But because these announcements are quite artful, we have gotten some casting announcements for the next strata of Baroque Works officers. The big headliner here is Mr. 3, who will be played by Late Night With the Devil‘s David Dastmalchian.

Also announced are: Jazzara Jaslyn as Miss Valentine, Camrus Johnson as Mr. 5, and Daniel Lasker as Mr. 9. In true OPLA tradition, all three look exactly like their characters.

Mr. 3 first appears in the Little Garden arc, which also serves as our introduction to the existence of giants in the world of One Piece. Werner Coester and Brendan Murray have been cast as Dorry and Brogy, respectively. Clive Russell—best known as “the Blackfish” in Game of Thrones—will be playing Crocus and welcoming the Straw Hats into the Grand Line. Which means one thing: LABOON. (If you don’t know, you’ll soon find out.)

Another 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 Crocus and a wonderful whale named Laboon.

Next up would be Whiskey Peak—which is all but confirmed by the announcement of casting for Miss Valentine and Mr. 5. 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 Mr. 3. Since all three of those characters have been cast, we can expect Little Garden to be part of season 2.

Then, finally, we arrive at Drum Island and Chopper. The big question beyond that is whether, after Drum Island, this season will include Alabasta, which is the climax of Vivi’s character arc (for now). It seems possible, but it would be a lot of material for a single season.

When can we see season 2?

Oda warned in the renewal announcement from late 2023 that the scripts for season 2 weren’t finished. Shortly thereafter, Tomorrow Studios recently saying the show could be ready “next year,” meaning 2024. Which felt overly optimistic, even at the time. What with the strike and all.

In the intervening period, the writing process seems to have finished. Rumors are abound that the second season of One Piece began filming in June 2024. Season 1’s production took seven years, but it’s notable that COVID caused major delays in filming. I’d caution fans to expect season 2 to drop in 2025 at the earliest—especially 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.

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Image of Kirsten Carey
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.