One Piece (Netflix) S1 Review by Rafy Mediavilla (@Rmediavilla) #OnePieceNetflix
Based on Japan’s highest-selling manga series in history by Eiichiro Oda, ONE PIECE is a legendary high-seas adventure unlike any other. Monkey D. Luffy is a young adventurer who has longed for a life of freedom since he can remember. Luffy sets off from his small village on a perilous journey to find the legendary fabled treasure, ONE PIECE, to become King of the Pirates! But in order to find the ultimate prize, Luffy will need to assemble the crew he’s always wanted before finding a ship to sail, searching every inch of the vast blue seas, outpacing the Marines, and outwitting dangerous rivals at every turn.
One Piece the Live Action adaption by Netflix had a lot of bagged that needed to be shed since it was produced by the same people that did the Live Action adaptation of Cowboy Beboop for Netflix. This meant high levels of scrutiny were already waiting in the wing for this before its release date. Yet, I was one of the few critics who absolutely loved what they did with Cowboy Beboop and was extremely hyped for the One Piece adapting taking into consideration that while I have never read the manga, or seen the anime series, I was well aware of how big this franchise overall is, and I was the pretty verse on the relevance of the characters and story because of I’ve been a fan of the video games for some time now, so I was well aware of what I was getting myself into. And I’m happy to report to fans of the manga and anime that this Live Action adaption by Netflix is practically a mirror image of what you all love and want to see. So rejoice!
Storywise season 1 serves more like an origin story for the characters and story behind One Piece. We dive very detailed into the backstories of Monkey D. Luffy and Nami, but we also get fairly detailed backstories of many of their main villain which is something that I also truly enjoyed. Both Monkey D. Luffy and Nami’s backstories have some tough dept to them which fans will enjoy and the screen time between the 8 episodes is well balanced between the two of them to give enough time to fully develop. The Roronoa Zoro character also has a great screen presence but his story is not as developed fully in this season as it was for Luffy and Nami. Koby is also a secondary character that much like Zoro was well introduced but would love to see more of it in the future. Now the whole story behind One Piece is something that clearly will be developed in future seasons if any should happen, so don’t expect a full dive One Piece storyline here beyond just character development.
Performance wise this is where the series truly shines for season 1, the cast was superb, and while the work of production design people, wardrobe, and hairstyling do the heavy lifting here to make sure the actors fit their roles one did a great job with their performances at making these iconic characters come to life. Starting with Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, he completely understood the assignment of copying every single character of Luffy and bringing him to the series, from his mannerisms, his facial expressions, everything that makes Luffy well Luffy, Godoy brought it to the table. Emily Rudd was superb as Nami, we going to see her tough and vulnerable side just as we see it in the anime. So did Mackenyru and Morgan Davies with Zoro and Koby respectively, both of them did their jobs of studying their character and bringing mirror images of them into the series. Truly watching these characters come to life in this Live Action adaption was something else, and extremely fun to watch.
Now as I mentioned before, the production design team, the wardrobe and hairstyling team, they absolutely killed it at bringing the world of One Piece to life in this Live Action adaption. From start to finish you can see the attention to detail in the set designs, in the props department, in the way the wardrobe department understood what needed to be done to bring Luffy, Nami, Zoro, and Kody to life as faithful as possible. The villains are also mirror images of what we see in the anime or video games. These people did award-worthy work making sure the fans of One Piece will be happy with the final result of the series when it comes to the production side, and I for one can sing their praise any higher.
Honestly if you a fan of the One Piece manga, anime, or video games you are in for one hell of a treat. Yet if you aren’t a fan of this franchise I truly believe season 1 does a great job at introducing the characters to any new audience to the point that by the final episode, you will be hooked a begging for more.