‘One Piece’ Netflix: One Time Hit or Game Changer for Netflix’s Upcoming Anime Live Action Adaptations?

Published 09/04/2023, 1:50 PM EDT

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For a show that derives its eccentricity from its endearing misfits of flamboyantly dressed pirates with a penchant for becoming the greatest of its kind, the Netflix One Piece live-action adaptation has oddly been associated more with a certain curse. More precisely, the breaking of one. The curse that rendered the anime community hopeless of a decent live-action adaptation, especially one from Netflix, was finally broken by the manga that is now as much Netflix’s as it is of Eiichiro Oda.

The expectations surrounding a live-action adaptation have come nothing close to the release of One Piece. The case of a nearly six-year labor of love for Netflix and its ambition to strike a chord with anime fans after the Death Note debacle, even if it meant  $17.27 per episode. But did plucking the stars from the sky actually translate to more stars in its reviews?

Has One Piece Netflix broken its anime live-action adaptation curse?

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Making a One Piece live-action adaptation for Netflix was a challenge as herculean as taming the tempestuous ocean itself. This showed in how makers were still trying to keep their hats on days before the series was released. However, the tale of the straw hat pirates stomped over all the misconceptions with absolute fervor upon its release. So much so, that fans who take the source material as their gospel went as far as to appreciate the changes made in the storyline.

With its One Piece live-action adaptation, Netflix deftly paid homage to the source while daring to hoist its own pirate flag high, adding a touch of heroic originality of its own. While the series may have not acquired the treasure of faithfulness to the original source during its making, it definitely landed on the island of devotion.

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Netflix managed with a production budget of millions per episode and the blessings of the Eiichiro Oda to create a masterpiece this time. But can it summon lightning in a bottle once more, or is any ship deprived of the straw hat pirates destined to drown?

Will the upcoming live-action anime adaptations on Netflix strike a chord?

The One Piece live-action adaptation, as demanding as it was, is not the only one of its kind in the OTT Mogul’s rooster. Netflix has not one but multiple anime live-action projects planned. With its recent release, Netflix has switched the pH readings on these from ‘exhausting’ to ‘enticing’. But it has also spelled ‘impossible’ with the titles of its upcoming anime to live-action adaptations which include Avatar: The Last Airbender, Death Note, and My Hero Academia.

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Netflix’s One Piece, although drowning in praises, especially for cooking up VFX that can give even Marvel a run for its money, was still faulty in some cases. But perhaps these are innate qualities that come with an anime-to-live-action adaptation. While One Piece, owing to its plethora of interesting characters, may have managed to thrive with them, these faults will hit like a dagger for its upcoming anime-derived projects. Especially the Pokémon live-action series.

 Can Netflix’s live-action Pokémon be the next One Piece?

There is a reason beyond just wanting to create phenomenal cinematic masterpieces that drive Netflix’s interest in the anime genre. It is the promise of a blockbuster success that its hedgehog-esque fandom brings with it. Knowing this, the streamer took a special interest as Detective Pikachu found a queen-sized bed among Ryan Reynolds‘ other million-dollar projects. And now on the back of the already successful franchise, the streamer is planning to build its own empire with a Pokémon stop-motion anime series and a live-action series as well.

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With a live-action series based on Pokémon, the streamer now not only has to cater to anime fans but also those who count the video game as a core memory of their childhoods, making us think that if it did not have its nose buried into creating live-action projects, it may have become a contender for James Bond. But perhaps it does not want to do any more of a disservice to Henry Cavill. It does not share the same regard, however, for Pokémon and Death Note.

It is true when they say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” in the case of Netflix. Despite failing once, the streamer is taking on the anime again. While it is too soon to say, if Netflix is ready to empty its pockets and let loose its upper lip to the original creators, in return for a good anime live-action adaptation, there is no stopping this ship.

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Do you think Netflix got lucky with its One Piece anime to live-action adaptation? Let us know in the comments below.

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Aliza Siddiqui

1413 articles

Meet Aliza Siddiqui, a Hollywood News reporter at Netflix Junkie. Her love affair with Hollywood began with Anne Hathaway and The Princess Diaries, but it was the thrilling climax of Don’t Look Up that cemented her infatuation with the industry and its filmmaking. Aliza's journey into entertainment reporting began with her time at Otakukart, where she wrote over a thousand articles.

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