One Piece: Eiichiro Oda claims live-action show didn’t need to be “one-to-one” adaptation

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Mackenyu Arata, Emily Rudd, and Taz Skylar for Netflix's One Piece

One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda explained how the live-action show was faithful to the source material without being a one-to-one adaptation.

Netflix’s One Piece is one of history’s most successful live-action adaptations. Based on a popular manga by Eiichiro Oda, the production took seven years to complete. As soon as it started streaming, it became the top series in 84 countries, breaking the previous records of Stranger Things and Wednesday.

Oda had always been reluctant to allow a live-action adaptation of One Piece, but he finally conceded, considering that modern technology can recreate his imagined phenomenal world. As the executive director of the series, Oda supervised every minor detail.

It was always going to be difficult to translate 68 anime episodes into eight live-action episodes seamlessly, but Oda explained how that dream became a reality.

Eiichiro Oda reveals live-action creation process

In an interview with the New York Times, Oda spoke about defying a “history of failure” for anime and manga live-action adaptations.

Oda was reluctant at first to create a live-action adaptation, but Netflix assured the One Piece creator that they wouldn’t release the show until he read the scripts and ensured that “the material was being adapted in the correct way,” as the legendary mangaka explained.

And Netflix took a very different approach to accomplishing that goal. Instead of adapting every panel of the manga, the live-action streamlines 11 volumes and seven-story arcs into eight episodes.

In defense of this daring strategy, Oda argued: “A live-action adaptation of a manga doesn’t simply re-enact the source material on a one-to-one basis: It involves really thinking about what fans love about the characters, the dynamics among them — and being faithful to those elements.”

The live-action cast of One Piece on Netflix

Oda continued: “A good live-action show doesn’t have to change the story too much. The most important thing is whether the actors can reproduce the characters in a way that will satisfy the people who read the manga. I think we did it well, so I hope audiences will accept it,” he added.”

Netflix’s gamble paid dividends, as the show producers teased a second season announcement. However, nothing can be set in stone unless Netflix officially renews One Piece live-action for Season 2.

Dexerto amended this article on September 11 with corrections.

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