One Piece live-action showrunner breaks silence on Chopper’s design

An image of Chopper from One PieceCrunchyroll

The crew’s doctor is a difficult character to recreate in a real-life scenario, so here’s what One Piece live-action showrunner Steven Maeda had to say about Chopper’s character design.

One Piece live-action Season 2 was announced with Eiichiro Oda’s video message. The mangaka also teased Chopper’s introduction in the sequel season. No doubt, Chopper is a beloved character to fans. 

The crew’s doctor is a genius and lovable, even though he isn’t human. Chopper is actually a reindeer with the power of a Human-Human Fruit. As a Zoan user, he can transform into various shapes and sizes. However, he usually stays in his tiny form for convenience.

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Chopper looks really adorable in the anime and manga, but many wonder how he will look in the One Piece live-action version. Delve deeper to find out what the One Piece live-action showrunner Steven Maeda has to say about Chopper’s character design.

One Piece live-action showrunner reveals his favorite character

In an interview with Screen Rant, Steven Maeda revealed that his favorite character is Tony Tony Chopper. He says, “It’s just such an out-there larger-than-life creation. He’s a talking reindeer who also wants to be a doctor and can change sizes. It’s like, who could come up with that? Only Oda-san will be able to make it work in the context of the story.

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“I also love his backstory. The backstories are so much a part of who these characters are so that you understand where their pain comes from, where their anger comes from, where their goodness and their sweetness come from, sometimes.

“I just love the Chopper story so much and the idea that you have all these human characters, and oh hey, by the way, there’s a talking reindeer. And he’s so damn cute, too. So it’s just a nice combination for me.”

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The challenges with Chopper’s character design in One Piece live-action

Additionally, since it’s not possible for him to reveal too much about Chopper’s appearance in One Piece live-action, Steven Maeda talked about the limitations of CG. “It’s always very tough. For example, one of the things that we were dead set on was trying to do as much practically on the show as possible for budgetary purposes. CG is very tough and very expensive. We wanted the show to feel as grounded as possible, given that the world is so large, wild, and wacky,” he said.

“One example is the Fishman characters. We made a very early decision not to do them as CG characters, not to make them eight or twelve feet tall. It would have required too much time and money to do so.

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“So it was like, Let’s do these characters right, but let’s do them practically as much as possible. And then, if we need to, we can embellish some gill movement or something like that to make it feel more lived-in and real. It’s always a huge challenge.

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“As far as shows that I’ve seen do it well, I think the Pogo character in Umbrella Academy is a great example of a character who, I believe, they had an actor who was in that physical space when they were shooting, then they designed a CG character right over the top of them.

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“But that’s an example of it done right, and I’m sure it’s insanely expensive. We haven’t gone down that road yet with these characters, but the visual effects are a huge, huge part of this show. How to apportion the visual effects money for the show is a tough series of discussions.”

There’s no doubt that Chopper’s character design is already posing a challenge for the One Piece live-action production team. However, judging by the previous season, the crew’s beloved doctor will surely not be a disappointment.

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One Piece live-action is currently streaming on Netflix, and the anime is available on Crunchyroll.

How to watch Crunchyroll from outside your location in 2023

Crunchyroll is the world’s best hub for streaming anime, whether it’s One PieceAttack on Titan, or Jujutsu Kaisen – and thanks to ExpressVPN, you can access the platform’s full library even if you’re outside the US.

If you’re abroad, here’s what you need to do to access Crunchyroll’s full selection – and it really is this simple:

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  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN, which has ultra-fast servers and offers a secure, private connection wherever you are in the world.
  2.  Connect to a location anywhere in the US; Express VPN allows you to choose from 24 different spots, from New Jersey to Santa Monica.
  3.  Visit Crunchyroll online and start streaming all of your favorite animes – and perhaps some you’ve never watched.

Accessing Crunchyroll’s US roster makes a difference; for example, Hong Kong users only have access to less than 100 titles, while the US has nearly 1,000 movies and TV shows.

You can also stream anime on Crunchyroll for free with an ad-supported plan, or you can pay for a subscription – there’s even a 14-day free trial if you can’t quite make up your mind.

You can check out our other anime coverage here.

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