Netflix’s attempt to adapt the beloved anime series, “One Piece,” into a live-action show has left fans disappointed. While the original manga and anime franchise has gained a massive following with its energetic visuals and adventure-filled story, the live-action remake feels bland and generic.
Like its previous attempt with “Cowboy Bebop,” Netflix’s “One Piece” lacks the distinctive style that made the original so popular. The show’s production design may be elaborate, but it fails to capture the verve and personality of the anime. Instead, it feels busy and uninteresting.
“One Piece” takes place in a fantastical world dominated the ocean and inhabited colorful pirate crews, some of whom are fish-men. The story revolves around Monkey D. Luffy, a young aspiring pirate who dreams of becoming the king of pirates and finding a legendary treasure called the One Piece. With his ability to stretch his limbs and withstand punishment due to eating a forbidden fruit, Luffy gathers a crew of fellow misfits to embark on thrilling adventures.
The live-action adaptation does a commendable job of recreating Luffy’s rubbery abilities, and the actor portraying him, Iñaki Godoy, captures the character’s look and temperament. However, the thinness of the characterizations becomes more apparent in the hour-long episodes, as the writing fails to add depth to the characters beyond their abilities and missions.
The show’s developers and showrunners, Matt Owens and Steven Maeda, have put effort into reshaping the story for a live-action format, but they struggle to capture the corny and goofy spirit of the anime. As a result, the themes of chasing dreams and making way for a new generation feel uninspiring.
The fate of “One Piece” and “Cowboy Bebop” serves as a reminder of the challenges in adapting beloved anime for a broader audience. While the intention may be to appeal to a wider demographic, it often results in a watered-down version that fails to captivate both original fans and newcomers.
In conclusion, Netflix’s live-action adaptation of “One Piece” falls short of capturing the essence and charm of the beloved anime series. Despite commendable efforts in production design and recreating the main character’s abilities, the thin characterizations and lack of spirited storytelling make it a disappointment for fans and a missed opportunity for Netflix.
– The New York Times