Otaku USA Magazine
Eiichiro Oda Praises Luffy’s Actor, Talks Working on Netflix’s One Piece

With the premiere of Netflix’s live-action One Piece series days away, The New York Times spoke with creator Eiichiro Oda. Oda acknowledged that live-action adaptations of manga, particularly by Hollywood, has “a history of failure,” but he thinks this time might be different because of his close involvement.

“Thankfully, Netflix agreed that they wouldn’t go out with the show until I agreed it was satisfactory,” Oda said. “I read the scripts, gave notes and acted as a guard dog to ensure the material was being adapted in the correct way.”

He talked about what needs to be done to make a live-aciton adaptation work. “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 was also impressed with Iñaki Godoy, who was cast as the lead, Luffy. “I didn’t expect to find anyone quite like Iñaki Godoy. When I first created Luffy, I drew the most energetic child I could imagine: a normal child on the outside, but not at all normal on the inside. Iñaki was just like the person I drew; he felt absolutely natural.”

There are other details in the interview. Oda noted that he continues to draw by hand — not digitally — and plans to continue to do so. He said stories where the women always have to be saved by the men didn’t sit right with him, so he wrote One Piece differently: “I depict women who know how to fight for themselves and don’t need to be saved. If a moment comes where they’re overpowered, their shipmates will help them out, and vice versa.”

And he said it was watching Shaolin Soccer that got him to think a live-action One Piece could work.

How will the live-action One Piece do? We’ll know soon enough!

Source: New York Times

Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.