Netflix’s live-action One Piece debuts today, and Eiichiro Oda, the mangaka behind the massively successful franchise, has been heavily involved with the project. How involved? Well, some of his notes to Netflix and Netflix’s response were made public to give an idea.
Here’s Oda talking:
We need to consider the worst-case scenario.
I can’t say something is good when it isn’t.
This is very good, but we can do even better.
The fans trust me. So I can’t lie to them.
We actually found our real-life Luffy. I’m shocked.
I’m touched by the love of ONE PIECE sprinkled through out every frame.
From Eiichiro Oda
To Eiichiro Oda:
A 1:1 re-enactment is impossible.
Live-action adaptation isn’t about replication. It’s expression.
We’re not at all satisfied yet, either.
We want to rewrite the history of live-action adaptations.
We have two goals. To not betray the fans. And to have the show be loved by those who don’t yet know ONE PIECE.
“Let’s make something great.”
Oda has said he made it clear that the adaptation could not be released until he was satisfied with it. In an article at Variety, executive producer Andy Adelstein, who also worked on Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop, remarked, “What we learned is the fans are expecting you to be true to the source material. As we read the comments, it was always, ‘Well, they didn’t do this character the same as this and that.’ … It really taught us a lot of what we needed to do with this one.”
Steven Maeda, who is a showrunner with Matt Owens, commented, “Along with Oda-san’s oversight and cooperation and partnership, I think that we came up with the very best version of this show that we can. I can’t complain that money wasn’t spent, I can’t complain that our hands were tied — we were able to make the show we wanted to make.”
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.