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Netflix's One Piece Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Plot And More Details

Adapting works that were originally animated into live action is inherently a gamble. One of the foremost advantages of the animation medium is that otherworldly occurrences like, say, a human being with a superpower cost nothing more to depict than mundane reality, whereas translating these sorts of things into live action is significantly more complex than pointing a camera at a subject and filming.

Given such difficulties, Netflix knows the stakes are high for its live-action "One Piece" adaptation. "One Piece" is among the titans of the shonen anime genre, rivaling names like "Dragon Ball" and "Naruto" that are practically synonymous with a certain style of Japanese animation. So, in addition to the fact that adapting anime and manga series to live action is intrinsically difficult, Netflix must likewise satisfy the wants of the already sizable and passionate "One Piece" fanbase. Naturally, then, Netflix's first look at its "One Piece" adaptation proved divisive, garnering praise and criticism in equal measure. For what it's worth, "One Piece" voice actors are excited about the adaptation, perhaps giving fans of the franchise reason to feel cautiously optimistic.

With that in mind, here's what we know so far about Netflix's upcoming live-action "One Piece" series.

When will Netflix's One Piece be released?

News of an American-made, live-action "One Piece" TV show dates back to July 2017. This was when producer and self-professed "One Piece" fan Marty Adelstein announced that his company Tomorrow Studios had secured a partnership with Shueisha — the company that publishes Weekly Shonen Jump, which is the anthology that serializes "One Piece" in comic form — and author Eiichiro Oda to adapt "One Piece" into a live-action TV series. Oda later revealed that he actually entered discussions about a live-action, English language version of "One Piece" a year earlier in 2016, so it's been a long time coming at this point.

Netflix officially picked up the series in 2020 and ordered a 10-episode first season (this was later reduced to eight), though production faced lengthy delays during the COVID-19 pandemic. Production picked up again during 2021 and the series began filming in early 2022, though no details on a release date were given at that point. Fans speculated that the show would drop at some point in 2023, and they were correct — as revealed at Netflix's Tudum event in Brazil, we now know that all eight episodes of "One Piece" Season 1 will premiere on August 31, 2023.

What is the plot of Netflix's One Piece?

"One Piece" takes place in a fictional world not too dissimilar to our own, though much of the planet's surface is covered by water. The only continent is called the Red Line, a narrow strip of land that goes all the way around the globe. Also circling the globe is the Grand Line, a stretch of ocean that's known for its rapidly changing weather and dangerous sea life. When they cross, these two lines split a huge body of water known as the Blue Sea into four quadrants: the East Blue, the West Blue, the North Blue, and the South Blue. There are many, many islands in the Blue Sea, some of them safer than others — this is a world full of pirates, after all.

The pirate crew that the story follows goes by the name the Straw Hats, named after the hat worn by their optimistic captain Monkey D. Luffy. It's Luffy's dream to find the legendary treasure known as the One Piece, which was hidden by the famed pirate Gol D. Roger before his execution at the hands of the World Government. Whoever finds it will be proclaimed the new Pirate King, and Luffy won't stop until that title is his. He knows he can't do this alone, however, so he sets about putting a crew together and making a name for himself. This is all covered in the East Blue saga, which — going by the promotional material and casting news — is what the first season of Netflix's "One Piece" will be based on.

Who is starring in Netflix's One Piece?

The lead role of Monkey D. Luffy is being played by a young actor named Iñaki Godoy, building on a filmography that thus far consists predominantly of projects made in his home country of Mexico. In an interview with Decider, Godoy revealed that he started reading the manga and watching the anime after winning his "One Piece" role, mainly so he could get a grasp on Luffy's bizarre physicality — after eating a Devil Fruit, his body has the properties of rubber.

"How can I translate this rubber-man into live action? In those cases, I really used the anime and manga for reference and I literally tried to replicate the way this guy fights," he said. "When he throws a punch and he takes it back, he puts his hand on his bicep or his shoulder. So, if he does that, I should do that too, right? And when he's about to throw a punch, sometimes he lifts up his leg. I just tried to look for those little details in the original product."

Rounding out Luffy's Straw Hat Pirates crew are Mackenyu (the son of martial arts movie legend Sonny Chiba) as the master swordsman Zoro, Emily Rudd (Clara in Amazon's "Hunters") as the enigmatic thief and navigator Nami, Taz Skylar (Walt in TNT's "The Lazarus Project") as the womanizing chef Sanji, and Jacob Romero Gibson (AJ Delajae in OWN's "Greenleaf") as the skilled marksman Usopp.

Supporting additions to the cast include Peter Gadiot (Adam in Showtime's "Yellowjackets") as Luffy's idol Red-Haired Shanks, McKinley Belcher III (Agent Evans in Netflix's "Ozark") as the villainous fishman Arlong, Ilia Isorelýs Paulino (Lila in HBO's "The Sex Lives of College Girls") as ruthless pirate Alvida, Jeff Ward (Deke in Marvel's "Agents of SHIELD") as the clown-dressing captain Buggy, Steven Ward (Chaz in SyFy's "Vagrant Queen") as the fearsome swordfighter Mihawk, Chioma Umeala (Ayo in BET's "Isono") as Nami's adoptive older sister Nojiko, and Morgan Davies (Oberon in Showtime's "The End") as cabin boy and future Navy captain Koby.

Who is directing Netflix's One Piece?

It has been confirmed that the first two episodes of "One Piece" Season 1 (entitled "Romance Dawn" and "All the Treasure in the World") are directed by Marc Jobst, who has some history with shows about pirates, having helmed a Season 4 episode of "Black Sails." The Starz series, which ran for four seasons between 2014 and 2017, is a prequel to "Treasure Island" and is about pirates seeking riches while evading the British government. The themes are very similar, though there's no superpowers in "Black Sails." But that's not to say that Jobst doesn't have experience in that area.

Jobst is perhaps best known for his work on Netflix's hit "Daredevil" series, most notably helming the Season 3 opener "Resurrection." He also directed a couple of episodes of "Luke Cage," meaning he has a shared history with "One Piece" co-showrunner Matt Owens — Owens was a staff writer and executive story editor on the Marvel show. Jobst is also known for directing episodes of "The Witcher" and "Jupiter's Legacy," both Netflix shows. He's clearly trusted by the higher-ups at the streamer, though just how many episodes of "One Piece" he's been asked to direct is unknown at this point.

Who is producing Netflix's One Piece?

Marty Adelstein, whose company Tomorrow Studios helped get the live-action "One Piece" series off the ground, is an executive producer on the show, but fans will no doubt be more excited to learn that "One Piece" creator Eiichiro Oda is also producing. When Oda was first approached about adapting his long-running manga into a live-action, English language series back in 2016, he had some doubts. Even after agreeing to the project, he had some major doubts, as there were some difficulties to begin with.

"We obviously come from very different cultures so, when it comes to entertainment, we have different codes, skill sets, and aims," Oda said of his Western colleagues in a lengthy Instagram post. "Sometimes it could be frustrating for both sides. It felt like, 'We're all trying to get to the same place so how come we're not on the same wavelength?' There was even a time when I thought, 'Is a foreign production even possible?!'"

Luckily, they were all able to get on to the same page, taking the series in a direction that Oda was happy with — the creator revealed that he had (and still has) the final say when it comes to what goes into the Netflix show. "They've promised they won't launch until I'm satisfied," Oda wrote, adding that everyone involved is "brimming with love for 'One Piece!' They're burning with passion, and I've reminded everyone involved that this should be fun."

Is there a trailer for Netflix's One Piece?

In June 2022, Netflix posted a behind-the-scenes look at the massive sets it was busy erecting for "One Piece." It wasn't a trailer but it did give viewers a big hint about what to expect from the series. The main focus of the featurette was the creation of the Baratie restaurant ship, on which Luffy and the Straw Hats first meet Sanji. In the original version of "One Piece," Baratie is the fourth major story arc, encompassing 27 manga chapters and 12 anime episodes. The sneak peak also mentioned the importance of Arlong's map room, confirming that the fishman pirate (who is heavily involved in Nami's backstory) would play a big part in the live-action series. "It's a really important location," co-showrunner Matt Owens said. "A lot of drama goes down in there."

Fans finally got to see some of these completed sets when the first trailer dropped at Netflix's Tudum fan event in June 2023. The main cast were there to introduce the trailer, which runs for a minute and a half and hits some of the main plot beats from the East Blue saga. We see Luffy coming across a captive Zoro and declaring that they'll make "a pretty good team." The first trailer also gave us a glimpse at Buggy (the clown-like pirate who rules Orange Town, which Luffy and his crew attempt to liberate), but we didn't get a proper look at him until the second trailer, in which his powers are on full display.

The new Buggy footage went down well with fans. "Buggy's part using his DF powers truly looks amazing," Redditor u/Raros_24 said. Fellow user u/Ill-Individual2105 agreed, adding, "Yeah, I was genuinely shocked when I saw it. It looked so good." The second trailer also offers a good look at Gol D. Roger as he gives his infamous speech that sparks the search for the One Piece, and we also get to see Arlong up close. The villain and Luffy go toe-to-toe in the final moments of the action-packed second trailer, with Luffy unleashing his Gatling attack. The general reaction to the second trailer was very positive. On Reddit, u/Urall5150 said, "Good job everybody involved!! Now let's just hope the final product works too!"

The original voice cast is returning for the Japanese dub

In what was perhaps the most exciting announcement at Anime Expo 2023, it was confirmed that the voice cast from the long-running "One Piece" anime series will be playing their respective characters in the Japanese dub of Netflix's live action show. In a clip shared at the convention, Iñaki Godoy revealed that he recently took a trip to Tokyo to meet the original voice of Luffy, Mayumi Tanaka. Tanaka has been playing Luffy since 1999, so, as a fan, Godoy was understandably very excited to meet her. "Luffy and you inspire me to be the best version of myself that I can be," he told Tanaka. "I'm just so honored to meet you and share this character with you."

Tanaka was her typically animated self as she and Godoy shared the news that she would be voicing Luffy in the Japanese dub. "Hope you're all looking forward to the show," she added. "It's really something special." In a sweet moment that had Godoy's castmates green with envy (Mackenyu Arata admitted to having "goosebumps"), Tanaka presented Luffy with a straw hat. He got down on one knee, and as she placed it on his head, she said: "I leave this hat with you. Bring it to me someday once you've become a great pirate."

On top of Tanaka signing on to voice live-action Luffy, Kazuya Nakai, Kappei Yamaguchi, Akemi Okamura and Hiroaki Hirata will serve as the dub voices for Zoro, Usopp, Nami and Sanji, something fans are buzzing about. "I'm so hyped for this now," said @SutekkaGhost on Twitter, while @ArmyMedicJames added, "Ok I'm watching sub now." Others were full of praise for Godoy and the way he interacted with Tanaka. "There is no longer any doubt in my mind that we have the best Luffy for the live action," @chaseAmilli said. "My hype can't be contained much longer."

Who is writing Netflix's One Piece?

Showrunners Matt Owens and Steven Maeda wrote the first and last episode of Netflix's "One Piece," entitled "Romance Dawn" and "Worst in the East." Maeda is perhaps best known as one of the producers of "Lost," but he has plenty of other noteworthy credits to his name, including "Lie to Me" and "Helix." He also wrote more than 40 episodes of "The X-Files" between 2000 and 2002. Maeda also worked on the episode "The Chef and the Chore Boy" for "One Piece," writing it alongside "From Dusk Till Dawn" producer Diego Gutierrez.

As mentioned above, Matt Owens was a staff writer and executive story editor on "Daredevil," but that's not the only Marvel show he's been involved in — he was also a writer on "Luke Cage," "Agents of SHIELD," and "The Defenders." Owens also contributed to the episode "Tell no Tales," co-penning it with Damani Johnson, a writer and producer known for the likes of "Star Trek: Picard" and "Star Wars: The Bad Batch."

The other writers who contributed to Netflix's' "One Piece" are Ian Stokes (another member of the "Luke Cage" team), Tiffany Greshler (who worked with Maede on "Helix), Tom Hyndman (a writer on the animated DC series "Harley Quinn"), Allison Weintraub (a writer on the live-action DC series "Supergirl"), Laura Jacqmin (a story editor on "Grace and Frankie"), and Lindsay Gelfand (fresh off Netflix's "Umbrella Academy"). With all of those influences, it's clear that "One Piece" will bring the drama along with the action and humor.

What do the episode titles mean?

Netflix has released the full list of episode titles for "One Piece," and they all offer clues about what we can expect. The episode titles are: "Romance Dawn," "The Man in the Straw Hat," "Tell no Tales," "The Pirates are Coming," "Eat at Baratie!," "The Chef and the Chore Boy," "The Girl with the Sawfish Tattoo," and "Worst in the East." Fans of the franchise will be able to work out what will go down in each one going by the names.

"Romance Dawn" is the first story in the East Blue Arc, which fills us in on Luffy's childhood: We see him get his straw hat (the one his crew would eventually be named after) from the famous pirate Shanks, promising to return it once he's become a great pirate himself. It's likely that we'll be introduced to Zoro in this episode, and Nami will probably pop up in "The Man in the Straw Hat."

"The Pirates are Coming" is likely where Usopp will be introduced. This episode will no doubt cover the events of the Syrup Village Arc, the third story from the manga. In it, Luffy, Zoro, and Nami arrive at the village and discover that Usopp's friend Kaya is in danger. They team up with Usopp to take on Captain Kuro, which in turns leads to Usopp joining the crew. In "Eat at Baratie!," the Straw Hats will do exactly that — the Baratie is the floating restaurant where Luffy first encounters Sanji, who becomes the crew's chef. Sanji's addition to the crew will likely be the focus of the following episode, "The Chef and the Chore Boy."

Next up is "The Girl with the Sawfish Tattoo," which is a clear reference to Nami. Before she joined Luffy she was a member of Arlong's crew, and her sawfish tattoo marked her as such. We'll learn all about Nami's past and true motives here, and, if it's as good as the manga, it could well be the standout episode. The name of the final episode, "Worst in the East," refers to Luffy himself. By the close of Season 1, his bounty will reach 30 million berries and he'll be considered the "worst" pirate in the East Blue. At this point, the Straw Hats will set sail for the Grand Line.

How much will Netflix's One Piece differ from the manga?

When Netflix released the second trailer, the streamer shared some words from "One Piece" creator Eiichiro Oda. In a note that was posted to Twitter, Oda said that he fully expected fans of the source material to highlight the differences between the manga and the live-action show. "After the launch, I'm sure I'll hear about some people pointing out how this character is missing or that scene is omitted, or this bit is different from the manga. But I'm sure they'll come from a place of love, so I intend to enjoy even those comments!"

These comments have already started, with a bunch of them made following the release of the second trailer. However, as Oda predicted, most of them were good natured, with fans on the whole accepting that some changes need to be made when it comes to creating something in real life. "I definitely see some changes to the plot," Redditor u/MungDaalChowder said. "Arlong's crew seems to show up at the Baratie, Buggy's crew seems to have an actual circus going on, plus it seems like the Going Merry encounters Garp's ship at one point. Everything still looks really good though!"

Other fans also pointed out that characters who don't appear until later in the story seem to be in the first season of the Netflix show, though this isn't being deemed a bad thing. "Garp looks like a badass, makes sense they brought him in much earlier I expect this to happen with a lot of characters (they showed Bellamy and Foxy as well)," said u/SomewhatIntensive. "Honesty love the designs all around." You'll never please everyone when it comes to adapting a beloved manga series, but the live-action "One Piece" seems to have plenty of support from the fandom when it comes to making tweaks — of course, having Oda on board certainly helps.

Who is doing the music for Netflix's One Piece?

Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli have been named as the primary composers for Netflix's "One Piece." The talented pair are certainly no strangers to the streaming giant — they worked on "The Witcher" and came up with the super-catchy song "Toss A Coin To Your Witcher." Speaking to Screen Rant, the duo revealed that they were excited to be working on the highly anticipated series. "We're thrilled to have been invited by Netflix, Matt Owens, Steve Maeda, and Tomorrow Studios to become part of the Straw Hats crew and craft the 'One Piece' live-action music universe by serving as composers, songwriters, and music producers for the live-action adaptation of the beloved manga," they said in a statement.

The "One Piece" world is all about camaraderie, and there's plenty of scope for rousing songs as the crew bond. The Straw Hats visit plenty of different places during their adventures, with lots of unique cultures on display. This will apparently be reflected in the music of the series, which will be varied in its style. "We have plenty of surprises in store for fans of the franchise and new fans," Belousova and Ostinelli added. "It will be an incredible adventure with songs and virtuosic flamenco guitar, hip-hop and big band jazz funk fusion, folk and circus, rap and big epic swashbuckling orchestra, featuring extraordinary artists."

Belousova, who is Russian, and Ostinelli, who is Swiss, are known for their inventive approach which blends a variety of obscure instruments with more traditional ones. They were both introduced to music at just five years old (Belousova began playing piano and Ostinelli started learning how to drum) and today they utilize everything from hurdy-gurdys and dulcimers to erhus and glockenspiels. Both moved to Los Angeles when they decided they wanted to score music for Hollywood productions, and together they realized that dream. On top of "The Witcher," they've worked on the likes of "The Romanoffs," "Sacred Lies," and "The Mist."

Where to watch the One Piece anime

Fortunately for those hoping to check out the "One Piece" anime before Netflix's version of the story airs, it's widely available on a variety of streaming of services. Netflix itself hosts a selection of "One Piece" episodes — 325 in total — which should keep newcomers to the series plenty busy. That said, this is only a fraction of the show's gargantuan episode count, which continues to grow to this day. Those who want access to the full library of 1000+ "One Piece" episodes will instead have to subscribe to Crunchyroll where the original, Japanese version of the show is available in its entirety. If you want to watch the dubbed version, you're in luck — it was revealed at Anime Expo 2023 that the English version of the anime would be available to stream on Crunchyroll from July 5, 2023.

Alternatively, roughly 700 "One Piece" episodes are available through Hulu, and a small selection of episodes that recently aired on TV are streamable through the Adult Swim website for users with a traditional TV service subscription. Meanwhile, "One Piece" is available in its original manga format through Viz's American Shonen Jump website, on which Chapters 1, 2, and 3 are free to read without a paid account. With so much content predating the upcoming live-action "One Piece" series, those not already familiar with the source material may well have to strategically pick from among these options, or else devote dozens of hours to getting caught up on its epic, ongoing story.