Netflix's One Piece Season 2 Villain Appeared In Episode 1 & No One Noticed

Although the season may seem relatively contained, "One Piece" does plenty to set up a Season 2, particularly in the show's opening minutes. Episode 1, "Romance Dawn," starts with the execution of Gol D. Roger (Michael Dorman), kicking off the Golden Age of Piracy. There are plenty of notable pirates in attendance, including a villain set to return if "One Piece" gets a Season 2.

After the Marines execute Roger, the crowd goes into a panic, with everyone scrambling to begin their search for his legendary treasure, the One Piece. As the camera pans over the chaos, viewers will notice it lingers on a young, light-haired boy wearing a green jacket. Although this may not seem like much to newcomers, longtime "One Piece" fans will recognize a young Smoker in attendance for Roger's execution, the same Smoker that the Netflix series teases at the end of Season 1.

If Netflix decides to renew "One Piece," Smoker will play a significant role in Season 2, as the Straw Hats stop in Loguetown before heading to Arabasta. In the manga, the Marine captain serves as the primary antagonist of the "Loguetown Arc" while also appearing in the "Arabasta Saga" and even other arcs much later down the line. The Netflix series is clearly ready for him to make his live-action debut, with the clever appearance in the opening moments only teasing the villain that's to come.

Netflix ripped Smoker at Roger's execution straight from the source

As if it wasn't abundantly clear, Netflix's "One Piece" didn't stray far from Eiichiro Oda's manga, and including a young Smoker at Gol D. Roger's execution only adds to an already incredibly faithful adaptation.

In the anime, we get a few instances of flashbacks looking back on Smoker's childhood, centering on him attending Roger's execution. There's even a scene where the young Smoker bursts through the crowd, practically coming face-to-face with the King of the Pirates, who can't help but smile as he walks toward his death. The expression rocks Smoker to his core, but unlike others, he decides to join the Navy. Eventually, as a Marine Captain, the Navy places Loguetown under his protection, returning him to the location of Roger's execution. There, he meets the Straw Hat Pirates.

Although most of his character development comes in later story arcs, Smoker is a complex character from the start. "One Piece" introduces him as a villain, but compared to other Marine officers, particularly later in the series, he walks a fine line between ally and enemy. Assuming the Netflix adaptation continues for multiple seasons, he could play a significant role in the coming conflicts, but co-showrunner Steven Maeda isn't ready to confirm anything. "I don't want to confirm or deny at this point," he told Variety regarding the Smoker tease and where "One Piece" could go in Season 2. "But it's a good mystery, I think, and should have people guessing and wondering what's going on."