Netflix’s One Piece live-action series officially premiered last week and has already garnered positive reviews amongst fans, on top of an 83% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Around the same time, the streaming service also released a special video, offering fans and viewers what went into bringing the fantastical world of Eichiro Oda’s source material into real life.
“I’ve been a massive fan of One Piece for years and years,” says showrunner/executive producer, Matt Owens. As many of the cast members and production fans are also fans of the original work, Owens highlights both the pros and cons in the making of the series, ”Having a built-in fan base is a phenomenal thing, and that also comes with a lot of responsibility to get it right.” He adds “The series has been running for 25 years, and we know a lot about these characters and about the world. So, it’s given us the opportunity to throw in a lot of East Eggs for fans.“
Steven Maeda, the other showrunner/executive producer for the series notes that one of the biggest challenges they faced was figuring out how to include the main characters’ backstories. “These backstories are all in the manga, and we made a decision early on to parcel it out and tie it into the present-day story.” Maeda also explains how they referenced SBS chapter notes for character insights, a section where Oda would answer fan questions at the end of manga chapters.
When it comes to costuming, HMU designer, Amanda Ross-Mcdonald details the challenging aspect of translating the vibrancy of the characters onto the screen. She mentions the importance of bringing color and life, but without looking like cosplay.
Despite being a fantasy-driven series, the production also tried to limit the use of CG animation to only necessary scenes, and incorporate the use of prosthetics as much as possible in order to make the show feel more ”real.”
Watch the making-of video above. The One Piece live-action series is currently available to stream on Netflix in all regions.
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