“One Piece” is a highly popular and long-running Japanese anime and manga series created by Eiichiro Oda, who is said to be heavily involved in the production, ensuring that the adaptation matches the charm of the animated characters. It first debuted as a manga in 1997 and was adapted into an anime in 1999. “One Piece” continues to be one of the most successful and enduring franchises in the world of anime and manga.
The story of “One Piece” is set in a fictional world consisting of vast seas and numerous islands. The central focus of the series is the pursuit of the ultimate treasure known as the “One Piece,” said to be hidden by the former Pirate king Gold D. Roger before he died and is apparently located at the end of the Grand Line, a treacherous and mysterious sea. The concept of the One Piece is shrouded in mystery, and it is the greatest aspiration of the series’ main character, Monkey D. Luffy, and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates. They are called such since Luffy, the captain, wears a straw hut which is a legend itself.
“One Piece” had been ongoing for over two decades now and had a massive fan base, us included. And yes, you read it right – two decades, we even went on a “pause” for many years, we picked up watching it again like a series-marathon run. But we’ve always followed the manga so we are still up-to-date with the whereabouts of the Straw hat pirates during those years.
The series has also been adapted into numerous movies, a play, video games, and merchandise. The most recent being the live action adaptation of Netflix. And what do you know, we love it, if you haven’t watched the anime nor read the manga, it’s fine watching the live series without any prior knowledge of the story.
Table of Contents
Key elements of “One Piece”
Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates: The series follows Monkey D. Luffy, a young and ambitious pirate who gains the ability to stretch his body like rubber after consuming a Devil Fruit. Luffy aspires to become the Pirate King by finding the One Piece, and he forms a diverse crew of pirates, each with their own unique abilities and dreams. The crew includes Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Sanji, Chopper, Robin, Franky, Brook, and Jinbe.
World: The “One Piece” world is richly detailed, with a wide variety of islands, cultures, and civilizations. The world is divided into several vast oceans and seas, and the Straw Hat Pirates sail through them, encountering numerous challenges and adversaries.
Devil Fruits: In the “One Piece” world, there are objects called Devil Fruits that grant those who consume them special abilities at the cost of their ability to swim. Luffy’s power comes from the Gomu Gomu no Mi, one such Devil Fruit, which grants him his rubbery abilities. Many characters in the series have unique powers derived from different types of Devil Fruits.
The World Government and Marines: The World Government is the ruling body of the world, and the Marines serve as their enforcers. The Straw Hat Pirates often find themselves in conflict with these powerful entities due to their pursuit of the One Piece and their opposition to tyranny and corruption.
Themes: “One Piece” explores themes of friendship, freedom, justice, and the pursuit of one’s dreams. It also delves into complex moral dilemmas and the consequences of one’s actions.
Humor and Adventure: The series balances its action and drama with humor and light-hearted moments. It’s known for its quirky characters, running gags, and epic adventures.
Epic Battles: “One Piece” features intense and creatively choreographed battles, with characters employing a wide range of fighting styles, abilities, and techniques.
Cast and Characters
Monkey D. Luffy played by
The main protagonist and captain of the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy possesses the ability to stretch his body like rubber after eating the Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit. He aims to become the Pirate King by finding the legendary One Piece treasure.
Luffy is an amazing character for a number of reasons, including his dedication to people he regards to be friends or allies, even if they don’t see him in the same way, and the fact that he will practically die for them.
In real life, Iñaki is pretty much flexible (stunt-wise) like his character Luffy.
Roronoa Zoro played by
The Straw Hat Pirates’ swordsman, known for his exceptional sword skills and the use of a unique three-sword fighting style. His goal is to become the world’s greatest swordsman.
Mackenyu fits right in as Zoro, being the only Japanese among the main cast, although Zoro is not a samurai, he maintains some teachings of bushido (the way of the warrior – samurai code). Mackenyu in real life, like Zoro in the anime who doesn’t have a sense of direction, often gets lost during meet ups and arrives late. Thus, he isn’t in some of the photos, lol.
Nami played by
The crew’s navigator, skilled in cartography and navigation. Nami is also known for her love of money and her dream to create a complete map of the world.
Emily grins so much so like Nami, and as the only woman in the main cast for this season, she did a good job in showing how to have the lead attitude but still always supporting and following Luffy.
Usopp played by
The crew’s sharpshooter and storyteller, known for his tall tales and ability to create incredible inventions. His dream is to become a brave warrior of the sea like his father. Luffy happens to know his father as he is a member of the Red hats pirates.
Jacob played Usopp really well – and there was no need to exactly tailor his features to the anime’s Usopp – which is inspired by Pinocchio’s long nose (on being a liar).
Vinsmoke Sanji played by
The Straw Hat Pirates’ cook, “Black Leg” Sanji is renowned for his culinary skills and kick-based fighting style. His dream is to find the All Blue, a legendary sea where fish from all over the world gather.
Like Sanji, Taz is bilingual, fluent in Spanish and English, while Sanji’s other language in the manga is French. They both seem to be easily attracted to women (my impression, but an interview confirms this), and are also focused on their goals (also mentioned in the interview).
Season 1 with 8 episodes narrated the earlier lives of the above characters, their background stories and dreams, assisted or influenced by some of the supporting characters we knew from the anime. Here are some of the notable supporting characters (friends and foes) from the early episodes:
Shanks: Shanks is a powerful pirate and one of Luffy’s mentors. He is the captain of the Red-Haired Pirates (having red hair) and plays a crucial role in Luffy’s early life. Shanks is a former member of Gol D. Roger’s crew, the Roger Pirates.
Monkey D. Garp: commonly known as “Garp the Fist,” is a Vice Admiral in the Marines and a powerful martial artist. Garp is the grandfather of Luffy. Despite his high-ranking position in the Marines, Garp has a strong sense of justice.
Makino: Makino is a friend of Luffy and the owner of a bar in Luffy’s hometown, Foosha Village, where Shanks and his crew are regulars. She looks after Luffy and is a supportive figure in his life.
Coby: Coby is a young and timid boy who dreams of becoming a Marine. He initially appears in the series as a cabin boy on the Alvida Pirates’ ship but later becomes an ally of Luffy and trains under Vice Admiral Garp.
Helmeppo: Helmeppo is a spoiled and cowardly young man who is the son of Marine Captain Morgan. Like Coby, he undergoes character development and training under Garp’s guidance.
Kaya: Kaya is a wealthy girl who lives in Syrup Village. Usopp is her close friend, and she plays a significant role in some of the early story arcs.
Buggy the Clown: real name is Buggy D. Clown, is a comical yet formidable character. He is the captain of the Buggy Pirates and one of the earliest antagonists Luffy and his crew encounter. He was a rival to Shanks and he possesses the Bara Bara no Mi Devil Fruit, which allows him to split his body into parts and control them.
Dracule Mihawk: one of the most powerful and renowned swordsmen often referred to as “Hawk-Eye” Mihawk due to his incredibly sharp perception and swordsmanship skills. Mihawk is the current holder of the title “Greatest Swordsman in the World” and wields a massive sword called “Yoru,” which is one of the world’s 12 Supreme Grade swords.
Even if you haven’t read the manga nor watched the anime, One Piece live action is still worth watching. The episodes presented the first part of the story well… One Piece boasts a vast and diverse cast of characters, each with their own distinctive personalities, abilities, and backstories. From the Straw Hat Pirates to their allies and enemies, you’ll find characters you’ll love, hate, and sympathize with throughout the series. Characters in “One Piece” undergo significant growth and development over the course of the series. Many characters have complex pasts and motivations that are explored as the story progresses. You can definitely relate to one of them and see how we all struggle, regardless of our differences. While Gold D. Roger was shown on a few clips, it is the same in the anime, we get to know him as the story progresses.However, it would have been true to the anime if the short scene showed that although executed, he died happy having accomplished most of his goals.
One of the central themes of “One Piece” is the importance of friendship and the pursuit of one’s dreams. The bonds formed among the Straw Hat Pirates and their dedication to helping each other achieve their goals are heartwarming and inspirational. This is one of the reasons why Luffy is a lovable character. He also doesn’t discriminate in supporting a person’s dream, be it a friend or foe – sounds ironic, but as long as no one is hurt, Luffy will be supportive.
Despite its serious moments, “One Piece” is known for its humor and comedy. The series frequently incorporates slapstick humor and running gags that add levity to the story.
This adaptation surely was made with close resemblance to the anime. The cast did portray the characters well. We’re looking forward to the next episodes.