The One Piece Netflix live action series has started its special fan screening worldwide, and we were invited by Netflix to watch the Japan premiere at United CInemas Aqua City Odaiba.
The premiere showed off the first two episodes of the live action series, and the cinema was filled with lots of Japanese One Piece fans. Each of us were pleasantly surprised when we saw a neat straw hat placed on our seats, as we got the true One Piece experience becoming one of the Straw Hats crew.
Episode 1 started off with the introduction of Gold Roger by establishing the origin of the legendary treasure, the One Piece, and the start of the Golden Age of Pirates. We also got introduced with the iconic crew consisting of Luffy and his rubber powers, Zoro and his swordsmanship, as well as Nami with her cunningness, which were all done very well in their respective scenes. Along with the trio’s introduction, well-known characters such as “Axe-Hand” Morgan, Alvida, Koby, Helmeppo and Garp are also introduced in the episode.
While in episode 2, it focuses more on Luffy’s childhood backstory with Shanks and how their relationship developed. The main trio of Luffy, Zoro and Nami also find themselves being captured by everyone’s favourite clown pirate – Buggy. This episode also introduces more of Garp and how much power he has in the Marines.
From the first two episodes, it was a really solid start and truly everything fans of the series could hope for in a One Piece live action adaptation. Even if it only happened in a few scenes throughout these two episodes, it was a blast to watch considering how they embraced the fun, silly, comedic, and lighthearted nature of One Piece.
The script for the first two episodes were really well written, and there were several jokes that pleasantly made the audience laugh, and there were numerous lines that were well-written.One thing that I appreciate is that they are not being blindly faithful to the manga, but rather evolving the Straw Hats’ personas so that it fits live action rather than simply making minor changes to the characters.
In comparison to the manga, some things have been altered. For instance, Zoro and Nami joining at the same time in Shells Town. I assume there will be more changes beyond the first two episodes, which is a reasonable decision due to time constraints.
One of my favourite parts of the first two episodes were the battles, because the choreography for them was absolutely awesome to watch. Some of the fights in particular benefited from the good camerawork, which makes those scenes a delight to watch on top of the show’s already excellent direction. All of the props used and setting in terms of background have these minor details that long-time One Piece fans would greatly appreciate.
While we can’t tell much for the rest of the series, but it definitely depends on how you view this live action adaptation. If you’re a huge fan of One Piece and expect it to be extremely faithful to the source materials, you might be slightly disappointed considering how some of the iconic scenes and canon event have been changed.
Despite the changes, I can still recommend the adaptation. It’s more enjoyable to watch it as your first introduction to the franchise or a fan of the series who view it as its own thing, and not a 1:1 adaptation of the manga. Overall, if you’re ready to embrace its One Piece spirit, you’ll be in for a really fun adventure.