There’s been a lot of speculation surrounding the upcoming live-action adaptation of One Piece. When the project first picked up momentum in 2020, a message by series creator Eiichiro Oda was released finally offering an update. Sadly, COVID has postponed the project by quite some time, but we finally got a casting confirmation in November for the main members of the Straw Hats. In the initial announcement by Oda, it was announced that the series will run for ten episodes in its first season. However, we can exclusively share that the episode count has changed.
It seems that at some point in its pre-production the episode count has been reduced from 10 to 8 episodes for its premiere season. That is a similar length to Netflix’s recent release, The Witcher. Currently, it seems the show is eyeing a potential start in spring or in the summer of this year. Of course, that has been constantly changing and Omicron concerns may also influence it with rumors of other productions closing down. The recent cancelation of Cowboy Bebop – another production by Tomorrow Studios – by Netflix after only one season might seem like a potential factor, as these are high-budget projects with high expectations of return for Netflix, but highly doubt it as it could’ve already been something that was decided before that show even aired.
The first season will cover the East Blue saga from the original manga series, which ran for 100 chapters. What is noteworthy about this saga is that it mainly focused on smaller arcs where Luffy gathered his initial crew before heading out into the Grand Line, meaning there are quite a few separate storylines that’ll be intertwined into this season. In that case, two fewer episodes could be a sign of tighter pacing and a stronger overlap between these arcs. Eight episodes have worked well for some series like The Witcher, Stranger Things, and more, so a slightly shorter season could work in One Piece‘s favor.