Ever since my deep dive into the upcoming Netflix adaptation of One Piece, I’ve been excited to see the iconic manga series be brought to life. As such, it also enticed me to revisit the series and explore the various arcs that the Strawhats fight through. Yet, as I started entering the halfway point on Thriller Bark, I’ve come to realize that Netflix has one major challenge ahead of them. The franchise doesn’t abide by any conventional rules and each story arc continues to build upon the previous one. If you compare the Alabasta arc with its smaller cast of characters against Dressrosa, you’ll notice a massive influx of new faces with new storylines, abilities, and much more. As such, Netflix may face the challenge of an ever escalating budget.
In the earlier chapters of the series, we slowly get introduced to the concept of Devil Fruits. As such, we see various unique abilities that force our heroes into finding creative ways of surviving. Yet, as the series continues to go on for 1000+ chapters, we see quite a variety of abilities especially once we enter the New World. The latest Wano arc alone includes various Zoan type fruit users that can transform into larger-than-life animals hybrids. Game of Thrones even had to pick their battles on how frequently they showcased the dragons. That doesn’t take into account the unique designs that make each island stand out.
That’s not all, as One Piece’s world building introduces us to a very bizarre world filled with unpredictable oceans, otherworldly creatures, and so much more. Once the crew sets out on the Grand Line, the series will require a higher budget as they travel from island to island. Once they reach the New World, it’ll just continue to increase. As exciting as the prospect is to see this world explored in live-action, there’s some uncertainty if they’ll manage to keep it consistent. It would be a shame to adapt this series and not introduce the world to the Neptunian Sea Kings or even just Long Ring Long Land’s majestic Hoooooorse.
Of course, there is a way for the Netflix adaptation to keep it manageable. They may coordinate the budget and storylines in a way that they’re manageable throughout a season. So, while East Blue covers the entire first season, it’s uncertain if Alabasta might get split across multiple seasons. Later arcs in the series have also gotten quite extensive. So, the team behind the franchise might have no choice but to split it. If they stick to a ten episode order per season, it would restrict them quite a bit as the franchise continues. There are ways to avoid this issue, but as Netflix is infamous for it only ordering a specific set of seasons. Here’s hoping that the show’s success might give it many more seasons to expand and explore the many arcs.