Netflix is infamous for being very specific on what show will return for a second season, especially regarding high investments. So, there are a lot of questions surrounding One Piece and its chance to get a renewal potentially. The adaptation surprised many by getting a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a high IMDb score, while also now flaunting the #1 spot in 84 countries, which is higher than what was reported for Wednesday and even Stranger Things. Yet, that isn’t the “Season 2” confirmation quite yet that some might be hoping for.
As long as studios aren’t paying writers and actors any fair wages, we’re not going to see any shows go into production anytime soon. So, Netflix might either wait it out completely before even making a decision. As of now, the discussions between the WGA, SAG, and AMPTP remain at a standstill and there’s likely still going to drag out going into the rest of the half year. So, some shows’ future remains a big question mark at the moment.
However, Netflix did renew XO, Kitty for a second season while the writer’s strike was still going on. They can always make an announcement to keep interest in the project and ride the discussions online. In May, they also gave The Witcher two additional seasons even though Liam Hemsworth is going to replace one of its main stars and one of the show’s draws, Henry Cavill. At the time, WGA was the only one striking so who knows if they are more hesitant now that SAG also is fighting for a fair wage.
The big concern is the high investment for this series. It reportedly is more expensive than even Game of Thrones and while we don’t know how it compares to Stranger Things or Wednesday, it still will need to impress with its viewership. We are still only a few days in and there’s also the factor that the series’ completion rate showcases an ongoing interest in the series beyond just its first season. What’s On Netflix has a great breakdown of how exactly the streaming service decides what is worth continuing and not.
The recent news on the #1 placements in the world is a great start but doesn’t reflect the exact viewership quite yet. Netflix changed its metrics recently and is also hopeful for these binge series to last for multiple weeks (instead of ensuring that with an actual weekly release). So, the next few weeks will give us a better look at how well the show holds up and if word-of-mouth might keep the series at the top spot for weeks to come.
The one additional factor that may give One Piece some benefit is that the series already includes a variety of merchandise. So, an additional income source may give the series some additional potential for the streaming service to decide if it is worth continuing. The original manga and anime series supposedly generated $3 billion in merch sales alone. So, Netflix might be hopeful to accomplish the same with this new adaptation given how fast they are rushing them out around the series’ release.
For now, it’s just too early to say if One Piece is going to face a renewal or not. The positive reception gives it the potential to grow through strong word-of-mouth and we’ll have to see if the series also had people watching the full way through. The inclusion of elements from future seasons and a variety of Easter eggs for new and familiar fans of the series could give some incentives to rewatch the series.
They also added the Japanese dub later on that could have some hardcore fans give it at least one more watch. There is enough here that its audience can grow throughout the next few weeks, as there is also no real competition with other major releases. So, we’ll also have to see if Netflix makes a grand statement on its performance similar to what they did with Wednesday shortly after its release.