It’s still crazy to think that after its initial announcement back in 2017, we’re finally seeing development on the live-action adaptation of Eiichiro Oda‘s One Piece series. Co-showrunners Steve Maeda and Matt Owens alongside their team have taken the daunting task of bringing the popular series to Netflix, but with a lot of dedication and heart, the team has been proving they are all-in for this adventure across the East Blue and Grand Line. Naturally, that kind of excitement draws in fans from the series that have their expectations going in.
In a great move, one of the first accounts to keep everyone updated on what’s happening with the live-action adaptation, @OP_Netflix_Fan, kickstarted a survey to let fans share their excitement, hopes, and expectations for the series. As one of the leading voices with starting this survey, a very active Discord channel, and keeping everyone up-to-date on the project, it was a great initiative to let fans share their thoughts on the One Piece adaptation. 10,000 fans have taken their time to join the fun and offer the team a glimpse at what they hope to see. I had quite some fun throwing my own two cents into the survey. So, let’s take a look at some of the highlights. If you want to check out the full survey, you can read it by clicking here.
What is quite interesting to see is that fans are split on how they’d want the series to be made available. Netflix is famous for its binge model, and it’s expected that all episodes will drop at the same time. Yet, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and more are embracing the weekly model to keep the discussions going on the next episode. When asked, 43% would prefer for all episodes to drop while 40% hope to see a weekly release. 17%, on the other hand, would like multiple episodes to drop over multiple weeks. The binge model is still slightly in the lead, but it’s interesting to see such a small margin between both release models.
As the first season is going to adapt the East Blue Saga, there are quite a few arcs that will get adapted as Luffy sets sail to gather his crew to tackle the Grand Line. Among them is the Arlong Park arc, which has been one of the most popular to this day. For some, it’s also the story that sold people on sticking to One Piece for the long ride. So, it being the arc that people are most excited about is also true with the live-action adaptation, as 80% of participants are excited about this arc. It is closely followed by Baratie (45%), Loguetown (37%), and Romance Dawn (27%.
There was an additional question on where fans hope to see the series end, as there are quite a few options with the East Blue. 10% would be open to the series ending with the famous “I’m dead” scene during Loguetown, as Buggy is about to take Luffy’s head. 30% would also like to see the barrel scene as the end, but the clear winner is Reverse mountain at 50%. I personally would love to see the first season end with the Straw Hats making it through Reverse Mountain only for the final moments to be them about to crash into Laboon. It would make for that perfect tease that the Grand Line is quite a bit more dangerous than anything they faced before.
It wouldn’t be One Piece without its fun cast of characters, and fans have been quite vocal on who they’re excited to see in live-action. Arlong takes the top spot with 68%, followed by Smoker at 59%, and Buggy’s 54%. Poor Morgan takes the last spot with 3%. When it comes to some supporting characters or cameos, 75% want to see Oda‘s tradition of hiding Pandaman in the background continue in its live-action series. I hope they do, and not just visual references but a guy in a full costume as Pandaman.
When it comes to the future of the series, 53% definitely hope to get some foreshadowing in the first season. Popular mentions are the appearance of characters like Doflamingo, Moria, and more during Gol D. Roger’s execution, or wanted posters from future characters being included in the background. It would add that extra layer of continuity as the series continues to expand with future seasons. 70% also want to see Haki get teased early on, which becomes quite important once they enter the New World on the Grand Line. 43% also hope to see some references to Sanji’s past with his family. A personal highlight is that 70% want our first tease of Bink’s Sake in the first season, which I hope to see become a motif throughout some of the series’ themes.
When it comes to adaptation, there is going to change with the translation to live-action. While 31% would be alright with some storylines getting merged at some point, 50% would prefer to see the arc’s not getting combined. Fans want to see iconic elements like the character’s unique laughs or the communication devices known as Den Den Mushi remaining even in this adaptation. 75% generally would only be okay with elements getting cut if it is necessary, but 63% would be open to seeing new scenes featuring the Straw Hats getting added to the material. If it comes to characters, most don’t want to see anyone getting cut but if anyone has to go it seems like it’s either the Nyaban Brothers or Pearl.
There’s a lot more to discuss, but I will end it with one of the biggest question marks regarding how the project will tackle the iconic cover stories. These side stories are disconnected mini-arcs for supporting characters, such as the aftermath of Luffy kicking Buggy to a different island. 65% hope to see them get adapted with 52% on board for Buggy’s little side story. Who wouldn’t want to watch Jeff Ward only consisting of his head, feet, and hands running away from a giant bird?
There are a lot more fun questions, such as how fans feel about the addition of original characters, seeing the colorful hair make its way to live-action, the possibility of Jacob Romero Gibson getting Usopp’s iconic long nose, and a lot more. While the series has already entered production, it definitely is a restatement to the franchise’s fan reception and many are excited to see just how the creative team tackles the project. If you want to check out the other questions, such as if Luffy should fight using Arlong’s teeth, you can check them out here.