Things change in adaptation, but a good adaptation still stays true to the characters and their world. Yet, there are some aspects that don’t quite translate, especially when one takes cultural differences into account with manga or anime adaptations. Even with a popular franchise like One Piece, there are some aspects that might just not work when translated.
While discussing if they’ll add romance elements to the series, showrunner Matt Owens also discussed how they approached the character of Sanji. He’s pretty much someone that does anything for a woman and has even been seen as a more controversial character with some moments souring his development; Thriller Bark comes to mind. So, the question was how would they bring this to live-action and it seems they are focusing more on the character simply being “flirtatious” according to Owens.
In a way. Sanji is very flirtatious, he loves women but […] he’s not as much of a simp. He’s more a flirt than a simp.Matt Owens
He highlights that they “tweaked it a little bit” and actor Taz Skylar will likely still keep the charm that made the character popular, but we shouldn’t expect his usual antics from the manga. They do also jokingly reference that we definitely won’t be seeing his usual heart-shaped eyes which are a classic manga trope. While Owens doesn’t give away too many details on how they approached the character, it definitely feels like they are keeping the spirit of the character alive but also toning down some aspects.