Eiichiro Oda, the mastermind behind the beloved manga series One Piece, has granted his seal of approval to Netflix’s live-action adaptation, set to premiere its 8 episodes today.
In a video message relayed by the official One Piece Instagram account, Oda conveyed his deep admiration for the show’s cast and crew, particularly the actors embodying the Straw Hat Pirates. He lauded their ability to capture the very essence of his characters and wholeheartedly encouraged fans to relish witnessing them come to life on screen.
Though Oda’s visage remained hidden in the video, his voice resonated through a “snail phone,” a device utilized within the One Piece universe, graciously provided by Inaki Godoy, the actor who splendidly portrays Monkey D. Luffy.
Oda, renowned for his fervent guardianship of his work, which began in 1997 and continues unabated with 105 volumes to date, played an instrumental role in the crafting of the Netflix series. Developed by Matt Owens and Steven Maeda, the show was nurtured to fruition by Tomorrow Studios and Shueisha, the publishers of the manga.
Per Emma Sullivan, one of the directors, Oda wielded the ultimate authority over all aspects, ranging from the script to the visual effects. He exhibited no reluctance in calling for reshoots and revisions if the outcome failed to align with his exacting standards.
“Of course you want the fans to be pleased, but I think the only way we can truly accomplish that is by ensuring [Eiichiro] Oda’s contentment. When he observed elements that didn’t align with his vision, we went back and reworked them,” Sullivan shared.
She also acknowledged the ardent concerns of the One Piece fan community, deeply invested in the manga’s integrity and yearning for the series to honor its source material. Sullivan stressed that Oda’s satisfaction was the paramount gauge of success, as he stood as the foundation of the narrative.
“He’s the guiding force, truly, and I believe if Oda is content, then the fans will be content as well. We simply hope that we’ve given our all,” Sullivan appended.
Among the many aspects of the Netflix adaptation that won Oda’s acclaim was the selection of Inaki Godoy as Luffy, the central protagonist and leader of the Straw Hat Pirates.
During a visit to Oda’s Tokyo studio, Godoy encountered the manga maestro, embracing his approval and effusive endorsement. Oda deemed him the flawless embodiment of Luffy and hailed his exuberant audition tape performance. Oda declared that he couldn’t envision anyone else stepping into the shoes of his cherished character.