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Netflix announces One Piece live-action show overseen by series creator

From Netflix via Twitter

A live-action series based on the best-selling manga series of all time is coming to Netflix, Deadline reports.

The One Piece adaptation will launch with a 10-episode season executive produced by series creator Oda Eiichiro. In a handwritten note released for the announcement, Eiichiro asked fans to anticipate the cast and how the first season’s story will progress. 

The treasure-hunting adventures of protagonist Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate companions have captivated audiences around the globe since 1997. Vox reports that with over 450 million copies sold, One Piece has been the bestelling Japanese comic for the last 14 years and is second only to Batman as the best selling comic in history. 

According to Deadline, the live-action adaptation is a collaboration between Netflix and Tomorrow Studios, which is behind the upcoming Netflix live-action of the anime Cowboy Bebop starring John Cho. One Piece’s live-action will be co-written by Steven Maeda (Lost, The X-Files) and Matt Owens (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Luke Cage).

“Thrilled to be working on the live-action adventures of the Straw Hat crew with the supremely talented Matt Owens, Tomorrow Studios, and Netflix,” Maeda tweeted on Thursday. “Thanks to Oda-sensei for entrusting us with his vision.”

Vox reports that Netflix has found success bringing its viewers classic series like Full Metal Alchemist. The streaming service has also invested in producing more than 30 original animes in 2018 alone. In addition to the live-action Cowboy Bebop, Netflix is set to release a CGI Ghost in the Shell series and an anime based on Witcher

Oda said in Wednesday’s announcement that it is “so encouraging” to receive Netflix’s “tremendous production support.” However, many fans expressed worries that his story would not be done justice. 

In the past, Netflix’s Death Note live action experienced casting controversy, and a re-release of the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion was criticized by those who felt it watered down the queer subcontext. On social media, some responded to the news by expressing that there was no need to create a live-action version of One Piece at all. 

Oda addressed such concerns back in 2017, when he first announced the development of a live-action One Piece.

“Firstly,” Oda said, “‘I will never betray the fans who have supported me for 20 years.’ This is my condition. There may be many who are uneasy, but please, give me your voices of hope.”

The One Piece Netflix account bills the show as “coming soon.” Although no release date has yet been confirmed, Tech Radar reports that audiences likely won’t be introduced to Luffy and his live-action gang until 2021 at the earliest.

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