Cast: Iñaki Godoy, Emily Rudd, Mackenyu, Vincent Regan, Morgan Davies, Aidan Scott, Jacob Romero Gibson, Taz Skylar, and ensemble.
Creator: Steven Maeda and Matt Owens.
Director: Marc Zobst, Tim Southam, Emma Sullivan, and Joseph Kubota Wladyka.
Streaming On: Netflix
Language: English (with subtitles).
Runtime: 8 Episodes, Around 45 Minutes Each.
One Piece Review : What’s It About:
Luffy, The Pirate who aspires to be the Pirate King one day, sets out on the adventure to find One Piece, a mystic treasure of the now assassinated Pirate King Gold Roger; everyone is trying to find for the past two decades. He forms a gang, and the journey turns out to be fun!
One Piece Review : Script Analysis:
In the world where IPs are everything and a massive chunk of the audience is prepared to surrender to an idea for over a decades and 30 odd films, where does the audience that doesn’t have the attention span go? Is it the responsibility of the filmmakers creating IP to have the minority section with them? Is the task easy? Certainly not. But is it impossible? A big NO. One Piece stands right amid the boom of franchises and is a seed that is sown in the right soil to bloom and also take everyone with it and not alienate any.
It is a story that steams out of an anime culture that is not just consumed by fans, but religiously worshiped for decades. It is a story that dates back decades, literally the 70s. It represents an idea; it creates a culture, and one that is about friendship regardless of where a certain character comes from. What fascinates me the most is how the storyline is so aware that it needs to include people from every section and not make it look like a forced representation. A healthy lady who is a dreaded pirate, and wants men to obey her because who would have thought a woman could rule the sea. Or a low born in love with the queen ready to give all his life and gets the queen too.
It all is subtlety leading to a world that this should have been. The layer over all of this is that these are pirates. The simple idea is to not think of anyone as weak. Monkey D. Luffy is the youngest of them all, but he aces his way only to rise faster than the eldest. Matt Ownens and Steven Maeda both make sure they let One Piece be simple and close to how the original creator, Eiichiro Oda, had imagined it. It is massive in scale. Giant set pieces, the fact that people communicate through snails used as airdrops at the sea. The pirate culture is at par with John Wick’s High Table (not comparing folks).
The only place where One Piece flickers is when it decides to develop its characters faster than required. You can see it wants to reach a point thus the rush. But then blaming the makers makes no point since it is a show with a 1000+ episode source material and still running. Even summing up half of it and still sticking to the one-day-at-a-time concept the original series adapted.
One Piece Review : Star Performance:
This is a very interesting cast, considering Emily Rudd decides to be a pirate. What deep characters she gets to play amid the Magnum Opus they is unfolding around her. The actor is a stand-out in the show and deserves her own spin-off. It could be too soon at the moment, but one can already see the potential.
It is not easy to headline a show this tricky. Iñaki Godoy is an interesting casting choice, and his broad smile tells you exactly why he deserved this job. His screen presence is fun and very effortless, making the viewers enjoy his antiques. Balancing it is Mackenyu with his balance subtle act where he lets his swords do the talking. Jacob Romero Gibson is an earnest performer, and so is Taz Skylar.
One Piece Review : Direction & Music:
Creators Steven Maeda and Matt Owens mount One Piece on a very wide storyboard. They aren’t taking risks by compromising on anything, and it seems like even Netflix agrees with them on this. The CGI is used well. To their credit, it is not easy to pitch a hero who is elastic and then have him combat on screen. In live-action, all of this might son turn into comedy with no room for seriousness. The VFX and CGI is top-notch to not let that happen.
The simplistic approach and the need to have the message correct is also something that stands out in these eight hours when Luffy is ready to battle death for his friends. The music is fun and perfect, and so are the visuals.
One Piece Review : Last Words:
One Piece is not just honest with its source material but also welcoming for the audience that is about to join and is clueless about this cultural milestone. It is a victory indeed!
For more recommendations, read our Citadel Review here.