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How One Piece on Netflix Won Me Over in Under 2 Minutes

The One Piece Netflix cast exude such a team warmth & love in their reaction video that it casts the whole series trailer in a better light.

In 2017 came the announcement that One Piece would receive a live-action adaptation (later confirmed to be a Netflix series). Many worried about the series when this happened, since much is often lost in translation with live-action adaptations of manga and anime, due to studios often condensing the eccentric lore. Even I worried an adaptation couldn’t capture the heart of One Piece and its chaotic energy. After all, I can count on my hand good live-action anime adaptations.

However, something happened when the Netflix Tudum event premiered the first One Piece trailer and fans got their first proper taste of the live-action Grand Line. At least some fans were excited and impressed by the trailer. I thought the trailer was quite charming. But then, miraculously, I wound up falling in love with it for a reason beyond the trailer itself — it was because of the cast’s reaction when they first saw the trailer.

The Love of a Team in Netflix One Piece

Since watching the One Piece reaction trailer with the Netflix cast, I’ve rewatched it close to two dozen times. When I need something to perk me up or put me in a good mood, or even when I need something to give me a good cry, I go to this video. It’s not particularly because of Netflix One Piece itself — as I said before it looks fine, charming even — it’s because of the cast and what they bring to the stage. They themselves tap into something that One Piece has, that chaotic family at the heart of this bonkers story.

This is, at the moment, an intimate, close-knit family. Relative newcomer Iñaki Godoy leads the charge as Monkey D. Luffy, accompanied by a young veteran actor by the name of Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, who is no stranger to anime adaptations having been in several over the last half-decade, most notably Rurouni Kenshin: The Final. The captain and his first mate round out their fledgling crew with Emily Rudd, Jacob Romero Gibson, and Taz Skylar. All are young, hungry actors who have jumped at the opportunity of starring in Netflix’s One Piece.

All of their enthusiasm explodes off the screen when they sit down and watch the trailer for the first time. And within that two minutes, all cynicism melted away and I remembered why I adore One Piece. It’s not just the action or over-the-top characters; it is the love each of these characters has for each other, and this video showcased that this cast has already become the Straw Hat crew in that regard. Seeing Emily hold her heart as Luffy touches the Going Merry for what I assume is the first time made me tear up. In fact, as I am writing this very sentence I find myself tearing up again. Watching as Taz holds the shoulders of Iñaki and Emily as they see Baratie burst onto the screen, clearly reminding them of when their characters first meet, there is a sense of joy and it is palpable.

One of the most impressive moments is when Mackenyu’s Zoro is fending off an attacker with his signature swords, and the sheer giddiness from them all is infectious, cheering on Mackenyu like a proud family.

Perhaps the climax of this emotional roller coaster came when Iñaki shouted Luffy’s legendary move “Gum-Gum Pistol” because clearly the rest of the group had not seen that particular scene. After all, the scene in question has just Luffy, Koby, and Alvida in it, and you can see that Iñaki was quite proud of this iconic moment. All around him though were the screams and whoops of excited friends who hugged their friend lovingly as they saw him become an adorable, emotional wreck.

The One Piece Netflix cast exude such a team warmth & love in their reaction video that it casts the whole series trailer in a better light.

Thank You for Being My Friends

One Piece helped me through COVID. It was there to help me stay connected with my friends. Seeing the live-action One Piece Netflix cast together and seeing the clear love they have for their work and for each other, I resonated with that. It’s easy to be cynical and harder to be hopeful, but that is what Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hats embody, hope. And this ragtag group of actors has given me hope that this will be an enjoyable series.

One Piece will always be there for us, in whatever shape we want. There is the manga, anime, numerous video games, and a live show that ran until COVID forced it to close. Now we have Netflix’s live-action adaptation. And honestly, I can’t wait to meet this iteration of the Straw Hats, and I hope you’ll be there on the Grand Line with me. So what do you say? Let’s go.

Related: How to Watch One Piece in Order on The Mary Sue

About the author

Graham Day
Graham has been writing online for close to a decade. This includes writing about games, books, films and so much more. He loves stories of all kinds across every form of media. For the Escapist he tries to come up with his own unique angles on the stories we adore. He was born in Dublin, Ireland and has been an actor, an amateur animator, writer and artist. He also runs his own website based in Ireland.