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One Piece live-action fan reaction recap: OPLA Episode 1’s Luffy recruits his crew, Episode 5’s Mihawk intro & face-off against Zoro, episode 6’s Zeff-Sanji emotional goodbye, Nami’s straw hat moment in episode 7 & more

One Piece live-action fan reaction recap: OPLA Episode 1’s Luffy recruits his crew, Episode 5’s Mihawk intro & face-off against Zoro, episode 6’s Zeff-Sanji emotional goodbye, Nami’s straw hat moment in episode 7 & more

From Dracula Mihawk’s (Steven John Ward) action-packed introduction to Luffy (Iñaki Godoy), Zoro (Mackenyu) & the gang’s backstories – One Piece season 1 is being praised as the first series to break the anime-to-life-action adaptation curse. So as expected, fans are raving over its best moment starting from Straw Hat Pirate’s first encounter with Toby in episode 1 and the events that transpire as they journey through the East Blue meeting new faces. Here’s a recap of the best moments according to the fans on social media.

With an impressive 8+ rating streak on IMDb for the entire 8 episodes and a 95% plus audience score on Rotten Tomatoes – it’s clear the live-action One Piece adaptation has turned out to be a massive hit. In fact, the series appears to have struck a chord with even the likes of newbie audiences who haven’t caught on to the long-running anime by Oda.

Kicking off with the East Blue Saga arc, the Straw Hat Pirates’ journey to find the Pirate King Gol D. Roger’s treasure is packed with adventure, comedy, heart & every necessary element to call it a critically & fan acclaimed TV series. The diversity & representation through the cast, right from One Piece episode 1 is one such element that has fans delighted and it begins with the casting of trans actor Morgan Davies to play Koby.

In terms of character introductions, Mihawk, the world’s greatest swordsman to ever live has folks arguing the Warlord’s entry in episode 5: Eat at Baratie! was significantly better compared to the anime & manga. Nonetheless, the live-action also pays tribute to the iconic moments like when the Gum Gum devil fruit eater meets the Pirate Hunter face-to-face at the naval base and finds him strung up in the yard. In fact, the exact sequence of Mihawk slicing Don Krieg’s ship apart shares a resemblance to the source material too.

Speaking of villainy pirates – Jeff Ward‘s Buggy has also made a lasting impression on the fandom. Fortunately, it’s clear that fans have not seen the last of the Joker-esque pirate after he manages to recover his body from Arlong thanks to Zoro and Sanji (Taz Skylar). The same applies to Alvida and fans aware of the source material are also expecting to see her go through an interesting transformation (hint: Devil fruit).

Coming to the dynamic between Roronoa Zoro & Sanji, the two pirates’ wholesome interactions is not short of praises, especially during their fight in the finale for Nami (Emily Rudd). Episode 8’s Arlong Park arc shows the two characters fighting off Arlong’s pirates whilst also engaging in their friendly banter is probably as accurate the series gets in adapting the anime.

Similarly, Luffy & Zoro’s friendship has also appealed to fans on a personal level. Some of the changes in the character portrayal have surprisingly received fans’ approval as well. For instance, the choice to rule out Usopp’s (Jacob Romero) elongated nose is one of them. In addition, race-swapping Nami’s sister Nojiko (Chioma Antoinette Umeala) -although it initially received flak, fans of the show have grown fond of her casting.

Meanwhile, some of the avid One Piece fans have found characters who went unnoticed like Woop Slap. In the anime, he is revealed to be the Mayor of the town where the young Straw Hat Pirate used to reside.

It should be noted the visual spectacle is far from the only selling point of OPLA. Scenes like the moment when Sanji departs Baratie with an emotional goodbye to Zeff (Craig Fairbrass) in episode 6. Or best of all, episode 7: The Girl with the Sawfish Tattoo’s teary cliffhanger when Nami breaks down and finally asks for Luffy’s Help. The young Pirate placing his Straw Hat on Nami’s head has viewers going through a rollercoaster of emotions while admiring its throwback to when Shanks (Peter Gadiot) did the same to the young monkey.

All in all, it’s fair to say the chemistry between the actors playing the Straw Hat Pirates has done wonders in helping season 1 succeed. With Arlong defeated and Luffy finally convincing his grandpa Vice Admiral Garp (Vincent Regan) to quit tailing him – the straw hat pirates’ journey to the Grand Line sets off though anime fans are rather looking forward to Luffy’s encounter with other potential villains (stronger than Buggy and Arlong) before finding the treasure.

Fortunately, the script for One Piece season 2 has been penned and once Hollywood’s Actors & WGA strike comes to a halt – Netflix will proceed with its production. However, its unclear when exactly season 2 would arrive, probably sometime in 2025.




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