Eiichiro Oda makes bold promise for live-action adaptation of One Piece

One Piece is the best-selling manga series as well as the best-selling comic book series of all time, which means expectations are unnaturally high.

The creator of the popular manga One Piece, Eiichiro Oda, has provided an update on the highly anticipated Netflix live-action adaptation of the long-running series.

Eiichiro Oda claims One Piece is in the final stages of production.

In an open letter, the manga artist assured One Piece fans that production is still ongoing on the live-action adaptation of the manga series he began in 1997. He revealed the adaptation is in its final stages and will be released soon.

Oda’s letter, published as a picture decorated with doodles of the popular manga’s main crew, was posted to the Netflix Geeked Twitter account on May 4, which coincides with the character’s canonical birthdate of May 5 in Japan. Given this fact, it is safe to assume that Oda’s letter was in commemoration of this special day.

Oda began his letter by stating the challenges that have plagued One Piece’s live adaptation production. He stated that even though the teams "understand each of the characters," their different backgrounds and cultures mean they "have different codes, skill sets, and aims." The 48-year-old went on to reveal that this resulted in some frustration on all sides and he doubted whether a foreign production of his beloved creation was even possible.

Oda went on to state that the teams have been hard at work and, despite all the challenges, were finally able to achieve synergy. He revealed his dedication to supervising the project while he is active, alluding to his health challenges which have been well-documented over the years. Among other things, Oda previously revealed he struggles with sleep deprivation due to the hectic demands of the manga series.

In his words, "Considering my expected life span, I believe this is the last chance to bring One Piece to the entire world. If we’re going to do it, I want to be able to supervise things while I’m still active."

Oda went on to commend Netflix for its dedication to the adaptation revealing that the streamer "has committed enormous resources to the production. It was announced that the show will launch in 2023, but they’ve promised that we won’t launch it until I’m satisfied."

The Netflix live-action adaptation of the manga will have eight episodes.

The latest announcement has brought much-needed relief to disillusioned fans who have been disappointed by live-action adaptations of their favorite anime series several times in the past with 2017’s Death Note movie as a prime example. Oda's commitment to getting the live-action adaptation right has inspired hope that the One Piece franchise will not follow the same path as these other adaptations.

One Piece tells the story of Monkey D. Luffy, who, after consuming the Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit, gains superpowers that he uses to pursue his dream of becoming the king of pirates and finding the legendary One Piece treasure. The manga series has been adapted into an anime and has since become a media franchise, captivating audiences worldwide with its compelling storylines and dynamic characters.

Aside from the short teaser released in late 2022, Netflix has been tight-lipped about the production of the live-action adaptation. However, Oda’s active involvement and dedication to ensuring the adaptation does justice to the source of the material is exciting news, which bodes well for his and Netflix’s efforts to bring the world of One Piece to life for a new audience.

While the highly-anticipated series has not received a release date, Oda’s update provides hope it will arrive in 2023 as promised.

Tobi Oguntola

Tobi is an avid reader with interest in everything entertainment. He also loves the big screen as it fuels his overactive imagination. When he is not reading a fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller novel, he is listening to music, watching TV, or surfing the internet. Tobi is on Steam as tobioguntola.