- The live-action adaptation of One Piece received praise for matching the energy of the source material in some ways, but lacks the kineticism and impact of the anime version due to the choice of cinematography and direction.
- The VFX artists highlight that one of the biggest appeals of the anime is its action and how it tells the story through subjective imagery. They argue that a live-action adaptation shouldn’t try to match the intensity of shot selection and composition, as anime relies on each frame being like a painting or a drawing.
- The One Piece live-action adaptation is seen as a fun and enjoyable show to watch, with some motion and action. The artists mention that it is important for the adaptation to find the right balance in tone and shooting style when working with real actors.
VFX artists break down the live-action fight between Luffy and Buggy in One Piece, explaining why it doesn’t match the energy of the anime version. Netflix has often struggled with its anime adaptations, with television shows that are canceled after a short run and movies that fail to catch on. However, the adaptation of One Piece has proved to be an exception, resonating with those who enjoyed the source material and getting a quick season 2 renewal.
In a new video for the YouTube channel Corridor Crew, VFX artists break down One Piece‘s big Luffy and Buggy fight. In the video, included below, the trio praise the adaptation for matching the energy of the source material in some ways. However, there’s also a lively and detailed discussion of the ways in which One Piece in live-action can’t offer the same pleasures as its source material, due to working with real actors and the fundamentally different storytelling medium. Their quotes have been described below:
My only criticism here, it’s like, all I see—I see great visual effects but I see a really weird choice of cinematography and direction and everything like that. That screams the opposite of anime at me. Maybe it’s following the same narrative beats but it doesn’t have any of that kineticism and impact. So you’re not feeling the energy in this. I’m feeling the story. I’m feeling the effects. I’m not feeling anything anime about this whatsoever. (I’m) not saying it’s bad, it’s just not anime. Is this One Piece as a live-action TV series or is this a live-action anime? What I’m watching here is not a live-action anime, it doesn’t feel like live-action anime, and if it was marketed as such… I would be disappointed.
Yeah, as just a wacky fun adventure live-action TV series so far, it’s cool. In the anime, one of the biggest appeals is the action and how they tell the story of the action. So you can use subjective imagery to convey something that would be impossible in real life; much like music takes arbitrary frequencies and turns those into emotional cues. Animation takes arbitrary motion and turns those into emotional cues. What makes anime special to me, and if you’re going to do an adaptation, you’re not going to try to match the same intensity of like, shot selection and composition. It’s a visual medium. Every frame of anime is a painting or a drawing. So you get that composure. You get the focus on making the single image tell a story.
Clearly, they got Netflix to pay them a bunch of money to make another version of it in live-action. The One Piece adaptation looks fun. It looks like a super fun show to watch. It’s nice to watch an anime adaptation from Netflix that has, like, still has some motion and has some kineticism and has a lot of action (…) So it’s like trying to hone in on the tone and shooting style, specifically, balancing it when you’re using real actors.
The One Piece Adaptation Is Faithful In Other Ways
Given their field of expertise, the VFX artists are great at articulating at why One Piece, like many other live-action adaptations, doesn’t try to match the level of its source material. Either because it doesn’t want to alienate new viewers or for logistical and storytelling reasons, the One Piece series is more narrow in its efforts to visually echo the anime. At the same time, it does make an effort to honor the original in other ways.
The adaptation went through a lot of difficulty in casting the protagonist Luffy, ultimately landing on Iñaki Godoy. It’s an acknowledgment of how crucial the character is, and it leans into a relative benefit of live-action adaptions. By spending the time and effort in casting the right roles, actors like Godoy can bring a level of authenticity to their portrayals that serve as another tip of the hat to the source material. Though live-action can’t always compete with the visual style of the One Piece anime, the way each character is portrayed can add a different layer of faithfulness to the adaptation.
It’s ultimately a question of two different mediums. Whereas, with anime, there’s the absolute license to create stunning visuals, a live-action series can bring in skilled performers to develop a bond with the audience. There are two different One Piece worlds, even though the Netflix version does a commendable job of paying homage to what came before.
Source: Corridor Crew