The Biggest Differences Between The Netflix Live Action One Piece And Anime

Highlights

  • The live-action adaptation of One Piece had to make changes to the original story due to budget constraints and pacing issues, resulting in missing elements and altered plotlines.
  • The portrayal of characters like Zoro, Garp, and Koby in the live-action version allowed for more screen time and new dynamics, providing a fresh take on their roles compared to the anime.
  • Some key moments and emotional depth from the anime were either glossed over or omitted in the live-action adaptation, such as Nami’s village’s true feelings towards her and the significance of Sanji’s resolve at the Baratie.

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With budgetary constraints, expensive setpieces, and actors needing more time on-screen in order to justify the studio’s expenses, sometimes a 1:1 adaptation of a story can be rather hard to make, especially when you’re talking about an anime like One Piece. The Netflix adaptation did a great job, but remaining completely faithful to the story would’ve cost them a fortune.

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If you’re a fan of the anime, you’ll notice so many things that are missing, locations that are completely different in terms of architecture, and tons of scenes that occur in the same spot again and again. These are ways studios save money, B-plots in a main story justify re-using expensive setpieces like the Baratie. Pacing is also important, and cramming everything into eight episodes was a neigh-impossible task that the studio somehow worked with fairly well, albeit with a few changes.

10 Zoro’s Brawl At The Bar

Zoro's Backstory Changes

One of the big ways the live-action story deviates from the main series is by retelling how the crew was initially formed. Instead of Zoro recounting his tale of getting imprisoned to Luffy, you get to watch a bar fight ensue with Luffy, Zoro, Koby, and Nami present at the scene.

You also get to see how Zoro took care of Number 7 from Baroque Works, a fact he stated the first time he met Vivi. Since he’s a professional pirate hunter at this point of the story, his dealings with Helmeppo at the bar turn things sour, and he winds up imprisoned while trying to cash out on Number 7’s bounty, some course of events that completely differed from the anime or manga.

9 The Boss Fights Are Shorter

Buggy And Kuro's Losing Their Battles In The Anime

To cut time and pace things out better, the live-action switches up a few ways the boss fights were handled in the manga. There’s less dialogue, more action, and fewer side characters to deal with up till Arlong Park.

Axe-Hand, Buggy, and Kuro are swatted away in mere moments. For example, Buggy gets his limbs locked up in chests fairly effortlessly and thus loses pretty quickly with no Monji or Cabaji to spice things up much. Instead of an all-out war on the shore, Luffy takes down Kuro a few minutes after they meet, while Zoro dispatches only a couple of people from his crew.

8 Garp And Koby Get More Screen-Time

Garp And Koby In The Live Acton, Garp And Sengoku In The Anime

It’s rather refreshing to see a fresh take on a dynamic unfolding behind the scenes in One Piece, and the live-action gives us a taste of that with how well it handled Garp’s role in the story and how Koby interacted with the Hero of the Marines.

You can see how their relationship gets formed and how close they’ve gotten over the course of their journey to chase down the Straw Hats. The anime barely gives us a glimpse of both of these characters, and you rarely ever see them interact with the world, let alone each other. Garp spends most of his time annoying Sengoku instead.

7 Don Krieg Barely Makes A Cameo

Don Krieg Bounty Poster In The Lie-Action, And Apeearance In The Anime

Funnily enough, arguably one of the worst parts of the Baratie arc was being forced to watch Don Krieg attempt to take over the Baratie simply because he wants to be evil just for the hell of it. In the live-action, however, they gloss over all of this, and you’re given a cameo scene where Don Krieg gets destroyed by Mihawk while he’s merely killing time.

Related: Things That Make No Sense In One Piece Odyssey

However, it does take away a lot of the emotional depth that came with Sanji’s resolve to stick with the Baratie and how he was convinced to join the crew. In fact, the live-action chose to keep Sanji away from the big Zoro vs. Mihawk fight, and that’s a real shame since that reinvigorated Sanji’s desire to seek out and fulfill his dreams of finding the All Blue.

6 Nami’s Village Actually Hates Her

Genzo In The Live Action And Anime With Bella-mere

Nami has one of the saddest backstories in One Piece, but the aspect that really delivered that emotional punch was completely ignored by the live-action writers. The fact that her entire village knew that she was collecting their ransom money and pretended to hate her in order to have her stop spending her life on rescuing them was heart-wrenching as a reveal.

Unfortunately, the live-action chose to omit that fact, and Nojiko merely exclaimed that they had no idea. This small change took away a ton of emotional depth from Nami’s story, and it just made the townspeople feel bland because of it.

5 Buggy Sticks Around For Arlong Park

Buggy's Head At Baratie, Vs Little Buggy's Adventures In The Anime Fillers

Orange Town Buggy was a fun gag character that eventually stuck around for quite a few arcs after his initial introduction in the anime. Still, his appearance at the Baratie was a huge deviation from the main story.

Having the fishmen carry his head around and use him for surveillance was a bold decision for the live-action writers, but it’s not necessarily a bad move since Jeff Ward portrayed the character so well. In the anime, Buggy spends some time with Gaimon instead after his defeat.

4 Helmeppo Gets A Haircut And Merry Dies

Helmeppo's Introduction In The Anime, Merry Confronting Kuro In The Anime

Believe it or not, Helmeppo always had the goofy haircut Zoro gave him (in the anime). His long hair never really existed, but what you saw unfold on-screen in the live-action was a funny way to justify his quirky character design.

As far as the Syrup Village arc is concerned, the adaptation was fairly liberal with its implementation of the anime’s story and cut down on a lot of scenes, characters (Django), and action over the course of its retelling. Kaya’s only family friend Merry shouldn’t have been killed off. He was a major reason the crew got their iconic ship in the first place. He does get very wounded in the anime, but he miraculously survives.

3 Arlong Visits The Baratie

Arlong At Baratie, Vs Sanji Thanking Zeff After Don Krieg's Defeat

Arlong going out of his way and tracking down the Strawhats was a completely unprecedented event that has no link with the actual story in the anime. Instead of Nami casting off for her village after stealing a boat, you see the fishmen invade Baratie and wreak havoc.

Related: Things Only Fans Of The Series Noticed In One Piece Odyssey

Although the subtle hints at race inequality were a welcome addition to the live-action story, this event completely changed how the arc was handled in the manga and anime.

2 Luffy’s Familial Ties Get Explored Far Earlier In The Series

Garp Vs Luffy In The Anime Vs The Live-Action

Luffy has a rather interesting family tree, with all kinds of surprises for folks who haven’t really caught up with the anime. For example, the Hero of the Marines Vice Admiral Garp actually being his grandfather was a gag revealed to us during the end of the Water 7 arc. The crew’s reaction to that fact was priceless.

The live-action, unfortunately, reveals that fact to you far too early for it to have the same impact it did in the anime. You find out that he’s Luffy’s grandfather right at the end of the Syrup Village storyline and watch him try to take out the Going Merry like he did during the end of the Water 7 arc.

1 Garp At Roger’s Execution

Live-Action Garp At Roger's Execution, Roger On His Own During His Execution In The Anime-3

Garp’s been portrayed rather well in this adaptation, and there’s no doubt that the actor put a lot of effort into pinning down the character’s quirks and mannerisms. However, the writing team for the live-action chose to keep him around for quite a lot of scenes that don’t really feature him in the anime.

His presence at the Loguetown execution tower was not canon, and he wasn’t the person who sentenced his life-long rival Gol D. Roger to death. According to the actual lore, he was most likely dealing with a certain task his rival asked him to take care of.

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