The character descriptions for the live-action Netflix version of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece have been revealed, hinting at the story and casting.
The Illuminerdi reports that they had “discovered” via their sources the character descriptions for the Straw Hat pirate crew. The crew includes Luffy, Zoro, Nami, Usopp and Sanji.
At bare minimum this would suggest the story takes place around the Baratie Arc, where the crew first meet Sanji. However, it may be the story instead focuses on the Arlong Park Arc; a very popular arc early in the series. The description for Nami would also fit this scenario, based on what occurs to her there. However, that would require CGI or prosthetic for Fish-Man villain Arlong.
Each character is given their age and real world nationality along with a short description. Most likely this is the information given to prospective actors and actresses on what the role will involve, without going into too much depth about the story or character’s history.
Luffy (17, Brazillian) has big dreams and seeks adventure; yet also has “a desire for whatever treasures he can get his hands on.” His enthusiasm and refusal to budge against “the corrupt system clinging to the past” starts “a legacy with his quest to create change, but first he must defeat enemies from the past and present.”
Zoro (18, Asian) is described as a skilled fighter that “in need of encouragement and direction,” getting by with passionless and questionable work. The Illuminerdi sources claim Netflix is keen on Ludi Lin (Mortal Kombat , Power Rangers ) to play Zoro.
Nami (19, “open to any ethnicity”) is happy being a lone wolf, described as never letting anyone too close. However her sardonic and sarcastic attitude covers her painful past; one that could be “a secret being revealed threatens to destroy everything she’s worked for.”
Usopp (17-year-old, black ethnicity) is an “inventive storyteller and hopeless romantic,” where his tall tales hide his fears but get him into troubles. Nonetheless, his mind can solve problems in ways others can’t.
Finally, Sanji (19, “open to any ethnicity”) is a sharp dressed charmer, believing presentation divides the average and the exception. “Nothing is too rich for Sanji as long as one finds pleasure from it.” Despite always learning and evolving, he does not take criticism well.
The nationalities and races of Luffy, Zoro, and Usopp seem to be inspired by Oda’s own beliefs; rather fitting given he is the show’s Executive Producer. In SBS the author Q&A segment of the manga (Shitsumon o Boshū Suru? or “I’m Taking Questions”), Oda had revealed in SBS Vol. 56 what he felt the Straw Hat crew’s real life nationalities would be.
These were purely based on what fit the “character’s image.” Even so, it could be argued in some cases personalities and hobbies also play a part; such a chef and romantic Sanji being primarily French.
D: Nice to meet you, Oda-sensei. I have a question. If One Piece was set in the real world, which countries would the nine Straw Hats come from? Pen Name: MICHAEL JACKSONS’ BROTHER
O: Well. I’ll just put what fits with the character’s image.
Jinbe was later noted in SBS Vol. 99 as Indian.
Despite the series being overseen by Oda, it may be a hard sell to fans. A recent poll was issued to Japanese viewers of video distribution service 1Screen, asking what anime titles they wanted to see Hollywood adapt into live-action. The outstanding answer was “nothing.”
Filming of One Piece is set to begin 2021 in South Africa. The show will be written by Matt Owens and Steven Maeda; with producers Becky Clements, Marty Adelstein, Matt Ownes, Steven Maeda, and Eiichiro Oda.
What do you think of the description of what Netflix wants from the Straw Hats? Sound off in the comments below!
Image: One Piece Fandom Wiki