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Netflix’s The One Piece anime series reboot is just crazy enough to work

Published Dec 19th, 2023 3:53PM EST
The One Piece is in development for Netflix.
Image: Netflix

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On Sunday, December 17, Netflix shocked anime fans by announcing a brand new One Piece series for its streaming service. The One Piece will be produced by Wit Studio (Attack on Titan, Spy x Family) and offer “a fresh yet familiar experience, utilizing cutting-edge visual technology to reimagine Luffy’s adventures through the beloved East Blue saga.”

For those who are not familiar with the franchise, One Piece is an ongoing manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda that started in 1997. The series follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, in their search for a treasure called the “One Piece.” Whoever finds the treasure becomes the next King of the Pirates.

In October 1999, an anime adaptation of One Piece from Toei Animation premiered on Fuji TV. Twenty-four years and more than 1,000 episodes later, that adaptation is still on the air, with no signs of slowing or stopping. So, what is The One Piece from Netflix and Wit Studio? Believe it or not, it is not a spinoff, a sequel, or a prequel. Rather, the new series is a remake of the long-running One Piece anime before that anime actually ends.

Anime reboots are nothing new. In fact, some of the most beloved anime series of all time are remakes or reboots, from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood to Hunter x Hunter to Fruits Basket. But all of those reboots arrived after the original series had concluded. Meanwhile, Netflix’s The One Piece is going to reboot a series that kicks off its 21st season in a few weeks.

At this point, you might be asking why this is necessary. Well, let’s discuss a few reasons.

First and foremost, Netflix’s live-action One Piece series was a hit. Not only did it attract a fresh audience that likely had no familiarity with the franchise, but it also won over plenty of fans of the original anime. If viewers start associating Netflix with One Piece — one of the most popular and long-running manga and anime of all time — it’s a huge win for the streamer.

Then there’s the huge barrier to entry for new fans who want to get into One Piece. The anime series just aired its 1,088th episode. Watching every episode from the beginning would take well over 420 hours or around 18 days (via CBR). Good luck convincing your partner or roommate or even yourself to commit to a binge session that long.

Giving viewers a new point of entry with updated visuals and potentially removing some cruft along the way could open the door to a new generation of One Piece fans. It’s unclear if The One Piece is meant to continue past the East Blue saga, which covers roughly the first 60 episodes of the original anime. If it’s a success, I’d say the chances are good.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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