Amidst a wave of Western adaptations, the Netflix One Piece live action series comes to the forefront, based on Eiichiro Oda’s masterpiece. Premiering on August 31, it will delve into the East Blue Saga over eight episodes.

Although there’s doubt about how well the anime and manga story will work as a live action show, executive producer Matt Owens explains why loyal fans should warmly welcome this new adaptation, assuring them it’s a worthwhile experience.

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Reasons to watch Netflix One Piece live action, according to executive producer Matt Owens

Numerous live-action series have strayed away from the source material, often leading to disappointment among fans.

However, Owens is confident that the Netflix One Piece live action adaptation will break this trend.

“Anime can be adapted into live action,” he said in a press release. “When you have the right minds and hearts behind it, anything can be adapted. This is a show that was done by a massive group of hardworking and creative people who all love One Piece. I hope that audiences can look at this and view the curse as being broken.”

Netflix One Piece live action executive producer and showrunner Matt Owens
Credit: Netflix

Owens himself is a dedicated reader of the One Piece manga and attests that it helped him overcome depression during his 20s, referring to the comic as something that “saved his life” and “brought him out of the dark place he was in.”

“I think we’re in an era where people feel very alone and isolated, and having a story that talks about the power of friendship is something culturally that we could really use right now,” the executive producer said.

One Piece live action wallpaper featuring the Straw Hat pirates
Credit: Netflix, Eiichiro Oda

In addition to Owens, Eiichiro Oda, the creator of One Piece, played a significant role in the series’ production, being actively involved from selecting Inaki Godoy to portray Monkey D. Luffy, all the way to fine-tuning the last details before its release.

Several cast members, most notably Emily Rudd, who portrays Nami, and Mackenyu Arata, who brings Roronoa Zoro to life, are also devoted fans of the series.

Curious about the heart behind this series? Watch it firsthand as the One Piece live action adaptation debuts on Netflix on August 31.

View the full Netflix One Piece live action episode list here.

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READ MORE: One Piece creator on Inaki as Luffy: ‘He was just like the person I drew in my manga’