On One Piece Day 2023, Netflix released the first full-length trailer for its highly anticipated live-action adaptation series. The trailer gives us our first look at the characters who will be appearing this season (and others who may appear in future ones) and some intriguing deviations from the source material’s plot.
It begins with the execution of Pirate King Gold Roger. Dragon and Vice Admiral Garp are seen spectating and overseeing the event respectively.
Following Roger’s iconic smile and laughter, the trailer cuts to Luffy talking to a News Coo. While the creature has appeared in previous promotional materials, this scene offers the clearest look at one to date.
During a voiceover of Luffy explaining the appeal of piracy to Koby, we see the Miss Love Duck engage in broadside combat and its captain, “Iron Mace” Alvida, using her signature weapon.
We also get to see the original Straw Hat crew jolly roger made by Luffy. Japanese fans were able to see the prop early and in-person at the ONE PIECE exhibition corner of the Only on Netflix pop-up event held in Tokyo from May 20-28.
While Nami describes the dangers of voyaging to and through the Grand Line, Yoru, the sword of Dracule Mihawk, is shown as well as an unwitting Merry surrounded by the claws of Captain Kuro. A better look at Mihawk himself appears later in the trailer. Kuro’s claws also make another appearance, but his face is wisely never shown.
We get several looks at Buggy and even see his devil fruit ability in action as he faces off against Zoro and Nami, calling out his Chop-Chop Cannon attack. Throughout the trailer, Luffy also showcases his stretching abilities and we even get a glimpse of him using Gum-Gum Gatling Gun and Gum-Gum Battle Axe on Arlong.
A surprise scuffle breaks out between Sanji and Kuroobi of the Arlong Pirates in the Baratie – an event that did not occur in the original story – and Chu, a crewmember of the latter combatant, can be seen in the background.
During a dispute between Zoro and Sanji over who saved who, Nojiko and Genzo can be seen just out of focus. (Her blue hair and his hat are unmistakable!)
Following this scene, we get a glimpse of the Monster Trio taking down Fishman fodder at Arlong Park and Zoro drawing blood. This detail is worth noting given One Piece’s first official introduction to Western audiences: the heavily-censored 4Kids English dub which infamously altered or outright removed depictions of blood, smoking, lethal weapons, and, inexplicably, Japanese cuisine. Blood, blades, and bullets are present in this live-action adaptation and while we have yet to see what Sanji cooks up (though he appears to be prepping a squash dish in a later scene), his cigarette is absent. This may have less to do with undue censorship and more to do with practicality (a la the change made to Luffy’s footwear).
Soon after, we get our first look at Arlong. The first shot appears to be located in Buggy’s big top with Kuroobi and the second one is at the Baratie – confirming that the Arlong Pirates will appear earlier than they originally did in the manga. According to IMDb, actors McKinley Belcher III (Arlong) and Jandre le Roux (Kuroobi) will be featured in four of the eight episodes.
The trailer also appears to confirm that Nami will join Luffy and Zoro in Shells Town. She may also be playing a more active role during the fight at Arlong Park as she is seen alongside the boys at the entrance. (This moment even serves as the trailer’s thumbnail image.)
The namesake weapon of the Shells Town arc’s antagonist, “Axe-Hand” Morgan, is shown later on but, apart from an out-of-focus likeness, this is the most of him that we see in the trailer. However, a still of him facing off against Zoro from an upcoming Shonen Jump Magazine was leaked. Morgan’s imposing frame in the image has led some to speculate that the series will faithfully adapt some characters’ exaggerated proportions – a hallmark trait of One Piece characters. His son, Helmeppo, does not appear to be featured in this trailer, but fans were able to watch a scene with him at Anime Expo LA 2023. Artur from the Library of Ohara was among the fans who got an early viewing of this and other scenes. In the One Piece Live Action Discord server, he described Helmeppo’s appearance as a “discount Sephiroth.” He clarified that the adaptation “gave him long hair but they made him look even more pathetic” and affectionately stated that he also has “a stupid laugh” – another hallmark trait of One Piece characters.
Don Krieg also does not appear in the trailer, but an image of his wanted poster can be seen on the Straw Hat Grand Fleet website and his actor, Milton Schorr, is slated to appear in three episodes according to IMDb.
A number of key One Piece moments are shown including Shanks saving a young Luffy from the Lord of the Coast and passing on his straw hat; the duel between Mihawk and Zoro and the young swordsman swearing his allegiance to his captain; and Nami visiting Belle-Mere’s grave and Luffy giving her his treasured straw hat.
We get a better look at Koby in the ending stinger and are treated to some surprise cameos in the form of wanted posters for Cavendish, Foxy, and Bellamy.
Netflix and Tomorrow Studios’ ONE PIECE will be available to stream on Netflix on August 31st. The original voice cast of the One Piece anime will reprise their roles for the Japanese dub and Iñaki Godoy and Taz Skylar will be dubbing their respective characters in Spanish.