The world of One Piece is coming to Netflix as a live-action adaptation of the much-beloved manga. We recently got our first look at some of the extended cast of the series, along with concept art and sets from the show. From Monkey D. Luffy to Red Hair to Alvida and beyond, the cast of the show looks to be massive.
So whether you’re an established fan or discovering One Piece for the first time, here’s everything you need to know about the cast and characters of the Netflix show.
Netflix’s One Piece Cast
Inaki Godoy stars as Monkey D. Luffy, showing a great range of enthusiasm and energy in the behind-the-scenes footage Netflix has released. For those new to the series, Luffy’s journey begins after being accidentally turned into a rubber man by eating a magical Devil Fruit, granting him the power to stretch his body but cursing him with the inability to swim (a situation we’ve all found ourselves in, I’m sure). He’s a powerful fighter with an insatiable appetite for meat and a dream of one day becoming King of the Pirates.
Luffy’s friend and mentor, Red-Haired Shanks, is played by Peter Gadiot of Showtime’s Yellowjackets. We were treated to a brief glimpse of his ship the Red Force during the behind-the-scenes footage. Shanks is a legendary pirate captain, but known as simply Red Hair to his friends.
Ilia Isorelys Paulino is playing Luffy’s first real antagonist, the pirate captain Alvida. In the original manga, she goes through a considerable visual transformation by the time the crew reaches Loguetown, the final port before the real adventure into the ocean route known as the Grand Line begins. It’ll be interesting to see if future episodes will recast the role or some changes will be made to deviate from the source material. (And we’re just speculating, but there’s a chance that the crew’s visit to Loguetown will be skipped entirely as casting for the character of Smoker, who makes his first appearance there, has yet to be announced.)
Alvida’s ship, the Miss Love Duck can be seen in great detail in the behind-the-scenes footage, and is likely the setting for at least one of the early episodes. In the manga and anime, Luffy first meets his friend Koby on the Love Duck. Koby is played in this series by Morgan Davies. The character doesn’t stick around for long in the manga, but plays a much larger role in the series later on down the line. Let’s hope the show gets to run for a few seasons so we eventually get to see where Koby’s story heads.
The first real member of Luffy’s crew we meet is the three-sword-wielding, legendary pirate hunter Roronoa Zoro, played by Japanese actor Mackenyu. The actor has previously embodied characters from other shonen hits like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Tokyo Ghoul and Rurouni Kenshin, among many others.
Roronoa Zoro will face Aidan Scott, who’s playing the bratty, spoiled Helmeppo, another character with an initially small part but one whose influence grows in the future. Helmeppo’s father, the Axe-Hand Captain Morgan, is portrayed by Langley Kirkwood in his second comic-to-screen role after playing Judge Lex in 2012’s Dredd.
Jeff Ward is playing the pirate clown Buggy, another Devil Fruit user with the power to entirely detach his limbs and still move them independently. We’re very interested to see how a character like this will be visualised in a live-action setting. (Shades of TDK maybe?)
Usopp is known as the Marksman of the Straw Hats, though he’d prefer to be called their captain, and he’ll be played by Jacob Gibson. He comes from the sweetly named Syrup Village, as do Klahadore and Kaya, who Alexander Maniatis and Celeste Loots have been cast as respectively. This indicates that Usopp’s journey to joining the Straw Hat crew will be fleshed out significantly during the season as they play a major part in this storyline.
This arc is where the Straw Hat Pirates are given their first ship, the iconic Going Merry. We’ve seen a handful of concept art and angles of this ship from the live-action set. This is the ship they’ll sail with to visit the floating restaurant Baratie. A lot of concept art and screen time in the behind-the-scenes footage is given to this location, displaying a significant amount of detail compared to how we’ve seen it before. The Straw Hat’s cook Sanji will be played by Taz Skylar, with Craig Fairbrass filling the role of Sanji’s adoptive father-figure, Chef Zeff.
The casting for Don Krieg hasn’t been announced yet, which might imply that a different direction is being taken regarding this part of the adaptation. Krieg is an infamous pirate admiral who serves as an antagonist during the Baratie arc of the manga. Steven Ward will be playing Mihawk, however, who makes a huge impact upon his arrival to every pirate’s favourite restaurant and serves as a catalyst to Zoro’s journey.
We’ve not even mentioned the crew’s navigator Nami yet, who’ll be played by Emily Rudd. She’s no stranger to navigating the Netflix waters, having previously been in the R.L. Stine adaptation series Fear Street.
One Piece has a reputation for its initial chapters not necessarily highlighting the strengths of the series, but the Arlong Park arc, revolving around Nami’s unclear motivations and her battling with Arlong the Saw (played here by McKinley Belcher III), still remains a fan-favorite section even after 25 years. Arlong is a sawshark fish-man who captains a crew made solely of fish-men. (Did we mention that One Piece is slightly bizarre?) We haven’t seen any footage of it yet, but a set is being built of Arlong Park’s map room. This is a pivotal location during this portion of the story’s climax.
Chioma Umeala has been announced to be playing Nojiko. However, neither her adoptive mother (and former marine) Bellemere nor the friendly but intimidating Genzo have been shown to us yet.
If we were to theorise, the 10 episodes that make up Season 1 are likely to take us up to the end of the East Blue saga, introducing us to the original five members of the Straw Hat crew but ending before their journey into the Grand Line truly begins. For anyone who’s been waiting to see a live-action CGI recreation of the giant whale Laboon, this means you might be holding on a little longer. And if you have no idea who that is, hopefully this has helped as an introduction to the world of One Piece, coming to Netflix at some point in the future.
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Author: Scott Collura