Television Review: One Piece Season One

I realized yesterday that I really dropped the ball with my year in review post, because I left off one of the most original, fun TV shows that we watched: One Piece.

If you haven’t heard about it, it’s a live action adaptation of the anime series of the same name. Typically when those adaptations have been done, they’ve changed themselves to fit the norms of whatever the new media is. In other words, anime has some zany characters and costumes and general design. Live action shows will tone those down to make the show feel more realistic.

One Piece is a show about a young man who is extremely stretchy, dreaming about being a pirate. How stretchy? He can get hit by a cannonball and bounce it back at whoever shot it. And the pirates themselves all have strange powers. One of them is a clown who can separate himself into as many different parts as he wants, still having complete control over all those parts.

In other words, this isn’t a show that you can really “tone down.” It’s all or nothing, and the creators decided to double down on “all.”

It works wonderfully. It’s zany fun from start to finish. They lean into the anime vibe, having characters look just as wonderfully odd as the original. It’s just a fun romp from episode to episode. Luffy D. Monkey (the main character) goes about building the dream pirate crew (for values of “pirate” that are “loves adventures and doing the right thing all the time.) He eternally optimistic, and the characters he gathers around himself are anything but. And yet somehow, that optimism spreads. It’s upbeat, and rated TV-14, so it’s even something you can watch with most of the kids.

I gave it a 9/10. It’s on Netflix, and very worth your while.

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