The casting choice of One Piece live-action has been met with mixed reactions from fans. Some have praised the casting of a diverse cast of actors, while others have criticized the decision to cast non-Japanese actors in the roles of the Straw Hat Pirates. They think that One Piece characters should all either be white or Japanese.
Every time I see someone say the One Piece characters should all either be white or Japanese I’ll just share this from Oda sensei straight from the manga. pic.twitter.com/r3p3KidMen
— Nerdygirlcreates -MANGA/INDIE COMIC REVIEWS 🕉️📿 (@kerry_comcgrl77) September 4, 2023
However, it is important to remember that Oda, the creator of One Piece, has always envisioned the Straw Hats as a diverse group of people. He has stated that Luffy is from Brazil, Zoro is from Japan, Nami is from Sweden, Usopp is from Africa, and Sanji is from France in the manga.
The One Piece Live Action Cast: A Diverse Representation of the Straw Hat Pirates
The live-action cast reflects this diversity. Iñaki Godoy, who plays Luffy, is Mexican. Mackenyu Arata, who plays Zoro, is Japanese-American. Emily Rudd, who plays Nami, is American. Jacob Romero Gibson, who plays Usopp, is African-American. And Taz Skylar, who plays Sanji, is British-Nigerian.
— ONE PIECE(ワンピース) Netflix (@onepiecenetflix) July 3, 2020
These actors are all talented and have the potential to bring the Straw Hats to life in a way that is both faithful to the source material and inclusive of a wider audience.
In addition to their race, the actors’ nationalities also reflect the way Oda pictured the characters. For example, Godoy’s Mexican heritage makes him a good fit for Luffy, who is known for his carefree and outgoing personality. Arata’s Japanese heritage makes him a good fit for Zoro, who is a stoic and disciplined swordsman.
Rudd’s Swedish heritage makes her a good fit for Nami, who is a resourceful and intelligent navigator. Gibson’s African-American heritage makes him a good fit for Usopp, who is a skilled marksman and prankster. Skylar’s British-Nigerian heritage makes him a good fit for Sanji, who is a charming and debonair cook.
The casting of the One Piece live-action cast is a positive step towards representation in Hollywood. It shows that studios are willing to cast actors of color in leading roles, even in adaptations of Japanese anime and manga. This is important because it sends a message to young people of color that they can see themselves represented in the media.
How the Original Japanese Voice Actors Helped Merge the World of Anime and Live Action in One Piece
In addition to the diverse cast of actors, another reason for the excitement is the fact that the original Japanese voice actors for the Straw Hat Pirates will be reprising their roles in the live-action series.
This is a major coup for the producers of the live-action series, as it helps to bridge the gap between the anime and live-action worlds. The original voice actors have been bringing the characters to life for over 20 years, and their voices are instantly recognizable to fans. Having them return for the live-action series will help to ensure that the characters feel authentic and familiar to fans.
Ultimately, the One Piece live-action cast is a diverse and representative group of actors who are well-suited to bring the Straw Hats to life. Despite some opposing views, the series is breaking records every day and the casting is a positive step towards representation in Hollywood, and it is a promising start for the Netflix series.