Netflix’s One Piece has revealed the designs of three major ships so far, with a few key changes from their anime and manga counterparts. Whenever a story is being adapted into a new medium, it’s common for changes to be made to the source material to accommodate the change in medium, especially when the change is from animation to live-action. Netflix’s One Piece won’t be any different in that regard, going by what’s been seen of the adaption’s set pieces so far.
During 2022’s Netflix Geeked Week, a sneak peek of Netflix’s One Piece was shown that briefly revealed and discussed some of the set designs for the upcoming series. Not much in the way of new information was given, but Nami’s map room at Arlong Park was discussed, and the official set designs for Monkey D. Luffy’s hometown of Foosha Village, the Going Merry, the Miss Love Duck, and the Baratie were all shown. That only covers a fraction of One Piece’s vast settings, but since season 1 will likely only cover the East Blue saga at most, it makes sense that the number of set pieces would be limited.
There are already some clear differences between the live-action sets and the original illustrations. As of now, only a few shots of One Piece‘s ships and some concept art have been shown, so it’s impossible to fully gauge the differences between the anime and manga and Netflix’s live-action One Piece. However, there’s still a fair amount that’s been presented, and with the designs of these three ships likely set in stone at this point, the differences between them and their original versions still warrant discussion.
The first ship shown was the Miss Love Duck, the signature ship of one of Luffy’s first enemies in One Piece, “Iron Mace” Alvida. Of the ships that have been shown so far, the Miss Love Duck has the fewest differences from the original version, with the live-action version retaining its design of a pink ship with hearts on the sails and a duck figurehead, but there are a few cosmetic changes to the design. The duck figurehead, for example, is also pink in live-action as opposed to being white in anime, and it now has normal eyes as opposed to the heart-shaped eyes that it had in the One Piece anime. Not only that, but the bow of the Miss Love Duck has a pair of black wings folded into it, the center sail features crossbones underneath the heart that wasn’t there in the source material, and the mast is covered in mirrors, likely as a means of highlighting Alvida’s vanity. Beyond that, very few changes appear to have been made to the Miss Love Duck in live-action.
The second ship shown was the Going Merry, the original ship of the Straw Hat Pirates before its destruction in the Enies Lobby arc. Just like in the One Piece anime, the Going Merry is a brown ship with a sheep figurehead and a large sail featuring the Jolly Roger of the Straw Hat Pirates, but there are some notable differences. The Jolly Roger of the Straw Hat Pirates, for example, is shown to be much more angular than the rounded design from the anime and manga, the crossbones aren’t connected to the skull, and the straw hat is drawn to be slightly torn in the front; this suggests a possible change in Luffy’s iconic straw hat, as well. As for the ship, itself, the concept art shows the port side of the Going Merry decorated with what appear to be curled horns, likely to emphasize the sheep theme, and the cannons that were originally deep into the port and starboard sides are now much closer to the main cannon at the bow of the ship. The biggest change to the Going Merry, however, comes from its figurehead, as the cartoonish and simplistic design of the sheep figurehead has been replaced with a highly-realistic sheep design for the live-action One Piece adaptation, the figurehead even now having ears. It’s a very big departure from the original design, and as for why it was done, it’s likely a combination of creating a sense of realism and a need to give the show a distinct feeling separate from the original series.
The final ship shown was the Baratie, the floating restaurant Sanji was working at when the Straw Hat Pirates first met him, and of the three ships shown, it’s the one that’s gone through the most changes. The original version was very simplistic with its design and really only had the fish accessories that made it stand out, but the live-action version has far more going into its design. The Baratie is now decorated with golden mermaid statues and carvings of fish, the Jolly Roger of One Piece‘s Cook Pirates, the original crew of Zeff, who will be played by EastEnders Craig Fairbrass, can be seen on the outside of the restaurant, and based on the concept art, the interior will be a large, two-floored restaurant with vibrant red coloring for the stairs and seats and a mural of a naval battle on the ceiling. The fins, which were originally only there to provide a space for Luffy and Sanji to fight the Krieg Pirates without damaging the restaurant, are now used to provide outdoor dining for people, and the fish figurehead now features a bar inside of the mouth for people to drink from; this makes it possible that the fish figurehead won’t double as the attack ship Sabagashira I like it did in the anime and manga, but it’s too early to tell.
All in all, there are clear differences between the live-action versions of some of the ships and how they looked in the One Piece anime and manga, with some being largely cosmetic and others being a major change from the original. Even with the major changes, however, there’s still a sense of charm to the designs that make it clear that the show intends to maintain a degree of faithfulness to the original series. Netflix’s One Piece is likely going to premiere in 2023 at the latest, and in that time, more set pieces are likely to be released that, with any luck, will follow a similar pattern of largely keeping to the original while adding a unique style for the benefit of live-action.
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Author: Josh Fox