15 Biggest Differences Between Netflix’s One Piece and the Anime/Manga

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What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

In order to squeeze the first major arc of Echiiro Oda’s pirate odyssey, One Piece, into a live-action eight-episode season, a handful of changes needed to be made to the story. Below we’ve gone through some of the major differences between the live-action adaptation of One Piece and its manga and anime counterparts.

One Piece is over 26 years old, having published its first manga chapter in Weekly Shonen Jump on July 22nd, 1997. The anime debuted just over two years later on October 20th, 1999. Jump to today, and One Piece is a global juggernaut of a fictional franchise.

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Thanks to its 106 published volumes, over 1090 chapters, and over 1070 broadcasted anime episodes, this has led to over 516 million copies of the manga in circulation and the One Piece anime becoming one of the most watched shows in recent memory. There’s little stopping Eiichiro Oda’s fantastical pirate adventure.

After a long period of anticipation, the live-action adaptation of One Piece is now available to stream on Netflix. With a runtime of 451 minutes, the live-action series has covered roughly 45 episodes of the anime adaptation, and 96 chapters of the manga. However, in order to get to the same point in the story in the anime, the viewing time is more than doubled, coming in at a whopping 1080 minutes.

With so much story to adapt, some sacrifices needed to be made in order for the live-action One Piece series to come to life. Here are some of the major differences between the live-action One Piece series and the manga/anime.

1. Shell Town

In the manga/anime when Luffy arrives in Shell Town, Zoro has already been arrested for angering Helmeppo and was tied up by the Marines under the command of Axe Hand Morgan.

zoro manga What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Zoro tied up by the Marines in the manga – Shueisha

Nami is also at the Marine HQ, however, she takes advantage of the chaos caused by Luffy to steal from Ax Hand Morgan. She doesn’t help Luffy free Zoro from captivity like she does in the live-action. Another major change is Nami stealing the map of the Grand Line from Ax Hand Morgan instead of Buggy as she did in the anime.

Ax Hand Morgan is more of a tyrant in the manga/anime, and the Marines that were under his command thank Luffy and Zoro for bringing him down. Luffy also antagonizes Koby into punching him, however, this is a ploy of Luffy’s to help convince Koby to join the Marines.

axe hand morgan What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Ax Hand Morgan in the anime (left) and Langley Kirkwood in Netflix’s One Piece – TOEI Animation / Netflix

2. Baroque Works

Mr. 7 of Baroque Works received a swift end in his vain attempt to recruit Zoro to the criminal organization. This was a surprisingly early introduction and a massive hint of what’s to come as the members of Baroque Works will be the primary antagonists of the second season.

In the manga/anime Baroque Works isn’t introduced until Luffy and his crew enter the Grand Line.

mr 7 baroque works What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Ben Kgosimore as Mr. 7 in Netflix’s One Piece – Netflix

3. Buggy the Clown

Buggy the Clown was much more present in the live-action series compared to his manga/anime counterpart. After losing to Luffy, Buggy was eventually confronted by Arlong, who was after the map of the Grand Line. Arlong would take the clown’s body hostage, and stuff his head inside of a bag. After Luffy’s defeat at the hands of Arlong at Baratie he would wind up with the Straw Hats. During the dramatic confrontation between the Straw Hats and the Arlong Pirates, Buggy took advantage of the chaos and finally reunited with his body. He would swiftly leave the island.

buggy the clown jeff ward What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Jeff Ward as Buggy the Clown in Netflix’s One Piece – Netflix

However, in the manga/anime, Buggy’s occupation of Orange Town resulted in the townsfolk fleeing the town, and none other than the mayor stayed behind. Buggy didn’t have his circus during this arc, but his pirate ship had a devasting weapon capable of destroying large portions of a town with a single blast, the Buggy Bomb.

buggy the clown What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Buggy the Clown in the One Piece anime – TOEI Animation

On top of missing out on the Buggy Bomb, the live-action omitted Buggy’s first mate Mohji appearing with his lion Richie. This also meant we didn’t get to see the beloved dog Chouchou come to the defense of his owner’s store. It must be noted that by the time Luffy and co arrived at Orange Town, Buggy and his crew had already destroyed a large portion of the settlement. Chouchou can be seen in the live-action as an easter egg for the fans.

mohji chouchou What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Mohji and Richie (left) and Chouchou (right) in the One Piece anime – TOEI Animation

Buggy was ultimately defeated by Luffy who used his Gum Gum Bazooka to send the chopped body of Buggy flying beyond the horizon. The clown would spend a few days on his own little adventure struggling to get back to his body. The story of Buggy’s return to his body was told on the cover pages of manga chapters, and anime episodes 46-47.

4. Gaimon

In the manga/anime Just before Luffy and his crew meet Sanji at Baratie, they make a brief stop at the Island of Rare Animals where they meet the eccentric Gaimon. Formerly a greedy pirate, Gaimon’s greed resulted in his body getting stuck inside of a treasure chest. His years spent as a hermit on the island would result in his greedy nature eroding away, and treasuring his friendship with the island’s bizarre animals.

buggy and gaimon What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Gaimon and Buggy on the Island of Rare Animals – Shueisha

5. Garp

Most fans of the anime and manga will already know that Vice-Admiral Garp of the Marines is the grandfather of Luffy. However, this information wasn’t revealed to manga readers until chapter 431 and to anime viewers until episode 313. Had the live-action adaptation revealed this information at the same point as the manga/anime, audiences could have been waiting until the end of the fourth season.

Garp’s confrontation with Luffy in the eighth and final episode of the first season may mean we won’t see the pair together again for quite some time.

garp and luffy anime What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: A middle-aged Garp with his grandson Luffy in the One Piece anime – TOEI Animation

Also, in the manga, Koby and Helmeppo’s training under Garp was told through cover pages. This was shown in episodes 68-69 of the anime series.

There’s a much larger emphasis on Garp taking Koby under his wing in the live-action series. This will pay off massively in the story much later on.

koby and helmeppo What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Helmeppo and Koby in the manga (left) and anime (right) – Shueisha / Netflix

6. Kuro and the Black Cats

Kuro’s plan to take over Kaya’s estate was slightly different in the live-action compared to the manga/anime. The captain of the Black Cat pirates planned on murdering Kaya when the time was right, but he wasn’t poisoning her, instead her ill health was caused by her grieving the death of her parents. His crew, led by first mate Jango were waiting patiently for Kuro’s plan to commence, where they would use Jango’s hypnotic powers to hypnotize the crew into thinking they were super strong, before eventually conquering Syrup Village.

The fight between the Black Cats and Straw Hats also took place on the beach, not in Kaya’s home.

captain kuro What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Kuro in the anime and Alexander Maniatis as Kuro in Netflix’s One Piece – Shueisha / Netflix

7. Merry

Poor Merry. In the manga/anime, he is still faithfully serving Kaya as her butler, and not a financial advisor, but sadly he met his demise in the live-action series at the hands of Kuro.

8. The Usopp Pirates

In the manga/anime Usopp had three young boys that made up his crew of the Usopp Pirates. They were removed from the live-action adaptation.

the usopp pirates What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Kaya with the Usopp Pirate trio – TOEI Animation


9. Usopp x Kaya

It’s always been a fan theory that Usopp and Kaya have romantic feelings toward each other, but it has never been shown in the manga or anime.

However, their goodbye kiss in the live-action series all but confirms that Kaya and Usopp are meant to be (eventually).


10. Luffy the Chore Boy

In the manga/anime, Luffy became the chore boy of Baratie after accidentally damaging the restaurant.

The live-action series saw Luffy unable to pay the bill for all of the food he ate and instead tried to give Zeff credit with a promise of returning to pay his bill once he became the King of the Pirates.

luffy chore boy What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Luffy and the crew at the Baratie – Shueisha

11. Don Krieg Pirates

In the manga/anime, the armada helmed by Don Krieg of the Krieg pirates was decimated by the Pirate warlord Dracule Mihawk. However, Don Krieg was not killed in combat by Mihawk, rather he was defeated by Luffy.

After a starving Gin was fed by Sanji, the subordinate of Don Krieg returned to his starving and malnourished captain, and helped him to the Baratie. With another starving patron at the door, Sanji also fed Don Krieg on the pretense he couldn’t cause any trouble. However, with his strength back he attempted to take over the restaurant, as it would be key to restoring his fleet.

Luffy and Don Krieg would battle one-on-one, with his armor posing a threat to Luffy’s rubber body. However, Luffy would ultimately defeat him, making him the third pirate captain to lose to Luffy.

don krieg and luffy What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Don Krieg losing to Luffy in the anime – TOEI Animation

Gin would leave Don Krieg behind, and retreat with what little remained of the Krieg Pirates and start fresh.

12. Mihawk

In the manga/anime Mihawk came to Baratie in pursuit of Don Krieg’s ship, where he would also slice it in half. Mihawk was under no such orders from any member of the navy to pursue Luffy, and his challenge from Zoro came just before Luffy’s fight with Don Krieg. The resulting challenge from Zoro was conducted there and then, where Zoro would also be handed the biggest defeat on his journey to becoming the world’s greatest swordsman.

zoro vs mihawk anime What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Zoro vs. Mihawk in the anime – TOEI Animation

13. Nami’s Betrayal

In the manga/anime, Nami betrays Luffy, Zoro, and Usopp by stealing the Going Merry, which means the boys of the crew, including Sanji and Zoro’s bounty hunter friends Johnny and Yosaku had to use the smaller boat that was left behind. They used this boat to sail to Arlong Park.

Johnny and Yosaku also never made an appearance in the live-action series.

nami anime What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Nami-swaaaan in the anime – TOEI Animation

In the manga/anime Arlong was first seen when Luffy and his crew went searching for Nami at Coco Village and Arlong Park. He was never seen with Buggy, and he never came to Baratie.

Nami’s betrayal in the live-action happens as a result of her trying to save Luffy’s life after he is defeated by Arlong.

15. Arlong Pirates

Arlong’s true motivations for wanting to enslave and oppress humans are revealed much earlier in the live-action adaptation compared to the manga/anime. In the latter his motivations are believed to be caused by his disdain for a human’s physical weakness compared to Fishmen, however, it is revealed much later in the manga that his motivation stems from his hatred of some humans enslaving other Fishmen.

arlong and nami anime What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Arlong picking on Nami in the anime – TOEI Animation

The runtime of Arlong Park, like many of the others, was cut significantly, and other members of Arlong’s pirate crew had their roles dramatically reduced, such as Hachi, a six-sword-wielding Fishman, who was seen gambling with Nami, and Moomoo, a giant sea cow from the Grand Line that was cut from the live-action adaptation entirely.

moomoo hachi What Did the Live Action One Piece Change About the Story

Pictured: Moomoo in the manga (left) and Hachi in the anime (right) – Shueisha / TOEI Animation

As for the occupants of Coco Village, in the manga/anime, all of them were aware of Nami’s plan to pay for their freedom but kept up the facade of hating her to keep her safe from harm. After Arlong’s defeat, and leaving Coco Village, Nami gave the residents a hoard of treasure, but not before stealing all of their wallets. However, in the live-action adaptation, Nami’s farewell to Coco Village is a tender goodbye with her sister Nojiko.

Did you enjoy the changes made to the One Piece story in the live-action adaptation? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jacob joined What's on Netflix fulltime in 2018 and serves as one of the lead writers. Jacob covers all things Netflix whether that's TV or movies but specializes in covering anime and K-dramas. Resides in Norwich in the United Kingdom. Contact: jacob@whats-on-netflix.com