“He is very opinionated”: One Piece Showrunner Found Eiichiro Oda to be ‘Challenging’ After Finding it Difficult to Have Him Around Set

Steven Maeda wanted to tweak the story in a way that was loyal to the source material but worked better as a TV show.

One Piece Showrunner Found Eiichiro Oda to be ‘Challenging’ After Finding it Difficult to Have Him Around Set


  • Netflix's live-action adaptation of One Piece was released on August 31 and quickly became the top show on the platform with over 18.5 million views.
  • The showrunner, Steven Maeda, discussed working with One Piece's creator Eiichiro Oda during production.
  • Maeda said Oda was very opinionated and gave valuable feedback and critiques. However, adapting a manga into a TV show required some changes that Oda was initially reluctant about.
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After years of dejection, Netflix’s One Piece has finally made it through. Hollywood doesn’t have a good reputation handling anime adaptation, but Tomorrow Studios did it right. The showrunner, Steven Maeda, expressed how challenging it was to work alongside the Mangaka of the series, Eiichiro Oda. The show received immense praise after its release in late August.

Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy in One Piece
Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy in One Piece

Netflix’s live-action was released on August 31 and quickly secured the top spot on the platform with over 18.5 million views. Steven Maeda delved into some details in an interview about the challenges they faced while producing this show and his entire experience working alongside the genius behind One Piece, Oda Sensei.

Also Read: One Piece Fans Need to Thank Henry Cavill and The Witcher For the Unbelievably Good Actions Scenes in One Piece Season 1


What did One Piece’s showrunner say regarding Eiichiro Oda?

Iñaki Godoy's action scene from Netflix's One Piece
Iñaki Godoy’s action scene from Netflix’s One Piece

Steven Maeda shared about the immense efforts that Oda put into Netflix’s One Piece. The creator played a major role in making the series a hit and fan favorite. Maeda told ComicBook about the slight disagreement that Oda expressed his concerns regarding some scenes,

“It was incredibly valuable having him and it wasn’t easy. He is challenging. He is very opinionated and he’s right about a lot of what he says. And so we tried to follow that to the best of our ability. But it’s also an episode, an episode. It’s a season of television as opposed to 85 manga chapters. Television has its own ebb and flow, and so it was at first a thought about how to best tell the story of the East Blue saga in a self-contained eight episode season that was going to feel like it had a start and a finish and gave you plenty of world building and epic action and then really hit at the heart of the emotions too.”

The showrunner further continued on how“The big thing” for them was to get the scenes right. He also talks about how people wouldn’t have liked a toe-to-toe adaptation of the anime, “So not so much that it was a one-to-one of the manga because who wants to watch a one-to-one adaptation? I don’t want to work on that, but trying to figure out how to take the manga and really expand it, pull some things forward, push some other things back, and make it feel like a season of television, but also feel like it’s being true to the manga,”

Maeda talks about his wish to write the story in a unique way while keeping it loyal to the source material. He wanted to tweak the manga and add his own elements to the storyline to present the manga as more of a television show.


Also Read: “That teared me up”: One Piece Showrunner Reveals the Secret Behind Breaking the Live-Action Curse That Plagued Death Note and Cowboy Bebop

Was working with Eiichiro Oda challenging for Steven Maeda?

A scene from Netflix's One Piece live-action
A scene from Netflix’s One Piece live-action

Also Read: “We decided it was too different”: Not Chopper, One Piece Live-Action Had to Skip Another Favorite Animal Character to Focus on Luffy and Zoro

The showrunner also spoke with Screen Rant in another interview regarding Oda’s presence in the production process. There were certain aspects of the show that took some convincing from the creator to be added. Maeda shared how Oda was somewhat reluctant about shuffling the order of some significant events of the original manga.


Garp was portrayed as “a more present character in the first eight episodes; bringing in Koby, bringing Helmeppo, and having that Marine pursuit be present and on the Straw Hats’ tail almost from the get go from episode 2. It was a big change”, Maeda told Screen Rant. He also elaborated on how the changes were crucial to developing “an actual kind of organized presence and fearsome presence” pursuing Monkey D. Luffy.

The changes discussed above include the story of Arlong, who was also introduced quite early in the manga. His plot point was replaced by Don Krieg’s storyline to portray him as the “big bad” villain in the first season. This entire process required a lot of convincing Oda.

Also Read: Netflix’s One Piece Might Finally be Drifting from the Source Material by giving Luffy and Shanks a Reunion


Written by Archak

Articles Published: 295

Despite holding a degree in Chemistry Majors, Archak found himself as a Journalist. His love for anime and choccy milk is unmatched! When not writing, Archak can be found indulging with motorcycles. After all, four wheels move the body but two wheels move the soul!