One Piece Live-Action’s success was crucial to the development of other future Netflix anime adaptations. Once panned for Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, and Fullmetal Alchemist: The Final Alchemist, the OTT platform is back to its former glory. It is now aiming to adapt Yu Yu Hakusho and My Hero Academia, alongside the sequels to One Piece Season 1.
The experienced cast of actors and crew of artists played an important role in bringing the Straw Hat Crew’s adventures to life in Season 1. While developing the Romance Dawn arc, Eiichiro Oda supervised the production and informed directors about the pirating world of One Piece.
One such director named Emma Sullivan came to know about the story from the mangaka himself while understanding that she was “not allowed to mess up” the project for the sake of her child and other anime fans.
Netflix Director Emma Sullivan On How She Understood The Importance Of The One Piece Live-Action Series
One of the nominees for the Palme d’Or at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival in 2009, Sullivan has a lot of experience backing her. She formerly directed the Doctor Who TV Series (2020), Silent Witness (2019), and After Tomorrow (2009) and has won many accolades, including the Best Short Film award at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
Upon being questioned about how familiar was she with One Piece, director Emma Sullivan revealed that she had no knowledge of the manga. Her interest was piqued when she told her son about the development of the anime adaptation live-action, as revealed during an interview with Screen Rant Plus.
“I wasn’t familiar with it at first. But what I found out when I spoke to my son about it was that he had read the whole thing in lockdown. When I said to him that there was a show coming up about a rubber pirate he was like: “What??” And that reaction and that face made me realize, “Oh, this is really big. This is really big.” And then all my nephews are huge fans. So, I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that I was not allowed to mess it up.”
Emma Sullivan was put in charge of two episodes for One Piece Live-Action, namely episode 3 and episode 4, which centered around Usopp and Kaya’s friendship before the sharpshooter joined the Straw Hats. Klahadore was revealed to be the infamous Captain Kuro and after a few tense segments of him pursuing Kaya, Luffy was able to defeat the pirate with the Gum Gum Bell move.
How Much Creative Freedom Did Eiichiro Oda Give to the Netflix One Piece Directors?
Eiichiro Oda took a detail-oriented approach to producing the One Piece Live-Action. There’s a reason why each backstory was described carefully such as that of Zeff and Sanji. Attire changes and props gave throwbacks to the manga, like Zoro wearing his black bandana before fighting the Marines in the first episode or the hidden dagger in the crucifix pendant of Dracule Mihawk, which he used to defeat Roronoa.
Oda also supervised the action sequences. As such, the majority of the creative control lay with the mangaka. Directors carried out his orders but within the parameters of the eight-episode show, as told by Emma Sullivan to Screen Rant.
“Only as much as Oda gave us, because everything went through Oda. For example, I had a scene where Kuina and young Zoro are fighting, and we shot that originally. Oda watched it, and he said, “I don’t want the Kendo masks on. I want it reshot.” So, we went back to Cape Town, and we shot it again. It was better, and it was good.”
Thanks to the assistance of Matt Owens and Steven Maeda, along with a few lore chipped in by Oda, Sullivan got a better picture of the story and humor in One Piece. She will hopefully return to direct the next season, which will initiate the first major arc in the series – the Alabasta arc.
Source: Screen Rant