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‘One Piece’ Costume Designer Reveals the Real Reason Why Emily Rudd Did Not Over Sexualize ‘Nami’ in Netflix’s Live Action

Reviewed By: Swagata Das

‘One Piece’ Costume Designer Reveals the Real Reason Why Emily Rudd Did Not Over Sexualize ‘Nami’ in Netflix’s Live Action

Last month, Netflix released its live-action adaptation of One Piece, a beloved manga previously adapted into an extensive anime series with over 1,000 episodes. One recurring feature in many anime, including One Piece, is the presence of scantily dressed female characters, exemplified by the character Nami.

In the original anime, Nami begins the story in more conservative attire and gradually transitions to more revealing outfits as the adventures progress. After time skips, her return to the crew showcases significantly exaggerated physical proportions, a common trope in anime.

Nami in One Piece
Nami in One Piece

Such character designs have faced criticism for potentially promoting unrealistic and harmful body image ideals. This concern is heightened, as One Piece primarily targets pre-teens and teenagers.

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In the first season of Netflix’s live-action series, Nami, played by Emily Rudd, does not undergo the same appearance transformation as in the anime. The costume designer for Netflix’s One Piece series, in an interview, explained why Emily Rudd did not oversexualize ‘Nami’ in Netflix’s live-action adaptation.

Also Read: “I feel like I’m done, what could possibly be next?”: Nami Actor Emily Rudd Will Happily Retire From Acting If She Needs to After ‘One Piece’ Live Action Success

Costume Designer Explains Decision to Avoid Overs*xualization in Netflix’s One Piece

In an interview with Insider, Diana Cilliers, who designed the costumes for Netflix’s One Piece series, discussed her commitment to preserving the show’s innocence when creating character costumes.

Cilliers explained that while the decision to put Nami in more reserved outfits wasn’t a conscious one, there was certainly an awareness of the changes made to the character’s look. The costume team aimed to strike a delicate balance between maintaining the innocence and purity of One Piece while ensuring the costumes didn’t detract from the plot.

Nami (Emily Rudd) in Live action and anime
Nami (Emily Rudd) in live-action and anime

According to Cilliers, the initial designs included short skirts for Nami in some of her costumes. However, their focus was on highlighting Nami’s nurturing personality in the Netflix series. In the first season, despite having doubts about joining Luffy and his pirate crew, Nami took on a role akin to that of a big sister, guiding the Straw Hat Pirates.

Instead of elaborate or flaunting attire, Nami’s costumes were chosen to reflect her nurturing nature and her role in caring for everyone around her. This approach to costume design aimed to stay true to the character’s essence while adapting her appearance for the series.

Also Read: Emily Rudd’s Boyfriend- Is the Nami Actor Dating Anyone Amid ‘One Piece’ Live Action Success.

Netflix’s Approach to Female Character Costumes

One Piece isn’t the first Netflix live-action series to modify the outfits of iconic female characters. In the case of One Piece, fans largely appreciated how the costumes drew inspiration from the source material. This contrasts notably with the reception of the 2021 Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop prior to its release, as it gave Faye Valentine (played by Daniella Pineda) more modest clothing.

Faye Valentine and Daniella Pineda
Faye Valentine and Daniella Pineda

Both Daniella Pineda and the Cowboy Bebop costume designer, Jane Holland, defended this decision. Holland explained:

“I do have to say, as a woman, I felt resistant to the idea of the lead female character being gratuitous or overtly sexualized. It’s not about it not being revealing, it’s not about any of that, it’s actually got all of those elements. But my take on it is that it’s designed by a woman and it was made by a lot of women, and it’s worn by a woman. So the same elements are there but they have just manifested in a different way.”

Her approach, as a woman, preserved key character elements while offering a fresh perspective through a costume created by women. This reflected a conscious effort to maintain the character’s identity in the live-action series.

Also Read: “He’s kind of a god, you know?”: Nami Actor Emily Rudd Started Shaking in Fear Before Meeting ‘One Piece’ Creator Eiichiro Oda

Netflix’s One Piece is available now on Netflix.

Source: Insider

Written by Tanmay Jha