One Piece is one of the most popular anime and manga franchises ever and despite live-action adaptations of anime having a poor record, such as Cowboy Bebop, Netflix took a chance. The outcome of this chance was a series that has, broadly speaking, received positive from both fans and critics for its entertaining, adventurous tone, iconic characters, and relative accuracy to the source material. It has even been renewed for a second season by Netflix.
With any series or TV show, there is content that is cut and ideas that don’t quite pan out, and One Piece is no different, especially given its scope and ambition. As revealed by showrunner Steven Maeda, there was one particular sub-story involving Roronoa Zoro and a dog named Shushu (Chou Chou).
One Piece showrunner Steven Maeda on Shushu the dog
During an interview with Screen Rant, Maeda revealed that there were initial plans for introducing Shushu the dog from the manga and anime of One Piece. He said:
“We had a fully broken Shushu story. It was slightly different than the manga story. At the end of the day, we ended up separating it out of this version of the story, and we never actually shot it. We had a scene and an arc with Shushu and Zoro, and it was very different. And ultimately, we decided it was too different.”
Speaking more on Shushu and expanding on his reasoning for excluding this arc, he said:
“We would have loved to have the Shushu story in there. But it’s more important to have Zoro be with Luffy and Nami when they are encountering Buggy as opposed to being off on a separate side story. I love Shushu, and I have three terriers of my own. So, I definitely have a soft spot for the Shushu story.”
As fans likely remember, Shushu is a loyal dog early on in One Piece who guards his owner’s shop in Orange Town while the rest of the town flees after being attacked by Buggy the Pirate and his crew. But as explained by Steven Maeda, there was unfortunately no way his story could be adapted.
What else did Maeda say in the interview?
During the same interview, Maeda spoke about Tony-Tony Chopper, a Straw Hat Pirate and doctor who is expected to make his debut during the second season of One Piece. He said:
“First off, it’s just such an out-there larger-than-life creation. He’s a talking reindeer who also wants to be a doctor and can change sizes. It’s like, who could come up with that? Only Oda-san and be able to make it work in the context of the story.”
Continuing why he likes Chopper and the backstories that characters have in the series, Maeda said:
“I also love [Tony Tony Chopper’s] backstory. The backstories are so much a part of who these characters are so that you understand where their pain comes from, where their anger comes from, where their goodness and their sweetness come from, sometimes. I just love the Chopper story so much and the idea that you have all these human characters, and oh hey, by the way, there’s a talking reindeer. And he’s so damn cute, too. So it’s just a nice combination for me.”
One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda has teased that Chopper will appear in the second season, whenever it releases.
One Piece is currently streaming on Netflix.