Director Marc Jobst on Bringing Cartoonish Aspects from One Piece Anime into Live Action

One Piece remains remarkably faithful to Eiichiro Oda’s iconic manga, faithfully recreating everything from its epic battles to beloved lines of dialogue. However, the live-action show introduces subtle changes that offer a unique experience.

Events and characters are introduced earlier than in the manga, and the inclusion of Easter eggs and nods to the overarching story enriches the world-building.The live-action adaptation successfully translates the manga’s cartoonish tone and physics while infusing a touch of realism into the fight sequences.

In an interview with Inverse, director Marc Jobst talks about bringing the cartoonish aspect in the live-action series. “The question then, is how much reality do we bring to it?” Jobst says. “And that becomes a calibration between what we wanted to achieve, which is a sense of playfulness in some of those fight sequences, and a dimension of real consequence to the fight.”

He goes on to talk about the fights scenes and compare them with Marvel, “If you look at the fight sequences that I’ve shot for the Marvel Universe, they’re much darker, much grittier, they’re much more visceral. And it’s all about the punch, getting the punch and seeing the blood come out and the sweat come off the brow — all that sort of stuff.”

He adds, “For One Piece, to me, those fights are much more playful, so it was all about the journey to the punch. I’m less interested in the hit, I’m more interested in the journey to the hit. Look at Luffy as a character. He wants to win, but he doesn’t want to hurt, so that’s why you balance the two.”

One Piece is streaming on Netflix.

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