One Piece First Reviews: 'Campy,' 'Bighearted' Adventure 'To Delight Your Inner Child,' Critics Say

"Iñaki Godoy is a pitch-perfect lead for this wildly charming adventure" and more reviews of the live-action adaptation of the popular manga.

by | August 31, 2023 | Comments

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The wildly popular Japanese manga One Piece has gotten a live-action adaptation for Netflix. Following wannabe pirate Monkey D. Luffy (Iñaki Godoy), the story takes fans on adventures across a fantastical world of magic, giant monsters, and power-bestowing fruits. Monkey is joined by his Straw Hat Pirates crew: Roronoa Zoro (Mackenyu), a deadly pirate hunter and expert swordsman; cook Sanji (Taz Skylar), who’s as deadly as his food is delicious; navigator Nami (Emily Rudd) is a quick-witted cartographer and a master thief; and Usopp (Jacob Romero), a sharpshooter who prefers to avoid confrontation.

Read on to find out what critics are saying about season 1 of One Piece.

One Piece key art

(Photo by Netflix)

Click image to open full poster in a new tab.

How good is the live-action adaptation?

It’s the fun, quirky adaptation that One Piece fans and newbies alike deserve.
David Opie, Empire Magazine

To an even greater extent than the Netflix “Cowboy Bebop,” the Netflix “One Piece” feels bland and generic.
Mike Hale, New York Times

Netflix’s One Piece is a horrible show. It’s essentially a Cliffs Notes version of the anime that thinks it is being over-the-top and eccentric by shoving the camera into the faces of the actors.
Pramit Chatterjee, Digital Mafia Talkies

If the best result one can hope for is an approximation of the original, close or far, what does this version of “One Piece” provide that the original can’t?
Alison Herman, Variety

For what it’s worth, the show is just damn good and a very successful adaptation. I’m legitimately surprised at how well they pulled it off, and the changes they made don’t change the enjoyment of the story at all.
Julian Lytle, Geek Girl Riot

An entertaining adaptation that’s hindered by a desire to recreate every major event found in its source material.
Kenneth Seward Jr., IGN Movies

There is real treasure to be found here, a genuine celebration of Eiichiro Oda’s work just under the surface of these eight episodes. Maybe we’d see it, if the show came from anywhere else.
Joshua Rivera, Polygon

In simply accepting… small yet crucial oddities, Netflix’s One Piece proves its willingness to hold on to what makes the original property so fantastic.
Angelica Jade Bastién, New York Magazine/Vulture/a>

One Piece sets a new gold standard for live-action adaptations of beloved anime classics.
Jonathon Wilson, Ready Steady Cut

Who’s the series for?

Jeff Ward in One Piece

Jeff Ward in One Piece (Photo by Netflix)

A sweet, spirited adventure to delight your inner child.
Angie Han, Hollywood Reporter

Given everything stacked against it, it’s pretty impressive how much Netflix’s version fits into such a short season, and it’ll be a relief for novices and die-hard fans alike that the end result is an enjoyable ​summer binge-watch.
Kayleigh Donaldson, TheWrap

One Piece is a lot of things all at once, in the end, but above all else an adventure. One which proves sea-worthy for newcomers, at least.
Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence

You do not have to know anything about the Japanese graphic novels to get lost in this story of a wannabe pirate in search of adventure — and perhaps a surrogate family.
Alison de Souza, The Straits Times (Singapore)

While fans of the anime might find a lot to love here, the live-action series is likely not the best way for uninitiated viewers to experience Oda’s globally renowned story for the first time.
Sam Stone, CBR

The legions of existing fans will likely eagerly enlist in this ocean-faring adventure, and who knows, they might find plenty of company; still, those who just want to see what the fuss is all about will likely be left feeling high and dry.
Brian Lowry,

The One Piece live action show is an incredibly fun watch for both old and new fans alike.
Ben Sockol, Screen Rant

How are the performances?

One Piece

One Piece stars Taz Skylar as Sanji, Mackenyu Arata as Roronoa Zoro, Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp. (Photo by Netflix)

Iñaki Godoy is a pitch-perfect lead for this wildly charming adventure that’s bursting at the seams with heart and positivity. Pushed play on Episode 1 and couldn’t stop. A favorite new show of 2023.
Perri Nemiroff, Perri Nemiroff (YouTube)

Thanks to a terrific, spirited performance from Godoy, Luffy is every bit as delightful as he is in the manga. The actor succeeds at making the character his own while keeping the spirit of the Luffy fans will be familiar with.
Barry Levitt, Slashfilm

One Piece is a success that thrives because of its main cast and the fact that it has been carefully crafted to bring a beloved story to life, instead of just creating a series for the sake of it.
Kate Sánchez, But Why Tho? A Geek Community

How’s the story?

One Piece season 1

Colton Osorio as Young Luffy and Peter Gadiot as Shanks (Photo by Netflix)

The deeper we get into the season, and the more we learn about each member of the crew, the more One Piece drags.
Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone

The series may not be great drama, but its fantastical blend of action and comedy is a great deal of fun.
Steven Nguyen Scaife, Slant Magazine

One Piece knows what to prioritize and has given the Straw Hats a spectacular launch. [Full review in Spanish]
Mariló Delgado, Espinof

Very over the top at times to remain true to its anime roots. A bit of struggle for newcomers at first, but it ultimately settles in around episode four.
Tessa Smith, Mama’s Geeky

Despite a couple of dips in tone and pacing, the Straw Hats managed to break expectations and, dare I say, even make a crack in the perception of the unbreakable live-action adaptation curse.
Emma-Jane Betts, The Digital Fix

Any final thoughts?

One Piece star Iñaki Godoy

Godoy (Photo by Netflix)

It is far from a masterpiece, but much is here to latch onto. If you want a fun swashbuckler to while away your Labor Day weekend, you could do a lot worse than One Piece.
Alex Maidy, JoBlo’s Movie Network

[An] energetic cross between “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Scott Pilgrim,” with a dash of “Doctor Who”-style camp… a bighearted, swashbuckling answer to “Stranger Things.”
Brian Truitt, USA Today

Just like superhero films before them, live-action anime has had a rough go in Hollywood, but every streak must end. Netflix’s One Piece marks a definite turn in that sour reputation. Netflix’s One Piece is worthy of telling the Pirate King’s tale.
Megan Peters,

There is so much story left to tell by the end, and my hope is that we do see it one day. But with just these eight episodes of One Piece, the cast and creatives pull off a fantastically pulpy, old-fashioned, and, most importantly, satisfying adventure.
Arezou Amin, Collider

85% One Piece: Season 1 (2023) is now streaming on Netflix.

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