Netflix’s recent hit, the One Piece live-action series, has set the fandom ablaze with excitement and anticipation. This adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s beloved manga has largely managed to capture the essence of the source material, thanks in no small part to Oda’s involvement in the project.
However, like all adaptations, One Piece, developed by Matt Owens and Steven Maeda, introduces some changes to accommodate the transition to live-action. One of the most notable alterations occurs with Nami’s introduction.
In the original manga, Nami’s introduction occurs during the Orange Town arc. This arc serves as the stage where fans first meet the skilled cartographer and navigator. However, the One Piece series takes a slightly different approach to her introduction, a choice that makes better sense.
In the live-action adaptation, Nami’s debut occurs earlier in the storyline, during the Romance Dawn arc, where we see her cleverly hijack a boat from under the noses of two pirates. She sails this boat into Shells Town, intending to steal a map to the Grand Line, just like Luffy. But, of course, unlike Luffy, Nami has a better plan, ultimately interrupted by the Going Merry captain.
Unlike the manga, the series introduces Nami as an inevitable member of the core crew from the very beginning. In the Netflix version, Nami (reluctantly) joins forces with the Straw Hat Pirates way before they reach Orange Town.
Another significant alteration in the live-action adaptation is the Grand Line map itself. In the manga, this prized possession belongs to the flamboyant and treacherous pirate Buggy. Nami steals the map from Buggy by framing Luffy initially.
It happens the other way around in the One Piece live-action. Buggy goes after the Straw Hat crew once they leave Shells Town. He plans to get the map from them, unaware that Luffy—the ever-stretchy rubber boy—has swallowed the map whole right when they are about to be captured.
This changes the dynamic between Nami and Luffy in the live-action adaptation. Due to these modifications, Nami’s allegiance to the Straw Hats is also tested differently.
The team brought Nami alive in the Netflix adaptation in several other fascinating ways. Nami’s character in the manga is a pro at fighting with the Bo Staff. Emily Rudd, who plays the character of Nami, grew up doing karate and brought this expertise to her role, which not only impressed her stunt double but also the One Piece stunt coordinator Franz Spilhaus.
One Piece is now streaming on Netflix and stars Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp, and Taz Skylar as Sanji, the first five members of the Straw Hat Pirates.