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One Piece Episode 1 Review: Romance Dawn

Gol D. Roger's wanted poster.
Wanted poster for the visionary king of the pirates

Source: Netflix

Overall: 7.5/10

Story 7.3/10

Gol D. Roger kicks off the great pirate era at his execution. The age of dreamers is upon us. Everyone wants to find Roger’s treasure: the One Piece. Monkey D. Luffy is one of those dreamers. He wants to become king of the pirates.

At least for the first episode, the writers keep it relatively close to the anime and manga. But the live-action series is much faster-paced. Of course that makes sense, since the anime and manga are released weekly and have gone on for 21 years.

At any rate, the show is well-cast. The characters are interesting, complex and engaging.

Nami holds a bow staff and stands next to Luffy, who stands next to Zoro, as Zoro holds his two swords.
Nami, Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoa stand ready for battle.

Source: Netflix

Character 7.7/10

Monkey D. Luffy isn’t the sharpest. But he is a dreamer. And he’ll do whatever it takes to build a crew, so he can realize his dream of finding the One Piece. If he can, he'll become king of the pirates.

Roranoa Zoro is a pirate hunter. But he’s not your run-of-the-mill bounty hunter, who only cares about money. He has principles. That’s what draws him to Luffy.

Nami is a thief. But she doesn’t just steal for money. She steals for knowledge. And to her, it's more valuable than gold.

The character of Ax Hand Morgan is significant. It's not so much the character himself but what he represents. Morgan is a corrupt navy officer. And the world of One Piece is not black and white. There are good navy people and bad navy people. And there are good pirates and bad pirates.

Buggy sits with one leg thrown over the arm of his chair.
Buggy thinks about what he will do once he has the One Piece.

Source: Netflix

Final Thoughts

The first episode of One Piece is the best live-action anime adaptation that this viewer has seen to date. If Oda plays his cards right, he may be attracting an entirely new fan base on top of what he already has.

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