It finally here!! The One Piece Live Action (OPLA as I will be calling it from now) has finally been released, and oh boy has it taken the world by storm, by “breaking the curse of live actions”, becoming the most watched series in 84 countries, dethroning both Wednesday and Stranger Things.
This is certainly a big thing for all the fans who wanted the live adaptation (which are notoriously known for being poor most aspects) succeed, and maybe even go for a Season 2.
Despite all this there are still those fans that want the adaptation to be a 100% carbon copy of the original which is simply not possible due to many limitations (the biggest being devil fruits aren’t real 😢). We all know that they nit-pick at each and everything minor change, but some of their words might have some merit to it.
In this article we have compiled every big change we have found in the story compared to the manga. (Note: These changes aren’t necessarily bad. This is just an archive of the changes made.)
Garp wasn’t present at Roger’s execution
The biggest change was found at the very beginning of this series. We start off the series with Monkey D. Garp being present and announcing Gold Roger’s execution. Well as well all know this never happened in the manga and the anime. Instead that iconic scene is what started off the very nostalgic opening to the anime, “We Are”.
Understandably this was done in the live action, to introduce Garp early in the series as an important character relevant throughout the series. What is unfortunate is the fact that they revealed Garp was Luffy’s grandpa, this early on in the series.
In the manga this does not take place until after, the Enies Lobby arc all the way in Chapter 431. It was pretty shocking to see it happen once we were so invested into the story. Revealing it this early on just takes away from the moment to me.
Garp investigating Baroque works:
A few other things that were out of place were Garp investigating “Baroque Works” ; “requesting” Dracule Mihawk to go find Luffy ; and most of all Garp going after Luffy in the first place.
In the canon version of the story, Garp actually was shown at the beginning without much knowledge of who he was. We just knew that he was there to capture Captain Morgan for his crimes.
Events of Shells Town and Orange Town
To keep it short, these things never exactly happened in the manga and it’s a major deviation from the canonical progression.
What really happened was Luffy and Koby arrived at Shells Town, wherein after hearing about Zoro, he tries to recruit him. He ends up angering Helmeppo and Captain Morgan in the process, but Zoro and him manage to fight and defeat them, freeing the town from Morgan’s tyranny.
This again is very different from what happened in OPLA, where even Nami joins in , trying to steal the map to the Grand Line. While it is true that Nami stole the map of the Grand Line it certainly wasn’t from the Marine Base. Instead it was from our unfunny clown friend Buggy.
Speaking of Buggy, one thing many of the OG fans would have noticed is that Chou-Chou and his whole backstory was missing. Maybe, the script writers felt it was too unnecessary to fit in the limited time they had so it wasn’t included, but there certainly is a dog similar to Chou-Chou towards the end of the episode.
Similarly Ritchie the lion, and the ex-Captain of the Buggy Pirates was also left out, maybe due to budgeting and CGI issues.
This whole episode was a shocker to me. While the basic plot of the episode remained the same as the manga, most of the smaller details were greatly changed.
To start off the episode, Luffy never saw the ship in the first place. Only after receiving it after defeating the Kuro Pirates did he see it and name it. Another very important piece that was left out, were the 3 kids of the Usopp Pirates namely Pepper, Carrot and Onions who were led by Usopp.
If I had to say though, the biggest change would be that the fight happened very differently.
In the manga, Kuro called upon Django and the rest of his crew to come to Syrup Village 3 years after he left to invade. Django, a hypnotist was suppose to make Kaya sign a will giving her property to Kuro, and the kill her off. In One Piece Live Action, Luffy and the team defeated the Black Cat Pirates on the coast of Syrup Village.
Unlike the manga, in the live action, there was no crew, there was no Django and the fight happened at night in the mansion. Django’s absence certainly was disappointing, seeing as he was a gag character that went on the join the Navy and made appearances later on too. (Fun Fact : Django is shown to have a bounty poster in episode 1, showing that he does exist in the OPLA universe).
Another point would be , in the manga, Sham and Buchi were called the “Meowban Brothers” whereas in the live action, Sham is a female.
Apart from these there are other changes such as, the fact that Merry never died in the manga. Infact he was the one who designed the Going Merry, thereby its figurehead and name.
Another thing would be that the Marines never appeared as mentioned in Garp’s section. All of those were modifications to show Garp’s relevance. Finally in the same episode (3) we see Arlong and the Arlong Pirates visit Buggy. This again never happened in the manga or the anime.
Baratie was certainly a fun arc in the original animanga and the live action has recreated it quite well with its own twists and turns. Just like in the manga, Sanji is a young genius chef who falls for any woman he sees and Zeff is a strict owner, who puts Sanji back into his place all the time. Now for the changes…..
Firstly lets get this out of the way. Luffy rejecting Sanji’s rejection – Not in the live action. Yes I know what were they thinking…. and unlike in the manga, Don Krieg isn’t the main antagonist of the arc.
In the manga, after Sanji feeds a starving Gin , he returns with a defeated Don Krieg, who demands for Zeff’s Grand Line journal which starts off a fight between him and the Straw Hats. Well in the live action, Krieg gets chopped off by Dracule Mihawk, never giving him a chance to come to Baratie.
Speaking off Mihawk (he was casted perfectly btw), another big change was that Garp never contacted Mihawk in the manga. As far as we know, there was only 1 time Garp worked with a pirate and he hated it so much that he never speaks of it.
As such this event is quite literally impossible to occur in the manga. And again like before Arlong and the Arlong Pirates don’t ever visit Baratie. They’re just off chilling in Arlong Park doing their own thing.
The last and biggest change was the way Sanji left the ship. Just like in the manga, OPLA gives us the backstory of Sanji and Zeff, no changes here, but unlike in the manga, this time Sanji sorta just leaves while thanking him. In the animanga, Sanji actually bows down onto the ground, to thank Zeff for saving his life all those years ago, and taking care of him as a father and mentor.
Well they missed the main part. That whole moment was very iconic and truly set the picture of how important Zeff and the other chefs were to Sanji.
Oh yeah! And before I forget this again, there were no Johnny and Yosaku in the live action. Completely skipped, though for good reason, as they pretty much never appear again in the manga.
Let me just keep this segment short and wrap it up quickly. Firstly like I mentioned multiple times above, Arlong and his crew never really showed up before Orange Island and Arlong Park. This was only done in the live action presumably to established Arlong as the big bad villain to beat.
The biggest change that happened though was the unfortunate story of Nami. In the manga, the residents of Coco Village, know that Nami is working hard to save them. They just pretend to hate her so that she stays strong in her mission.
Unlike that, in the live action nobody really knows what she’s doing and they genuinely hate her as they think she betrayed them. Even her own sister was about to hit her if she hadn’t explained.
They also changed the part where Nami is taken by the Arlong Pirates and then they make a deal to free the villagers. In the live action she willingly goes and works for the Arlong Pirates.
One of the main things OPLA got wrong was the event progression. In the manga, Luffy just helps Nami. No questions asked, no backstory heard, nothing. Infact, when Nojiko was about to tell their story Luffy just straight up refuses to listen to it and walks away. This shows that Luffy would do anything for his crewmates without really needing a reason to.
But in the live action, Luffy first hears the whole story of what is happening and then proceeds to help out Nami. This just takes away from the moment and from the simplicity of Luffy’s actions.
Another thing missed out would be the iconic scene of Luffy using Arlong’s shark teeth (would’ve been a funny gag scene to lighten things up). Also the fishmen in the live action are tiny compared to the source material. In the manga, Arlong is nearly 1.5 times Luffy’s height. That alone gave him a very intimidating presence.
In the live action, Arlong isn’t that much taller, understandably so (where would they find a 8 foot tall actor).But that still does not answer why they didn’t use CGI and whatnot to make Arlong at least a bit bigger.
An important character missed out in Arlong Park would be Hatchan, the octopus fishman who later becomes a good guy and is quite important in the Sabaody Arc. Infact he was the trigger to Luffy punching the celestial dragon. As such his omission, makes me think what OPLA will do if and when they reach that arc.
By extension this means that Zoro vs Hachi never happened in the live action. Usually the way things go is that each villain has a crew member that takes on one of the Straw Hats. Kurobi went up against Sanji, Chew against Usopp and Hatchan was supposed to take on Zoro.
Oh yes…. Most importantly, NO WALK TO ARLONG PARK!!! sjsdfsdfasdasd….. How can they forget that???? It’s one of the most iconic scenes of the whole anime!!!!