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Netflix's One Piece: Quick Things To Know If You Haven't Read The Manga Or Watched The Anime

 Straw Hat Pirates
Straw Hat Pirates

The live-action One Piece adaptation is setting sail, and after its action-packed trailer, I wouldn't blame anyone for wanting to stream it with their Netflix subscription. This has the potential to be the next major show for the streamer, but it may feel daunting to dive in without knowing anything about the incredibly long manga or anime series that came before it. Fortunately, there isn't a ton that viewers need to know in advance, but learning these details could help.

The following is the basest of level details for anyone looking to watch One Piece, but unsure of what they're getting into. As for the rest, it'll probably be explained throughout watching Season 1. Here's what to know if you're a complete newbie to the franchise, but want a vague idea of what this show is about.

Luffy setting sail in One Piece
Luffy setting sail in One Piece

The One Piece Is A Great Treasure

The title of the show, One Piece, is the name of a great treasure amassed by Gold Roger, who became King of the Pirates but later turned himself in after contracting an incurable illness and was publicly executed. Before his death, Roger revealed to the public that he hid all the treasure he collected over decades in "one piece" somewhere along the Grand Line, the most treacherous and dangerous zone of the world. Roger's words sparked the "Age of Pirates," sending many to sea to search for his treasure and become the next King of the Pirates.

Marine speaking through transponder in One Piece
Marine speaking through transponder in One Piece

The World Is Full Of Pirates, And Marines Trying To Stop Them

The World Government executed Gold Roger because they thought it would curb piracy, but his proclamation about the One Piece treasure increased the number of pirates in the world exponentially. Therefore, the world is littered with pirate gangs, some good, some bad. All of them are hunted by the Marines, who work for the World Government and attempt to stomp out piracy. There are a number of Marine characters who should become notable in One Piece throughout its run.

Luffy riding the ship outside the restaurant
Luffy riding the ship outside the restaurant

Monkey D. Luffy Wants To Become King Of The Pirates

Monkey D. Luffy, One Piece's main character, wants to become King of the Pirates. Luffy would say he "will" become King of the Pirates, and that infectious optimism and confidence makes this oafish character such a great leader in the series.  That said, he's still far from achieving his goals in Season 1, as peeking ahead of the anime might show.

Luffy in One Piece stretching his cheek
Luffy in One Piece stretching his cheek

Devil Fruit Gives People In This Universe Mystical Powers, But At A Cost

Viewers might have noticed Luffy can stretch his body to incredible lengths, as well as some other major characters in the show with supernatural powers. In One Piece, this is obtained by eating a rare Devil Fruit, which permanently gives whoever ate it the powers of whatever specific fruit they ate. The trade-off is that the sea curses anyone who eats a Devil Fruit and, as a result, they cannot swim. As one can imagine, this can make being a pirate, or hunting pirates, tough.

There are other things to know about One Piece, but that should be a good enough background before diving in to watch Season 1 on Netflix starting Thursday, August 31st. The anime, as well as plenty of other anime for newcomers, is available right now on the platform for anyone who wants to check it out as well, but it's going to be a much longer commitment than the live-action adaptation, so prepare accordingly!