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Netflix's One Piece showrunner explains that cliffhanger ending

 One Piece
One Piece

Warning! One Piece spoilers ahead!

Netflix's One Piece showrunner Steven Maeda says the surprise introduction of one particular character in the season finale was meant to set up a potential second season.

"You know what, there were many discussions about cliffhangers for the ending. I'll leave it at that. There were a lot of discussions, and it was a question of how to best set up a potential season two," Maeda tells GamesRadar+. "I think that as long as you get the idea that this adventure can continue and that people get excited thinking about the possibilities, then mission accomplished."

At the end of the season, Luffy isn't quite King of the Pirates – but he's definitely joined the ranks of the biggest and baddest out there with a Wanted poster of his very own. The final moments of the finale see a mysterious figure, two cigars in hand, emerge from the shadows and set fire to Luffy's poster. We don't see his face, as he sits at his desk with his back turned to the camera, but fans of the franchise know this is none other than Smoker – one of Luffy's main adversaries early on in the series.

Smoker is a particularly scary Marine, who, like Luffy and Buggy the Clown, has Devil Fruit powers of his own. He's able to manipulate smoke and use his cigars to create these cool (and terrifying) smoke-based attacks, which we learn upon meeting him in episode 48 of the animated series.

This brief, spooky introduction hints that perhaps season 2 (if it happens) will see the Straw Hat Crew head to Loguetown where Smoker resides, though there's really any number of possibilities as the live-action adaption isn't necessarily beholden to what's come before.

The live-action One Piece is streaming on Netflix now. For more, check out our list of the best Netflix shows to watch right now.