Netflix One Piece live-action production budget
Image courtesy of Netflix

As Netflix begins streaming the first season of One Piece, it seems like the stakes have never been higher for a live-action adaptation of an anime. And it’s not just the cult status of the manga series that has added to the pressure. Insider reports have revealed details about Netflix’s budget for One Piece and how much each live-action episode’s production budget cost the streaming giant. Calling the numbers massive would be an understatement, so let’s take a closer look at it.

Netflix’s One Piece production budget

Live-action adaptations of anime and manga are some of the trickiest projects to deal with. Any amount of money invested is almost a gamble and the One Piece adaptation is no exception. However, Netflix’s bets seem way off the roof and there’s a lot riding on this. 

According to reports, Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece boasts an overall first season budget of a staggering $144 million. The inaugural season consists of eight episodes which brings the production budget per episode to $18 million.

Thanks to these numbers, the live-action One Piece has already become one of Netflix’s most expensive series ever produced. In fact, the original anime’s expenses come nowhere close to this despite being on air for over 20 years.

To put things into perspective, the show’s budget has already surpassed big names like Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian and The Sandman. All these shows are estimated to feature a $15 million budget per episode approximately.

The only shows that are placed above One Piece in terms of its production budgets are Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Stranger Things, House of the Dragon, The Pacific and Marvel’s Disney+ series like Wandavision and Loki.

High stakes for the live-action adaptation

While it’s still a shocking number, One Piece’s production budget actually makes sense. The anime is best known for its vibrant world which is hard to replicate in real life. Executing the action sequences with the same amount of energy is also equally difficult.

There’s more to Netflix’s live-action One Piece than just its exorbitant production budget. To ensure it lives up to its original hype, the anime’s creator Eiichiro Oda is actively involved as an executive producer on the adaptation. 

And of course, when it comes to marketing, it’s hard to outclass the streaming platform. Netflix has come up with ad campaigns, podcasts and magazine cover shoots like the one with Iñaki Godoy on Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan, which is rare for a real person.

Measuring One Piece’s success

When it comes to determining whether the live-action One Piece is successful or not, it all boils down to the viewership numbers on Netflix. Given the record-breaking production budget, the show has to attract a Stranger Things-level audience to be called a win.

As of now, the first episode seems to have impressed fans around the world. Some believe that the rest of the season will continue with the same quality, despite a lot of universal pressure like in the case of The Last of Us.

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