But why are anime’s Straw Hat Pirates singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It?”

It’s been a year and a half since the announcement that One Piece, arguably the most popular ongoing anime franchise in Japan, would be turned into an American-made live-action TV series. But despite producer Marty Adelstein boasting that the show will have the largest budget of any TV series ever, we’re yet to see so much as a single promotional still of what Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates are going to look like as real, flesh-and-blood buccaneers.

Maybe that’s not such a surprise, though. When adapting anime to live-action, casting, costuming, and makeup can be an incredibly tricky balancing act. Sticking too close to the original visuals can be surreal and disturbing, while straying too far from them risks alienating and angering existing fans, and with a series as popular as One Piece, the challenge has to be even tougher.

Except, this video showing a half-dozen live-action versions of the Straw Hat Pirates, shows it definitely can be done.

If you’re wondering why Luffy and his pals are singing what seems to be a Japanese version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” it’s because the melody is the same one Japanese job-hunting site Indeed, which produced the video, uses for its commercial jingle. The lyrics translate to

“If you’re looking for a job, Indeed!
Or if you’re looking for a part-time position, Indeed!
If you’re looking for a job, Indeed!”

Starring as Luffy is actor Takumi Saito, who’s looking very different from how he did when we shared an awkward meal of instant cup ramen with him. Actress and model Rika Izumi fills the role of Nami, and Sanji, Zoro, and Usopp are respectively portrayed by actor/musician Yosuke Kubozuka, actor Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, and comedian Daigo Yamamoto.

▼ Rika Izumi, showing off her Nami-like hourglass figure and toned midsection, also played Sailor Mercury in the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon TV drama.

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あけましておめでとうございます🌅 今年初めての投稿はindeed、「ONE PIECE」の写真を選ばせていただきました。 ワンピースは昔から読んでいる大好きな漫画です。 このお話を聞いた時、 「え⁉️ナミ⁉️」「ワンピースの🤥????」 「私がナミの役をさせて頂けるなんて…‼️」 😳😍😱🤔🤯🤮⚡️ と、今まで考えたこともなかったので、 驚きと、喜びと、プレッシャーと、 いろんな感情が一気に沸きました。笑 皆さんご存知の通り、ナミのプロポーション…。可能な限り近づけないとと思って、頑張ってトレーニングしました。笑 撮影当日は、リアルなワンピースのキャラクターの皆様にお会いしては、テンションあがっていました。 本当に細部までリアル!! 細かいところまで見てくださいね! すごく豪華な共演者の皆様と すごく楽しい撮影になりました😇 2019年! 今年も宜しくお願い致します🐗⭐︎‼️ #indeed#ONEPIECE#麦わらの一味

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Meanwhile, an uncredited actual reindeer plays the part of Tony Tony Tony Chopper.

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Aside from 2019 being the 20th anniversary of the anime TV series, it’s not exactly clear why Indeed chose to produce a live-action One Piece video for its latest ad, especially since a gang of freewheeling pirates are an odd selection as spokespeople for a service meant to match users with steady, nine-to-five jobs. Still, it’s an unexpected example of how a live-action One Piece could simultaneously stay faithful to tis source material and still look cool.

Source: YouTube/IndeedJapan via IT Media
Images: YouTube/IndeedJapan