Instead of CG, the Straw Hat Pirates will have an actual Going Merry and Baratie for their adventures.

For decades, false starts, delays, and unannounced cancellations were the standard fate of Hollywood live-action adaptations of anime franchises. So no matter how many excited cast and crew announcements or concept art reveals a project has, it’s still a little hard to believe an adaptation is really going to happen until you see some actual sets being built.

That’s a hurdle Netflix’s live-action One Piece has just cleared, though, with a sneak-peak video that shows off its settings and ships.

The video starts with Inaki Godoy, who portrays Luffy, and showrunners Steve Maeda and Matt Owens greeting fans from the deck of the Going Merry, vessel of the Straw Hat Pirates. At Godoy’s enthusiastic command, we’re shown a series of artist illustrations of what Netflix wants its environments to look like, and rather than render everything in CG, the streaming giant is actually building massive physical structures in South Africa, where the adaptation is being filmed.

There’s what looks like a whole pirate village being constructed, with the largest individual piece being the Baratie floating restaurant.

We’ve known since March that the character Alvida will be showing up in the Netflix series, and the video features her ship, the Miss Love Duck, with its distinctive duck-shaped protrusion extending from the bow. We also get a very brief glimpse of the Going Merry’s exterior, with a longer, more leisurely walkthrough no doubt being saved for a future video.

▼ That foreground crewmember on the right almost looks like he’s cosplaying as Luffy.

Netflix has also announced six new cast members, so while the exact stories that are being adapted are still unknown, Klahadore, Mihawk, Chef Zeff, Captain Morgan, Kaya, and Nojko are all scheduled to appear in some capacity.

Given the ignominious fate of Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop, many fans are approaching the live-action One Piece with trepidation, but Japanese YouTube reactions to the video have had an overall-positive tone so far.

“The sets look so cool! The Baratie looks like something out of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and it’s really getting me excited!”
“The manga has a child-like sense of fun to its designs, but I’m looking forward to adding the cool, fashionable elements of live-action while staying true to the original.”
“American companies really are amazing, how they can make sets on this scale for a live-action series. I’m really not expecting very much of the live-action One Piece, but these sets are incredible.”
“I’m mildly looking forward to this. I’m not at all thinking ‘This is definitely gonna be a great series!’, but I’m curious to see how it turns out.”
“I totally want to go run around those sets.”
“I hope they turn it into a theme park after they’re done filming.”

Netflix is yet to announce a premier date, or even year, for its One Piece, but the video stands as proof that we are, eventually, going to get to see it.

Sources: YouTube/Netflix (1, 2)
Images: YouTube/Netflix
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