Author Eiichiro Oda’s beloved shonen manga series One Piece has become a true titan of the industry, setting world records and winning over fans around the globe. There’s no question that One Piece is an astonishing success story that does almost everything right, but not even One Piece is immune to time. Eventually, the series’ earliest material will feel distinctly outdated and weigh the whole thing down.
Recent episodes of the One Piece anime blew fans away with Luffy’s incredible use of Gear 5 to fight Kaido in the Wano saga, but earlier episodes were nothing like that. It’s too late to change the early episodes and all their problems, so eventually, perhaps a decade or two from now, a One Piece anime reboot will be in order. That could fix the entire series’ problems and make it more accessible than ever.
10 One Piece Needs Modern Animation From the Beginning
The One Piece anime launched in October 1999, roughly two years after the original manga began. Inevitably, that will mean the anime’s earliest episodes and arcs will feel outdated in terms of production values. Anime back then was fullscreen rather than widescreen and did not have crisp, high-def visuals.
Starting the One Piece anime today means watching visuals that are 24 years old, and plenty of anime fans won’t like that. Best of all, rebooting One Piece this way means that many of the saga’s best early fights will look much better, such as Luffy vs Arlong and Luffy vs Sir Crocodile in the Alabasta saga.
9 One Piece Needs More Consistent Animation Styles
Rebooting the One Piece anime and giving it high-quality animation would actually provide two different benefits. Doing so would not only get rid of the clunky old animation, but it would also make the entire series more visually consistent. Episodes from 1999 and those from 2023 almost look like they’re from different series.
It’s fun to watch a manga artist’s style evolve over time, but that doesn’t work as well for anime. A rebooted One Piece, ideally, would keep the same animation style over a decade or so and allow fans to comfortably settle into one visual style without things changing too much.
8 One Piece Needs to Cut All Filler
Anime filler has always been a contentious topic. Fans of filler like how it’s simply more of a good thing, while its detractors say filler is irrelevant and disrupts the pacing. One Piece handles filler relatively well since it’s all about whimsical adventures, but even if the filler blends in seamlessly, it’s still filler.
A reboot anime would omit all filler from One Piece‘s story to preserve the pacing and let the actual story speak for itself. The series is already so long, that “more to love” doesn’t really apply. And by then, the manga would be over, so filler would no longer serve its original purpose.
7 One Piece Needs Quicker Pacing
Even if a rebooted One Piece anime cut all filler, it would still be enormously long. The current anime is just over 1,000 episodes and would still be 900+ with zero filler, but a reboot could fix that. The key is to simply trim the fat and make the story quicker without cutting out anything important.
Netflix’s live-action One Piece series is a good example of retaining the core story while trimming the packaging for a leaner, meaner narrative. It should not take 10+ episodes for Luffy to defeat a powerful villain like Doflamingo or Charlotte Katakuri; with good writing and storyboards, it can be done in perhaps half the time but with 100% of the quality.
6 One Piece Needs a New OST
The original One Piece soundtrack does its job, and it has some rousing songs in it, to be sure. However, by the time fans are ready for a reboot, some of those songs may feel played out—literally and otherwise. A reboot anime would feel fresher with a brand-new OST to stir viewers’ emotions in fresh ways and perhaps give the anime a different tone.
The earlier episodes had rather cartoony songs to them, which fit the late 1990s visual style, but a reboot with more serious visuals would need something new. A great new OST would probably sound more akin to My Hero Academia‘s soundtrack or even Demon Slayer‘s, albeit with different vocals.
5 One Piece Needs to Distance Itself From the 4Kids Dub
Older anime fans are familiar with the notorious 4Kids dub of One Piece‘s anime, the first time the series was released for English-speaking audiences. That version heavily censored the visuals and dialogue with young viewers in mind, and even today, it’s considered a stain on an otherwise stellar anime.
One Piece now has a different English dub, but it’s still the same anime. But if the entire anime got rebooted and had yet another English dub, then the concept of dubbed One Piece would finally distance itself properly from the disliked 4Kids dub. That new dub could become the definitive English version for a new generation.
4 One Piece Needs Better Representation For Usopp
Author Eiichiro Oda once stated which real-life nations the Straw Hat pirates would be from, such as Sanji hailing from France, Luffy coming from Brazil, and Roronoa Zoro being Japanese. What raised eyebrows was Usopp’s origins in “Africa,” which overgeneralized an entire continent. It’s also believed that Usopp’s anime appearance is a distasteful depiction of people of color.
A One Piece anime reboot would address this the same way the Netflix live-action version did. Usopp would be drawn in a more tasteful manner—that is, no exaggerated lips or nose. The reboot anime could also depict more people of color in that world so Usopp doesn’t seem like such a token character.
3 One Piece Needs Even More Foreshadowing
For the most part, the existing One Piece anime does a fine job with foreshadowing, which plays a role in the series’ expansive worldbuilding. Still, once the manga/anime series is complete and a reboot is made in the future, that reboot could use foreshadowing in entirely new ways.
Such a reboot could hint at characters, events, and other concepts that appeared much later. The Admirals, for example, could be foreshadowed as early as the East Blue saga, and around the timeskip, the series might even hint at characters like Imu to pique fans’ interest. And if the pacing is good, it won’t take too long for that foreshadowing to pay off later.
2 One Piece Needs Better Female Representation
Even if One Piece is a shonen manga/anime franchise aimed at boys, there’s no need to trivialize or misrepresent girls and women, especially since the series has plenty of female fans, too. Aside from there being too few prominent female fighters, One Piece also gets carried away with certain body types for the women.
It’s noted that too many female characters are Nami clones, having a similar face and body shape as Luffy’s navigator, such as Princess Shirahoshi, Princess Nefeltari Vivi, and Princess Rebecca. The reboot anime ought to give the girls and women more realistic and varied body shapes and faces and avoid the ultra-slender waists and oversized busts those characters had in later episodes.
1 One Piece Needs to Adjust Its Villains & Narrative Beats
Plenty of One Piece villains are memorable and impactful characters, from Captain Blackbeard to Donquixote Doflamingo, Big Mom, and Kaido. However, some of the earlier villains were more inconsistent in their designs, such as acting like fluff characters or wasting their thematic potential.
A rebooted One Piece anime could refer to Netflix’s live-action series for ideas in this department. The anime could do away with Don Krieg, who was just a villain for the sake of it, and allow Arlong to fill in for him in the Baratie story arc. The anime could also make Captain Kuro more of a horror-style villain, borrowing the idea of Kuro stalking the heroes at midnight in Kaya’s mansion.