One Piece on Netflix arrives at huge cost for streaming service

One of Netflix’s most eagerly anticipated shows has come at quite a cost for the streaming service.

On Thursday (31 August), the live-action version of the long-running Japanese manga series One Piece arrived on the platform.

The show, which has been developed by Matt Owens and Steven Maeda, is set to top the platform’s most-watched lists in territories around the world, and this is just as well considering how much each episode has reportedly cost for the streaming service.

The official site for Netflix Germany, which has been highlighted by One Piece fan @AliAhmelegend, has revealed that each episode of the series (which is seeing many of the manga’s classic animated scenes brought to life by actors) is rather expensive, with a budget of $17m (£13.4m)

For comparison, while this is below the episode budget of established hit Stranger Things, it is $3m (£2.3m) more than HBO was paying for each instalment of Game of Thrones’s final season.

This is a hefty sum to pay for a brand new series, but it’s proof that Netflix has faith in the material and its loyal fanbase, which has seen One Piece become the best-selling manga series in history. As of August 2022, it had sold over 516.6 million copies in 61 countries and regions worldwide.

The gamble appears to be paying off: as of the show’s release on Friday morning, it was the number one trend on X/Twitter. The original manga was created by Eiichiro Oda in 1997.

Netflix’s live-action series stars Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D Luffy, a character who goes on an expedition to locate lost treasure alongside a pirate crew that includes Roronoa Zoro (played by Mackenyu), Nami (played by Emilky Rudd), Usopp (played by Jacob Romero) and Sanji (played by Taz Skylar).

One Piece is available to stream on Netflix now.