Netflix’s One Piece Narrator Reveals Heartwarming Reason For Signing On To Live-Action Show


  • Ian McShane narrated a flashback in Netflix’s One Piece after being convinced by his youngest grandson who is a fan of the manga.
  • The opening sequence of episode 1 introduced viewers to the world, Luffy’s goal, and key conflicts, while also establishing parallels between characters.
  • McShane’s narration adds to the epic scale of the series and leaves a lasting impression, showcasing how far the franchise has come.

Ian McShane reveals the heartwarming story of how one family member convinced him to sign on to provide the narration for Netflix’s One Piece. The fantasy show is an adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s beloved long-running manga that follows the adventures of Iñaki Godoy’s Monkey D. Luffy, a young wannabe pirate who wants to write his name in history as the King of the Pirates. McShane, known for his roles in Deadwood, American Gods, Game of Thrones, and the John Wick franchise, narrated a flashback to a key One Piece moment.

While viewers await One Piece season 2 going into production, McShane opened up to The Big Thing podcast about his small contribution to the Netflix show as the narrator of Gold Roger’s (Michael Dorman) execution and the starting shot of the age of piracy. While McShane was unfamiliar with the world of the manga when he received that casting call, his youngest grandson explained the franchise to him, giving him an appreciation for its evolution. Check out McShane’s recollection below:

I tell you, I only knew about [One Piece] because one day I got a call, and they said, “Why don’t you do this?” I thought about the people I had, and with my youngest grandson… I phoned him, I called him and asked “Do you know about this show?” He went, “Grandad… I’ve been watching this show since I was a kid.” He said it started off as a manga then anime and now it’s here. He said it’s great.

How One Piece’s Episode 1 Flashback Perfectly Introduces Its Pirate World

Within the opening moments of One Piece episode 1, “Romance Dawn” immediately lays the foundations of what season 1 will hold for viewers. The sequence not only introduces viewers to the world and Luffy’s goal, but sets out the key conflicts between Garp (Vincent Regan) and the Marines, and the generations of pirates that he would inspire. This includes several key One Piece season 1 characters, including young Shanks (Matt Herrington), Mihawk (Theo Le Ray), and potentially Buggy and Smoker, not only introducing these characters early on, but establishing parallels between them and Luffy’s own mission.


8 Lessons One Piece Learned From Netflix’s Worst Anime Adaptations

Netflix struck out with several ill-received live-action anime adaptations, and the lessons learned from each made all the difference for One Piece.

Beyond introducing its cast, One Piece episode 1’s flashback also quickly introduced audiences to the series’ fantastical world. One such hurdle many anime adaptations have faced is bringing the designs and stylized tone of the drawn world into live-action while striking a balance between realism and faithfulness to the source material. However, between the fantastical designs of the world such as the Marine’s colossal execution stage, the varied ship designs, and Rogers’ wanted poster briefly passing onto the screen to introduce audiences to him, the series quickly showed that it had struck a balance to please existing fans and newcomers.

With One Piece‘s opening episode having to introduce not only existing fans but newcomers to the series’ world, its opening sequence quickly explained to newcomers everything they needed to know about the adventure they are about to witness. McShane’s narration further helps the series’ epic scale, as his familiar voice helps emphasize the mythic, fantastical nature of Luffy’s journey. While it is only a small role, McShane’s brief contribution leaves an impression on audiences, and the heartwarming tale behind it is sure to bring a further sweet element to his involvement, as it shows how far the franchise has come.

One Piece season 1 is currently available on Netflix.

Source: The Big Thing

One Piece Netflix Teaser Poster

One Piece (Live-Action)

Based on the popular manga/anime series, One Piece is a live-action Netflix adaptation of the story from Eiichiro Oda. The show follows the exploits of a band of pirates, the Straw Hats, led by the energetic and adventure-loving Monkey D. Luffy. Luffy is a young man cursed with strange powers after accidentally eating a mysterious fruit. With his friends Zoro, Nami, Usopp, and Sanji, Luffy will head across the vast ocean to find the legendary treasure, the One Piece.

Release Date
August 31, 2023

Iñaki Godoy , Mackenyu , Emily Rudd , Jacob Romero Gibson , Taz Skylar


Matt Owens , Steven Maeda , Tom Hyndman

Matt Owens