Fans of new shows on Netflix have to run a mental gauntlet as they wait for the service to renew their series for a second season, a process which can take anywhere from weeks to months. However, in the case of One Piece, fans only had to wait just two weeks after the show’s launch to hear that yes, it will be coming back for season 2.
The announcement came from manga creator Eiichrio Oda in a funny video confirming season 2 was coming:
There’s a tiny bit of weirdness here, as in Netflix’s big “renewal” announcement the words “season 2” wasn’t mentioned, causing me to ask if this was just for season 2, or possibly more. Netflix came back and said that officially, they’re just saying “renewal,” though Oda’s video does say season 2 in the text.
I have lambasted Netflix many times for ill-conceived cancellations of promising shows, but they have moved quickly to do the smart, correct thing in the case of One Piece. I have been speculating that Netflix may be really searching for big new iconic franchises because A) some of its biggest series like Stranger Things and You are about to end and B) It does not have many established IP options like its rivals. Disney has Marvel and Star Wars. Amazon has Lord of the Rings. Warner Bros. has DC and Harry Potter. Netflix has to root around for other options, and One Piece, one of the most famous mangas and animes of all time, sure seems like a great place to start.
I wrote yesterday about an interview with One Piece’s producers where they’re not just aiming for a second season, but at least six seasons, with hopes for as many as 12, given the seemingly infinite amount of source material they could draw from. One Piece is certainly not a cheap show (do you know they literally built all those pirate ships at scale?) but it’s performed well enough globally to warrant further Netflix investment. I really do think they are going to try to make this one of their biggest franchises going forward, even if it’s not shattering all-time viewership records or anything yet.
I know that Netflix is happy this is such a big win after (the same production company’s) Cowboy Bebop live action adaptation did not work out. This is arguably even better, a more recent series with even more source material for an infinite amount of storylines. And a great cast and script and direction on top of it. A rare feel-good story in the streaming industry, that’s for sure.