One piece Franky
Image via Toei Animation

10 ‘One Piece’ anime characters too impossible for the live-action series

You'd need a CGI budget rivalling the MCU to bring these characters to life.

The following article contains spoilers for Netflix’s One Piece live-action adaptation.

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If you ever try to describe One Piece characters to someone, the words ‘morally complex’ and ‘fun’ may come to mind. However, if you were to show these characters to anyone who isn’t remotely knowledgeable about the show, they might just appear plain weird. This is all part of the One Piece charm, but it’s so quirky that even avid fans, who are well-acquainted with the design style, get surprised from time to time by its unusual characters.

After all, we’ve even encountered a gun that consumed a Dog Devil Fruit and became a hybrid of gun and dog. It’s an undeniably peculiar choice, and yet One Piece has endured for 26 years as the highest-selling manga of all time. After all, the zaniness and surreal designs are what truly make these characters so fun to dissect. However, these same qualities are also why so many people were initially against a live-action adaptation.

Luffy himself is already a rather odd character to consistently portray, and over time, the audience will undoubtedly encounter even more strange-looking characters — including Arlong. Still, there are many others who will certainly be much more challenging to incorporate into the adaptation, and here are just a few examples.


Brook One Piece
via Crunchyroll

Starting with the Straw Hats, Brook is introduced in Thriller Bark. He was a pirate who consumed the Revive-Revive fruit, bestowing upon him the power to have a second chance at life. He cannot age, and he will only die if his bones are crushed in the mortal world. This essentially means that Brook is, to put it simply, a skeleton. Devoid of eyes and skin, bringing him to life in a live-action adaptation would undoubtedly incur significant CGI costs.

As a member of the Straw Hats, Brook would have more screen time in comparison to other heavily CGI-dependent characters like Arlong – that is, if One Piece gets renewed for a new season. Oh, and he’s 9’1″ (277cm). Best of luck to the budget managers when dealing with Brook.

Tony Tony Chopper

Chopper One Piece
via Crunchyroll

Much like Brook, Chopper is another Straw Hat who would require quite the CGI budget to ensure he stays at his small 2’11” (90cm) height. Chopper was introduced in the Drum Island arc, and since the live-action will only cover the East Blue Saga, we won’t be meeting Chopper – and perhaps that’s for the best. The CGI team will certainly need to cash in some money from the first season in order to keep Chopper somewhat realistic in his small furry form, and of course, his eventual body transformations that we will be seeing in the story.


Franky One Piece episode 1000
via Crunchyroll

Another Straw Hat character that will strain the CGI budget is Franky. He’s a massive man donning only a Hawaiian shirt and a thong, and he undergoes numerous changes over time. It might be possible to recreate his initial appearance in Water Seven – even with his excessively large forearms, metal nose, and inappropriate clothing. However, after the time skip, Franky’s appearance becomes even more… peculiar.

The half-cyborg intensifies his creation, becoming even more ginormous (7’10″/240cm), and his body also undergoes even more modifications that will certainly be hell to adapt if we get to that point. He can turn his body into ultimately anything – weapons, cars, ships, motorcycles. I’m not sure if the directors are thinking that far ahead, but Franky will not be an easy task to create.

Emporio Ivankov

Emporio Ivankov and Sanji from One Piece
via Crunchyroll

Let’s be absolutely honest: Ivankov is utterly ridiculous-looking. This character is by far, one of the most interesting characters in the entire series, with all its Frank-N-Furter-esque grandiosity, but he is just absolutely ginormous and odd-looking. While you could certainly take a Tim Curry look alike, gather some Rocky Horror Picture Show outfits, and make it work, Ivankov is still gigantic.

Not only is he enormous by any standard, but he has a huge head disproportionate to his body, and weirdly small hands and feet. Plus, he also changes his gender and sex using hormones, and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how politically correct his character might be by Western modern standards. For one, though, I’m hoping the live-action will get to Impel Down to see Ivankov being the most badass Okama in town.

Bentham ‘Bon-Clay’

Bon Clay One Piece Impel Down Arc
via Crunchyroll

Bon Clay, also known as Mr.2, also known as Bentham, is one of the many characters who will prove to be quite the challenge to perfectly portray. Unlike Ivankov or some of the upcoming entries on this list, Bon Clay’s challenge doesn’t necessarily lie in his gigantic size (though he is still pretty tall standing at 7,10”/278cm).

Instead, his odd power is the true CGI challenge here. Bon Clay possesses the Clone-Clone fruit, meaning he is capable of changing his appearance at will, turning half his body into an entirely different character if he wishes. Not only will that prove to be quite a hard task to successfully convey, but he is also rather weird-looking – but not necessarily by One Piece standards.


One Piece Wadatsumi
via Crunchyroll

Wadatsumi suffers from the one trait that many of One Piece‘s characters are victims to: his size. Not only is he an absolute unit at 262’5″ (80 meters) but he is also a fish. In general, most fish-men will be very strange looking (to say the least), but adding a gigantic mouth, with humongous teeth to the mix to his already huge face… well, that’s a recipe for disaster. Honestly, Wadatsumi perfectly encompasses why a live-action of One Piece is still a risky call, but thankfully, he’s not a character that appears very often. Still, good luck to all CGI directors working on him.

Gecko Moria

One Piece Gecko Moria
via Crunchyroll

Gecko Moria is undoubtedly one of the most bizarre-looking antagonists in One Piece. Not only is he quite large in size – 22’8″ (692cm) – but he also doesn’t exactly look like a human. In fact, he looks like a weird mix of Frankenstein and a Converse sneaker. It’s not that it would be absolutely impossible to get him in the live-action, it’s just that he would look so unsettling that he would likely become our sleep paralysis demon. He is also the antagonist of an entire arc, meaning his appearance in the series wouldn’t be just momentaneous (like a certain gun-dog hybrid).

Lassoo, the Gun-Dog Hybrid

One Piece Lassoo
via Crunchyroll

Speaking of which – this monstrosity. That’s all.

Big Mom

Big Mom One Piece
via Crunchyroll

It’s in the name – Big Mom is big. Although she is not a giant (an actual race in One Piece), she is an abnormally large human standing at 28’10” feet (880cm), much similar to Bartholomew Kuma and Kaido. Not only is she huge, but her design is overall very funky. She has long pink hair, and she’s known for being large in every sense of the word.

She also jumps on buildings and eats them (if they’re edible) during her hunger pangs, and if that wasn’t enough, she is one of the Four Emperors of the Sea, and the main antagonist in two of the biggest arcs on the show. Add that to the sun and cloud (Prometheus and Zeus) always surrounding her, and you have quite the CGI challenge on your hands.


Trebol One Piece Dressrosa
via Crunchyroll

Again, Trebol won’t necessarily pose a challenge unless we get to Dressrosa, but in the eventual possibility that the live-action perseveres that long, he will certainly be some CGI hell. His size alone will be enough to cause quite the problem (11’5″/349), but he also ate the Stick-Stick fruit, and he can create and control mucus. He also has snot always falling down his nose, which is just delightful to look at. Not only will he have to be absolutely disgusting, but as one of the main elite officers in the Donquixote Pirates and main antagonists in Dressrosa, he appears quite often during the arc.

In general, there are plenty more groups of characters who will not be a breeze to recreate – all the giants, fishmen, and of course, the entire Long Ring Long Land island – but these are just some of the names that will definitely prove to be quite the challenge for everyone involved.

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Image of Francisca Santos
Francisca Santos
Passionate about gossip, a dedicated music enthusiast, and an unapologetic weeb, Francisca is a freelance writer at WGTG. When she's not writing, she can be found taking her dog on walks, defending BTS' honor, and re-reading 'One Piece'.