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Who plays Buggy the Clown in Netflix’s ‘One Piece?’

You've never met a clown quite like this one.

one piece netflix
Image via Netflix

Netflix’s live-action adaptation of one of manga’s most enduringly popular releases is going over surprisingly well with fans.

Most anime adaptations fail and fail hard, but One Piece is garnering shockingly high reviews. It’s only been available to view for a short while now, but its rating on IMDb is a generous 8.8/10, and over on Rotten Tomatoes reviews are just as positive. The series currently boasts an 82 percent Tomatometer score and an even higher 94 percent audience score. It seems Netflix finally got its adaptation formula right with the nautical series, and fans are showing up in droves to see the Straw Hat Pirates sail into live action.

The cast focused on bringing those beloved pirates to life is a major culprit behind the film’s success, as they (somehow) manage to make a slew of goofy, oddball characters — including a clown that can split himself into dozens of separate pieces — look cool without animation’s aid. Buggy the Clown is just one of many oddly-abled One Piece characters, but his eye-catching appearance — and mind-bending powers — made him a quick standout among the show’s cast.

Who plays Buggy the Clown?

Buggy the Clown
Image via Netflix

Buggy the Clown is one of many prominent side characters featured across One Piece‘s lengthy run. The manga behind the popular anime and eventual Netflix live-action put out its first issue in the late 90s, after all, and creator Eiichiro Oda has been putting out near-constant content since. There is more than enough for Netflix to pull from if it wants to pursue a second season (or ten), along with more villains, enemies turned allies, and general whackados than you can count.

Buggy might just be a new crowd favorite, even among the stacked competition, following his appearance in Netflix’s One Piece series. The character, a clown-themed pirate whose brush with Devil Fruit granted him the ability to separate his body into multiple pieces, all of which he controls telekinetically, sounds nearly impossible to pull off in anything but animation, but Netflix somehow managed it in its debut season of One Piece.

And, despite the odds stacked against him, the character is shockingly popular. The actor behind his live-action debut, Jeff Ward, is collecting fans in droves as a result, and earning high praise for his performance. It was a real struggle to make Ward’s performance look anything but supremely goofy, but the series somehow pulled it off anyway.

Ward, for his part, seemed to have a wonderful time in the role, leaning on skills he’s obtained over several decades in the industry. The 36-year-old’s been in several dozen films and television shows over the years, but he’s best known among Marvel die-hards. He spent several seasons establishing himself as Deke Shaw in the MCU’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., before pivoting over to Brand New Cherry Flavor and, eventually, One Piece.

Nahila Bonfiglio
About the author

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.