Who is the Narrator in One Piece Live Action? (Netflix)

As long as there are those who seek freedom in this life, these things shall not vanish from the earth.

by Drew Kopp
Image: Netflix

Netflix’s adaptation of One Piece goes to incredible lengths to faithfully adapt the stylistic touches that define Eiichiro Oda’s high-seas fantasy epic. One of them is the presence of an omniscient narrator who occasionally speaks out to deliver exposition about the Strawhat Pirates and the utterly massive world they sail through. But who is this all-seeing, all-knowing commentator? And more importantly, who provides his smooth, sage-like voice?

Who Voices the Narrator in Netflix’s One Piece?

Image: Lionsgate

Nearly all 1,000 chapters of the One Piece manga feature at least one sentence of expository text written from the perspective of an all-seeing narrator who observes the Strawhat Pirates and their quest to find the titular treasure. Unlike many other third-person omniscient narrators, the narrator in One Piece isn’t an emotionless mouthpiece that objectively summarizes events. Instead, the One Piece narrator talks like a character who lives in One Piece’s fantastical world and is looking back on the Strawhat Pirates’ adventures from the far future.

Much like in One Piece‘s long-running anime adaption, the narrator takes a major backseat in the Netflix series, only appearing in the first episode to deliver an opening narration that provides some fundamental information about the dawn of the Age of Pirates. However, this brief monologue is an epic speech that perfectly captures the adventurous spirit that defines One Piece. This is no surprise since Emmy Award-winning actor Ian McShane is the one who delivers it.

Related: Is the Netflix One Piece Adaptation Accurate to the Original Manga?

Ian McShane is an accomplished English actor well-known for his deep, distinctive voice, which can quickly enter the realm of intimidating with the subtlest rise or dip in volume and tone. Getting his start as the titular antiques dealer in the comedy-drama mystery thriller Lovejoy, Mcshane has gone on to star in many films and television series, often portraying complex anti-heroes with ambiguous agendas that keep their relationship with the protagonists.

Some of McShane’s most notable roles include the fallen snow kung-fu master Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda, Continental Hotel owner Winston Scott in John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum, and (perhaps most relevant) Captain Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

While McShane’s role in One Piece may be small, his opening narration is a powerful introduction to a series already shaping up to be a worthy adaption of one of the most popular manga ever written. Whether it’s Inaki Godoy’s Monkey D. Luffy injecting raw enthusiasm into every scene he’s in or Jedd Ward’s Buggy the Clown providing some much-needed menace to the Strawhats’ early adventures, every performer in One Piece gives it their all, and McShane’s epic introduction does his co-stars justice.

- This article was updated on September 7th, 2023

About The Author

Drew Kopp has been a writer at Attack of the Fanboy for three months and has covered Baldur's Gate 3, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Ahsoka. He has a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and loves writing about indie games and celebrity gossip. When he isn't writing, he can be found reading fantasy books or rocking out as Bard in Dungeons & Dragons.