Home Movie ‘One Piece’ Music Supervisor Toko Nagata Talks the Sound of the East Blue

‘One Piece’ Music Supervisor Toko Nagata Talks the Sound of the East Blue

‘One Piece’ Music Supervisor Toko Nagata Talks the Sound of the East Blue


The Massive Image

  • Anime depends closely on music to set the tone and convey emotion, making the position of a music supervisor essential in crafting a novel sound for a franchise like One Piece.
  • The music within the live-action adaptation of One Piece was particularly designed to ascertain a world that’s contained throughout the present, avoiding using recognizable parts from our world.
  • The music group labored to outline the sound for every location and story arc within the present, drawing inspiration from the showrunners’ clear imaginative and prescient and concepts fairly than counting on sea shanties or basic orchestral scores. They aimed to create a novel and adventurous sound.

Music performs a big half in each movie and tv. It units the tone and aids within the immersion felt throughout any given second, and to have the ability to guarantee that not solely does the music chosen match the scene but in addition conveys the mandatory emotion is not any straightforward process. But, anime depends on music much more than the Western media.

One Piece, arguably one of many largest anime on this planet, is thought for its iconic rating. From the present’s intro to the character themes of Luffy and Nami, music is integral to the id of One Piece. So, how does one try to carry a novel spin to a franchise that has been round for practically 30 years?

This was a problem Toko Nagata (Pleasure Experience) was prepared to face head-on because the music supervisor for Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece. On this interview, we discuss crafting a brand new sound for the East Blue in addition to what kinds of music impressed her.

One Piece Live-Action Poster

One Piece (Stay-Motion)

Launch Date

Iñaki Godoy, Mackenyu, Emily Rudd, McKinley Belcher III, Jacob Gibson, Taz Skylar

Most important Style

Motion, Journey, Comedy



MICHAEL THOMAS: For our readers and our listeners, what precisely was your position on One Piece?

TOKO NAGATA: I used to be the music supervisor on One Piece.

And for many who could not know the distinction between music supervisor and composer and musician, are you able to simply give us somewhat little bit of element for that?

NAGATA: The composer is the one that really writes the unique music, and so they play loads of roles. A music supervisor wears loads of hats usually, however music supervisors usually simply oversee the method of music in a present, whether or not it is serving to to search out the proper composer or serving to if there’s singing on display or if [there are] recordings wanted, or if we want an unique track, serving to to search out songwriters, producers, this and that. We really did not have outdoors music on this. Usually, I’d counsel a bunch of songs to license, however we negotiate track offers.

Picture by way of Netflix

One Piece has one of the iconic soundtracks in all of anime. What was the thought course of when it got here to crafting the sound of this reinterpretation of One Piece?

NAGATA: This present is basically based mostly on the manga, so we had been working with [Eiichiro] Oda-san, as nicely, for this. So I believe the creator and the group’s tackle this was that we needed to ascertain this world that’s wholly contained on this live-action model that we’re creating. They particularly did not need to use issues from our world which may pull you out of the world that they labored so onerous to create.

So, no pop songs in One Piece?

NAGATA: We have now some originals. Sonya [Belousova] and Giona [Ostinelli] had been additionally songwriters on this, so that they produced some unique numbers, however no recognizable parts. In order that was the method behind it. [In] the present, as followers know, they journey to completely different areas, and although this was solely eight episodes, there’s loads of motion throughout the present, so we needed to outline, with every part, with every location, there is a completely different story arc, completely different villains, completely different adversaries that they arrive throughout. We simply labored to outline, inside every little world or location that we went to, what the sound was gonna be for that part.

Emily Rudd as Nami in One Piece.
Picture by way of Netflix

You talked about not loads of needle drops or something from real-world songs or already-developed songs right here, so devising that sound for every location, was there something that impressed you? Was it outdated pirate films or journey tales that impressed what you thought the sound of this sequence could be, or was it working with Oda and the remainder of the group to search out one thing fully distinctive for One Piece?

NAGATA: As a result of the present is so completely different from some other current film or issues like that, I believe we actually needed to discover a distinctive sound. So, Matt [Owens] and Steve [Maeda], the showrunners, had a really clear imaginative and prescient of what they needed every part to be like. And I believe they each, as One Piece followers, as music followers, had loads of enjoyable concepts. So I do not assume it was a specific factor, it was simply them describing what this was gonna be like.

As an illustration, there’s a storyline that is extra set in a mobster, seedy, perhaps fake fancy world, I suppose. So for that, Sonya and Giona did a bunch of jazz, huge band stuff, however they actually took that and took it to a different degree and made it distinctive to the present. In order that one began, we had been envisioning like huge Outdated Vegas, Outdated Hollywood sound, and I believe they actually took it a step additional and made it true to the world.

I respect that you just did not solely depend on sea shanties or simply reference basic orchestral scores from different movies. I believe you guys taking that point to develop one thing considerably acquainted however nonetheless fully distinctive undoubtedly helps with this present in making it really feel like it’s a fantasy.

NAGATA: Yeah, it was actually enjoyable and one thing that I haven’t actually gotten to do on different exhibits that I labored on. Additionally, there are simply so many areas, so many characters, so many villains, so it is like, “What does everybody sound like?”

What was your favourite items of music that you just all developed for One Piece?

NAGATA: There are completely different sections that I actually like, however I do not know if I can describe them with out going into an excessive amount of element. I’ll say that Nami’s theme got here out right this moment. Sonya and Giona wrote that, and so they had a featured artist, Aurora, on it, in order that’s one thing that you may take a look at, which is tremendous enjoyable. A number of them are rating moments that I believe they simply did such a very good job, so it is onerous to get into it with out describing the scenes and whatnot.

There’s one other part that Matt described as like a high-class thriller, horror-type story arc; I believe the music for that one turned out so nicely as a result of it is simply whimsical and creepy and unsettling. Discovering the sound for that was actually cool. It featured plenty of strings, classical music, some operatic vocals, and that was simply total very enjoyable to work with a group to determine what that might be.

Picture by way of Netflix

In Episode 4—it is when the crew will get the Going Merry—on the finish of that episode, we begin listening to a rendition of “We Are,” which is the primary intro from the anime for One Piece. At that second, we get “We Are,” it made me cry inside as a result of, “Hey, we lastly hear that second after three or 4 episodes!” Was there a motive you held on to it such as you needed to make sure it was for probably the most excellent second when the band’s all collectively? What goes into it if you decide and select anime motifs?

NAGATA: Nicely, I do not really know what the backstory was behind that particular second being there. The showrunners had been actually excited to place some Easter eggs in for the followers, and I believe that is only a actually good second as a result of they’re crusing away on the ship, and so they’ve been working so onerous in the direction of this factor, and so they’re doing it.

The beginning of the journey.

NAGATA: Sure. However yeah, that could be a nice track, and immediately recognizable, I believe, for followers.

Oh, yeah, for positive.

NAGATA: I like to listen to that you just seen it and cried!

[Laughs] It was the cherry on prime for that episode as a result of it was already a terrific arc, after which it hits, and it is like, “They obtained it. All people understood the project.”

NAGATA: That track is so anthemic, and it is simply so adventurous, and, actually, I do not even understand how they wrote that track.

The crew of the East Blue Arc in 'One Piece'
Picture by way of Toei Animation

It’s! As a baby, had been you into anime, watching One Piece? Did that play a task in your taking up this challenge?

NAGATA: To provide you some backstory, I grew up principally in Japan for my youthful years, so we watched loads of anime that I do not know is tremendous well-liked right here. So I used to be tremendous into this present, Chibi Maruko-chan, which is rather like a present a couple of household and this lady and the trials and tribulations that she goes via, but it surely’s very dramatic and relatable. Additionally, one other huge one which I watched was Sazae-san, which can also be one other family-centered one, an enormous one. So these are all fairly little child exhibits, I used to be, like, underneath 10. Then, in fact, like there’s like one other tremendous legendary one which I used to be into known as Anpanman, which is a present about this superhero that is like bread, he’s like a crimson bean bread man, principally. It is actually well-liked in Japan, and all the opposite characters are additionally bread, like all the opposite superheroes, and so they’re like, “Okay, this present would solely be made in Japan!” [Laughs] I like bread, I like meals, so it is like a really whimsical present to observe. Then I moved right here after I was 10, so I believe that was a really fascinating transition, being form of uprooted and settling right here.

Particularly at that age, too.

NAGATA: Yeah, so I did not actually have entry to Japanese tv, and there is a lot stress to assimilate and study, and blah, blah, blah. So, I had an enormous hole in my Japanese TV exhibits. I believe One Piece got here out proper across the time once we moved right here, so I really did not watch it till the pandemic. Truthfully, I am positive it was the proper time for anybody to start out watching it at any time when they did, however I really feel like, for me, the pandemic was simply such a very good time to observe the present as a result of it is so refreshing. It is so constructive. It is so inspiring, and it actually takes you out of this world, and particularly the locked-down pandemic world.

I can completely see Luffy’s vitality being the proper factor any individual would wish throughout that point. Is there some other franchise or anime manufacturing that you just want to be part of? In a super world, what could be your dream state of affairs? That’s the theme of the present, in spite of everything, is following your goals.

NAGATA: Truthfully, I am undecided precisely what my dream anime present could be. Okay, this isn’t an anime present, however I labored on Tuca & Bertie on the final season, and that was simply such a dream for me.

It is such a terrific sequence!

NAGATA: It is so good. It’s a chook world, but it surely’s simply so relatable and it offers with problems with psychological well being and the whole lot that occurs, it simply resonates so deeply. So, if I may work on one other present like that, I believe that might be a dream. It is also so zany and it simply makes loads of actually troublesome points okay, or accessible, or proper. So I believe one thing like that.

The live-action One Piece sequence is now streaming on Netflix.



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