Netflix hoping one hand feeds the other after its next big budget episodic original in a medium it literally mastered last week lands a release date


With good reason, Death Note taking a pasting from all comers and Cowboy Bebop being canceled only 20 days after premiering led many to believe that Netflix should probably just give up on trying to adapt popular anime and manga for live-action forever, at least until One Piece came along.

Having finally shaken off the curse and delivered a worldwide sensation that’s on the cusp of being renewed for season 2 – even if getting carried away and dreaming of six already doesn’t come highly recommended – the release date for its spiritual successor may have accidentally been confirmed.

One Piece. (L to R) Taz Skylar as Sanji, Mackenyu Arata as Roronoa Zoro, Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp in season 1 of One Piece.
Image via Netflix

While the platform hasn’t officially announced it, internal leaks have pegged Dec. 14 as the debut of YuYu Hakusho, based on the wildly popular manga of the same name. The basic premise centers on Yusuke Urameshi, a high school student who dies after saving a child from a car accident, and then gets brought back from the afterlife to investigate supernatural goings-on.

Obviously, the last time Netflix delivered a live-action adaptation of a literary text that focused on ghost-hunting detectives, Lockwood & Co. was dragged round the back and put out of its misery after a solitary run of episodes, and when you throw the manga card into the mix then there’s every reason to be skeptical.

Fingers crossed that YuYu Hakusho fared along similar lines to One Piece, then, otherwise it’s back to the drawing board who thought the company’s repeated inability to conquer the medium was finally a thing of the past.

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