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Pirate series to binge after One Piece

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CONSTANTINOS PSILLIDES on shows to watch to bring the high seas to life


Ahoy mateys! Arrrrrrrrgh! Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum! Get ready to walk the plank!

Sorry. Too much pirate content these days. It will get to you eventually.

One Piece, the live-action adaptation of the classic anime premiered last week – we check it out, along with suggestions on what to watch to quench the thirst for pirate content!


One Piece (Netflix)

After Netflix’s previous attempt at making a live-action series based on an anime series crashed and burned (RIP Cowboy Bebop) everyone was immediately concerned about the future of a similar project in production: beloved legendary anime One Piece. Just so everyone’s in the same boat (heh), here’s a quick summary of an anime that has been running for almost 30 years now: One Piece is set in a world mostly covered by the sea, ruled by a body called World Government. It is populated by humans and human-hybrids (fish-men, giants, dwarves etc) and where everyone adventure-inclined decides to be a pirate. Monkey D Luffy is an eternally optimistic, happy-go-lucky guy who wants to be the King of Pirates by finding the One Piece, a legendary MacGuffin. Luffy has an ace up his sleeve, as he once ate a fruit that gave him superpowers, namely the ability to stretch his body. It is colourful, absurd, over the top and at points surprisingly emotional.

One Piece has a 20 million per budget episode and it shows. Show creators decided to create a huge set piece for each episode and went through a painstaking process to recreate the anime’s atmosphere and character. It was an extremely high bar to clear and Netflix did it with ease. The series appeals to both hardcore fans and people who have never heard of the anime before. It’s a fun watch, enjoyable and much like Luffy, series lead Inaki Godoy is immensely likeable.

One Piece was a huge success, with 18.5 million views over the first week and became the No 1 show in 84 countries, breaking the record held previously by Wednesday and the fourth season of Stranger Things.


The Lost Pirate Kingdom (Netflix)

How did the Golden Age of Piracy come to be? Was it as sexy and full of adventure as we believe it to be? Who were the major players? Was there a duo of free-loving women who dressed like men and were the most feared pirates who ever lived? If One Piece got you to scratch that pirate itch again, don’t miss The Lost Pirate Kingdom, a docu-series on how modern pirate legends came to be. Interviews with experts, re-enactments and CGI recreation of naval battles make this a must-watch for anyone who wants to delve deep into pirate lore!


Our Flag Means Death (Prime Video)

Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi return for the second season of this acclaimed pirate series, playing real-life pirate legends Stede Bonnet and Edward Blackbeard respectively, with the added twist of discovering that they are gay and in love with one another! While there are some misfires, the series brought together a fine comedic ensemble, providing some much-needed hilarity in the pirate genre. As far as the plot goes, Bonnet is a pampered aristocrat who decides to become a pirate despite being unsuitable for the job. During his travels, he meets a true pirate, the famed Blackbeard and through a series of events they end up being friends. And more.


Black Sails (Starz)

With executive producer Michael Bay, Black Sails premiered back in 2014, when the pirate craze was at an all-time high thanks to certain Jack Sparrow. Captain Jack Sparrow. Set during the Golden Age of Piracy, Black Sails is a sort of prequel to perhaps the best-known piece of literature featuring our eye-patch friends: Treasure Island.

How did Long John Silver lose his leg? How was Captain Flint as a captain of the Walrus? Who was Billy Bones?

The series strove for authenticity and relied heavily on storytelling and drama, a somewhat unusual selling point for a pirate series. Black Sails also blends in some reality for good measure, as famed Anne Bonny makes an appearance along with other well-known pirates of the era.


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