Is Merry dead in ‘One Piece?’

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Within the One Piece fandom, it’s been a running joke that Eiichiro Oda, the creator, seldom kills off characters, making deaths within the series particularly notable when they do occur. Oda’s tendency to spare characters from death has drawn mixed reactions among fans. Some believe that this approach diminishes the gravity of tragic moments when characters miraculously survive severe injuries. However, others argue that the infrequency of character deaths makes these instances more impactful.

While the manga and anime typically maintain consistent storylines, the live-action adaptation has demonstrated a willingness to diverge from the original material. The Netflix live-action series of One Piece has already showcased alterations to the storyline, introducing characters at different points and modifying their roles.

In the context of the character Merry, there are notable differences between the live-action adaptation and the manga/anime storyline. In the manga, Merry is Kaya’s butler and is introduced in the Syrup Village Arc alongside Usopp, Kaya, and Kuro. His role is relatively limited after this arc. Merry discovers Captain Kuro’s true identity too late to warn Kaya, becoming a victim of Kuro’s attack but survives the ordeal, albeit critically injured. He manages to convey the truth to Kaya before succumbing to his injuries.

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However, in the live-action series, Merry’s character is reimagined. He isn’t Kaya’s butler but an old family friend and the former owner of the shipyard. In this adaptation, Kuro attacks Merry in the mansion’s cellar, fatally injuring him, and Merry does not survive this encounter.

Interestingly, Merry’s death in the live-action doesn’t significantly alter the overarching narrative. The Straw Hat Pirates still acquire the Going Merry, the ship constructed by Merry, and ultimately triumph against Kuro. However, the fate of the Going Merry is left undisclosed.

These alterations in the live-action adaptation highlight the divergence from the original storyline, showcasing how the adaptation offers its own take on character arcs and events while maintaining the essence of the broader narrative of One Piece.