Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece is here and by simply being good, it’s broken a curse that’s long plagued other anime adaptations over the years. Eiichiro Oda’s pirate epic is famously long-running with over 1000 manga chapters and anime episodes each, making adapting it even more of a challenge for the team at Netflix. With Oda’s blessing, the show covers the beginning of the manga, from the Romance Dawn Arc up until the end of the Arlong Park Arc in eight episodes. Along with the Straw Hat crew, Netflix’s One Piece introduces us to a ton of new characters, including some iconic villains.
As the first season progresses, we meet Buggy the clown, the dastardly fish-man Arlong, and Kuro of the Black Cat Pirates – who has been hiding in plain sight as Kaya’s butler Klahadore. At the beginning of the Syrup Village Arc, Klahadore appears as an innocent — if overbearing — butler to the chronically ill Kaya but he soon reveals his true colors by killing Merry and attempting to murder Kaya for the rights to her shipyard.
Klahadore confirms his true identity as Kuro when Zoro realizes he recognizes the butler’s face from seeing his wanted poster. Kuro — while not a devil fruit user — is extremely fast and has special gloves outfitted with sharp “cat claws” he uses to kill his prey. He’s a dangerous antagonist in both the anime and manga, and the live-action was able to do the character justice thanks in no small part to his actor – Alexander Maniatis.
Who is Alexander Maniatis?
As per his Twitter/X bio, Alexander Maniatis is “an actor and creative based in Cape Town, South Africa.” Credited as Adolph de Beer earlier in his career, Maniatis has starred in several South African TV series and is best known for his work in the film Love, Lies and Hybrids and the Prime Video series The Power. While Maniatis has been in the business for years, One Piece is his first big role on a major streaming platform.
Aside from his acting career, Maniatis is also a musician and is working on releasing an EP titled Particles & Patterns, often sharing his progress on his Instagram. While it looks like the EP is a solo endeavor, Maniatis has previously shared photos of himself performing with his band. Like many of the actors in One Piece, Maniatis trained rigorously in order to embody the super-fast villain and has implemented these workouts into his normal routine. In addition to working out, Maniatis is a dog lover and often posts pictures of himself with his dog on his social media channels.
While there’s no word on whether One Piece is getting a second season (given it’s record-breaking first season, we’d say it’s highly likely) fans like Maniatis’ portrayal of Kuro/Klahadore so much that they’re clamoring to his socials expressing hope he’ll return.