Rudd has been outspoken in her love for the One Piece anime and manga, which made it so fitting she was cast as Nami in Netflix's live-action adaptation of the fan-favorite series.
Speaking on Netflix's Growing Up Geeked interview show, the One Piece actress remarked anime "[100%] made me into who I am," pointing to series like One Piece as things she "grew up on."
So, one would have assumed Eiichiro Oda's pirate odyssey would rank amongst her favorites in the medium, well, think again.
Emily Rudd's Favorite Anime Is Not One Piece
Despite what some may have thought, the One Piece anime is not One Piece star Emily Rudd's favorite anime of all time.
While speaking with Collider (in an interview conducted before the WGA strike), the subject of favorite anime was brought up amongst the cast of the Netflix live-action series, which Rudd dove head-in on.
As her co-star, Iñaki Godoy talked about not really "really watch[ing] a lot of anime" before working on One Piece, Rudd's enthusiasm for the medium started to come out:
Godoy: “Before watching ‘One Piece’, I didn’t really watch a lot of anime - I mean before doing ‘One Piece’, sorry. After filming ‘One Piece’, I did get into anime more. Honestly, ‘One Piece’ is kind of like my thing. I tried ‘Chainsaw Man’. I think it’s really cool, but I think it’s a little too violent for me.”
Rudd: “Yeah, that’s a big jump from ‘One Piece'.”
Godoy: “I’m starting ’Demon Slayer right now. I started watching in the airplane and I really really loved the first episode.”
She began listing some shows she thought Godoy should give a chance, pulling out names like "Attack on Titan" and "Jujutsu Kaisen:"
Godoy: “I thought it was so good. So I think I’m going to stick with ‘Demon Slayer’ and ‘One Piece’ for awhile. I think that is going to take some time.”
Rudd: “You should also try ‘Attack on Titan’.”
Godoy: “’Attack on Titan' is good I’ve heard.”
Rudd: “Or ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’, if you like ‘Demon Slayer’ you would also like ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’.
Then when the Nami actress was asked about her favorites, she was quick to answer, not even mentioning One Piece:
Rudd: “My favorite anime is called ‘Made in Abyss’, but I love ‘Demon Slayer’, ‘JJK’, ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. I’ve watched too many to name them all.”
Host: “I feel like those are mandatory right? ”
Rudd: “Absolutely, yeah, I’m naming the basics. Like, if you want to learn, you get into them. But yeah, ‘Made in Abyss’ I would say is my top.”
Emily Rudd the Anime Superfan
Given how much Emily Rudd has made about loving One Piece, it is honestly a little surprising that the long-running swashbuckling epic is not at the top of her list.
Obviously, the franchise does mean a lot to her. Shortly after the live-action series hit Netflix, the actress posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), that playing Nami was "[her] dream," so just because she said it is not her all-time favorite does not mean she does not hold it dear:
"Said it once before but right now i gotta say it again.. Can’t put it into words. Thank you thank you thank you. This is my dream. I love y’all. I hope it’s your dream now too.
And that is the case for a lot of anime fans. One Piece - at least stateside - was the introduction to the medium for a whole swath of anime fans.
Being that first dip into a whole new world of animation, of course, it is going to hold sentimental value. Just like many fans, Rudd can thank One Piece for being one of her first forays into anime but has found things that speak to her more as she has grown.
Despite not being her favorite, One Piece will always be there. With over 25 years of history and over 1100 episodes, whenever she (along with so many other anime fans) feels like catching back up with the Straw Hat Pirates and their quest across the sea, the series will sit ready to be watched and enjoyed.
Netflix's One Piece is now streaming on the platform.