Director: Munehisa Sakai
Writer: Yoshiyuki Suga, Junki Takegami
Runtime: 46 Minutes
Now we’re getting started…kinda, but as this came out when the anime series’ technical quality rose, it’s fair to say it looks better than the previous TV special, and features better presentation overall.
The story see a couple of pirates, Bonnie and Max, tired of working under their captain, Zap, but also have no money or resources to attempt an escape. One of the kidnapped children on the ship, Amanda, overhears them, and proposes a deal to them, since her was a treasure hunter and told her the location of this bounty. They agree, manage to escape to a small island, where the Straw Hats also happen to have landed to see if there’s anything or anyone there.
As the Zap pirates were chasing after the runaways, they find and capture again Amanda… while a narcoleptic Luffy accidentally launches itself into the enemy ship only to fall asleep and it’s also captured and brough to Zap’s boss, Bayan, who wants the treasure Amanda’s father hid for his children. After struggling with the inusual ability of Bayan and his crew, Luffy and company fight the Bayan pirates, find the treasure and Amanda finally understand why her father was never home and why he dedicated so much time and energy on his craft…
While not exactly that original, there’s definitely more effort put overall in this special, the character designs for the new characters are actually decent, and there are stand out moments and details, even if at times it seems like they mashed up elements from other One Piece stories, like how at times it feels a redo of the second version of the Romance Dawn with bits taken from a filler arc or something.
But – as i said – it has its moments, like the main villain, Bayan, who is basically an evil orchestra conductor pirate, able to control people by… well, literally conducting his choir of goons, able to create a symphony that lets Bayan control people and make them fight among each other.
You rarely – if ever – see the villain form a choir group to attack people, and it’s even odder how this isn’t explained as a Devil Fruit ability, guess they couldn’t be bothered to write other stuff to make the villain, and i kinda get why, since he definitely fits into the category of One Piece villains that are actually fairly puny (oddly even more than his second-in-comand, Zap, ultimately beaten by the Straw Hat… off-screen) and mostly played for laughs.
Would explain why he eats lunch over a comically oversized piano-shaped table. XD
Overall, a small but noticeable step-up from the first TV special.