Director: Naoyuki Itou
Writer: Hirohiko Kamisaka, Jin Tanaka, Tomohiro Nakayama
Runtime: 108 minutes
I’d say “SPOILER ALERT”, but it’s not like the title itself even tries to hide it, with the subtitle being “Overcoming Ace’s Death”, and since i have seen people parade this “spoiler” arounds anime cons pretty much anywhere (combined with Jump banking on his life status for later derivative works, like One Piece Novel A).
That aside, with “3D2Y” we’re finally getting started for real, finally talking about quite interesting and intriguing stuff, with some ambition and scope to it, instead of just being an abridged retelling or a cute filler-type mini-story, and utilizing the 2 year time-skip to its advantage, not only to evoke an emotional response, but to fill some of the narrative “gaps” left in the story.
In this case, the special is set during Luffy’s training on Amazon Lily, as he learns to control Haki/Ambition from Silver Rayleigh on the island of Ruskaina. Suddendly Navy ships are being attacked and destroyed by Byrinn World, an incredibly powerful pirate that was betrayed by some of its crew members and was held in Impel Down, but escaped after the Paramount War/Marine Ford events. Now reunited with his older brother and the rest of his crew, World kidnaps Boa and Marigold Sandersonia (Hancock’ sisters), so Luffy and Hancock set out to rescue them from World’s ship, while the other Warlords Of The Sea are summoned to deal with the issue at hand.
I’m honestly surprised this was just a special made to commemorate the anime 15th anniversary, and not a full lenght feature, not that it should have been, but it could, there have been a lot of One Piece movies with less ambitious or interesting connections to the main storyline.
Then again, i doubt Toei would have agreed, since a lot of the highly marketable main characters appear only as flashbacks or over the brief recap of how the War Of The Best/Marineford arc ended.
Setting that aside, you can tell they clearly put even more effort than usual into this special, and i’m not even talking about the really good animation. Well, also that, they really did a great job (not movie quality, but still, pretty dang good for a TV special), but there’s more, as the main villain, Byrinn World is pretty cool. Gotta love vikings in general, One Piece certainly did and does still.
World it’s not a complicated dastardly bastard with endless schemes, but a cunning brute that demands absolute loyalty and efficiency from his men, surprisingly capable of sly machinations despite his tendency to destroy anything and anyone standing in his path without any mercy, and his relying on brute force for attacking as he ate the More More Fruit, that makes him capable of making things he touches 100 times bigger (and faster, for some reason, a bit OP).
Also, his motivations are more interesting that you would expect, his backstory makes him a bit sympathetic explains his newfound attitude toward even his own men, and adds even more to his destroyer image, since it was rumored they even had to froze him AND chain him in the deepest level of Impel Down, he was so powerful. On top of that, i like that he has an incredibly feeble – but smart and knowledgeable- older brother… that’s ten times smaller than him on his crew.
Even World’s underlings have fun designs and some interesting Devil Fruit power or some weird ability that make for some odd visuals and some fun fights. Plus, there are some appareances from fan favorite characters, and there’s plenty of Buggy and the gang to provide some fun comic relief (if nothing else, Buggy is pretty reliable and recurring joke villain), so i really don’t have to complain about about this special, at all.
Pretty damn good, overall. If you ever care to see one of these One Piece TV specials, this is a must.