Director: Tatsuya Nagamine
Writer: Tsutomu Kuroiwa
Runtime: 105 minutes
It’s not not a recap, it’s not an entirely original story, this time we have a TV special made for tie-in purposes. Like the title gives away, this is a special made to advertise the movie One Piece Gold, and it’s not even the first one, as there was also One Piece Gold: Episode 0 (which we discussed during last year’s retrospective), a featurette taking place before the movie that amounted to a sumo version of the Kintarou story and plenty of Nami bikini fanservice. And the Silver Mine filler arc.
This actually takes place before Episode 0 and can be seen without it (especially since the featurette predictably didn’t further any plot or set up anything relevant for the actual One Piece Gold film than this special already does), and it’s intriguing they actually got Tatsuya Nagamine to direct him, after his work on One Piece Film Z and before the pretty good Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
And indeed, we’re in pretty good hands. We are.
The story sees the Straw Hat Pirates meet Olga, a girl who has escaped the island Alchemi, after getting away from both the CP 0 agents and the pirate treasure hunter know as Mad Treasure (hired by criminal overlord Gild/Guild Tesoro), as they want to know from her the location of the Pure Gold, an incredibly valuable metal created on Alchemi, an island known for its metal production that vanished 200 years ago.
Luffy and company decide to join forces with Olga in search of the Pure Gold, while she plots to takes advantage of them and use the treasure to become rich herself, leading them to a somewhat familiar but unexpected twist about the Pure Gold’s location.
Also, the Dyna Stones (powerful weapons) that we’re a big part of Film Z’s plot (and later important to the story of the videogame One Piece World Seeker) make a small comeback, alongside characters like Tanaka and Carina who will become more important or explained in the One Piece Gold film. Some sequences don’t make much sense, and make me wonder if Film Gold was made first, as a flashback sequence here with Carina and Nami has Mad Treasure, while in the movie i don’t think they even mention his name, let alone show his appearence.
Regardless, we a pretty good new character with Olga, which for a change isn’t the usual naive or stupid but good natured kids we see in One Piece movies or specials, she’s a bratty, cunning, devious and ruthless little girl prone to plenty shit-eating grins, but’s she also kinda dumb as she speaks every devious plan out loud, has a background that explains her attitude, and she’s quite fun to watch, especially when she gets weirdly excited about finally being able to eat dinosaur.
Gotta love how she tries to assassinate Luffy almost immediately after being saved by him, and the Straw Hats just completely laughing off and joking about how she revealed her plan of betraying them at the end, the mad lads and lasses just don’t give a shit. XD
For the new villains, they went with a “hip hop-street thug” vibe, which is fine, but it’s pretty lame how they felt the need to make one the black characters talk-sing in rap rhymes and use graffiti, but then again, it’s not really offensive, just stupid how the “person of color” has the Color Color Fruit power, an ability that lets him make himself and other things almost invisible.
I seriously doubt they meant or even implied what one could read into this (or the main villain, Mad Treasure, having the ability to grow chains at will from his body and basically being a slaver with everyone he can), since the villain crew main characters are all black skinned.
I think they just overdid, as even the goddamn ship has insane amounts of bling. XD
I love how weird the script gets after introducing a prehistoric island inside of a giant fish, with a guy in a dino costume maskerading as a young t-rex to get fed, and i’m not even giving away the strangers details of it. XD Like the fake Mugiwara doubles that show up in the second act, just a lot of thugs with cubist styled face masks of Zoro, Sanji and Franky wrapped around their heads and imitating their voices, they’re frigging hilarious, and the special is pretty funny overall as well.
I’m honestly surprised this wasn’t coinceived as a full lenght movie leading up or setting the stage for Film Gold, since it would have fared quite good for a cinematic release, as it’s pretty wide in scope, has plenty of action, a lot of adventure, new likeable and funny characters, serious and sadistic villains, some small scenes involving familiar and fan-favorite villains, there’s even a character arc for the new characters, a song important to the plot and emotional moments.
The treasure hunt could have been for something a bit more incredible, but still, this really could have worked as a proper movie instead of “just” being a TV special. I’ve seen One Piece feature lenght theathrical releases with worse scripts and way less (interesting or not) going on, even the animation it’s of movie quality during some fights, so yeah.
Pretty good one.