*cue crazy prospector’s laugh *
We’re finally getting to the One Piece films i’ve actually watched in theathers while they were new, and coincidentally audiences also had to wait a while before seeing a new One Piece film, 4 years to be precise. Most likely as they realized they couldn’t keep cranking them out on annual basis because otherwise Toei would find even more of its staff overworked to death. Just a hunch.
An upside of this 4 year gap is that audiences were gonna be even more eager and ready to get hyped at the prospect of a new One Piece film, one that had a very huge marketing campaign behind it, and was definitely ready to rack in the titular auruos substance, so much it had a world premiere on Jule 15th at the Emirates Palace’s hotel in Abu Dhabi, then released a week later in Japan. Not THAT surprising, considering how a Saudi fan pretty much singlehandedly funded the documentary about Dinosaur War Izenborg, simply called The Return Of Izenborg.
But today we’re talking One Piece Film Gold, so back to that!
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #13: Film Gold (2016)”
After the very brief and very odd interlude of Straw Hat Chase, Toei “came to their senses” and the next year released another proper One Piece film, surely having learned that these movies are at their most successful when you have extra side-corn to market them, as in OVA and small filler arcs for the TV series, alongside the eventual promotion with retailers and shit.
So yeah, this had a tie-in filler arc in the TV anime, and an OVA set slightly before the events of the movie, Glorious Island Z, aka Nami and her big floaties taking more screentime (and “choice angles”) than Luffy eats meat during any meal of the day.
Fitting title, though.
Even if viewership can be spotty as some people got bored or tired of the TV series’ pacing (especially if they already know what’s gonna happen from reading the manga), you can bet chances of these people taking a look at the trailer for a new shiny One Piece film, even more if you market it by saying that this will pit the Straw Hats against one of their most powerful enemies ever.
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #12: Film Z (2012)”
Strong World was such a step up in terms of One Piece movies, such a big deal that in 2010 they didn’t release any new One Piece film, but that can be – partially – attributed to the fact Strong World was delayed to December 2009 from its original spring release windom that same year.
Clearly it was a bit too good or too much, as for the next installment Toei basically went back to the roots so hard it did a 360°, heck, arguably even more, since this is the shortest One Piece released so far (and probably will forever hold that distinction), just 30 minutes, to the point one would struggle to even consider it as such, despite being included in many One Piece films collection.
Even the first 3 movies were each longer than this, still films, but we’re basically back to that type of dealio, complete with the fact it was a double bill screening, so you would see this and Toriko 3D Kaimaku! Gourmet Adventure, which also marked the first movie for that series, but not the last time One Piece and Toriko would crossover with each other, and some space ape warriors too…
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #11: Straw Hat Chase 3D (2011)”
There have been some Directs about specific Nintendo games, most recently for the upcoming 9th generation Pokemon games, Scarlet/Violet, but i didn’t have much to say or add aside from it looking fairly good, clearly improving open world elements seen in Legends Arceus, like combining all traversal/mount Pokemon into the main legendary, which also look hilarious with the wheels in their body, etc.
But since Splatoon is basically the only multiplayer online series i care about and have actually devoted a lot of time towards since its Wii U debut (and i plan to continue, enough to buy the damn limited edition Pro Controller), i feel this specific Direct is the perfect occasion to sum up my overall feelings towards Splatoon 3 before it releases this early September.
Even more since i don’t plan a full lenght review, due to the nature of the game we’ll have to see how support and updates go, so more likely i’m gonna do a “XX hours into” piece and later a review for Splatoon 3’s 1th anniversary.
Continua a leggere “Splatoon 3 Direct and the squid temperature check”
First teased during the screenings of Episode Of Chopper, Strong World was immediately treated as a big deal, not only as was the tenth film for the series, but it was also made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the TV anime, and for the occasion Eiichiro Oda himself wrote the script, instead of just providing character designs and approving story ideas as he did for the previous movies.
Also, in what would become a trend for future One Piece movies, Strong World features an original villain that was an acquaintance, crewmate or contemporary of Gol D. Roger, and previously was detained in the Impel Down prison complex. That alongside making the Marine (or the World Goverment aligned) characters more prominent – if not integral – to the story at hand.
The villain here is the pirate Shiki, dubbed “The Golden Lion” due to his mane, a legendary pirate from the Golden Era that escaped from Impel Down by cutting off his legs, and had basically vanished from existence, only to show up 20 years later in order to take revenge on the entirety of East Blue, and force the Goverment into surrender by using genetically enhanced animals, engaged into a constant battle for survival over the islands (the titular “Strong World”) that fly thanks to Shiki’s Devil Fruit ability.
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #10: Strong World (2009)”
The year after Episode Of Alabasta, Toei decided to do it again… but also not quite go full recap/abridged retelling of a canonical One Piece story arc.
I guess some complaints about the previous movie eventually made their way up to the committee, but as usual, the wrong lessons were learned.
As in, nothing was learned, but they decided to both innovate and compromise at the same time with Episode Of Chopper Plus.
Chopper was already the focus of the third movie, so i think i somehow understand why chose him again, but this time we have an even weirder gaggle of creative choices.
With Episode Of Alabasta the team was tasked to do the impossible due to the lenght of that arc, so i guess they figured it would make for a better movie if they decided to set a more realistic target to adapt in the standard feature film lenght, and the Drum Island arc was certainly a bit easier in terms of “digest recap”. Arguably, a bit too much, which i speculate led to the choice of changing a lot of stuff and adding new original material specifically for this movie.
It’s an odd pastiche of new and old that also kinda baffles and bamboozles, but for different reasons from Episode Of Alabasta, honestly kinda the opposite.
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #9: Episode Of Chopper: Bloom Into Winter, Miracle Sakura (2008)”
What happens when Toei wants a new One Piece movie out each year but doesn’t wanna pay someone to write an original story? We get what are basically “recap movies”, that’s what happens, with this being the first but not last istance of the series dabbling in cheap arse territory, and an iffy proposition in itself.
Sure, you may want to see the canonical events from that arc of the series on the big screen, with better animation and production values overall, and i get why Alabasta, as it was the arc that really made people take notice and cement One Piece as one of the biggest shonen manga series ever, so for many fans the proposition of seeing the classic arc on the big screen had some attractive.
I see very little point in describing the plot since it’s a recap film, and Alabasta it’s like one of the most beloved and notorious arcs in the series as a whole, but let’s pretend you don’t know. Let’s cover the basics, just in case.
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #8: Episode Of Alabasta: The Desert Princess and the Pirates (2007)”
Always felt some sort of pity with this one, because it had the unbelievable “luck” of coming out after a far more ambitious, creative and artistically impressive take on the same series, and while almost anything was gonna be looked down upon as a “follow up” to Baron Omatsuri and The Secret Island… going fully back on the formulaic and “mild” didn’t help, even it was “inevitable”.
Okay, that’s a bit cruel, but i guess the mixed reviews Baron Omatsuri received were taken into consideration, so the experimental period was basically declared over, time to slip back into the comfort zone and play it super safe, despite that movie being as successful as any One Piece film was.
Not that this is necessarily the sign of a bad movie, i do like “regular” One Piece after all, of course i do, but i’m not exactly impressed when a film series based on a super popular shonen series is playing to the familiar tunes immediatly after an entry took risks, and was mostly rewarded for it’s ambition, the desire of director, screenwriter to make a very different film while still playing within (& with) the established world and characters of said series. A different, risky vision.
Giant Mechanical Soldier of Karakuri Castle is another cuttle of fish, as in, the usual for One Piece feature films, we’re back to the regular scheduled fair, for better or worse.
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #7: The Giant Mechanical Soldier of Karakuri Castle (2006)”
Oh yes, this one, you’re in for something absolutely special and one hell of a treat.
And i mean “special”, because it sound absolutely absurd in retrospect that Mamoru Hosoda directed an One Piece film early in its career, but did so with a script written by Masahiro Ito of Silent Hill fame. Heck, i can imagine it sounded like a bonkers proposal even back in 2005, and time here ages everything in Baron Omatsuri and The Secret Island like fine wine.
Most of these movies based off long-running shonen series are fairly formulaic, it’s just how it is and it often is, for a gaggle of various & obvious reasons that most of my readers won’t really need explained, so you don’t need much to make yourself stand out.
In other words, this movie didn’t need to go as hard as it did, but i’m so glad for it.
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #6: Baron Omatsuri and The Secret Island (2005)”
When preparing to do this new One Piece films retrospective, there was one in particular i was dreading to cover again, that i istantly knew i wasn’t gonna like having to watch another time for review purposes. Yes, i didn’t particularly care for the first official One Piece movie, but i always had “beef” with The Cursed Holy Sword, even on a conceptual level it irked me greatly.
But i’m a man fond of redemption tale, and giving this movie a second chance after all was just professional courtesy as a critic, after all it’s a “re-view” in name, fact and spirit.
I will recognize that one could see this movie in particular as an attempt to offer something a bit different from before in terms of movie outings, i can’t fault that mindset, but i still feel like this was a previous script for another shonen series that was repurposed for another, more popular IP, regardless if was a good fit or not.
And yes, i would argue the fantasy-heavy storyline doesn’t really fit the world of One Piece much, usually the weird stuff it’s all due to some Devil Fruit ability or something that is treated akin to science, something that its grounded in its own reality, see the Skypiea arc treatment of the “gods in the sky” kerfuffle. Put another way, 99 % is just stuff that it’s explained in-universe sooner or later, i mean, it fits with the underlying “age of discovery” angle the pirate theme often brings.
Continua a leggere “[One Piece Film Retrospective] #5: The Cursed Holy Sword (2004)”