One might wonder why review Jump Force now, as it got “internet spanked” quite enough when it came out in 2019. Aside the fact i don’t need a reason to do so… Namco Bandai gave me a big one, by announcing they would remove the game from digital storefronts, alongside the 2 season passes, the DLCs characters and content by february 8th 2022, with online functionalities and features shutting down entirely by August 24th 2022, this on all platforms.
Now, i know this would be reason for joy to many, but i’m an archivist at heart, and while i won’t miss the microtransaction laden bullshit, i find it silly that they didn’t even managed to make a complete edition of it with all the content on disc, only the Deluxe Edition on Switch with the Season Pass 1 content baked in the cart.
So years in the future you won’t be able to play the Season Pass 2 characters at all, which isn’t exactly a loss given the game wasn’t good to begin with, but it’s even more soon-to-be legally lost content. The loss of the online functionalities was inevitable, to a point, but the rest not so much.
As you might now, the new One Piece film, titled One Piece Film: Red, was announced in November 2012 set for a summer 2022 release. Which isn’t really “new” as from One Piece Film Gold in 2016 Toei makes a new movie every 3 years, but i’m finally ready to review all One Piece films… again.
As in – like i previosly told – i previously reviewed them to accompany the release of One Piece Stampede back in 2019 on the original italian version of the blog, so in the previous years i’ve reviewed the One Piece OVAs and the TV Specials, as i wanted to make some time pass, as i’m rewatching them all and writing the reviews from scratch, instead of translating, reworking, polishing the old ones.
Who knows, in time i might have changed my opinions on some…. and i mean “some”, there’s one in particular than i might have even harsher words for, but we’ll see.
So, yeah, due to the movie Antlers having a surprising – ok, not that surprising – shortlived run in theathers here and being released in a very busy week, i missed it completely, so who knows when it will arrive on VOD here, i’ll just wait for when it releases on home video, most likely wil import it from the UK.
Meaning that the EXPRESSO review of Antlers i planned just won’t happen at all. Pity.
But we did reach the 500th posts total more than a week ago, so bathe in the celebratory anime dance gif, busting out and oldie but goldie.
Not looking forward to that Netflix’s live action Cowboy Bebop adaptation, just putting that out, but i feel like i have to say something about, so i’ll give it a watch and a full review. At least it not an outlandish proposal as the darn live-action One Piece, i saw that post and the partial cast reveal, the cast looks fine, honestly, just can’t imagine that series working in any satisfying or acceptable way with real actors, doesn’t matter how much money they put into the CG.
I guess we didn’t learn the most important lesson of Jump Force (which btw Namco Bandai it’s gonna stop selling – DLCs included – the coming February 2022, so if you want to own it for collection purposes, get it now): realistic redraws of anime characters from One Piece can be quite the terryfing looking human simulacra.
So, a month or something ago the new anime adaptation of Shaman King dropped as a Netflix exclusive, and after watching the first 8 episodes, i think there is something to be said (in a non-elaborated, just “vomiting my thoughts without much editing or revision” way) about Shaman King and its legacy, and how this new adaptation is indeed trying to propose a very old shonen series to modern audiences, but staying as loyal as it can to the source material, which is nice but it also shows how old and fairly ancillary feels this series today, with many others Jump series that came out at the same time, later or before and still left a bigger, longer lasting mark on the genre.
You know what, it’s summer, so a good excuse as any for more One Piece videogame reviews, even more as a coda to the One Piece TV Specials retrospective!
This time we’ll focus on the more recent entry in the Unlimited sub-series of One Piece videogames, Unlimited World R/Red, specifically on its Deluxe Edition re-release/port for PS4, Switch and Steam. It was originally released for 3DS, but it proved popular enough to see a release on PS3, PS Vita and Wii U. I’ve actually played (and reviewed) the Wii U version back in the day, but it’s been a while, more than enough for the experience to feel fresh again and for review purposes.
While the original version had cross-save (3DS to Wii U and PS3 to PS Vita respectively), i feel i should point out right away this Deluxe version… doesn’t for the PS platforms. I didn’t really expect it, but since even the Dragon Crown’s Pro re-release had it, it wouldn’t be absurd to have it here.
So, by the fact that Episode Of East Blue wasn’t followed up by a special with an original story later in 2017, you can tell Toei quietly just kinda ditched the promised output of One Piece TV specials with original stories following new adaptations of old material.
It wasn’t until a year (a year and one day, to be pedantic) after that we got another special in the summer of 2018, with Episode Of Skypiea, another abridged remake of a story arc from earlier in One Piece’s storyline. BUT i find that this one makes a bit more sense, as Skypiea is such an unfairly hated story arc for many fans (which often made a lot of videogame adaptations of One Piece just completely skip it over it, while keeping a lot of minor story arcs)…. because someone shunned it entirely due to Ener’s ability being basically doomed to begin with against Luffy’s. But Amazon Lily’s arc that features Luffy making women marvel at his golden balls is perfect.
It makes even more sense to give Skypiea the “Episode Of” treament since we didn’t get any tangental piece of re-animated material from this arc in any of the specials before.
Remember how i touched upon that plan Toei had about putting out One Piece TV specials in summer and winter, with abridged retellings and original stories?
Well, since we got two original stories back to back with the two previous TV specials, guessing it was yet again time for abridged remakes of older One Piece material was a safe bet to make.
Indeed it was, heck, and “safe” it’s also the perfect way to describe the choice made here.
Or stale and creatively lazy, as one would preferably talk of it, because we already had an East Blue story arcs abridged recap to be found in various bits of other “remake recap specials”, we didn’t really need to make another one of these so we could insert some previously not redone parts of the story. And even that comes off as a compromise on top of a compromise, since it’s only covers the origin or main arc of Luffy and his first four crewmember, Zoro, Sanji, Usop and Nami.
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.
We’re finally taking a somewhat extended break from the recaps extravaganza (but not that extended, as we’ll find out) to have a TV special that actually features an original story, and calls back to a noticeably under-represented story arc, the Davy Back Fight, often completely eschewed from pretty much any adaptation of One Piece, and low-key hated by the fanbase, i feel.
Yeah, the premise sees Foxy and his crew send a false distress signal to the Straw Hats, seeking revenge after their Davy Back fight. The two crews begin another Davy Back, starting off with a mushroom eating contest as the first round of the challenge, but it’s a trap, as the new Foxy Pirates member, Komei, has made them eat the so called “Drousy Shrooms”, then reveals himself to be a Marine Vice Admiral and brings the four incapacited crewmembers as prisoners to Nebulandia.
The rest of both pirate crews follow them, but things get hairy as Nebulandia is an island that nullifies Devil Fruit powers due to its vegetation having adapted to live off sea water, acting as a natural prison for the many “gifted” pirates, so even more people get captured and it’s up to the few remaining to find a way to reserve the effects of the vegetation and escape the island.