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)”
Director: Tetsuya Endo
Writer: Tomohiro Nakamaya
Runtime: 105 minutes
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.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 13: Episode Of Skypiea (2018) [REVIEW]”
Director: Takashi Otsuka
Writer: Tomohiro Nakayama
Runtime: 106 minutes
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.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 12: Episode of East Blue – Luffy and His Four Friends’ Great Adventure (2017) [REVIEW]”
Director: Konosude Uda
Writer: Atsuhiro Tomioka
Runtime: 106 minutes
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.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 10: Adventures In Nebulandia (2015) [REVIEW]”
Director: Katsumi Tokoro
Writer: Hirohiko Kamisaka
Runtime: 106 Minutes
Time for another frigging special that retells with the new animation older story arcs.
In this instance, it’s…not even based on a person, but this is One Piece, so of course the ship itself ends up being a character, important enough to warrant crucial conflict over it, to say without spoiling some surprises for fans that have not yet made their way up to Enies Lobby’s conclusion.
It is the crux of some of the fondest memories for the main characters and i mean, it really speaks of how profoundly One Piece romanticize piracy from the age of conquest. Also, there’s the plain fact of the Going Merry having actually been ranking fairly high in characters popularity polls for the series, heck, even in the most recent one (held from January 3 through February 2021, on a worlwide scale) it ranked 32th, just below Whitebeard and above Silvers Rayleigh. Amazing.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 7: Episode Of Merry – The Tale Of One More Friend (2013) [REVIEW]”
Director: Hiroyuki Morita, Mitsuru Hongo
Writer: Yasuyuki Tsutumi
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Worry not, this time we don’t have another recap special.. kinda.
It’s not totally uncommon, as in 2008 they already did a similar thing with the 9th One Piece movie about retelling the Drum Island Arc… while making it happen after Water 7, and adding some new characters that change the story a bit. We’ll get to talk in more detail about that… next year.
Well, this special doesn’t actually go that far, as it is an originaly story, but also has extensive flashback sequences retelling the very beginning of the series, with Luffy meeting Shanks for the first time to his first encounter with Coby. The story sees Luffy befriend a wax sculptor called Diego and helping him save his son Regis, imprisoned by the corrupt Marine Commodore Bilic.
This after witnessing a “Straw Hat fashion show” held by Usop, meant to present all the crew members… for reasons, most likely padding out the special by 6 minutes, as if you don’t know anything about these characters while deciding to watch a TV special about their series.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 6: Episode Of Luffy – Adventure On Hand Island (2012) [REVIEW]”
Runtime: 42 Minutes
Time for One Piece to go “jidaigeki” and rock the 19th centhury japanese setting way before the Land Of Wa arc, but – as the opening narrator smugly and humurously remind us – this special takes place in Jipangu, which may look like some country of some time ago, but let’s not be pedantic, it’s just a cartoon after all.
You should really just relax.
In this case it’s not a chanbara styled special, but more in the vein of Ranpo Edogawa’s period detective stories, with the One Piece characters (included many old faces from the early arcs) playing the role of civilians, tax collectors, carpenters and so on, while Luffy is the purposely unfitting secret policeman-detective of the city, and mantains order with his fists and jitte, aided by ninja Usop and perpentually indebted to Nami and Sanji’s restaurant.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 4: One Piece Historical Drama Series – Luffy’s Detective Story (2005) [REVIEW]”
Director: Junji Shimizu
Writer: Junki Takegami
Runtime: 46 Minutes
While it’s not One Piece’s doing a community theather version of Rigoletto…. yeah, it’s not that, years and years later Toei they eventually tried to do some musical style episodes, but of course the most the Straw Hats could actually do is the circus, with or without amish clowns.
And before you ask, no, they didn’t stoop as low as having Buggy/Bagy involved.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 3: Save! The Last Big Stage (2003) [REVIEW]”
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…
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 2: Open Upon the Great Sea! A Father’s Huge, HUGE Dream! (2003) [REVIEW]”
Director: Yukio Kaizawa
Writer: Hashimoto Hiroshi, Junki Takegami
Runtime: 50 minutes
We start your journey through the One Piece anime’s TV specials with one most fans known, and a fairly long one, even if it’s actually on the shorter side for runtime among the TV specials.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 1: Luffy’s Adventure at the Bottom of the Ocean (2000) [REVIEW]”