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: 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.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 11: Heart Of Gold (2016) [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: Gou Koga
Writer: Hirohiko Kamisaka
Runtime: 106 minutes
Fittingly following from the post-credits scene of the 3D2Y special, the following year we got a TV special about Sabo…. an abridged recap-remake of his story arcs, that is.
And while the title this time is less spoilerific, i feel it’s fair to warn you that, yes, we’re yet again going into BIG ASS GYNORMIC SPOILERS territory, i might be wrong but i believe newer fans might yet not be as aware of Sabo’s childhood and his involvement in the Dressrosa arc, definitely not as Ace’s fate, and since the two characters backstories are so intimately connected in a way that’s hard or downright impossible to talk about without revealing some important detail or event for the overarching story.
So i’m gonna say it again, SPOILERS WARNING.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 9: Episode of Sabo The Three Brothers’ Bond – The Miraculous Reunion and the Inherited Will (2015) [REVIEW]”
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.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 8: 3D2Y – Overcoming Ace’s Death! Luffy’s Pledge to his Friends (2014) [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]”
Director: Katsumi Tokoro
Writer: Hirohiko Kamisaka
Runtime: 106 Minutes
Like with the One Piece movies, eventually Toei went for the “lazy” route and decided to occasionaly not even bother writing some new material for these TV specials.
This is not to rag on the Toei animators, writers and such, but i’m sorry, these “recap movies/specials” are lazy from a creative standpoint, they are, and it’s not like they serve much purpose as seeing the same scenes and parts of the story you already saw done with a slightly better animation and production values, all repackaged in an abridged fashion running over 90 minutes.
Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 5: Episode of Nami – Tears of a Navigator and the Bonds of Friends (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]”