One Piece TV SP 12: Episode of East Blue – Luffy and His Four Friends’ Great Adventure (2017) [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]”

One Piece TV SP 10: Adventures In Nebulandia (2015) [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]”

One Piece TV SP 7: Episode Of Merry – The Tale Of One More Friend (2013) [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]”

One Piece TV SP 6: Episode Of Luffy – Adventure On Hand Island (2012) [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]”

One Piece TV SP 4: One Piece Historical Drama Series – Luffy’s Detective Story (2005) [REVIEW]

Director: Unknown

Writer: Unknown

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]”

One Piece TV SP 3: Save! The Last Big Stage (2003) [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]”

One Piece TV SP 2: Open Upon the Great Sea! A Father’s Huge, HUGE Dream! (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]”

One Piece TV SP 1: Luffy’s Adventure at the Bottom of the Ocean (2000) [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.

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One Piece: Jango’s Dance Carnival (2001) [REVIEW] Obey The Dance Commander

One Piece Jangos Dance Carnival 2001.png

Director: Daisuke Nishio
Writer: Hiroshi Hashimoto

The first One Piece featurette, shown alongside the theathrical release of the second One Piece movie, Clockwork Island Adventure, and never re-released outside of Japan (even thought it was included in the japanese DVD release of the movie, if the wikias are correct), for reasons that will become clear, outside of its 5 minutes runtime.

Like the title “implies”, it’s a mainly a musical number featuring Jango, the secondary antagonist in the Syrup Village arc, a pirate hypnotist with passion for dancing and a very minor character overall. The plot sees him seeking refuge in Mirror Ball Island (which is actually kinda canon, as he had a mini-arc told via chapter cover pages in the manga, the Jango Dance Paradise cover arc, like the one narrating what happens after Ener reaches the Moon), but he gets so into the island’sgroove he ends making a fuss and attracting Marines. Continua a leggere “One Piece: Jango’s Dance Carnival (2001) [REVIEW] Obey The Dance Commander”

One Piece: Glorious Island OVA (2012) [REVIEW]

One Piece Glorious Island OVA 2012.png

Director: unknown
Writer: Eiichiro Oda

Going really into obscure territory here, since this is the prologue to One Piece Film Z, but it wasn’t released as a limited edition disc in a specific chain of theathers or shops, that would be too easy: instead it was originally released in 2 parts (6 minutes each) on smartphones as part of collaboration with Docomo’s then new mobile TV format-service, NOTTV, and later compiled in the japanese Blu-Ray release of One Piece Film Z.

Yeah, it’s basically an “Episode 0” of sorts, but instead of setting up more clearly the events of the movie and giving more info on the villain (like the following OVA prequel/episodes 0 for Strong World and Film Gold would do), this is a direct prologue that leads into the actual beginning of Film Z. Not that it matters because this is so detatched from the movie (you don’t see any of the movie villains in any shape, for example) it might as well be a random featurette, it would make more sense that way.

Sure, with the release format and the very nature of this OVA, you would reasonably guess whatever happens in it can’t be that important to the plot of the actual movie…..and you’d be correct, let’s not dance around it. Continua a leggere “One Piece: Glorious Island OVA (2012) [REVIEW]”