[Spoiler-Free Review] One Piece Film: Red

site synopsis:

Uta —the most beloved singer in the world. Renowned for concealing her own identity when performing, her voice has come to be described as “otherworldly.” Now, for the first time ever, Uta will reveal herself to the world at a live concert. As the venue fills with all kinds of Uta fans—excited pirates, the Navy watching closely, and the Straw Hats led by Luffy who simply came to enjoy her sonorous performance—the voice that the whole world has been waiting for is about to resound. The story begins with the shocking fact that she is Shanks’ daughter.

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First Film I saw in theaters

As much as I love One Piece, I never got the chance to see any of the movies in theaters. I seen the One Piece movies on DVD after release, but I never experienced seeing a movie with the fans. Not only I got the chance to see this movie in theaters, but I took my girlfriend to see this with me. She never got into One Piece and I wanted to see her reaction after getting a taste of this pirate anime. At the end of this review, I will tell you her reaction and her thoughts too. This review will be interesting especially when you have me, a fan of the series, with someone who never started One Piece.

Happy 25 years and making the 1,000 episode mark!

One Piece is the longest running series in both manga and anime. Recently, the anime has reached the 1,000 episode mark and as a way to celebrate it, Toei Animation announced that they wanted to make another movie and it’s the return of the Film series. The previous Film movie we got was One Piece Film: Gold which debuted in 2016. One Piece Film: Red was announced in 2021 and it was revealed that the director of this movie would be Goro Taniguchi. According to Dual Shockers, Taniguchi  has worked with most iconic anime such as Code Geass and Gun X Sword. He also worked on One Piece all the way back to 1999 when One Piece made it’s special TV debut titled One Piece: Defeat the Pirate Ganzak!. It’s been over 20 years and Taniguchi was ready to work on One Piece again. We have the creator of One Piece, Eiichiro Oda involved with the movie as well and serves as the film’s producer, character designer and script reviewer. The script writer for Film Red was Tsutomu Kuroiwa who also did the script for One Piece Film: Gold. The movie first came to theaters in Tokyo on July and then the rest of Japan on August. In November, One Piece Film: Red would get an international release. Now that the world has the ability to see this film, is it worth the hype?

Story:  A concert for the entire world to listen

The movie begins with the Straw Hat crew sailing to the island of Elegia to attend the concert and listen to the pop star singer Uta. After hearing the first song of the performance, Luffy recognizes Uta and reveals to everyone that Uta us his childhood friend and she is the daughter of “Red-Haired” Shanks. Shanks is the captain of the Red-Haired Pirates and he is one of the Four Emperors, also known as the top four strongest pirates of the sea. With the power of the Sing-Sing Fruit, Uta can use her voice and sing to life to her imagination and even send people to a dream like world made by her. It’s all fun and games as Luffy and Uta catches up; however, things doesn’t go well with the reunion when Luffy decides that he and his crew are leaving the island to continue on adventuring. After hearing this, Uta tries to reason with him to stay with her and stick together; however, knowing Luffy, he refuses and prepares to set sail. Infuriated, Uta uses her powers to trap Luffy and his friends along with her fans who attended the concert. Uta reveals that she plans to use her powers and use a forbidden ancient sheet music called “Tot Musica” and trap everyone in her perfect world. In her world, no one has to suffer and they don’t have to deal with hardships of life with pirates and the Marines. It’s up to Luffy and his crew to stop this singer from trapping the world in her world.

Review: A movie that will make you sing your heart out

After watching this movie, my girlfriend and I both agreed that this movie was simply amazing. The main highlights of the movie was whenever Uta did her musical performance that involves the plot. The singing voice of Uta was the singer Ado and whenever she sung, it felt like she got my full attention. The movie focuses on the theme of music and emotions and they go all out on the animation field. In a way, this movie felt like similar to Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale where we have fighting and music as the main component for the story. I really loved Uta and her character and role as the antagonist. She wasn’t just a typical bad guy like most villains who wanted power or revenge against society. She starts off as friendly and despite her actions through out the movie, she simply wants to bring peace without resorting to violence and bloodshed. This movie wanted to main focus on the connection with Luffy and Uta. Besides the Straw Hat crew, we did get additional characters to join the adventure such as the Marine soldiers Koby and Helmeppo and we do get some of Luffy’s allies Law and Bartolomeo. Even former foes such as Big Mom’s kids Charlotte Oven and Brulee are sucked into the fantasy world of Uta. Without going into too much details, Shanks also becomes vital to the plot and this movie shows off the immense power he has when he comes across the film’s plot. Like any other Film movie, the fashion on the Straw Hat Crew never misses. The costumes in the first and later half of the movie fit so well with the theme of music and the age of piracy.

Despite this movie being an incredible experience, this movie does have some minor flaws in its performance. There are some plot holes involving Uta and her back story which would later motivate her actions especially with here involvement with Tot Musica. Again, going back to Luffy and Uta relationship, I feel like this movie wanted to keep Luffy and Uta as the focus, but they had to accommodate with other vast amount of characters. The Straw Hat crew didn’t get a lot of screen time compared to their captain, but they would make it up in the film’s climatic battle. It’s not as bad as One Piece Stampede cast of all star of characters, but I think they should have try to minimalize each of the character’s role. Speaking of characters, I find Shanks involvement kind of mixed bag. Without spoiling the plot, I wanted to see history or involvement with Luffy, Uta and Shanks. We did get a few scenes of Shanks and how he left an impact on Uta, but I wanted to learn more about him and his daughter.

Conclusion

One Piece Film: Red is a musical action experience that doesn’t hold back in the world of music and fantasy. For being the 15th film, One Piece still feels like jumping into a world of adventure. Goro Taniguchi really did an amazing job with One Piece even after years not being involved since the first anime debut. If you enjoy a story that involves music and the idea of living in a perfect world, you can thank Tsutomu Kuroiwa since he has worked on the previous movie One Piece Film Gold. Just like the TV series One Piece, get ready to experience some life and death situation with pirates and get your heart strings tugged with Uta. If you wanted to see Shanks in action, considering that he is mostly absent in the series, you can check out his pirate pride here. This movie does have a lot of characters to cram in, but you’ll mostly focus on Luffy in the first half until you get to the climax. One Piece Film: Red will make you feel like you are watching a concert of a life time.

What did you think of this movie? Comment down below.

2 thoughts on “[Spoiler-Free Review] One Piece Film: Red

  1. Red ended up passing Z and Stampede as my favorite OP film. It definitely had less action than those but the music was fantastic. I hadn’t really seen any films in theater with a lot of lyrical music like this before and I got to watch it in the Adobe+ surround sound theater. My hearing even got partially knocked out for a few hours but it was really an experience I’ll never forget. Not sure it would hold up as well on a normal rewatch but I’m planning to test that out as soon as it’s on Blu Ray! Hope we get another OP film soon

    • It was really good. I agree and it was good as Film Z. It made me feel like I was at a concert. The music was so good, I went and bought the soundtrack on iTunes.

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