One Piece Film: Red is the new film in the One Piece animated TV series, taken from the very successful comics and was a blockbuster in Japan to the point of overtaking Avatar – The Water Way: here is our review
ORIGINAL TITLE: One Piece Film: Red. TYPE: Animation, Adventure. NATION: Japan. REGIA: Gorō Taniguchi. DURATION: 115 minutes. DISTRIBUTOR: Amazon Prime Video. PRODUCER: Toei Animation, Toei Company. RELEASE: 08/03/2023.
One Piece Film: Red is the most recent film in the One Piece animated series which was released in Japan in August 2022 and was the top-grossing film for the entire year, even surpassing James Cameron’s Avatar – The Waterway. As if that weren’t enough it is It was also the ninth highest-grossing film in Japanese history, following its theatrical release. With these premises, the expectations towards this film were very high from the moment it was made available on the platform Amazon Prime Video from March 2023. Expectations, but which have turned into a bitter disappointmentfor a film that is certainly the weakest of all proposed by the animated series: let’s find out the reason together.
Trailer and Plot | One Piece Review: Red
Luffy and his crew travel to Elegia, or the Island of Music, where the internationally renowned singer Uta lives and finally holds her first live concert. Uta is a childhood friend of Luffy and is also the daughter of Shanks the Red who at first seems to just want to entertain his pirate friends and his fans with his music, but soon the matter starts to get complicated, so as well as Uta’s intentions of wanting to trap the pirates forever on her island.
The adventure leaves room for the musical | Once Piece Review: Red
The presence of a new character like Uta, a singer who in the past belonged to the world of pirates, suggests that the music is present, but alternated with the usual adventures to which the series has accustomed us: instead it is not the case in this film. The adventure leaves room for the music to the point that the film seems to be almost a musical, in which the songs only occasionally alternate with shots of combat. This is certainly the first sore point of this film, because Once Piece has accustomed us to many adventures, fights, twists and turns and everything marked by a lot of rhythm and here instead we find a succession of very long songs and flashbacks from Luffy and Uta’s past.
Luffy’s crew totally non-existent | One Piece Review: Red
Another sore point, perhaps the most sensational it is the lack of unanimity in the whole succession of events: Luffy’s crew is totally non-existent, because everything revolves around the relationship between Luffy and Uta, their past and what happened to the girl to make her go away with acrimony to the world of pirates. So all the value of the other protagonists, their personalities and their skills in battle, appear only in a few situations. And what appears to be difficult to digest in terms of plot, is also difficult from a graphic point of view: the animation is not pleasantbecause it mixes a lot of computer animation with the more traditional one and characters that are not exactly cared for, but seem almost sketchy.
Shanks the Red or Red fails to save the film
What could really keep the expectations of this film high is the title itself, Red: or Shanks the Red, legendary pirate, father of Uta and symbolic father of Luffy who was able to convey his passion for life at sea and the ambition to become the strongest pirate of all seas. The same pirate who gave Luffy his hat and the character you often hear about in the original series. In this film Red appears, with an entrance that was supposed to be emotional and impactful, but she wasn’t. The film’s slow pace and content-free narrative made Red’s entrance go totally unnoticed and also did little justice to his character.
A disappointment in which nothing is saved
All this set of disappointing elements make sure that in One Piece Film: Red don’t save anything, because the narration is slow, the music is too much, the action is non-existent and consequently the moments of greater emotion lack a rhythmic hook. It is a film that can be good for the public who wants to see new One Piece content and who, linked to the original characters, appreciate the advent of Shanks the Red within a feature film. But overall it all looks like a missed opportunity to provide a new product of an animated series of great success and above all great quality in its episodic structure, both on the screen and in the comics.
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A film that brought nothing new
- The entry of a new character: Uta
- However, see Luffy again in a new adventure
- Too much music
- Little action
- Little choral presence of the other characters
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