May 6, 2013
I thought the anime title was "Z", not "One Piece". Haha! I thought the lead character was the huge muscular guy with the huge mechanical right arm, not that scrawny kid with rubbery arms. That is how zilch I knew about this anime. However, the word of mouth about this film was good, so I brought my two sons with me.
That scrawny kid with rubbery arms is Monkey D. Luffy, the unlikely leader of his band of pirates called "Straw Hats" on his pirate ship called "Sunny." His crew is composed of swordsman Roronoa Zoro, sleazy chef Sanji, weird sniper Usopp, sexy voluptuous navigator Nami, sultry archaeologist Nico Robin and the other odd characters including a muscle bound cyborg named Franky, a skeleton named Brook and their pet-like doctor named Chopper. Luffy, Robin, Brook and Chopper have special powers derived from eating Devil Fruits.
In this adventure, Z, a giant of a man with a mechanical arm, sets off an explosion with Dyna Balls to destroy the so-called First End Point. It turns out that Z plans to destroy the whole world by destroying the three End Points. Luffy and his crew gets involved when they rescue Z from the sea, and when he found out they were pirates, Z's henchman Bin puts magic spells on some of the Straw Hats. Also after Z are the real Marines, from which Z rose from the ranks and once led as admiral, until tragedies made him turn to his dark side.
The beginning of this film was quite difficult to get through for someone who did not know anything about this franchise as there were so many characters I had to get familiar with. I was also somewhat annoyed with the strange artwork. It took quite some time for the story to clear up and for the action to be exciting. My kids who watch a lot of anime (not this one though) were quite antsy after the first hour and could not wait to go home. On the other hand, I got more and more interested during the second hour to see how everything would turn out at the end.
This film made me interested to read up more about this anime. Now I know what One Piece is and who the Straw Hats were. Knowing them prior to watching would make this film more involving and easier to follow. I was surprised to learn that this is the best selling anime in Japan, but I have not even heard about it till now.
Overall this movie is not bad at all. Those parts where the past of Z was revealed and how the whole story was resolved was very well-written. Come to think of it, this movie was really more about Z than the Straw Hats. Looking forward to another film more about Luffy and the Straw Hats next time. This is after all already the tenth One Piece full length film.