I haven’t seen or watched One Piece in over a decade, thanks in part to its seemingly never ending adventure and the sheer amount of episodes it has gone on for (770 as of this writing). While it does annoy me that it has yet to come to an end, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the show and it’s amazingly fun and touching characters. This brings me to their latest adventure and movie, One Piece Film: Gold, which is like visiting a good friend you haven’t seen in forever and going on a fun ride that floods you with fond memories of the past. So if you’re a fan of the series, or want to know what it’s all about, this is the film you want to kick off 2017 with.
Playing for a limited time in select theaters, this movie follows our rubbery hero Monkey D. Luffy and his ragtag Straw Hat pirate crew. Now don’t let the pirate term scare you, as these guys are the friendliest (yet the most dangerous to those who stand against them) bunch you’ll meet on the high seas. On this adventure, they come across a giant ship that houses a casino world called the Gran Tesoro, where the notorious and crazed Gild Tesoro runs everything. At first everything is all glitter and gold for our heroes as they partake in all the fun and adventure that comes from gambling and living the high life. But it soon comes to an end once Gild decides the house always wins and keeps them prisoner while looking to kill off one of their crew. Of course Luffy isn’t going to stand for that as he and his crew vow to put an end to Tesoro and his evil ways the only way they know…by using their special abilities in one action packed battle after another while seeking out gold and fortune that fans have come to love.
Watching Luffy and his crew again feels like visiting old familiar friends you haven’t seen awhile. I felt a little out of sorts seeing the newer additions to the crew that I have no idea how they joined the gang, but they easily fit in well with the classic ones I did know about. Since it’s a film, the visual quality is vastly improved as the artwork and animation are top notch and a pleasure for the eyes. As with the series, there’s more than enough action with just the right amount of touching drama to please fans and pull in newcomers. I did like when you find out some about Gild’s horrific past that helped shaped him into the baddie he is, along with when you find out what his plans are for all the other slaves he’s accumulated over the years. It’s as though the movie compiles all of the things that make the show so good and squeezed them into one jam-packed movie anyone can get into and come out enjoying.
If you’re looking for something fun and action-packed to watch, and if it’s playing in a theater not too far from you, then might I suggest taking a gamble on One Piece Film: Gold. A cool set of characters, loads of action that’s well animated, and a short but good story is sure to pull in those new to the anime while fans are sure to place all their bets on this movie and roll the bones a few times.