I’ve been a fan of One Piece since the anime series debuted nearly two decades ago. While I haven’t been watching the series as much as I used to, I love checking out the films that give us a nice, self-contained adventure with high production values. The latest is One Piece Film: Red, which flips the script thanks to bringing in a J-pop idol and tunes into the mix that runs a little longer than it should, but is still good fun for all.
Things kick off with our heroes, the Straw Hat pirates, taking a fun-filled trip to Elegia, the Music Island to check out a live concert of a music star name Uta. Not long after getting there, the action gets underway as some people who don’t care for Uta and her positive-filled songs about peace and changing the world for all don’t sit well with them and they’re looking to either kidnap or kill her.
So naturally Luffy and his friends jump in to save the day, but Uta has special abilities of her own that allows her to fight back with the power of music. We also quickly learn that Uta and Luffy know each other from when they were kids as both of them were adopted by the legendary pirate named Shanks.
Happy to be reunited with Luffy again, Uta urges Luffy and his friends to stay and live out their lives in happiness and peace with the rest of her fans and people there. It doesn’t take long for the two of them to come to blows after she insists Luffy give up his dream of being the pirate king, which leads to Uta going down a dark path to keep Luffy, his friends, and anyone else from leaving the island, all while other outside forces are trying to take Uta and her special powers out for good.
Despite the long run time that goes a little over two hours, I had a good time with the movie as it was nice seeing something different in the One Piece universe with a J-pop idol-like character and the numerous songs she sings to either bring hope and peace, or to defend herself with music powers and abilities like making bad guys stick to giant music scales, crafting armor and weapons she can use to fight, etc.
Since it has a big screen budget, the artwork, animation, and music are all top notch and will keep viewers glued to the screen when the drama and action begins to heat up. This happens quite often thank goodness, and there’s plenty of J-pop tunes in the middle of all the action and drama to keep you in the groove and feels.
If you’re looking for something cool to watch, you’ll want to set sail with One Piece Film: Red. It’s another fun romp with the Straw Hat crew that fans will love but is also great for newcomers to enjoy. It’s a nice, self-contained adventure with loads of J-pop tunes, fast and fluid battles, and plenty of humor the series is known and beloved for.