I went to see the new ONE PIECE movie on Monday, One Piece Film Red to give it its full title. I was excited to watch it on the big screen. I was also making the most of something pretty rare over here: an early release for a movie in Japan! Well, it is a Japanese movie so I guess there are no surprises there. We usually have to wait weeks if not months for the majority of movies from other shores.

So how was it? Well, it was bright, colourful and very very musical. In fact I thought it was a musical as it features seven songs by the young Japanese singer Ado. It felt like a series of music videos set in the One Piece universe. The songs are performed by new character “Uta” which means “song” in Japanese. Here’s the brief synopsis of the film:

“Uta is a beloved singer, renowned for concealing her own identity when performing. Her voice is described as “otherworldly.” Now, for the first time ever, Uta will reveal herself to the world at a live concert.”

So the movie is basically the One Piece characters watching Uta’s LIVE Concert, which leads to some backstory about the new character and some rather confusing battles. The animation uses a mixture of traditional 2D and CGI, especially during the musical numbers. The effect verges on psychedelic at times. Ironically mushrooms play an important part in the story, but no spoilers here.

The new film is doing great business at the Japanese box office but appears to be dividing One Piece fans in Japan. The Japanese reviews are split between positive and negative scores with the main complaint being the overuse of Ado’s songs at the sacrifice of story. Fans were also hoping to see more focus on some of the other characters, particularly Shanks.

Here’s a photo I clipped from the Japanese movie review website

As you can see, the film has an average score of 3 stars out of 5. There are 28% of reviewers giving it 5 stars and 23% giving it just 1 star. I skimmed through some of the reviews and kept seeing the same complaint in the negative ones: too many songs and an unsatisfying story. Yet despite the criticism, One Piece Red is doing great business.

The movie is due for a Fall release worldwide. Are you going to watch it? Please let me know in the comments. Here’s the video review I made on YouTube.

My Video Review of ONE PIECE FILM RED (2022)

As always, thanks so much for reading. Hope you are having a good summer.

-Wakizashi, *waking up far too early these days…*

15 thoughts on “ONE PIECE FILM RED (2022)

  1. I never got into One Piece so I’ll skip this one. Given what you’ve said I can see why some wouldn’t care as much for it. It’s common for this sort of effort to be labelled as selling out, just one big advertisement. But I can also see why other fans might enjoy it, especially if they happen to enjoy the music. It does sound, though, as if without the music there wouldn’t be much there.

    Liked by 1 person

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