One Piece Film: Red – A Love Letter to an Epic Franchise

Mr. Hallaert Movie Reviews – One Piece Film: Red!

What is One Piece?

If you’ve walked past a poster for One Piece Film: Red and been unsure what it is, you’re probably not someone who watches anime. If you know what it is, then you know the monumental impact the story of One Piece has had on the world. If you’ve never heard of it, allow me to teach you.

One Piece is the story of a young man named Luffy. Since he was a kid, he’s longed to become the king of the pirates. One day, as a kid, he eats a magical fruit called a Devil Fruit, and this fruit gives him the power to stretch is body like rubber. It also curses him so that he is unable to ever swim again, as a downside. Throughout his adventure he meets friends who join his crew. Some of those friends include:

  • Zoro, a three-sword wielding fighter.
  • Nami, a fiery theif.
  • Sanji, a flirtatious chef.
  • Usopp, a cowardly marksman.
  • Nico Robin, a genius treasure-hunter.
  • Chopper, a reindeer-like doctor.
  • Franky, a cyborg brawler.
  • Brook, a pervy undead musician.
  • Jinbe, a fish-man martial artist.

Together, the group sets sail on the open sea to find treasure and, hopefully someday, find the One Piece, a myth-like treasure trove left by Gol D. Roger for the next pirate king to find.

Review – One Piece Film: Red

Directed by GorĂ´ Taniguchi, One Piece Film: Red is about a girl named Uta and her relationship with Luffy, our main protagonist. Uta and Luffy had been friends when they were kids but were separated. This movie is about their reuniting, and the pain that Uta has faced during her life away from Luffy and her father, Shanks. Uta is a singer, and not just any singer, but the best one that the world has ever seen. Aided by her own Devil Fruit power, she is able to bring the world joy and pain with her songs. As twists are revealed, we learn a lot about Uta, Shanks, Luffy, and the world of One Piece through this beautiful story.

First off, the animation in this film is top-notch. The colors are vibrant, the motions are fluid, and the overall spectacle is jaw dropping. There are moments of action in this film that will leave the viewer awestruck, and more than once.

Secondly, the soundtrack here is unlike anything I’ve heard in an anime movie before. With the main character being a superstar singing sensation, the music had to be on point, and it most certainly was. Uta’s voice, brought to life by Japanese-Australian singer Ado, is stunning to listen to. From pop, to punk, to rock, and everything in-between, this film never just sticks to one type of music. Ado brings a charisma and heart to each and every song, which left me with a tear in my eye more than once.

The story of the film can be flimsy at times, especially with its non-linear storytelling getting in the way of some of the scenes. I can recall at least one time in the movie where I was completely confused as to what happened, wondering if someone at the theater had accidentally hit the “skip” button. I will say there were a couple of moments where I was left rolling my eyes at the pervy remarks that Brook said, but that is par for his character. That said, if you’re a fan of One Piece, you won’t be disappointed with the number of cameos and storytelling for beloved characters. Some of my favorite moments (no spoilers) are a moment with Usopp at the end of the film, and all of the storytelling with Shanks.

Overall, One Piece Film: Red leaves it all on the table. Unapologetically weird and heartfelt, this film is undeniably One Piece at its finest. I give One Piece Film: Red an 8.5/10.

I can’t wait to watch it again. If you’ve never seen One Piece, consider this your sign to try it out. Don’t let the length of the show scare you. Nothing good ever comes easy, but I promise you, One Piece is good.