The 15th film in the One Piece Franchise, a franchise that includes a television show that has over 1,000 episodes, is One Piece Film: Red directed by Goro Taniguchi. The movie is an absolute ride that includes catchy pop tunes, bright and colorful fight scenes, and a story that is sure to please fans and newcomers alike. With its extravagant characters, the story easy to get into and the filmmakers do a great job of explaining the elements of this world without doing an exposition dump.
The film starts out with Luffy (Mayumi Tanaka) and his crew at a concert for the reclusive Uta, who has gained quite a following after broadcasting to her fans via visual transponder snail (a snail that is able to broadcast what it sees). Uta (Kaori Nazuka) comes on stage and belts out a song to her millions of fans across the globe, delighting everyone watching. Then Luffy comes on stage to find out that Uta is his long-lost friend from their time as children when they were a part of the Red-Haired Pirates. Luffy finds out that Uta’s goal with this concert to bring forth the New Age where pirates can no longer pillage and destroy villages. From here, we begin to find out that while Uta may have had good intentions going into her quest, her Sing-Sing Fruit power is being manipulated from the Tot Musica, which is only summoned through singing its song.
Even audiences not too immersed in anime culture will be absolutely blown away by the characters and visuals throughout this movie. The animation style of Uta, from the way she moves during her music numbers to her mannerisms is reminiscent of the character Mima for Satoshi Kon’s classic thriller Perfect Blue. With Uta, you can see someone who is eager to change the way things have been done in the past and rid the world of evil that affects the common folks. Although she has great intentions and puts on a front of someone who is bubbly and happy all the time, she has a sadness for what she has done in the past. Ultimately, this movie about friendship. Luffy and Uta go back a long ways and even though they have not seen each other in a long time, their history is still very evident. When it comes to the visuals, One Piece Film: Red is in your face. With each pirate having a different power (Luffy can stretch his limbs for instance), this film is a feast for your eyes. From scene to scene, the use of color is used to portray seriousness. When a scene is meant to be relatively lighter, the colors really pop; and it is quite the opposite with the heavier scenes devoid of color.
One Piece Film: Red is still accessible for the person that is going to see this movie with friends who are fans. It really captures the imagination with its unreal visuals and songs that fans will be trying to find on their music streaming service.