Shortly after their adventure on Dressrossa (which I have yet to finish), the Straw Hat Pirates make their way onto a massive cruise ship/casino, Gran Tesoro. The Gran Tesoro is run by the self-styled “Gold Emperor” Gild Tesoro, who seems friendly enough when he instructs his crew to treat the Straw Hats like VIPs. Luffy and his friends are thankful for such a break and go on a massive winning streak until Tesoro reveals his true colors (gold) by cheating them and capturing Zoro. Now, the Straw Hats have teamed up with an old friend of Nami’s to pull off the heist of the century by stealing Tesoro’s hidden stash–twenty percent of the world’s currency! Only thing standing in their way is their own captain’s stupidity. So, come on in to the Gran Tesoro where your dreams may come true, but nothing is ever quite what it seems.
The 2017 Summer of Anime is here, bay-bay! Are you as pumped as I am? Probably not, but that’s okay. So, this summer we’re kicking it off with one of my favorite things–One Piece. And yes, it is still one of my favorite things even if I haven’t read any of the manga in…oh. Been over a year. Well, then. Should really get back to it.
Anyhoo, One Piece Film: Gold is probably my favorite of the three canon films (I’d really need to watch Z again to confirm). I love how charismatic and genuinely traumatized Tesoro is, and his main henchmen were just a lot of fun. Tanaka looks like some creeper who’s been thrown out of Code Lyoko, Dice is a masochistic Hulk Hogan, the resident traitor Carina is a nice edition to Nami’s backstory, and Baccarat…my, oh my, Baccarat. Woman looks like the Rangiku Matsumoto of the Grand Line, and her powers come from the Luck-Luck Fruit. She can either steal luck or give it to those she touches. If she steals it, her victims have a tendency to slip on banana peels. Which makes me wish the Luck-Luck Fruit was in the shape of a banana. I just hope she gets a figure or a statue so I can spend tens of minutes at a time looking at it on Ebay without ever buying it.
Aside from the usual fun villains of Eiichiro Oda’s wonderful world, the are a couple things that made me say this is my favorite One Piece film. The first is that there are quite a few cameos of characters I had no clue were in the movie. I legitimately marked out for one of them. I won’t spoil who they are ‘cuz I don’t know if they were advertised at all. I won’t rob you of that joy. The second thing is this is kinda a heist film. Never in all my days did I think I’d get to see the Straw Hats plan out and execute a heist. I mean, they’re not the greatest at following plans, so who’d’a thunk it? Three guesses who’s responsible for everything falling apart. And you should really get it in one.
My biggest complaint is the same thing that often prevents me from giving any movie based on a shonen franchise a solid Tye Dillinger: There aren’t any stakes. Obviously, it’s great to see these characters in more adventures, and everything’s gonna look super nice thanks to the powers of the Budget-Budget Fruit, but none of the main characters are in any danger. I’m not saying I need to think these characters can die in any given story, but in the end, I know it’s just a sidequest. Don’t really know how you could get around that problem. Also, the One Piece films have a slight tendency to be a smidgen formulaic. Just saying.
One more thing! Want to let all of you know who haven’t seen this yet that Luffy delivers one of the most badass lines I’ve ever heard from an anime character. Was actually stricken with the chills. It’s great.
So yeah, I definitely enjoyed the Straw Hats’ latest cinematic outing. Gonna stick this one with a 9 out of 10. I don’t know if its the best One Piece movie they can make, but it’s gotta be close.
Got us a fine film to kick off this year’s Summer of Anime. You can expect a few more movies to pop up in this series since I’ve gained a good few I really need to watch. But yeah, I don’t know what all I’m gonna watch this summer. I’m looking forward to finding out.