Team TokuNet reviews the upcoming FUNimation Films feature, One Piece Film: GOLD coming to select theaters on January 10 through 17 2017.
Luffy and his gang of pirates return once more to the big screen and like most animated films produced by Toei, this movie is animated with a much higher budget compared to the television series itself. It really illustrates how vibrant and full of texture a Shōnen JUMP movie can be, especially when the film takes place in a Las Vegas-like country.
The first portion of the movie focuses on gang being chased into Gran Tesoro (basically, Las Vegas) where their luck runs out. They are met by Gild Tesoro, who not only has every political power on his side that can be bought with money, but has the power to physically manipulate gold.
The story this time around is different compared to previous entries of the One Piece films in that it feels like it fits into the current timeline. I’m uncertain about the current arc of the series, but I’ve read enough to know that they make references to previous arcs. There are typical formulas that appear in this movie that are present in previous entries that all fans will be familiar with, but I think there’s nothing wrong with that.
Very similar to Naruto: Road to Ninja, the movie feels like it can take place within continuity in that it maintains character development while introducing new characters without the expense of the main cast getting sidelined. However, there are characters who get little to no screen time, which is understandable considering the huge cast.
This movie seems to have everything I want: fist fights, car chases, and political intrigue. The action scenes are really amazing, especially the end fights where the group split into teams and allow them to display each character’s unique abilities while adding the good ol’ One Piece comedy
As for the designs, remember how I said the animation is great? Well, with animation comes design.
Unlike most other anime films, the main characters go through various costume changes. For example, seeing our favorite pirate in a white suit instead of their typical pirate garb. Tesoro is literally a gold “empire” and the film really gives us viewers a visual tour. As someone with friends in animation, I really appreciated this. It might be considered filler to most but I’d rather take this than boring exposition of talking heads.
Speaking of exposition, near the latter half of the movie, we get to visit glimpses of Tesoro’s past that turned him into a money hungry villain. The lust for money is actually Tesoro’s desire for power (money is power, after all). However, as we delve deeper into his character, we understand that this development into his figure in the present is an acceptance of how the world works. I would have liked to see more of his character’s story in the movie, but I understand that time constraints is a thing.
Overall, the One Piece movies continue to be a great hit among fans and non-fans. Let’s hope these movies continue to be as successful as they are now.
Thanks to FUNimation Films, the same folks who brought Shin Godzilla and Rurouni Kenshin to US theaters, One Piece Film: GOLD will be showing for a limited time in select theaters from January 10 through 17, 2017.
Theaters and tickets can be found on their website at http://www.funimationfilms.com/movie/onepiecegold.