Critic’s Rating : / 5
One Piece Film: Red Movie Review : Action-adventure blends perfectly with the musical in this spectacle of a movie
Review: The film opens with a dark sequence of poverty and distress in a village caused by plundering pirates. As children pray to an unknown power to save them, the viewer is transposed to the build-up of an electrifying music concert. The performer is Uta (Kaori Nazuka, and singing voice Ado) — a gifted ascending singing sensation from Elegia. Her songs are powerful enough to enable her to create a new world where there will only be happiness and adventure. Anyone who upsets this order will be put into time-out and can only watch the fun from the outside.
The setting flips between Uta’s extraordinarily colourful world and the darkness of her past, enmeshed in betrayal and tragedy. So, the 15th volume of the One Piece franchise, based on writer and illustrator Eiichiro Oda’s manga, creates a spectacle that will leave you wide-eyed and simultaneously take you into the abyss of a contrasting milieu of bloodshed and hunger. Common between the two worlds is music that skilfully fits the tone of the scenes, ranging from J-Pop, ballads, and R&B to Hard Rock. Uta’s singing voice, J-Pop star Ado, has aced each musical genre.
Director Gorô Taniguchi has pushed the boundaries to masterfully blend shōnen manga (action-packed outings for adolescent males) with a musical and presented the perfect gift on One Piece’s 25th anniversary. The animation is astounding, and the detailing will leave you gobsmacked.
Followers of the franchise will rejoice to see fan-favourite characters, such as Red-Haired Shanks (Shūichi Ikeda), Monkey D Fluffy (Mayumi Tanaka) and others. But this part can be a segway into the One Piece world for newcomers, as the makers have created Uta for the movie. Her back story, intention, and its flaws are explained well. Even if you feel lost vis-à-vis the context, watch the film for the soundtrack and killer visuals.