Wednesday, November 23, 2022
MARIAH's THOUGHTS on One Piece Film: RED (2022)
November 4, 2022
1 hour 55 minutes
Original Story by:
Mayumi Tanaka, Kazuya Nakai, Akemi Okamura, Kappei Yamaguchi, Hiroaki Hirata, Ikue Ôtani, Yuriko Yamaguchi, Kazuki Yao
Uta —the most beloved singer in the world. Renowned for concealing her own identity when performing, her voice has come to be described as “otherworldly.” Now, for the first time ever, Uta will reveal herself to the world at a live concert. As the venue fills with all kinds of Uta fans—excited pirates, the Navy watching closely, and the Straw Hats led by Luffy who simply came to enjoy her sonorous performance—the voice that the whole world has been waiting for is about to resound. The story begins with the shocking fact that she is Shanks' daughter.
Opposed to One Piece: Stampede, where the main antagonist felt empty and one dimensional, One Piece Film: RED gives Uta the entire spotlight. It is set after the Wano arc, nearly one thousand episodes and chapters into the main story of One Piece. The Straw Hat Pirates travel to Elegia to see a live concert from the world-famous singer, Uta. Although Uta is an antagonist for only one film, she’s fully developed with motivation and backstory that makes her compelling to watch. She is the adopted daughter of Red-Haired Shanks, the pirate that inspired Monkey D. Luffy to become a pirate in the first place, but she was left behind as a child on the island of Elegia after a devastating attack that left the island barren and desecrated with only its former ruler left alive to raise Uta and help her develop her singing skills. After several years, Uta is a talented singer who invites people to Elegia and over den den mushi or transponder snails to watch her first ever live concert. Although she wants to create an era of peace and joy through her music, the cost is over seventy percent of the lives of the world’s population as the effects of Uta’s singing sends her listeners’ souls into a dream of which they will never awaken from even if she dies. One Piece Film: RED is both entertaining and terrifying thanks to Uta and Ado’s performance.
Gorgeous. Beautiful. We love Ado’s music in this house. It is easily a five-star film simply for Uta’s character and Ado’s voice but I’m knocking One Piece Film: RED down a star simply because it felt like the Straw Hats didn’t matter. Luffy is the only one that mattered though because he is Uta’s childhood friend and subsequently understood how she feels. The rest of the crew are there because they happen to be the protagonists of the main One Piece series and are just tools to stop Uta from destroying everything, which is fine for the moment. The final fight is intense and the cameos from fan favorites like Katakuri are fun, but I didn’t feel a sense of unity or relationship between the Straw Hats or majority of the characters. Similar to One Piece: Stampede, from an outsider’s perspective, the Straw Hats are a pirate crew who know a lot of the other characters and we just accept it with no explanation or build up. “These characters seem to cooperate very well in combat. I have no idea how they know each other, but this film seems really cool,” is what I would say if I had no knowledge of the Straw Hats. I know these characters and I’m willing to see this movie in theaters, but it’s not something I would, for example, bring my cousin to, who is becoming interested in anime.
My biggest chagrin to this film with music and a singing antagonist is that it failed to cameo my favorite crew, the Kid Pirates who are a music themed crew inspired by punk and metal specifically.