The special takes place during the two year before the Straw Hats reunite on Sabaody. Luffy is currently in Rusukaina training to get stronger to take on the New World. However the training is interrupted when Hancock's sisters, Marigold and Sandersonia, are kidnapped by the Byrnndi World, a pirate who was locked away on Level 6 of Impel Down but escaped during Luffy's invasion to save Ace, in order to lure Hancock to him and use her as a hostage against the World Government due to her Shichibukai status. Thus Luffy and Hancock head off to confront him and save Hancock's sisters.
One Piece 3D2Y: Overcome Ace's Death! Luffy's Vow to his Friends is not about what the title suggests it is, but the side story presented is engaging (at least on some level) to any fan of One Piece.
There is a lot of re-animation of previous events in the show, especially in the beginning of the special in which the Marineford Arc is condensed to a few minutes in an almost comedic manner. Though it is cool to see older scenes in the alternative animation style of the special, all of the rehashing was unnecessary in terms of plot and good storytelling. Besides that, the plot itself is fairly straightforward.
Byrnndi World and his small crew are not the most threatening villains despite World’s lofty goal to destroy the World Government, but that is intentional and they are more than serviceable for this special. World himself is unlikeable and overly ambitious; however, he and his crew get a decent backstory so the audience at least understands why. His shift in dreams is easy to empathize with, and out of all the One Piece movie villains excluding Strong World and Film Z, Byrnndi World and his crew especially may be tied with the sixth movie’s Baron Omatsuri for the title of most complex.
On a character standpoint, Luffy is as endearing as ever and his writing feels natural though all of the material is non canon. Other than Luffy, canon characters appearing in 3D2Y include Hancock and her sisters, Rayleigh, Mihawk, Perona, Buggy. Disregarding the fanservice, Hancock is a strong character and the amount of screentime she gets is justified. Rayleigh is as cool as ever, though his role in the plot is minimal. Mihawk appears briefly along with Perona, but despite his power and more significant role in the series, he doesn’t do anything that warrants him being in the special. Finally, Buggy. The jokes about him accidentally making his newfound fandom think he’s awesome and powerful even though he’s not got old long ago, and are equally old here. Other than that, he is actually entertaining.
The animation is deviates from One Piece’s usual style, but not nearly as much as the sixth movie. It tends to favor thick linework and sharp angles, with character expressions animated in the same manner. Though different, the animation is quite nice to look at and makes the fight scenes more dynamic. Luffy’s fights are amazing as usual and there is a lot of haki usage which makes them that much better. Unfortunately, fights involving Boa Hancock focus more on fanservice rather than showing off her prowess and skill. It’s easy to brush off a random and unwarranted jiggle or two, but the fanservice in this special reduced my enjoyment of the story.
One Piece 3D2Y: Overcome Ace's Death! Luffy's Vow to his Friends is deliciously long and features great characters, surprisingly good villains, and some decent fights in a unique and watchable animation style. However, the hefty fanservice and inclusion of pointless scenes and characters detract from its integrity. read more
Following the events of Marineford, Luffy is in the midst of training with Rayleigh when a pirate by the name of Burndy World arises after escaping from Impel Down. With the intent of kidnapping one of the seven warlords, World ends up taking Boa Hancock's sisters as hostage. Luffy and Hancock team up to take down Burndy World and save Hancock's sisters.
From the original synopsis, I was under the impression that this would be a movie depicting Boa as a damsel in distress for Luffy to come and rescue from the hands of an evil pirate. I was so pleased that this was not the case. In fact, quite contrarily, Luffy and Boa made a great team going up against the bad guys.
If I am completely honest, the beginning of this movie did not sit well with me. The first fifteen minutes are almost entirely of flashbacks, and while I understand that it is necessary to show the events that occurred prior to this film, it was both rushed and simultaneously felt too slow. Going through Ace's death felt like I was fast-fowarding through a tape, because it was very quick scene after scene with not much transition between them. Then we go through a sequence of showing each of the Straw Hat Pirates that ultimately took up more time than I would have liked.
Following this, the build up to the actual events felt slow and altogether boring to me. I was thinking that this was going to be a flop of a movie, but about midway through the plot begans to pick up. And WOW did it pick up. The entire film went from being so-so to straight up amazing.
It's better that I don't talk about the plot any more so as not to give away spoilers. There is a lot that happens and it's well worth watching for yourself.
It's not uncommon for One Piece movies to try different art styles. This one reminded me a bit of the 6th One Piece “Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island” movie, but not quite as flat. In this, there was great detail when needed, and even dabbled a bit with 3D and computer looking effects. It took me a few minutes to adjust to the new style, but once I became familiar with it I was able to sit back and enjoy it for what it was.
The movement in this movie was phenomenal. It always felt like there was something going on, even when characters were merely talking to each other. Anywhere from hair to clothes to their bodies in mid-fight, it was great to see the effort put into making the simple lines on a screen come to life.
All of the voice actors did a great job and played their roles perfectly. As always, I can count on the cast to act their hearts out and bring powerful emotion to the characters. And in this movie, which actually dealt quite a bit with deeper emotions, the voice actors really impressed me.
The reason why I give sound a 7, however, is because the music used within the movie was not new and did not give much to the scene in the ways that I would want. The music, especially during a final battle, should not just be background noise, it should amplify and add a whole new layer to the scene. The music sort of faded into the background, and, I noticed, was just the same music that we have heard a hundred times in the show before. I would have loved to hear entire new compositions made for this movie, but sadly I was not given that.
Here's where the movie truly did an outstanding job.
We all know Luffy's character; we know he is a goof and sometimes an idiot, but we also know that he is loyal to his friends and he cares about others. In the show, we never did see the events that took place right after Ace's death or see how that might affect him. This film touched on that aspect in several instances, and it's evident that Ace's death is a burden that still weighs him down. I liked seeing that because it is not something we often see in his character. It is a main impact in Luffy's life to know that despite his efforts he was unable to save his brother. However, we don't really see that impact upon him because the show skipped over 2 years entirely, during which we can assume Luffy was given the time to accept, or at the least come to terms with, his brother's passing. In this film, Ace's death is still fresh in his mind, and Luffy is struggling with it periodically for the duration of the movie, especially when it is brought up by others. This point of the plot didn't overtake the rest of the events, but I really enjoyed seeing how it was an addition to the story and an addition to Luffy's character.
Boa Hancock is as wonderful as ever. She practically has a split personality, just like in the show, where she is either the pirate empress who uses her beauty and strength to kill her foes, or she is a lovesick puppy who is obsessed with Luffy. She was an enjoyable addition to the movie and I loved seeing her.
Those were the two main characters of the movie, but we had a myriad of others, and surprisingly all of whom I really enjoyed.
The main villains of this movie were Burndy World and his companions. I never thought I would be so invested in the back-stories of these villains, but I truly was. Their history was compelling and interesting and the character development seen between them is fascinating. I cared more about the villains than I ever thought I would. Of all the bad guys we've seen throughout the One Piece movies, I would say these are the most interesting ones, or at the very least, the ones I cared the most about.
There was so much to love about this movie. So many characters showed up that added new layers to an already well written film. The fighting was exciting, I was on the edge of my seat for the duration of each battle. There was a great build up to each fight, a great build up with each character, and much more.
There were flaws of course, no movie is perfect. And like I mentioned before, the first half was a bit of a let down for me, but the second half made up for it and practically made me forget any doubts I had to begin with.
Next to Strong World, I would say this is one of the best One Piece movies we've had. Absolutely worth watching. If you enjoyed the Marineford arc, watch this movie. And if you didn't enjoy the Marineford arc, you would probably still like this movie if nothing else than just to watch Luffy and Boa kick ass and take down some bad guys. read more
One Piece 3D2Y: Ace no shi wo Koete! Luffy Nakama Tono Chikai Review
Story (9/10) Great
With a story arc that takes place during the time-skip of One Piece where Luffy goes to Amazon Lily Island to learn and train his Haki with the assistance of Rayliegh, I thought this episode special fit in quite well. It doesn't break off and do it's own thing that would hinder the cannon story of One Piece which I don't think this is considered canon but like I said earlier since it happens during the time-skip i wouldn't see why it shouldn't. Execution with the plot that was given was simple and great.
Art and Animation (8/10) Very Good
More Specifically (8.75/10) Very Good+
The Art stood out in the episode special the most looking quite different than your average One Piece art style. Not enough for you to say "this looks weird!" or "this doesn't look like One Piece!" but it is enough for a person who's watched everything that has came out before this episode special to say "oh this looks a bit different" but not in a bad way as it has more of this westernized cartoon art style to it which makes it's slightly unique different and cool, the animation also is quite well.
Sound (9/10) Great
The sound effects and music are all authentic great One Piece OST that we are used to hearing nothing outstanding but just your usually but great One Piece BGM, sound effects and voice acting that we are used to hearing.
Characters (9/10) Great
The characters in the episode special mainly focus on Luffy, Boa Hancock, Buggy the clown, Buggy's crew and the episode special antagonist and his friend. All are portrayed the way you would think that are nothing outstanding but still great. We do get to see the new time-skipped Straw Hat crew at the end of the episode special which is a nice treat for things to come also.
Enjoyment (7/10) Good
I fairly enjoyed myself through the start and end of the movie. The buggy the clown stuff wasn't that entertaining and the Bao Hancock fight was ok nothing amazing those where really the only two parts of the episode special that I wasn't really that intrigued in. The Luffy vs World fights were very good and we get to see Luffy's progress with mostly Armament Haki with a taste of his new move Gomu Gomu No Red Hawk. Which we can assume was his first time using it since he was surprised when it came out even though he had the name for it right when he did it but I'm not going to think to hard about that, it's just an anime. Anyway I enjoyed it.
Overall (8/10) Very Good
More Specifically (8.75/10) Very Good+
This episode special was very good I would recommend this one also. I'm glad to see that I'm now fairly enjoying almost every episode special and movie after Strong World with this only assisting that statement. read more
One of the best special ep.. Its almost like a movie rather than a special..the story talks about friendship "nakama" and the hardship they've been through and brotherhood betrayal.. Fight scenes are EPIC as always .. Those flashbacks brings back the good memories of the times when i watch anime while they are still on grandline.. Boa hancock is as hot as ever. It give me more reason to like her. Luffy's antagonist devil fruit is quite bad ass. And some hilarious and bad ass character are in this special episode too. So overall if you love one piece you better watch it guys...