Upon hearing news that islands in East Blue are being destroyed, Monkey D. Luffy and his crew go to investigate. On their way, however, an outlandish pirate ship appears out of the sky, helmed by the infamous pirate Shiki "the Golden Lion"—a man who ate the Float-Float Fruit and the first ever prisoner to escape from Impel Down. In his quest to defeat the World Government, Shiki kidnaps Nami to be his own navigator and sends the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates to his floating islands as hostages, leaving her in a dilemma. Separated in a land under Shiki's absolute control, Luffy and his crew must survive the mystifying terrain in order to bring back their navigator and friend.
First of all, I decided to write a review for this movie because it left a strong impression on me, and not a pleasant one I might add. I am a big fan of One Piece and I especially like where and how the story is going in the manga and the anime series and that's why I was really anxious to watch this movie too, only to be wondering why have I even bothered after seeing as much as half of it. I really had high expectations from this one, especially with all the hype around it and all, even though the past movies
weren't anything special.
I don't wish to ruin anyone's enjoyment, that's why I will try to be as objective as possible and give all the arguments necessary for my score decisions.
BUT LET ME WARN YOU, THIS IS A NEGATIVE REVIEW AND IT MAY CONTAIN SOME SMALL SPOILERS, SO DON'T READ IT IF YOU KNOW IT MAY AFFECT YOUR VIEWING EXPERIENCE!
STORY: The story is nonexistent. There is absolutely nothing in this that could be considered a story. The crew just beats the crap out of the bad guy saving the damsel in distress in the process and all for some cheap reason. When I say that the reason is not worthy to mention is because the viewer just doesn't seem to relate to the seriousness of the situation, mainly because we only HEAR about what the bad guy (Shiki) is going to do. There is almost NO VISUAL REPRESENTATION of the tragic that such a situation would represent, so the viewer remains unfazed emotionally most of the time. My score for the story is 3, yes you read it right, 3. All the hype about Eiichiro Oda being the one to write the script for this film I think it was mainly done for publicity reasons, as there is little substance to the actual story.
CHARACTERS: The characters that we all love and adore are full of clicheistic behaviour and unnatural reactions. But let me elaborate a bit on what I mean. The Straw Hat crew seem to behave throughout the story mostly in repetitive ways from past series' episodes. Now, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if done with care and moderation, but here we just see this many behaviour patterns brought together from several different arcs from the anime series and mixed to form this "thing" that lacks substance. On the other side of the barricade, the bad guys are... well... just silly. I mean, Shiki is one bad dude, his power is awesome, I can't deny that. I was really surprised by it, but his personality is just demeaning for the "legend" that he is supposed to represent and his actions and his master plan are just at a kindergarten level. His crew is stupid, and I mean stupid... There is no way such a crew could ever pose any threat to anyone, especially Gol D. Roger. They're not scary, they're not smart, they're not powerful and they're not even funny... especially funny. The jokes are terrible. And not only their jokes, but the jokes throughout the hole movie. They're really D grade material. The only thing that really stands out about the characters is the clothes they wear. Now, I don't dislike them, they're pretty cool, but I think this is mainly for the fanservice and the publicity and don't really fit well with the adventurous atmosphere that the One Piece world should have. So... for the characters I think a score of 4 is just about right. There are some good points but too few to make a difference. The not so good points just seem to overwhelm everything...
ANIMATION: The animation, at first really blowed me away, but slowly started to seem less and less attractive. The opening and the first part of the anime has astonishing graphics, wonderful views with top notch computer finishes. The battles are also very beautifully animated and really give a sense of awesomeness. But... yes... there is a but here too... There are some sequences where the animation just seems rushed and others where it seems plain. Not many I might add, but it still adds this feeling of inconsistency throughout the movie. Talking about inconsistency, the pace is very uneven. Either a fast pace is invoked or a slow one and they don't really transition smoothly between one to another. So, for the animation, I think an 8 is appropriate, and yes, I don't think I'm being generous. This is probably a fair score.
SOUND: Now... here you will find a problem. One of the first thing you may notice is that there is NO SOUND... yes, you heard me correctly... NO SOUND. And when I say this I mean there is no music through much of the film. The music is the most important thing when one wants to create an atmosphere suitable for the different situations that arise. And this movie lacks everything when it comes to atmosphere, and mainly because of the music. I was really disappointed by this. The characters' voices are pretty decent... the ones' everyone's already familiar with, so no problem here, although there isn't really much dialogue to be found. So for the sound, another 3, and now I'm being generous...
ENJOYMENT: I was really flustered about my expectations from this movie and it's real value. So, while I can't say I didn't enjoy it I can't say I felt any kind of satisfaction either. More like dissatisfaction. So... for the enjoyment, let's say... 4 will do.
RECOMMENDATION: If you're a One Piece fan, watch it. Also, if you're age is not greater than 12 you'll probably find it cool. Otherwise don't waste your time with it.
OVERALL my score is 4. Now, I don't know, maybe I was in a bad mood when I watched it and it deserves more, so don't go screaming your eyes out at me. If you disagree with me then I'm really happy for you, because the time you spent watching this film was enjoyable and it probably became a happy memorable experience for you.
One Piece: Strong World is, indeed, a great movie. If you like the anime, you should watch this. You'll probably love it. Now, about my ratings:
Story (9): The story is great. I suppose they couldn't do more in just one movie. The Strong World: Episode 0 OVA helped buying a lot of time. Like in any One Piece arc, the story moves fastly, no matter what has been shown before.
Art (9): Once you watch One Piece (anime) and see how the art isn't that good in many parts of the series, you'll notice that this movie contains a great art. Like, Franky had a
banana on his hair. What the hell is that? Brooke was smoking. Well, I liked it and all, but the clothes were strange, and I have to admit it. Anyway. Great art and this is it.
Sound(9): The sound is great, but it has nothing "unexpected". New soundtrack, but once it's a movie, it had to be like this. The voices were great (duh) like on the anime.
Character(10): Luffy's crew is so original that I can't give it less than 10. Their personalities, the clothes they were wearing (strange, but original)... Shiki was, as well, an outstanding character. I have nothing bad to add about the characters.
Enjoymen(9)t: If you like One Piece and you aren't expecting a lot of this movie just because Oda wrote this, then you'll love this movie and even give it a 10. The key is: Don't overrate it.
Overall(9): Well, many may not agree with me and rate this movie with a 10. But in a general analysis, 9 is a great note for this movie. All of the terms were combined and this is what we got: 9. The absence of logic in some parts (once I may not write spoilers, I'm not telling which parts these are), besides One Piece lacks logic on the anime itself many times, makes me feel like if this movie deserves a 9.
One Piece needs no introduction. It's one of those franchises that everyone's heard of, even people who don't watch anime. It's also one I haven't seen a whole lot of. I stopped watching after about a dozen episodes because it didn't interest me and Mr. Fantastic's brain dead son was absolutely unbearable as a character. I might have watched more if he hadn't been the main protagonist. Why am I bringing this up? Because I received a request to review one of the movies. You might ask how I can review it when I haven't watched most of the series, but it's pretty simple. It's
a movie. It's not an episode, it's a movie. Here's the thing about movies, they have to be able to stand alone. Even most film trilogy parts can stand by themselves and still make sense. So, if it's even halfway decently written, I should have no trouble figuring out what's going on or reviewing it. I may have trouble dealing with Stretch Armstrong's imbecilic cousin, but that's a completely different matter. So, let's take a look at One Piece: Strong World and hope that that stretchy moron dies a painful death.
We open with ships floating in the sky. We cut to a pirate who causes them to fall on a group of government ships. We then cut to silly putty brain and his crew wandering around on a floating island. Why? Well the film quickly moves into a flashback to show a pirate named Shiki, the same guy who made the boats float, trick elongated man's paint chip eating roommate and his crew into crashing on the island so he can kidnap Nami. What's the point of showing the events out of order? I have no idea, it doesn't make sense. There's no story reason for this structure nor does it create tension. Anyway, Shiki wants Nami to join his crew because he needs a good navigator so that he can take over the world. Okay, so the story is pretty cliche. How's the execution? Well, the first issue is that Shiki isn't even remotely threatening. He has sword legs which just look stupid and shouldn't be functional. Swords, they don't work that way. He also looks like the love child of Jay Leno and Kraven the hunter, making him very difficult to take seriously. Any complaints about that mental image should be addressed to Ultrazero@hotmail.com. Where any response you get will likely be pretending not to know who you are or what you're talking about but don't let that stop you. Then there's his crew, which consists of a clown who wears shoes that make fart sounds, a pink gorilla and a bunch of nameless henchmen. I've seen more menacing villains in the Care Bears. Maybe they're trying to be funny, but there's not a lot of humour here. There were all of two funny scenes. Another thing that really bugs me is that they use the term "Evolution" when what they mean is mutation. Science, how does it work?
The characters are pretty one-dimensional. Let's be generous and say that they're relying on us knowing them from the show. But those characters who I remember from what little I've seen of the show haven't changed, except for their outfits. Rousai's disappointing grandson is still an obnoxious moron and the rest of the cast is pretty under-developed and bland.
The art... I don't even know where to start. I have to admit that I hate the art in One Piece. The mostly lidless and blank eyes, the mouths that always seem to have their teeth showing for no reason, the bizarre proportions, the random things that replace various body parts. I will give the film credit though, most of the fight scenes do look pretty cool.
The voice acting is okay. I really can't stand Tanaka Mayumi's performance, although I don't really blame her since I know she can act. It's probably the direction. The rest of the voice actors do a decent job albeit exaggerated a times. The strongest performances are probably from Cho and Okamura Akemi. The music is pretty underwhelming and forgettable.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There isn't any in this.
So, how does Strong World fare? It's not that bad. The story is pretty stupid, Elastic girl's brain damaged admirer is the worst aspect and the weak antagonists don't help matters. To the film's credit, the fight scenes are pretty good and a lot of it does fall into the "so stupid it's funny category." So, I'm going to give it a 4/10.
Considering Oda's supposed contribution to this movie, it was pretty disappointing. Note that Shiki's abilities and some other things are spoiled in this review just since it's hard to talk about the movie without spoiling it, but... ah, who cares? The movie was predictable, anyway.
I simply couldn't think of the story as being more than filler. I know they tried to make it "tie into" the main story, but I simply wasn't convinced. They added this magical "Shiki" character who escaped Impel Down! That place has such tight security that NOBODY HAS EVER broken into or out of it until Luffy managed to. Oh... wait,
there was that one other guy who did it, how could we forget? What's more, he was Gol D. Roger's hugest rival and controlled a fleet of incredible proportions. What's even more, the news of his escape from Impel Down was broadcast to the entire world in the newspaper headlines, so EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT THIS GUY, and yet... he doesn't exist. He also destroyed Marineford before... He's like a hollow copy of Luffy's accomplishments for the sake of seeming like such a worthless character can be Luffy's rival. He's never mentioned in One Piece because he's nothing more than a character hastily inserted into the anime series in some weak attempt to create substance for the movie.
But okay, let's move on, shall we? This guy's been doing big things like making islands float and rampaging around East Blue (which shall hereby be forgotten by everyone). This is really quite horrible, so the Straw Hat Pirates decide to put their great adventure on hold. That's right, they're going to quickly sail back to where they started so they can save East Blue. That would surely take WEEKS or MONTHS, but don't worry! They'll surely make it back in time to save their hometowns. And they'll find some way to go back up the Reverse Mountain. Hey, I guess Brook can say hi to Laboon, going against his promise to circumnavigate the globe to see Laboon again. Seriously, the story was shit. It wasn't planned out at all and does NOT tie in with the main story in any way at all. By the way, this is only the introduction to set the stage; the movie's barely begun.
To me, it felt like the movie was trying very hard to be like "One Piece". The comedy was just pretty typical and didn't make me laugh. The "YOU CAN TALK?!" joke didn't really make sense seeing as everyone knows the guy can talk, though I found it slightly amusing. The final stage of that running gag was pretty decent, but overall I think it was a bad idea to try and stick a running gag into a single movie. There just isn't enough time to make the viewers familiar with it unless you throw it in their faces at every opportunity like they did in this movie. The bird and the electrocution humour felt like a copy of Pikachu from Pokemon.
The characters were... in character. Their costumes for the movie were fan service. They looked cool, there's no denying that. Shiki and his crew were made up entirely of complete morons. They also felt like a forced attempt to emulate "One Piece" - the three main villains were given very blatant quirks. One Piece often does a good job of making each character unique, like how Don Flamingo is always laughing and scheming, how Jinbei is honourable and self-sacrificing, how Zoro can seem scary while actually being a really great guy. Shiki had a steering wheel in his head and his own special laugh, which just felt bland and made him look like a joke. His assistant's shoes made fart noises and he had his running gag; the fart noise thing just felt really, really stupid. The gorilla dressed oddly and seemed to have a King Kong mindset or something. The characters had no depth; there was nothing to them beyond the quirks.
Shiki's power was kinda nonsensical. I can accept the floating stuff, but his special moves just didn't relate to that at all. When the Straw Hats fight him, the results are just kinda typical... like they want us to think "Wow, Shiki is so amazing and is not a guy to be messed with". I could feel that way about God Enel, but Shiki did nothing to earn a reputation like that. He just did some move that made no sense and everyone was suddenly too slow to do anything. I can't accept that, even if Luffy was hungry.
After thinking about it all, I think I rated this movie too high. The only good One Piece movie is the one where Chopper joins their crew... But it isn't good because it's a movie, it's good because Oda actually wrote that story and it was really touching; it was touching in the series. All of the movies are mere merchandise created to generate more money by throwing the "One Piece" name all over the place. If you're an extremely hardcore fanboy or if you can't tell good anime from bad anime, then this is the movie for you. One Piece has a good story, but you should just stick to the manga if you're tired of fillers and empty movies like this one.