Nov 14, 2012
ktulu007 (All reviews)
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. 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.