The heavyweight of Japanese cartoons shows his versatility again with his new movie, One Piece Film: Red and other upcoming projects for the franchise
The visual impact that anime (Japanese animated series) has, and its global industry is directly reflected in the economy of Japan. This sector represents 10% of the GDP of the Asian nation, generating millions of yen for the country’s finances.
One piece is no exception to this phenomenon. In 2020 alone, the franchise generated 5.4 billion yen from sales of its manga (Japanese comics) and anime, in addition to other products associated with the series such as video games, artbooks, original magazines, among other products.
Currently One Piece has been on the country’s television screens for 25 years. In addition, his manga is the best-selling in Shonen Jump magazine -where it is published weekly- and in the entire history of Japan with 516 million copies sold around the world, holding a Guinness World Record for the same reason.
This jewel of the anime industry continues to expand its empire and contribute to Japan with the premiere of its latest film One Piece Film: Red, which hit theaters in Panama on November 3. This is the fifteenth feature film in the franchise, and the most anticipated film project by Japanese animation fans since its first announcement last year.
So far the film has grossed $171 billion globally, making it the 10th highest-grossing Japanese production this year.
The film is directed by Goro Taniguchi. One Piece fans already recognize the director for having been part of the production of ‘One Piece: Defeat The Pirate Ganzak!’, a special episode of the anime in 1998. Red also has the performances of Kaori Nazuka, Mayumi Tanaka, Shuichi Ikeda, Kazuya Nakai, Akemi Okamura, Kappei Yamaguchi, among other voices known to loyal anime fans.
A new adventure
The feature film is a spin off that focuses on Uta, the world’s most beloved singer, who is known for hiding her identity in her performances. Everything changes, when the interpreter reveals her face in one of her presentations, announcing that she is the daughter of Shanks ‘the redhead’, villain of One Piece and the man who initially inspired the protagonist of the original story, Monkey D Luffy, to become a pirate.
Although One Piece is very extensive, the events seen in the film can be placed within the initial plot of the anime between the meeting of the different nations in the Mary Goise, the capital of the world government, and the events prior to the War with Wano, one of the countries in history.
In the production, Luffy’s crew, the ‘Straw Hats’, enjoy Uta’s presentation in Elegia, the Island of Music, along with marine troops and other groups of corsairs after having attacked the pirates of Big Mom’s crew.
Soon the ‘Straw Hats’ will be involved in a long musical journey upon discovering that Uta is also Luffy’s childhood friend, and the one responsible for the destruction of the Island of Music in years prior to the events shown in the film. .
The strength of the ‘fans’
For their part, anime fans have been very excited about the premiere of One Piece Film: Red. They have participated in different theater initiatives such as Cinemark Panama and other places dedicated to the sale of anime products to win tickets to this film. .
The franchise has more than 3,000 followers in the country and is one of the most talked about on social networks, where fans discuss and talk about new chapters every weekend.
The pen of Eiichiro Oda, author of the manga, has shown in recent years that although One Piece is in its final arc, the story still has a while. The adventure that began for readers and audiences in the late 1990s when Luffy ate the ‘Gomu Gomu’ fruit, which gave him the superhuman power to stretch like bubble gum, will soon come to an end on paper.
Despite this, other projects are being developed at the cinematographic level on the franchise. One of these was the animated movie that was released recently, and another was the live-action anime. This was announced in 2017, on the anniversary of One Piece’s debut, and is still in production.
With Oda’s supervision, the project is being developed under Tomorrow Studios, which was also responsible for other live-actions such as Cowboy Bebop, distributed by Netflix.
This One Piece adaptation will be directed by Steven Maeda and written by Matt Owens. It will also have actors like Iñaki Godoy, Mackenyu Arata, Emily Rudd, Jacob Romero Gibson, Taz Skylar, among others within its cast.
The first series is going to have 10 episodes of at least 50 minutes to an hour each. In the 10 episodes, the audience will be able to relive the East Blue saga, the beginning of Luffy’s story on his way to becoming the pirate king and where he meets the first members of the “Straw Hats”.
The live-action cinematographer, Nicole Hirsch Whitaker, has commented that the series will not be 100% attached to the original anime, where there will be aspects known to fans of the original story, but there will also be surprises. She also pointed out that with this adaptation they want to attract a new audience to One Piece.