One Piece Film: Red Director Seeks To Win Back Lost Fans

This content was published on 23 October 2022 – 07:43

Maria Roldan and Yoko Kaneko

Tokyo, Oct 23 (EFE).- Director Goro Taniguchi returns 24 years later to the direction of the adventures of the pirate Monkey D. Luffy with “One Piece Film: Red”, the latest film in the franchise, an emotional reunion that has served to get rid of thorns stuck and with which he seeks “to reach the largest number of public possible”.

Taniguchi, 56, talks in an interview with EFE before the premiere of the film in Spain on November 3 and in Latin American countries, and confesses: “I am really happy to have been able to meet Luffy again.”

The director is, in the words of the author of the original manga, Eiichiro Oda, “the first person who animated Luffy”, because he directed “One Piece: Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack”, the first animation adaptation of “One Piece” , an OVA released on video in the summer of 1998, before the premiere a year after the animated series.

It was the third time that the production company Toei Animation asked him to direct another “One Piece” film. “In Japan it means a lot to ask for something three times, so I couldn’t stand them up,” he recalls.

Among his greatest satisfactions is having removed a thorn stuck since that first job.

“I am very happy to have been able to remove Usopp. (…) 24 years ago I hesitated until the last moment whether to include him, but I decided not to do it because of the situation of the manga then,” says the filmmaker.

Including it feels “as if it had been able to complete a pending task. It contributes a lot, when you see the film you understand it. It plays a very important role,” says the director.


With this film, “I thought we should pose a challenge for ‘One Piece’ to reach the largest possible audience and we had to do something that had not been seen before”, a challenge that Taniguchi considers that they have successfully overcome by combining the characteristic action of the work with the great weight of the music.

This component excited Oda, a fan of it, as well as his attachment to one of the central figures of the film, the singer Uta.

“Because the author loved the idea, he brought us designs on the spur of the moment or asked us to listen to the songs before the work was finished. I gave it to him because he was enjoying it so much,” recalls Taniguchi of the production.

This fresh air contributed to this for the author who, according to the director and friend, was “tired of drawing so many strong guys.”

Another striking component of “One Piece Film: Red” is the visuals, which Taniguchi tried to “change a lot.”

In an unusual move for a Toei production, the director brought in many people from outside the studio, including the art director, the person in charge of color, music, and recording.

Working with Oda, who was very involved in the project, has been intense, says the filmmaker between laughs: “There were moments in which it was heavy, but also other good ones. It has been half and half. (…) I think it is because we’ve known each other for 24 years. We were able to stimulate each other positively.”


The premiere of “One Piece Film: Red” took place in Japan on July 22 and its theatrical release on August 6. It is already the highest-grossing film of the 15 “One Piece” films and, still in theaters, ranks eleventh among the highest-grossing films in Japan, with more than 17.1 billion yen (about 117 million euros).

Taniguchi aspired to bring as many viewers as possible to theaters and also for the film to serve as a bridge to the original manga, which has been running since 1997.

“‘One Piece’ is a very long work. There will be people who are familiar with the title but have never read the manga or watched the anime. Others who read or watched it long ago but left it halfway through. I wanted to turn them into new fans and reach all of them, he explained.

“One Piece Film: Red” marked a symbolic turning point for the franchise. The author, Oda, took a break before the premiere and announced that the current story arc will be the last, so the work will come to an end in the next few years.

Asked about the outcome, Taniguchi replies amused: “I’ve known everything for 24 years, but I can’t tell you. I’ve been silent for 24 years -laughs-. I know everything!”.

The president of Toei Animation Europe, Ryuji Kochi, who participated in the interview, hopes that the success of the film in Japan will be replicated in Europe and in other territories, taking advantage of the pull that the Wano country arc has given the series, which “It has helped to increase the fan base,” he says. EFE



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