A play‘The Alabasta arc is one of the most pivotal and memorable moments in the entire franchise, and one of the producers behind the anime shared a heartbreaking story about the series during the production of the anime behind the Alabasta bow. Eiichiro Oda’s original manga series is currently celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first launch in the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, and fans have seen Luffy and the Straw Hats take on all sorts of adventures and battles through the series so far. Many more members were added to the crew during this time, but one slipped through the crew’s fingers.
Shinji Shimizu, producer behind the next One Piece Movie: Red moving to theaters in Japan later this summer, spoke about the film and the anime’s production during a special panel at Anime Expo earlier this year (which ComicBook.com was in attendance). Looking back on some of the producer’s most memorable moments with the series as a whole, Shimizu revealed a particularly poignant memory during the Alabasta arc. Specifically, he recalls how heartbreaking it was when everyone had to say goodbye to Princess Vivi…including the actress who brought her to life.
Asked about his favorite memory while working on the One Piece anime over the years, Shimizu has brought up the Alabasta arc. He had mentioned that Vivi in particular was already in her extended “nakama” that associated fans had at Luffy and the Straw Hats. Vivi turning down the Straw Hats was a big deal for the team at the time, because not only was this a genuine new offer for someone to join the crew, but she’s also the very first (and only ) no one to also refuse to join Luffy and the others in their journey across the seas.
In particular, it was difficult for Vivi actress Misa Watanabe as Shimizu clearly remembered how Watanabe felt about the situation knowing she was going to say goodbye to the crew (and her character) for a certain time. This thankfully isn’t the only time we see Vivi as the rest of the series continues, but Alabasta’s ending remains one of the greatest moments and farewells of the series as a whole. What did you think of Vivi’s goodbye when it first happened? Let us know all your thoughts on this in the comments! You can even contact me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!