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Rubber limbed Luffy is back, this time in film form as the Straw Hat pirates take on another challenge, while Luffy continues his quest for the fabled 'One Piece' treasure, which would elevate him to King of the pirates.
One Piece: Film Z (2012 - 1 hr, 43 min, 23 sec) was one in a number of films made from the successful anime series. The film was written by Osamu Suzuki and directed by Tatsuya Nagamine. The characters were based on the original manga by Eiichiro Oda. The film is presented on a single disc, with no extras, there is a fine collection of audio options providing both English and Japanese 5.1 and 2.0 tracks with optional English subtitles.
The "Z" in the title refers to the leader of the Neo Marines, Zephyr, and a former Admiral, who, as the film reveals, has a particular vendetta against all pirates. His ultimate goal is to rid the world of every single one of them, but with a plan so audacious and destructive it is likely to take many innocents as well.
The plot of the film is as convoluted as the television show, suffice it to say that following Zephyr's initial attack on Firs Island, Zephyr encounters the Straw Hat pirates, who take care of him as an injured stranger. On learning that Luffy and his friends are pirates, a fight immediately ensues. There follows much to and froing as the two sides meet, fight, separate to become stronger only to fight again.
As a character, Zephyr is a cut above your average villain, in being honourable, with a back story which fully explains his motives and his animosity towards all pirates. In the middle of all the action the film provides pathos, ultimately leading the audience to sympathise with his motives, if not his methods. It is unusual in One Piece for the supposed villain to get such well constructed back-story, as most are purely created as comedic foils for Luffy and raison d’être for the insane fight sequences. As per usual Luffy’s reasons for fighting are as inane as they are funny.
The film gets a fault free, sharp and vibrant print, as you would expect from such a recent movie .What grain there is in the film is there by design. Given the higher budget for the film the whole thing is visually more dynamic. The animated show tended to fall back on moving the camera over static shot, presumably to save money, not so with the film, with the characters fully animated.
It’s a good film which capture the anarchic fun of the original show, shame about the lack of extras.
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