“One Piece Film: Red” marks another feature from the popular anime franchise. Director Gorō Taniguchi presents a story both rooted in established characters and new revelations. The results have proven to be successful in Japan. Reports set the August 2022 release at USD 16 million with over 1.57 million tickets sold during the first weekend (via Crunchyroll).
In the film, a famous singer named Uta (Kaori Nazuka) is making history. The performer may be known for her distinct voice, but her anonymity drives a devoted fanbase’s curiosity. Now, she is revealing herself with a bold concert that promises a few surprises. It all kicks off with Monkey D. Luffy (Mayumi Tanaka) confessing his connection to the headlining act, leading back to the boy with rubber properties’ earliest influences.
While it might not seem like a starting point, producer Shinji Shimizu thinks “Red” could be just what newcomers need. He’s laying out the reasons why this new film is perfect for those jumping into the complicated world of “One Piece.”
The film will bring in a new generation of fans
The 15th film presents a new opportunity to introduce audiences to Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates. “One Piece” has long been a daunting task for anime newcomers, with over 100 volumes of manga and 1000 episodes of the series to tackle.
These details became an important part of Shimizu’s “Red” pitch, especially considering how much younger generations factor into continuing popularity. “…audiences in a younger demographic, they may know of ‘One Piece’ but they don’t fully know the series or have the chance to get to fall in love with its characters,” Shimizu told ComicBook. “This new movie, I would say is, a chance for new, younger audiences to find a touch point with the franchise.”
Director Taniguchi has his own opinions about long-running anime. In a Japanese interview, he went into what he hoped for “Red: and why he wanted to upend “conventions” about the series. Namely among his opinions was a feeling that the anime itself had gone on too long. While the director had been approached before to direct, now seemed like the right time to present something different (via Epicstream).
“One Piece Film: Red” also comes at an important time for the property. Creator Eiichiro Oda announced the manga itself would be wrapping up in four to five years (via Crunchyroll). Recently, Oda added a one-month summer hiatus before jumping into the final saga (via @newworldartur/Twitter). Shimizu himself knows how significant it is to Oda and the animation team. “Oda-san himself has very high expectations for everything that he does. So, now that the manga is going into its final arc, it’s going to be really interesting,” he said during a CBR interview.
No additional films have been announced as of 2022 and that looks to stay that way until the final saga begins. Oda’s announcement also means the anime’s run could be ending with a lack of new source material. For those fearful of constant new episode reminders, seeing a clear ending might also provide the resolve to finally search the Grand Line.