This is a fairly easy film to review. Ask yourself…do you enjoy One Piece? If you do, see it. As Shonen Jump anime films go, this is a perfectly acceptable little anime film. If something is popular enough, you’ll inevitably find a movie version or spin off of it. More often than not, it’s because some executive is trying to make a quick buck by using the name value to bring people in to see whatever movie they’re selling. While every now and then you’ll find a diamond in the rough or a true gem, most of the time the movies feel forced, rushed, or unfaithful to the original material and the quality tends to suffer as a consequence. If a manga is popular enough, you can almost be sure there’ll be an animated or live action movie of it. This movie as an entirety was built around the Marine lore and back story. The story had lots of explanation regarding the principle themes of the Marines and some characters were basically used strictly just for the sole purpose of providing exposition.
Some points of the movie are confusing as well. This film is about Z, a character who we officially not allowed to ‘know’ yet, I think that’s the reason why it lacks of many things to make a good movie. They’re not allowed to be spoiled and it’s an unknown event, that’s why it’s hard to make. To fit the plot in a movie length time span, it was surprisingly well done. This was one huge gripes that I had with Oda’s previous project, Strong World was a bit of a let down. With Film Z, I feel that he understood what it took to make a movie that retains the breathtaking aura of One Piece series, and he delivered it. I’d be surprised if this movie doesn’t win major awards in Japan, it surely deserves the Best Animated Japanese Film Awards. Perhaps it should even be nominated in Oscar Awards Best Picture because this movie just nailed it.
If you didn’t hear, Avril Lavigne does provide the main title. If you watched the trailers, you know that two tracks of Avril Lavigne would be played in the movie but you won’t hear that until the credit rolls. First half was “How You Remind Me” and then “Bad Reputation” played after that. The original soundtrack was brilliant. It was different while at the same time maintaining that One Piece feel we all love; high tension to melancholy themes that played throughout different scenes.
Character Z, also known as Zephyr had such deep story to him and if you love backstories of various characters in One Piece, you’ll definitely love Z’s. As for our lovable characters, the Straw Hats each got their turns to shine in this movie, however the stronger and prominent fighters such as the Monster Trio(Luffy, Zoro and Sanji) had their own individual opponent to fight. Franky was the next in line after the Monster Trio. Usopp also had good action scenes, but not quite on the same level. Nami and Robin at times were used for fan-service until the climactic battle at the end. Chopper was funnier than ever before, but not entirely important to the story. Brook didn’t do a lot in terms of getting into battles, but he had his comedic moments just like Chopper. The skills of animators in this movie is really great, in combination with the fan-service I rate it above average and a good step in the right direction for this series’ future.