Straight to the point, who might know that the red-hair Shanks has a daughter? One of the four emperors of the sea, one of the most fan-favourite characters who sacrifices his hand for the rubber boy, has a daughter. And the daughter is an idol superstar.
Straw Hat Luffy and his infamous nakamas continue their journey while they make short visit outside of the main storyline, and that’s what an anime movie usually does. During their journey, they stop at an island famous for its music and coincidentally there is a concert there with a lot of people attend the concert.
They attend the concert whose performer is non-other than Uta, the daughter of Shanks and she already befriend Luffy from the time when Red-Haired Pirate used to visit Luffy’s hometown. The connections somehow shocked a lot of people. Uta is Luffy’s friend and Uta is Shanks’ daughter.
Becoming the daughter of the Yonko make Uta attract a lot of uninvited guests like other pirates who want to kidnap her to get fame and money. Not only pirates but marine also chase her as marines deem Uta as a dangerous person, moreover she is the daughter of the red hair Yonko.
One Piece film Red, in a nutshell, tells the story of Uta and her hatred toward pirates and her dreams to create a new generation where people can live peacefully and have fun everyday. And all those dreams can become true through her musical power as Uta is famously known to have ‘otherworldly’ voice that literally can hypnotize those who listen to her.
In terms of the concept, Red is quite unique compared to other One Piece films. It has the element of musical and quite pop in presentation. It is more light-hearted in terms of visual and story. Just like usual One Piece story, occasional comical bits also inserted to complete the heart-warming friendship and family story.
As there is a musical element in the movie, the music part also deserves some applause both for music and the choreography. At some points the visual of the scenes when Uta is performing her music scores looks like a production of music videos which is very cool. But on the other hand, few songs sound like Disney song, that make some parts quite cringe.
Some conversation also sometimes feels a little bit cringe for an epic shounen fighting as some dialogues lead the conversation into Uta’s musical number. It might be quite unfamiliar to link One Piece with musical concept. It is also lead to quite disappointing fighting scenes. The fighting scenes just look like some sequences of characters unleashing their signature moves. The combat is lacking of elaboration and epic-ness.
The story is good, it is entertaining, and it is developing very well throughout the film. But there are few flaws, considering the timeline that Luffy and his friends doing lately in Wano Arc, Red seems a little bit too pop and a little bit out of place. It looks like a film that is more suitable into earlier arc from One Piece likely prior to the time skip.
The ending also is quite disappointing, it has an unmemorable ending and concluded too fast without giving a sensible touch toward the heart of the viewers. I was expected a little reunion of Shanks and Luffy, or maybe can be crafted in a similar fashion when Sabo visited Straw Hat pirate when Luffy was sleeping and ended up talking with Zoro and Robin. It is quite disappointing to see they sleep, the wake-up, they depart without memorable interaction.
Despite the disappointing ending, the anime has a perfect opening scene. Uta singing ‘Shin Jidai’ (New Genesis) as an opening score completed with little bit stop motion visual and dance moves, cut to Luffy annihilated the barbecue, cut to Usopp and Chopper joking around, cut to Sanji cooking, these motions are like the feel-good opening scene for any One Piece fans.
The well development story also resulted in a great character development. Uta might has the best introduction and development for a character throughout all One Piece films. Her introduction and her agony as a key character are perfect, but beside Uta and of course Straw Hat pirate nakamas, all other characters are just fan services. Shanks appearance alo give no weight to the film, and Big Mama is just too forced to exist within the story.
Overall, One Piece film Red is an entertaining film despite the flaws that it has. It is still enjoyable both to casual viewers and fans. If it has to be compared to the previous film, One Piece Stampede and Gold are still better compared to Red in almost every element except character development.
Our Score (7/10)
Title: One Piece Film Red
Production: TOEI Animation
Director: Goro Taniguchi
Screenplay: Tsutomu Kuroiwa
Voice Actors: Mayumi Tanaka, Shuichi Ikeda, Ado, Kaori Nazuka