Stream It Or Skip It: 'One Piece Film: Red' on Crunchyroll, Bringing Pop Music and Piracy Together For a Bombastic Anime Adventure - Decider
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Stream It Or Skip It: 'One Piece Film: Red' on Crunchyroll, Bringing Pop Music and Piracy Together For a Bombastic Anime Adventure - Decider

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There are over 1,000 episodes in the long-running Japanese anime series One Piece, and 14 other feature films in the franchise. So what makes One Piece Film: Red stand out from the pack? Well, for starters, it’s on a whole ‘nother level when it comes to its aesthetics, story, and everything else in between. Still need selling? Read on…
The Gist: It’s the Great Pirate Era, and Monkey D. Luffy (Colleen Clinkenbeard) and his motley crew the Straw Hats (Roronoa Zoro (Christopher Sabat), Nami (Luci Christian), Usopp (Sonny Strait), Sanji (Eric Vale), and Tony Tony Chopper (Brina Palencia) have made their way to Elegia, the Island of Music.
There, they’re attending a concert held by Uta (Amanda Lee), an arresting pop singer who rarely appears in person and tends to captivate her audiences with her amazing visuals and singing voice. No one knows who she really is, and that’s by design.
The Straw Hats and hundreds of other fans are in attendance as Uta begins her concert. But when she’s thanking the crowd for their support, Luffy makes his way to the stage. He reveals in front of the screaming crowds that she’s actually childhood friend - the daughter of legendary pirate and Luffy’s idol Shanks (Brandon Potter).
Uta isn’t a fan of pirates and just wants the world to get along, to create a world full of happiness and peace. Luffy and his team aren’t keen on the idea of rejecting their lives at pirates, and Uta responds with an attack — then traps fans in a dream world known as the Sing-Sing World, a false reality that only she can control. It’s one thing to wish for love and peace, but trapping people in a fake dream world to do it? Naturally, Luffy and crew have something to say about that.
The Straw Hats must band together to stop Uta from enacting her desire for a peaceful world in the wrong manner, all while dealing with additional threats that pop up here and there that also have a stake in what Uta does. It’s one heck of a bubblegum beatdown, but at least there’s a light at the end of the rainbow – the potential reconciliation of father Shanks and adopted daughter Uta.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: Of course there are several One Piece films already available that would make sense to compare this one too, but it’s on a whole other level in terms of aesthetics, story, and everything in between. It channels the best vocal “pop phenomenon” moments of the recent Beauty and the Beast analogue Belle while borrowing elements of exciting shonen anime movies like Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. It’s your favorite fighting anime wrapped in a glittery sheen, as if action heroes took a trip to a J-pop concert.
Performance Worth Watching: J-pop powerhouse Ado lends her vocal talents as Uta’s original Japanese singing voice to stunning effect. While some dubs typically add English translated songs depending on the production, it was for the best to retain Ado’s original Japanese songs instead of re-recording them. Ado has incredible range and is able to convey hope and excitement in terms of shining, glittery J-pop tunes as seen in the opening moments of the film, but she can also channel unbelievable rage and anger when taking enemies to task. The film’s theme song “New Genesis” is made even more impactful by Ado’s effervescent voice, and the entire production is elevated because of it as well.
Memorable Dialogue: “Quit being pirates, you goofs,” urges Uta at the very beginning of the movie. “C’mon, give up all that nasty business and join up with me. We’re making a better world with none of the cruelty and violence. My music will set you free and we’ll all live happily together in peace.” This is said in kindness and in a friendly tone at first, but Uta quickly devolves into a menacing tone the more she repeats these things until it’s evident she wants to trap Luffy and the Straw Hats.
Sex and Skin: None here, but there are some occasional skimpy outfits – par for the One Piece course, but nothing to get too worked up over.

Our Take: While One Piece tends to rely on brawls that sprawl across dozens of episodes at times, Film Red is more of a musical than a typical shonen anime film. The action is punctuated by full-length songs that Uta uses to attack and the apparitions and creations her tunes materialize. It’s all accompanied by eye-popping visual feasts, elaborate dance numbers, and colorful bursts of energy as Uta dances her way to subjugation.
by Samantha Nungesser (@samjnungesser)
At the same time, it introduces another fantastic character that One Piece fans can rally behind and look for more from as the manga and anime series continues. It’s a surreal dreamland of catchy pop tunes and people who want peace, but who aren’t quite sure how to reach it. Watching it all come together is nothing short of a treat, and a parade of some of One Piece‘s “greatest hits” of its hundreds of characters introduced over the years.
Our Call: STREAM IT. This is the best film the One Piece franchise has seen by far. Not only is it accessible for newcomers who may not have time (or want to) sift through 1000+ episodes to get to the meat of the series, but it’s also a lengthy, engrossing journey that veterans will appreciate thanks to all the character appearances, series callbacks, and implications for the series’ future.
To accomplish this after years of anime episodes and manga chapters is nothing short of impressive. And perhaps best of all, it means there’s still so much life left in One Piece ahead of its final run. It’s a great time to be a fan, and if you weren’t already, you will be by the time you get to know Uta and her place within this long-running pirate saga.
One Piece Film: Red is currently only streaming in theaters, but will be arriving on Crunchyroll soon. Check Fandango to see where it’s playing near you.
Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over a decade for publications like G4, Popular Science, Playboy, Variety, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, GameSpot, and more. When she’s not writing or gaming, she’s collecting retro consoles and tech. Follow her on Twitter: @MolotovCupcake.
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