ONE PIECE FILM: Z (ENGLISH VERSION)

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ONE PIECE FILM: Z (ENGLISH VERSION)

It would probably be a good idea for this review to start with a quick disclaimer: this particularly writer has no idea what he’s just watched. I'm one of those people who had a brief flirtation with the world of anime in the mid-‘90s when everybody was raving about Akira, but apart from the odd series here and there it isn't a genre that I've ever really kept up with. In all honesty I'm probably not the best person to be reviewing this, but the press release sold it to me pretty well so I thought I'd give it a watch.

It turns out that One Piece is a massively successful manga series, starting in 1999 and quickly expanding to encompass nearly 700 TV episodes and thirteen animated feature films. One Piece Film: Z is the twelfth of those films, but it doesn't seem to matter too much if you haven't seen any of the others. Z is a self-contained story following the heroes of the series, the Straw Hat Pirates, as they face their most powerful enemy so far...

Admittedly there were a fair few parts of the story went over my head, with many scenes seeming to refer to things that have happened in previous incarnations of the series. The meat of the story revolves around Z, the captain of the Neo Marines, and his general disdain for pirates. He wants to destroy three volcanoes known as End Points, resulting in a giant eruption which would cover the world's oceans with lava and kill all the pirates. Monkey D. Luffy and his wacky band of sea-faring brothers are understandably not too keen on this idea, and set off to do battle with Z and the Neo Marines.

Clocking in at nearly two hours long, it's a pretty long story but there's enough action and drama going on that the time seems to fly by. After about an hour of general farting around, we suddenly get a really quite moving scene which explains Z's back story, blowing your mind in the process and totally changing the way you watch the second half of the film. Being sucked into the story in such a way was completely unexpected, and what had started out as an enjoyable but slightly ridiculous tale ended up being one of the most gripping stories I've come across in a long time. Now it's time to think about the mammoth task of working through the other twelve films and all those TV episodes...

INFO: ONE PIECE FILM: Z (ENGLISH VERSION) / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: TATSUYA NAGAMINE / SCREENPLAY: OSAMU SUZUKI / STARRING: COLLEEN CLINKENBEARD, CHRISTOPHER R. SABAT, JEREMY SCHWARTZ, LUCI CHRISTIAN, BRINA PALENCIA / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
 


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