I know just writing something like this is is a bit unusual from me, but given the occasion I thought I’d be fitting. This isn’t so much of an analysis, it’s mostly just a little talk about the recent news. In fact, I wrote something similar for GOLD back when it was first announced in summer 2015… and I wouldn’t be surprised if not a single soul reading this will remember that, but that’s just a testament to how much my site has grown since then.
But regardless, yes, a new One Piece movie has been announced at the end of the Skypiea special, to the collective surprise of absolutely no one, but it is nice to get a confirmation nonetheless. First, let me just cover some of the information about the movie that has been given with the official press release from the One Piece website:
– The movie is seemingly a theatrical release and will celebrate 20 years of the anime airing (not to be confused with the 20 years of the manga celebrated last year). It’s the 14th One Piece movie to come out, though only the fourth to hit a theatrical release
– The movie is hitting Japanese theaters in summer of 2019. To put it into perspective, Film GOLD came out in Japan on July 23rd 2016, hitting other Asian theaters a month after and Western ones around November. So if you do not live in Japan or Asia, chances are you’ll be able to see this one around November of 2019
– Oda’s involvement with the movie has yet to be confirmed in any way. However, they did call this movie a follow up to Strong World, Z and GOLD, indicating that it will be a theatrical release, likely with Oda’s involvement. Oda wrote the script for Strong World, while he helped direct Z and GOLD, something that has helped make them stand out, so let’s hope this movie lives up to their quality
– The One Piece website claims that this movie will be of “unprecedented scale”, which would indicate a powerful opponent or a groundbreaking storyline to tell. These could also just be meaningless words to hype the movie up, so take them with a grain of salt
And of course, we also have to bring up the elephant in the room:
– Rocks: yes, this has been on everybody’s mind, but it is quite likely that the movie revolves around the “Rocks” crew/person that was hinted at in chapter 907. For more info on what exactly “Rocks” is, you can check my analysis of the dialogue here. The same was done with Shiki back in Chapter 530, so this seems completely plausible. A figure like this fits so well as the antagonist of a movie, as introducing it in the current storyline would be a bit too complicated
Anyways, yes, this movie was rather expected, so it’s no surprise. There’s several reasons for that, such as the time delay between movies being (somewhat) even, but furthermore, each One Piece movie comes out at around a point where the anime is at a big milestone, in order to draw fans in. With Strong World, the anime was about to head into Marineford, with Z the anime entered Punk Hazard (which then led into Dressrosa which was already beginning in the manga), GOLD was right about the time the anime reached Zou which led into Whole Cake and now this movie will come out around the time the anime will tackle the Reverie, but most importantly, Wano. Being one of the most built up arcs in the series in years, Wano is the ideal point to not only bring a One Piece film, but one of large scale at that
On a more personal note, I’ve always had a bit of a struggle when it came to One Piece films. There is always this massive push for it, the mangaka hypes them up, it’s treated like the second coming of Jesus but… that’s all in Japan. Now, it’s one thing if a product comes out in Japan (special volumes and stuff), but since the Blu-ray won’t come out until beginning of 2020 at worst, the entirety of the hype is heavily lost and by the time it reaches Western theaters, a lot of the interest has gone to waste.
But thankfully, this time it shouldn’t be the case! Because regardless of this movie, I was planning on going to Japan next spring/summer for a good period of time. I’m not completely sure if it’ll work out, but the timing of this movie couldn’t have been any better. To top off my time there with a One Piece film would be a dream come true!
We’ll see how the future pans out, but thanks to the excellent timing, I legitimately have a big interest in this movie! In a couple months we’ll likely learn of the name and more details from there on out, so let’s hope it turns out to be a fantastic film!