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To commemorate the 20th year since the release of the first ONE PIECE theatrical feature, Toei has given fans a treasure to thank them for their decades of love and support of the title. In that spirit, LMD has handed over the critical reins to our consultant and new TDR contributor, our own King of the ONE PIECE fans, Mr. Derek Ng, to give us his take on ONE PIECE: STAMPEDE.

Dig it!
 

 

For its 20th anniversary movie, Toei Animation has delivered to the ONE PIECE fans, ONE PIECE: STAMPEDE.  We are introduced to and welcomed by our main protagonist Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, as they make their way to the Pirate Festival.  The sinister Buena Festa invites pirates from all across the Four Blues to his Pirate Festival, where there’s a chance to acquire an ancient relic known as an Eternal Log Pose, belonging to the Gol D. Roger, aka the Pirate King.  Luffy and his crew of Straw Hat Pirates attend this event, reuniting with numerous friends and foes from earlier installments in the series, including Buggy the Clown, Luffy’s rebel brother, Sabo, as well as other characters that may surprise ONE PIECE fans.

Beneath all festivities and the rush to obtain Roger’s relic, we are introduced to our protagonist and villain of the movie, Bullet.  He was a former member of Roger’s crew, who was driven to insanity by his obsession for strength and of the hope of becoming the strongest pirate of the seas – the new Pirate King.  He imposes his ideology of self-reliance – that people, as well as pirates, should only rely on themselves for strength, which stirs Luffy up, and an all-out fight erupts among the Straw Hats.  Bullet is revealed to have the overwhelming power to absorb and transmute his surroundings, protecting himself; and when he morphs into a gargantuan monster, Luffy and his team must do whatever it takes to defeat him… and acquire the Eternal Log Pose, of course!

ONE PIECE: STAMPEDE encompasses and incorporates many of the characters from past generations of the previous series installments to attract and satisfy the fans.  Its generic plot was somewhat of an excuse to throw in a mashup of a ton of never-ending action, eye-popping explosions and animations, explosive fist fights, and a vast collection of diverse abilities from different characters.  It also features a beautiful soundtrack.  Director Otsuka Takeshi combined all these elements into an all-out slugfest of colors and exciting special effects that may warm the hearts of the ONE PIECE fans, but may exhaust the average, uninitiated moviegoer.

As a loyal fan, I loved every second of ONE PIECE: STAMPEDE, as it upholds a lot of the values that we, ONE PIECE fans, enjoy and believe in.  The electrifying action and adventure, and themes of friendship really warmed my heart and made me proud to be a ONE PIECE fan.  However, the plot did not meet the level of the action as I believed it would.

Though the plot may not have lived up to my expectations, overall, ONE PIECE: STAMPEDE is a rollercoaster of emotions worth riding!

 

~ Derek Ng

For The Diva Review

Sept. 26th, 2019

 

 

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Photos

Stills Courtesy of 

Toei/FUNimation

 

 

 

 

 

 

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