One Piece Film Z is the twelfth feature film of the One Piece franchise from Manga Entertainment, Luffy and crew find themselves in a conflict of good vs bad, justice vs injustice and good old revenge!
The movie opens with Z and his crew taking on the marines, culminating in a fierce battle between former teacher and student in Z vs Kizaru. The battle ends with the destruction of the unfortunate island they happened upon, thanks to a Dyna Stone said to contain power akin to that of the Ancient Weapons. It just so happens that the island they destroyed wasn’t just a coincidence but part of a larger plan, that the crew of the Thousand Sunny, unfortunately, becomes involved in when they rescue a floating half-dead man called – Z. Upon discovering the crew of the Thousand Sunny are in fact pirates, Z begins his assault upon them until his fleet arrives leaving the Thousand Sunny and crew very worse for wear. With conflict between the two parties now unavoidable Luffy and crew set about finding information on Z and his mission. Zephyr – as Z was once known was a Marine admiral, now he commands a fleet called Neo Marines and they aim to rid the world of pirates, exacting Z’s revenge.
Visually the movie is brilliant it does mix traditional 2D with CG animation, a slight concern for many. But where some reviews had a negative view on the movies use of it I found it barely noticeable, blending the two techniques together with ease. The three new characters introduced in the movie have received a lot of care and attention over there designs, perfectly fitting their roles within the film.
As someone who prefers the original language track with English subtitles I actually found the dubbed version very enjoyable, even going as far as watching the movie in its entirety with the dub. I usually tend to switch between dub and sub for the sake of a review but mainly sticking to the sub. Toei Animation seems to have recycled a few of their sound effects over the years, at one point in the movie I felt like if I closed my eyes it could have very well been Dragon Ball Z that was playing in front of me.
One major downside to this release is the lack of extra content; essentially this is just a movie on a disc. To be fair though even with the addition of a trailer or any extra the main attraction still the movie, I for one only see extras as just that an extra and not the main motivation for buying a copy.
A very strong movie outing for the One Piece franchise and Toei Animation, the story is not the most original but is executed brilliantly - overall a strong release. The dub surprised me in terms of its quality and I'm very sceptical when it comes to dubs. Even with the lack of extras on the disc, which is disappointing, it takes nothing away from this release as the movie easily holds its own.