Let me start this by saying I've never watched One Piece before, with the exception of an episode or 2, it's a title I've tried to avoid in the past. When the trailer came out for Strong World, I thought it looked fantastic. Suffice to say after watching this terrific film... I'm a fan. Written by series creator Eiichiro Oda, the film is about a disgruntled pirate that has his eyes set on destroying East Blue, the birthplace to many of the straw hats, Luffy obviously has a huge problem with this and they set out to stop him.
Luffy gets wind of attacks on their birthplace, East Blue, and Luffy is determined to go and find out what's going on. Along the way, they run into Shiki, Shiki was the captain of the Golden Lion pirates, a fleet that was wiped out years earlier by someone from East Blue, so he is now set on conquering it. Shiki also possesses devil fruit powers in the form of being able to levitate any non living matter, a power he uses on the Straw Hat crew to kidnap Nami and trap Luffy and Company on an Island full of genetically enhanced animals.
With the Straw Hat crew separated into groups and Luffy off trying to save Nami, the film builds up nicely at a brisk pace to an inevitable showdown between Luffy vs Shiki, and it pays off! The final 30 minutes were amazing, full of so many great action scenes that looked beautiful in Blu-ray.
For English dub fans, Strong World is a big deal. This movie is the introduction to Brook! No need to worry if the actor delivers or not, Ian Sinclair takes the reigns and nails the role flawlessly.
- English dub. I was very impressed with the cast here. Particular standouts for me were Scott McNeil as Shiki and Ian Sinclair who voices Brook. Scott doesn't do much voice work for FUNimation anymore, but when he does it's always a great performance. Ian Sinclair, who voices Brook, was stellar here. Each role of his I see, I become more and more impressed with how much of a natural talent he has for this. Honestly, it was hard to pick favorites, everyone was fantastic in the film.
- The characters. I'm a big fan of ensembles, and One Piece's characters remind me a lot of the characters from shows like Yu Yu Hakusho Dragon Ball Z and more recently Fairy Tail, all of them are just so much fun to watch interact with one another! Terrific cast of characters.
- The Animation.
- Great story.
- With so much going on, some characters were gonna get pushed aside. Robin didn't do much in the film, nor did Franky. Besides that minor complaint, no other negatives to report, I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
Video and Audio:
Video quality was excellent. Everything was crisp and vivid. To some the animation may seem dated, but it's also the uniqueness and the style of the series that really makes it standout. A lot of the character designs in particular really blew me away, my favorite was hands down Brook... a hippie rocker skeleton with an afro wearing 70's disco clothes, awesome!
Audio options for Strong World are either a TrueHD English 5.1 or a TrueHD Japanese 5.1 stereo. I only watched the English track and it sounded great. No audible distortion, the dialogue was always clear and the soundtrack never became too much.
- Behind the scenes of One Piece: Introducing Brook. A 20 minute interview with Ian Sinclair (voice of Brook) talking about the show, the auditioning process, and how nervous he was about the role. Brina Palencia (Chopper) and Mike McFarland (Director) also take part.
- U.S. Trailer.
- FUNimation Trailers.
One Piece: Strong World is a fantastic film. It has a great story, with an awesome buildup to one giant kick ass final fight, a nice balance on the focus between all of the characters, and a great English dub that introduces us to Brook. Consider this Highly Recommended.