Eiichiro Oda’s manga One Piece has run for 83 volumes since 1997, and has been made into four straight-to-video movies, a television series that recently completed its nineteenth season and a baker’s dozen anime theatrical films, the latest of which is Hiroaki Miyamoto’s One Piece Film: Gold.
The domestic distributor insists that this latest entry doesn’t demand prior knowledge of the multimedia series, and that’s largely true, but it’s still geared toward fans. Captain Luffy (Colleen Clinkenbeard) and his motley treasure-hunting crew known as the Straw Hat pirates happen upon the floating Vegas-like city of Gran Tesoro, a wicked hive of sin and debauchery ruled by power-obsessed alpha male Tesoro (Keith Silverstein), who surrounds himself with gold, demands fealty from his lessers and tends to put his name on stuff. (Thank goodness people like that don’t exist in real life!)
Our heroes are first thrilled by the abundant gold — they’re pirates, after all — but soon discover that such an ostentatious place can have downright Dickensian drawbacks. The picture is boisterous and shouty and frequently grotesque, and it features a preponderance of scantily clad, large-breasted women, including Straw Hat pirate Nami (Luci Christian), whose barely-there bikini top helpfully has the word “sexy” printed on it.
Only Yesterday it ain’t, and you probably already know whether One Piece Film: Gold will make you ecstatic or not.
One Piece Film: Gold
Directed by Hiroaki Miyamoto
Opens January 10, Village East Cinema, Regal Union Square, and AMC Empire 25