The fifteenth film derived from the famous manga arrives this Wednesday in France, preceded by a sulphurous reputation. In question, overflows in the rooms, but also the content of the film. SPOILER WARNING.
In theaters this Wednesday, One Piece: Red, the fifteenth film based on the popular manga by Eiichiro Oda, is one of the most anticipated films of the year. And its release, as expected, was an event. With 119,311 admissions during the previews this weekend, the film is already a hit. But no one had imagined that it would unleash the crowds so much – and that it would almost eclipse the main release of the week: Boopthe new film from Oscar-winning director Jordan Peele (get out and Us).
In theaters, part of the public exults when they discover this new film, the release of which comes only four days after Japan, and coincides with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the manga. In videos shared on social media since this weekend, half-naked young people jump and scream in a Marseille cinema while discovering the final fight of the film.
Saturday evening, at the Grand Rex, in Paris, the public kept their clothes on, but did not hesitate to boo and insult Uta, the new female character of the saga when she started to sing or opposed Luffy , the hero of One Piece. Each fight and each appearance of a character loved by the public, on the other hand, was acclaimed to the point of shaking the walls of the venerable cinema.
The phenomenon is not recent – for years, fans of Japanese animation have been torn between lovers of tranquility and fans who have come to “set the mood”. In January, the preview of My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission had been disturbed by shouts, whistles and boos – some spectators had even climbed on the armchairs to dance.
The same scene happened in March for Jujutsu Kaisen 0. In both cases, the excesses were filmed, and the sequences garnered millions of views on Twitter. However, these videos seem to be staged by their protagonists, in order to create buzz on social networks. Since the premiere of My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Missionwe are witnessing an escalation between Internet users.
“A very important moment for the fans”
These excesses, it must be said, are not the prerogative of Japanese animation fans. As recalled on Twitter critic Joachim Lepastier, the sessions of the Grand Rex Fantastic and Science Fiction Film Festival in the 1970s and 1980s were already arousing boos from a ruthless public. “Every time I do something now, I think of the Rex spectators and wonder what will make them scream,” director Sam Raimi once said.
In the case of One Piece: Red, several elements make it possible to understand these overflows. The excitement is linked to the potential revelations that the film contains about Shanks Le Roux, one of the most mysterious and charismatic characters in Eiichiro Oda’s manga. The film also features a new character: the singer Uta, who is none other than Shanks’ daughter.
“This year, there have been a lot of revelations and One Piece is at a time in his career that is very important for the fans”, recalls animator Vincent Chansard, who worked on the film Red. “There’s been a huge fan engagement and there’s been a lot of news: Netflix’s live action series, Oda’s break, the announcement of the last arc… It’s an accumulation of phenomena that has participated in this hype.”
The ‘Gear 5’ Surprise
And if we trust the videos circulating on social networks, the outbursts seem to be linked to the surprise caused by the final fight of the film, where Luffy adopts the “Gear 5” fighting technique, which has just made its appearance in the manga a few weeks ago, in chapter 1044. No one could have imagined that such a recent element of the manga would be in One Piece: Red.
Even the animators who worked on the film didn’t know what director Goro Taniguchi was up to: “On the first storyboards, he wasn’t there”, recalls Vincent Chansard. “The whole question is was it added along the way or did they purposely not put it in the storyboard to only reveal the information at the end of the story? stage host?” Despite this surprise, One Piece: Red disappointed the fans, who consider this film mediocre inconsistent with the manga.
Despite interesting references to what Eiichiro Oda is up to, One Piece: Red suffers from rhythm problems. And despite a scenario similar to that of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the film is not as rich as the manga, an adventure story denouncing excessive industrialization, racism, and slavery. Fans will be able to catch up with volumes 102 and 103, scheduled for September 14 and December 7 respectively – with some major surprises on the program.