Ready for a One Piece bonus? Perhaps not, but here it is anyway. Especially since this is apart of the running Goro Taniguchi meta in Mechanical Anime Reviews. Before Toei started the long running anime series, Production I.G. with the director Goro Taniguchi created this proof of concept one episode of One Piece visually. A very interesting how it could have been produced in 1998. I find this pretty interesting because it is so early in One Piece’s run. There are no Merry Go yet. In fact, the Straw Hats are only made of Luffy, Zoro, and Nami. Isn’t that crazy?
That makes this such a small adventure in the middle of nowhere. The three are on their boat and end up washed on an island controlled by Ganzack. A usual start with One Piece because there are pirates of all statures who want to have their own town to control. The scale on this is so small though. Ganzack is so oppressive against his town by forcing them to work. Quickly rallied by a little girl Medaka who wants to save her father, the Straw Hats aim to free the town from Ganzack and his reign. That’s it, its so simple.
Ganzack is a very run of a mill dictator who has control over a pirate ship and has crab technology that he defeats Luffy with. So he is very aesthetic. Otherwise, boring. The most interesting part is watching Nami, Zoro, and Luffy because they don’t have a dynamic yet. In fact, they are barely together at all. So this is like a Lupin episode but much more Looney Tones. Nami is the Fujiko who gets in with Ganzack in what seems like betrayal, but wants Luffy to win. Zoro hasn’t been able to get lost yet, but Luffy is still Luffy on his quest to become kind of the pirates.
Visually, the episode feels so nostalgic. Not because I have watched One Piece before, but the way the art and animation just flow and move are so retro. Very expressive in the only way that late 90’s anime can be and its just so much fun and creative. So many facial expressions and action scenes with all three of the current Straw Hats. So much fun and cute and just…watchable. A great way to spend 25 minutes of time for everyone because it is the beginning of One Piece and the characters are so simple. The link is a couple paragraphs up. If it works in your region, you aren’t going to waste any time.
With that, Shounen Jump Movie Month continues next week with more One Piece (yay!!!) and Saint Seiya (yay….)