This is the second One Piece movie, theoretically taking place after Sanji joins the crew and before they go to Drunken Drum Island. Just like all movies, it is a filler mission with a good budget and a simplistic plot. The story is just about the Strawhat Pirates trying to save a kidnapped Nami and their stolen ship from an evil pirate crew. Along the way they also need to stop them before they complete their super weapon. And as usual there is a kid asking for their help …
Although not as far fetched as the previous movie, it still abuses the notion of making a super weapon out of a machine island. I mean they make it look so hard just to find the knowledge to build one from ancient manuscripts and they just do it with normal established technology? And where the heck is the navy to take advantage or protect this place? But hey, since when do filler movies try to be consistent?
As usual, Oda takes ideas even from these movies into the canon story later on, so later on you actually get a very similar case where Nami is kidnapped and is dressed as a bride to be forcefully married to some creep. There even is a mechanical island where they build all sorts of weird super weapons.
Anyways, as far as a movie goes, both action and plot are a bit more exciting than that of the previous movie for having more secondary battles (there are four mini-bosses instead of one) and the whole super weapon plan feels more epic than just looking for hidden treasure. Of course the whole thing is still quite simple since after their initial defeat by being unprepared, the good guys go to the offence and own everything. There is also that damn fuss with the kid asking the heroes to help out. They tried to make it look a bit tragic by having the population unwilling to resist the bad guys for not wasting all the years they spent on making the device. Yet all the resolution to this issue was just Luffy trashing everything and saying “There, I ruined your life’s work, so stop complaining and start from scratch.” Very weak I must say; normal people would flip if you do that to them.
So you will just watch this for the action scenes, which are not bad at all. They are more in numbers than in the first movie and since the enemies are all devil fruit users that use booby traps and sneak attacks which makes them have a lot more fancy powers. Plus, they have a motif around card symbols and gambling, so there is a vague identity trait here that follows a pattern. There is even a minor character that has a grudge against Zoro for an earlier defeat to build up some cheap excitement. As for the big boss, Bear King seemed to be undefeatable until he used the super weapon on Luffy. Just for no reason than ending the battle, Luffy manages to reflect back a bullet three times his size and wins the day. I didn’t like how he won with no real strategy other than having infinite stamina and reflecting what was supposed to be beyond human capabilities. Cheap!
In all, it is quite the passable movie. The action is cool but it all ends in a convenient way.
Oh and don’t miss the special short that comes with the movie. “Jango's Dance Carnival” may only be 5 minutes long but has an awesome song and choreography.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 9/10
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 2/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Animation 2/2, Visual Effects 1/2
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 2/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 1/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Analysis: Presence 2/2, Personality 2/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 0/2, Catharsis 1/2
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10
Analysis: Art 1/1, Sound 0/2, Story 0/3, Characters 1/4