If 'Avengers: Endgame' has been one of the film events of the year, we should not ignore the dimension of 'One Piece: Stampede', the last film of the long and popular close saga in its conception to the tape from Marvel – and that, for more inri, has a post-credit scene. What is the fourteenth film starring Luffy and his nakamas celebrates the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the anime adaptation is a frantic battle show that will delight fans of Eiichiro Oda's work.
Of course: in front of the narrative construction of 'Endgame', which adhered to the referentiality of its universe during its second third and was delivered, already towards its outcome, to the fan service, 'Stampede' is born by and for the unconditional of the saga. Something that does not limit the viewing of the new film of 'One Piece' to neophytes of the franchise, but that does hinder this orgy of enjoyment so focused on its unconditional.
It all starts with the invitation of Buena Festa, a pirate who wants to gather as many teammates as possible at a festival that has a juicy prize: a treasure of Gold D. Roger himself, the last King of the Pirates. Luffy and the Straw Hat could not be less, and accept the invitation for the mysterious event which hides the presence of Douglas Bullet, former member of Roger's crew.
Alongside the continuous confrontations between some of the numerous characters that make an appearance in the film, Stampida stands out in its determined and dynamic animation. This sakuga more than grateful busts the usual anime statism – along the same lines as the redesigns made in the series from the Wano arc – to offer a true festival of movement and elasticity, reinforcing not only the spectacularity of their battles, but Luffy himself who, let's not forget, has the particular power of being rubber.
There is some movie in my fanservice
It is evident that the plot excuse is preceded by the decision to include as many characters as possible, something that makes 'Stampede' stand out from the previous One Piece movies as the one that contains more different secondary. With characters like Buggy or Dracule Mihawk, who appeared almost at the beginning of the franchise, or more recent ones, such as Admiral Fujitora, the new film has its reason for being in its true engine: the passion of its followers.
Therefore, it is not surprising that 'One Piece: Stampede' bet with your eyes closed to continue with the usual path of the work created by Eiichiro Oda, which always remains in the fine line between epic and sly exaggeration, and bend, under these terms, to unexpected clashes and striking alliances between particularly remote characters that fans crave.
All this does not prevent the film, in its continuous curl and its marked casual but frenetic tone, advances during its first half towards spectacular action scenes that are decompensated, in some cases, by overlapping each other.
However, towards the end of the movie, the crazy Battle Royale of pirates ends and begins a fierce battle against an enemy of Kaiju airs with which it is not difficult to identify, by the names of their blows, winks to the protagonist of 'One-Punch Man'.
'One Piece: Stampede', a juicy but conservative fan show
'One Piece: Stampede' is conservative with the budgets of Oda's work, and sins because of its rampant plot construction, although it shares ingredients such as the importance of companionship – Luffy's central seal – and the questioning of the status -quo. However, the movie flagrantly ignores the brushstrokes of this questioning glimpse to fold into frantic action and the feared excess of verbalization.
In fact, these excesses do not come as much for the particular taste of anime in the insistence of oral expression, but, rather, for the continuous clarifications of the elements of its history. Something that would have its reason for being in contextualization of the many characters that make an appearance on the film and that seems to try to help, also, that viewers not started in 'One Piece' can understand how this universe works.
When it is located halfway between fan enjoyment and the continuous reminder, 'One Piece: Stampede' stays half gas and shows its worst face. Something that does not cloud his commendable animation and his particular juggling exercise that conceptualizes the show as the perfect balance between epic excess and gross humor.