One Piece: When The Most Colourful Anime Made a Horror Film

One Piece follows Monkey D. Luffy, a younger foolish boy who’s product of rubber after by chance consuming a magical “satan fruit”, as he assembles his personal eclectic crew, the Strawhat Pirates, for an journey to turn into the king of the pirates. For probably the most half, the anime presents itself in a colourful, action-packed, and zany perspective, feeling a lot in frequent together with your typical Saturday-morning cartoon. 

Positive, there’s occasional blood and violence, however the vibe is welcoming and energetic sufficient on a floor stage. Baron Omatsuri certainly has all of these elements, too, however hidden contained in the blissful meal is that further onion ring you didn’t order, with the addition of it having been dipped in Tabasco sauce.

The viewing expertise of Baron Omatsuri goes from being one thing alongside the strains of the good-natured Pokemon Heroes to a model of the nightmarish Akira. The beginning of the film sees the crew touring to a brand new island, taking part in a sequence of competitions hosted by eponymous Baron Omatsuri. They attempt to catch fish, race throughout the watery ravines within the city, and even take part in just a little cooking contest. After which issues noticeably shift, just like the small city of Hawkins and the Upside Down in Stranger Issues, to being outright terrifying. 

It begins with its visuals, that are an enormous departure from something showcased within the anime and former films, which are much more somber and simplified. Not that every one of it’s dour — there’s nonetheless loads of radiant visible flare to be discovered, particularly for a lot of its first half — however the rougher edges of the character designs really feel oddly applicable, and the environments really feel ominous and religious, like a Studio Ghibli film. 

One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island

Whereas referencing Ghibli films has virtually turn into a cliche at this level, the comparability is especially warranted right here on condition that the movie’s director, Mamoru Hasoda, was as soon as part of the acclaimed Japanese animation studio. In actual fact, he was initially tapped to direct the now-iconic Howl’s Shifting Citadel, however left as a consequence of some robust inventive variations. It begs the query as to what the Ghibli movie would possibly’ve seemed like if it had been helmed by Hasoda, as Baron Omatsuri doesn’t shy from showcasing a number of the most ugly pictures within the franchise. 

The empty alleyways on the island, the grotesque transformation of Omatsuri, to a dark-red moon engulfing the whole display screen as Luffy turns his face in horror; at occasions, all of it seems like a literal depiction of hell. There’s a stillness in lots of of those scenes, with no accompanying music, that successfully fills you with a form of dread for the looming future.