okay, so i watched the sixth one piece movie, baron omatsuri and the secret island, today again, you know, the one that rips your fucking heart out and stomps on it, and it was my 3rd or 4th time watching it, so I really got to thinking more about why it’s a good movie, especially when you compare it with the other, less enjoyable OP movies
spoiler warnings for this whole post, obviously
namely, I was thinking on how it’s such a gut punch. the obvious reason would be that it’s a bit gorier/darker than regular one piece, but that doesn’t really seem right. yeah, we think the strawhats are dead for a while and the arrows are kinda squicky, but that’s the sort of thing that usually just makes the movie darker, not necessarily more emotional
mostly, i think it has to do with how the audiences expectations are betrayed
- it starts like usual one piece fare, in fact, it’s a lot funner than most anime only productions, especially due to the animation. the animation of this movie is one of my favorites. it’s not exactly perfectly manga but it fits one piece really well. I certainly wouldn’t mind if we got more of it (especially considering toei’s usual mishaps)
- the first ordeal is genuine good fun one piece, we have a silly antagonist, a funny situation handled in an awesome manner, we have a lot of funny crew interactions. it sets the mood at maximum fun levels.
- the second ordeal is where things start to go south but it’s nothing that surprises people. we’re used to zoro and sanji fighting so whatever. usopp calling nami a backstabber is the highlight of this part because it’s particularly dickish.
- meanwhile, with the devil fruit users, we’re back to fun stuff with luffy and mustache guy, robin using her spyssassin skills to use and chopper being cute. we’re introduced to another set of funny characters with the pirate family. yeah, yeah, movie comedy relief characters, etc, etc. then chopper gets shot by an arrow after finding unsettling evidence. the scene of chopper getting shot is effective because everything happens very fast. you can barely see the arrow sticking out of a furry body. it’s unsettling, but, still, people have survived worse in one piece, right?
- when we move on to the banquet, everyone’s really pissy. usually, you expect the strawhats to snap back to their usual business when they have previously fought, especially when it comes to sanji and zoro. while it’s not explained outright in the movie, I would say that the reason why everyone is pissier than usual is because they think they’re relatively safe, although in a stressful situation. when things start looking dangerous, that is, after robin and usopp disappear, the fighting between the crew becomes nonexistent
- things get dangerous, luffy gets pissed off, still standard usual fare although there’s a certain air of darkness in the background. by now, we know there’s something up with the baron’s crew, and something that happened to brief’s crew, not to mention the outright disappearance of three crew members.
- the story continues to take a nosedive into darkness after the last three crew members are caught. from this point forward, it’s almost everything luffy, which is unusual for one piece standards, since it tends to either focus on the whole crew at once, or run around with subplots. this sounds obvious, but you only need to be a regular fan for this to sit wrong in your head, since your expectations are betrayed, even if you don’t consciously notice.
- the major exception to the previous point is, of course, the bit with chopper and the tearoom pirates, which gets the emotions boiling, along with finding out about brief’s crew. i should also point out that papa’s actions in this scene further serve to disconcert the viewer, since it’s not at all what you expect from a one piece character
- by now the movie is already dark as fuck, but everyone’s expecting luffy to go on and kick major ass. obviously, that doesn’t happen. the scene with luffy watching the rest of the crew be absorbed by lily carnation is gut wrenching and props to Mayumi Tanaka as usual. we have luffy getting his ass kicked. it’s not that it’s odd for luffy to lose, because that’s happened before (crocodile comes to mind), it’s more the manner in which he loses. it’s a full out fucking beatdown, the likes of which are hard to compare
- the last moments are really what makes the movie, because we’re fully expecting luffy to win this time. we have luffy dodging arrows with ease, we have luffy being badass and the great leader he is by protecting brief, we have luffy attacking lily carnation and at this moment I don’t think any first watcher would assume something else is coming up but, yknow, then it does
- the scene with luffy and the arrows is probably the squickiest thing in one piece outside of marineford, in particular since it happens to luffy. the villain isn’t defeated by luffy, but rather by the comedy relief side character. luffy just delivers the killing blow, because, yes, baron actually dies
- baron in general is a very good antagonist, I mean, he’s outright evil, but he does it out of love, and it doesn’t come off as overly dramatic or sappy or anything else. anyone can do villain with a broken heart but there’s something about the baron that just works
in short, the reason why baron omatsuri is a cut above the usual one piece movie is because it plays a lot with the audience expectations. on the other hand and this post is way too fucking long