FUNimation’s One Piece: Stampede English dub is coming soon to U.S. theaters. Having already grossed $48 million in Japanese theaters, the One Piece movie is ready to plunder North American audiences of all their hard-earned booty.
The One Piece: Stampede movie will have a limited theatrical release in North America. The English subtitles version is coming out first in the United States on October 24, 29, and 31, while Canadian theaters will premiere the film on October 25 and November 5. The English dub will be coming out on October 26 and 30 in the United States, while Canada gets the dubbed version on October 28 and November 8.
The film we become available in 1,000 theater locations across the U.S. and Canada. If you’re looking for tickets, FUNimation has provided a One Piece: Stampede theater locator website.
Even if you have not been keeping up with the One Piece English dub (which FUNimation just announced is restarting with Episode 575) you can still enjoy watching the One Piece: Stampede English. It’s a standalone story that takes place outside the canon of the TV series.
Arguably, even anime fans who have never watched the One Piece TV series can jump right in since the intro of the story sets up the basic plot. The opening tells how former Pirate King Gol D. Roger hid his treasure and now Monkey D. Luffy, his Straw Hat pirate crew, and practically every other pirate in the series are invited to a massive Pirate Festival where they race to find Gol D. Roger’s treasure on an island.
The premise of One Stampede: One Piece allows the filmmakers to bring in all sorts of characters for cameo moments. There are huge crowd scenes where you could probably pause the action and just stop to see who managed to come back from the past.
The race for the treasure is crazy from the beginning, with a giant vortex at the center of the island transforming into a water spout that spits out a floating island trapped in a bubble. The pirates race their ships up the water spout and then engage in mass combat as they all struggle to be the first to seize the prize: a device that will provide a shortcut straight to the location of the legendary One Piece itself!
Things get complicated quickly since there’s a conspiracy afoot that could lead to all-out war and the doom of many a pirate. The battle heats up quickly when Luffy and all the Worst Generation members are pitted against a new enemy named Douglas Bullet, a former member of Gol D. Roger’s crew.
Along with another villain named Buena Festa, Bullet has lured the other pirates to the island to fight and kill them all so he can declare himself the Pirate King. Buena Festa is trying to get the Marines to initiate a Buster Call that would destroy everyone and then lead to a change in the current world order.
Bullet has been (conveniently for the plot) imprisoned for more than 20 years in Impel Down until he escaped during the mass jailbreak caused by Luffy and Marshall D. Teach. Bullet believes that a Pirate King must stand alone with no friends, calling allies a noose around the neck that only holds the individual down from reaching true power. Of course, that philosophy stands in stark contradiction to Luffy’s own beliefs.
But any differences in philosophy are settled with their fists, not with words. Bullet is not just fighting Luffy, he’s fighting everyone within his reach, which forces everyone to join forces. The team-up sequence is probably the best moment for the movie and makes the film worthy of seeing for any One Piece fan.
Similar to the battle between Broly and Goku in the Dragon Ball series, Bullet is overpowered and able to withstand the most powerful attacks from Luffy’s powered up forms. And that’s just his basic form! Once Bullet employs his Devil Fruit-powered abilities he’s able to disassemble entire warships in order to form a giant robot. And then this mech just keeps getting bigger!?
As you can probably guess, the one-sided fight between a Bullet colossus and the team-up between pirates, revolutionary’s, and even marines, consumes most of the screentime for the One Piece: Stampede movie. But it’s arguably the weakest part when it comes to the animation since all the destruction has reduced the island to a drab brown with a CGI monster at the center whereas the cast is about as colorful as you can get.
The One Piece: Stampede English dub does a great job of conveying all the heat and emotion behind the action. Daman Mills voices Bullet with a deep voice that perfectly fits the villain. Bonus points go to FUNimation for the scheduling nightmare they probably had when gathering together the huge voice cast required for the film.
Overall, One Piece: Stampede is a fun run that’s enjoyable by both casual anime movie watchers and One Piece fans who will fangasm all over the team-ups. The only negative is that the villains could have been given more depth and by the second half, the plot became predictable. While it doesn’t quite deserve Franky yelling, “Suuuper!!!!” it’s still worth catching in U.S. theaters.
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