One Piece Film: Strong World is the tenth One Piece animated film. Originally debuting in 2009, the movie is set at some indeterminable time pre-Time Skip after Brook has joined the crew, and film opens up with a powerful pirate named Shiki escaping from Impel Down. It then leaps in medias res to showthe entire Straw Hat crew scattered across various flying islands, except for Nami, who is being held captive by Shiki, who is trying to force her to become his navigator.
The story then jumps back to how we got here. Shiki and his crew are flying over the Thousand Sunny when Nami notices that a dangerous storm is approaching, so Luffy tries to flag down Shiki’s crew. Nami then warns Shiki that the storm is coming fast and they need to shift course. They do, and Shiki realizes that Nami is far beyond the skill of any navigator he’s ever seen. So, of course, he kidnaps her.
The first half of the film deals with the crew trying to reunite after being scattered across Shiki’s floating islands so they can help Nami escape. However, after Shiki basically defeats the entire crew, Nami promises to work for him to save the lives of the Straw Hats and those in the East Blue.
However, it’s revealed that Shiki was always lying. He is raising an army to destroy the East Blue and then the world. The remainder of the film focuses on how the heroes work together to try to stop Shiki’s plans and finally rescue Nami.
For those who don’t know this about me—I love One Piece. I’ve been reading through the manga and am finally fully up to date. So when given the opportunity to preview and review this film, which is getting a Fathom Events release early next week by Toei Animation, I jumped at the opportunity.
Franchise-wise, I haven’t watched much of the anime, so this is my first real attempt at watching any in a while. Let me tell you, I’m glad I did.
While this, like most of the films, is a non-canonical filler story, it was still a lot of fun. Each of the Straw Hat crew members were given some great opportunities to have their individual abilities shine. The new villain, Shiki, is also given a great set of chances to show off his personality and devil fruit abilities.
Also, Strong World really gives Nami specifically to a chance to shine. The story shows her heart, her willingness to self-sacrifice if needed, and just how fantastic of a navigator she truly can be. It also introduces the audience to Biri, an electric bird deeply devoted to Nami that, quite honestly, feels like a Pokemon character. I loved Biri and would have really enjoyed seeing him as a canonical character that joined the Straw Hats.
Sure, it gets a bit formulaic at times, but Strong World remains a fun movie overall, with lots of heart heart and featuring solid action sequences with some of my favorite characters. I’m glad I watched it.
One Piece Film: Strong World is well animated, drops bits of humor, and features some great action sequences. It introduces an interesting new villain in Shiki and really allows Nami to shine. Also, any opportunity to see Luffy kick fascist tail is one I will always jump at seeing. Let me also say, seeing a powerful, electric bird that Luffy can ride into battle to electrocute opponents is a fantastic moment!
I’ll give this 4 out of 5 Straw Hats.
It’s not a perfect movie, it has some formulaic moments, but if you’re a One Piece fan looking for an enjoyable, solid Nami-centric mini-arc that allows each of the Straw hats some good moments to shine, then check it out for yourself. One Piece: Strong World is being presented by Fathom Events in the United States on November 7 and 9, 2021.
Beneath the Tangles received a preview, screener copy to review for this article.