NYCC 2022: One Piece Film Red Invades New York Comic Con

One Piece took over New York this past weekend as we close in on the release of the upcoming film One Piece Film Red. The cast and crew of the film participated in a panel at New York Comic Con to discuss the making of the film from both the Japanese team as well as the English voice actors. Taking place at the Empire Stage to a packed crowd, CR News managing editor Kyle Cardine and the film’s ADR director Anthony Bowling hosted the panel as well as giving audiences a first look at the film.

Kicking off the panel, director Giro Taniguchi and producers Shinji Shimizu and Hiraoki Shibata came on stage to chat about the making of the film and creator Eiichiro Oda’s involvement. Taniguchi spoke on the inspiration to make the movie so music-centric and getting to work with Oda as he was working on the final arc. With Uta being the main focus of the upcoming film, Taniguchi also spoke on her vital role and her connection to music. He brought up Oda’s fascination with music and was really into Taniguchi’s pitch about the film, involving himself in the making of the film. 

Music has become a big part of the film, as the panel pointed out. Shibata hopped into the discussion as he spoke on the process of creating the film’s style and choice of music. He added that at least seven songs made it into the film with Oda handpicking the composers for each song. We learned that Oda listened to samples or demos of each track and offered his take on them. Shibata shared his hopes that fans would fall in love with every song in the film and add them to their playlist and play them on repeat. Those attending the convention would be able to hear these tracks as well at the Toei Animation booth.

As far as characters go, the panelists addressed the addition of Uta into the One Piece mythology, something that Oda was involved with in developing her and the music in the film. Taniguchi explained that Shanks, a character often featured in the manga and anime series, would become an important part of the movie alongside Uta. Oda approved the film’s team to have Shanks be a main part of the story as he was intended to be, according to the filmmakers. Despite not having too much action for our main hero Luffy, Shimizu discussed that the film’s villain would keep the Straw Hat pirate on his toes. He said audiences who see the film will understand why Luffy won’t be fighting as much, but Uta will play a very important role regarding him and the main antagonist.

Another part of the One Piece lore that will reappear is the Straw Hat crew’s second ship, the Thousand Sunny. That’s right, the famed ship makes an appearance and becomes a mascot in the film. Once audiences see how it fits into the story, it’ll make sense as our panelists explained. We learn that Oda was also curious to see how this big boat fits into the picture and accepted its integration into the film. Taniguchi added that fans should expect to have everything they would want in a One Piece movie, including action and music. As the film awaits its release, Shimizu told fans that One Piece Film Red would also jumpstart the series’ final arc. Getting a glimpse into what the final story will be, Shimizu says that it will be the best that both the anime and manga have ever put out.

The second half of the panel brought out the English voice cast including Colleen Clinkenbeard, Sonny Strait, Luci Christian, Christopher Sabat, and Ian Sinclair. One of the first things the cast members were asked was how different it was for them to work on a One Piece film that was music-focused. Sonny touched on the music, enjoying what it had to bring into the upcoming film. The cast was also asked about their first impressions of Uta as a character. Colleen, who voices Luffy in the series, said she liked how Uta was introduced into the world of One Piece and how it impacted Luffy. Nami voice actress Luci added that she enjoyed the interactions between her character and Uta during the film.

With One Piece Film Red introducing new battle and festival outfits, the cast shared their favorite ones. Sonny’s favorite turned out to be Usopp’s festival costume while Colleen was into the captain cape that Luffy gets to wear. One Piece has a long history, which the cast touched on as they have worked on the show for over 16 years. Luci says she found playing Nami to be a committed role and has enjoyed the reception that the series has received, thanking the people who have made the series. She added that it has been amazing for her to be a part of One Piece and see the attention it deserves. Sabat also discussed the popularity of the series, especially during COVID. Colleen expressed her amazement at how long Oda has kept the story going and was curious to see how the rest unfolds after going past 1000 episodes.

One Piece Film Red releases in theaters on November 4th, 2022. 

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