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‘One Piece Film: Red’ Is Coming to the U.S. Theaters in Fall 2022—Here’s What We Know

Plus: all the juicy details from the AX panel

Luffy and Shanks in the official poster for One Piece Film: Red

We’ve known for months that the new One Piece movie, One Piece Film: Red, is coming out on August 6, 2022—that is, if you live in Japan. For the rest of the world, who necessitate subbing and dubbing, Red‘s release date has been much more uncertain. Fortunately, anime streaming giant Crunchyroll will be responsible for the theatrical distribution of the film in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. And they are brining One Piece Film: Red to those countries sooner than I was mentally preparing myself for. It’s coming in the fall of this year, in fact!

UPDATE: The official release dates have finally been announced, as of September 13, 2022. You might notice that this is significantly after Crunchyroll teased an announcement at Anime Expo. The film will be releasing in the U.S. and Canada on November 4th, with all the lucky little joyboys in Australia and New Zealand getting it a day earlier, on November 3rd.

The original story, about what was expected and learned from Anime Expo, is as follows.

In its initial press release, Crunchyroll played the “announcement for an announcement” card. They said more details will be revealed on July 2, during the One Piece Film: Red panel at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. So I was expecting a big ol’ deal to be made of the release date at the panel. Hell, I was expecting that announcement to be the point of the panel. But the series’ since-forever producer, Shinji Shimizu, only let more info slip, either by calculated or genuine accident. Red is coming to the US in October, he said, but the panel still did not reveal a specific date.

If you use recent anime blockbusters like Demon Slayer: Mugen Train and Jujutsu Kaisen 0 as examples, there tends to be about a three-month lag between the Japan premiere of a film and its subsequent release in the West. With One Piece Film: Red coming out in October, it’s one month ahead of that typical three-month curve. So hooray! Hopefully that makes up for the lack of specific date information?

The One Piece Film: Red AX panel also dropped some pretty fascinating tidbits that left me and all the other fans hungry for more. One Piece: Strong World has a reputation for being the One Piece film mangaka Eiichiro Oda has had the most involvement in. Oda was, indeed, heavily involved in that film: he wrote the story himself, in fact, and additionally served as the film’s executive producer. But according to Shimizu, Oda is even more involved in One Piece Film: Red than Strong World. This info rippled through the audience like a bolt of electricity.

Music is a very important part of Red, since the central figure is Uta, an idol singer who happens to be Shanks’ daughter. Oda had a heavy hand in the music of the film, which will be woven in as part of the action and plot. (We also learned that Oda, who is 47, pulls three to four all-nighters every week. See, I told you he’s one of the hardest-working mangaka around!)

Via a video message, Red‘s director, Goro Taniguchi, dropped a casual line whose effect on the audience even rivaled the information about Oda’s involvement: Red “relates to a fundamental part of the One Piece story.” Two questions basically exploding, unsaid, out of the brains of everyone in Anime Expo’s main events hall: “DOES THAT MEAN IT’S CANON? OR THAT PARTS OF IT ARE?” Unfortunately, we still don’t know for sure. (Update: It’s still complicated.)

We did learn that Oda really wanted to make Red stand out from all the other One Piece films. That desire played into Taniguchi’s recruitment. Taniguchi, outside from being a director for hit series like Code Geass, is the first director for anything One Piece that isn’t on Toei’s payroll. Shimizu said that his involvement got new, fascinating things out of the team. The desire for something different is also why we have Uta instead of the big, strong, buff guys who typically make up the central antagonists in a One Piece film. Shimizu said that the drama of the film stems from the fact that “Luffy won’t hit a woman,” which is demonstrably false from past experience, so I’m guessing he misspoke and it’s because Luffy won’t hit his friend, which is demonstrably true from past experience.

One Piece Film: Red is the 15th One Piece movie, and the first new one in three years, following 2019’s deeply for-the-fans Stampede. Uta’s centrality means means that Shanks and his pirate crew are in the movie, which was confirmed at the AX panel. Given how mysterious Shanks is, despite being incredibly central to our main character’s raison d’être, hype around this movie is quite next-level. For example: I’m going to Japan while Red will still be in theaters there. Will I get off the plane, throw my luggage in my room, and head immediately to a movie theater, despite the fact that my Japanese is only so-so and I won’t fully understand what’s happening in the film? … Probably. Yes.

(featured image: Toei Animation)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a musician, audio person, writer, and nerd. When not talking about One Piece or Zelda (among other anime and games), she's finding surprising ways to play the guitar.