One Piece Movie – Episode of Alabasta: The Pirates And The Princess Of The Desert (Cert 12)
1 Disc Blu-ray (Distributor: Manga Entertainment) Running time: 90 minutes approx
This is an interesting release. Not only is this film a condensed recap of the central happenings of the popular Alabasta Arc from the main One Piece series but it is already available as part of the One Piece Movie Collection 7-9 (you can read my original appraisal of this film at that link). So is there any reason to purchase this title again?
What this version offers fans, aside from the lovely looking HD presentation on this Blu-ray only release, is an English dub too which wasn’t present on the DVD collection. Personal suspicions are that the HD transfer would be the bigger draw for most fans, while there are some who do like to torture their poor ears with the American produced dialogue – not that the incessant screaming of Luffy and co is any easier on the ears in the original Japanese, but I digress.
And with no other extra features, such as trailers, interviews or a behind the scenes documentary, this is a rather thin presentation to justify the expense if one already has the DVD. Thus we can only assume that it will be either absolute hardcore One Piece fan who will fork out for this release to complete their collection or anyone who may have waited patiently for this particular film to receive individual HD attention. Outside of this select few, far reaching appeal doesn’t seem to be assured for this title making it something of a gamble, and with Manga reducing its Blu-ray output in 2015, time will tell if it is one that pays off.
Perhaps not the most prosperous starts for One Piece releases for this year if you’ve already got the DVD of this film and don’t fancy shelling out for it again, but for HD fans the option is at least there. Of course if you’ve not seen the film before and you enjoyed the Alabasta Arc first time round you may enjoy this briskly paced if disjointed highlight reel.
Rest assured though the main series will resume again in earnest soon enough so be sure to keep an eye out for that!
English Language 2.0
Japanese Language 2.0
Rating – **
Man In Black