Apr 2, 2022

Three One-Piece Movies in One Sitting: Will There Be Any Gay Representation? Or Beefcake?

 Having seen five or six of the 1000-plus episodes of the Japanese anime One-Piece, I feel qualified to watch some of the spin-off movies.  The premise: invincible trickster god-pirate Luffy and his ragtag crew are trying to find the titular object which will allow him to become King of the Pirates and own everything in the world.  In the episodes I watched, he ignored girls and had gay-subtext romances with two guys, so I am eagerly anticipating more gay content.

I'll just watch the first few scenes of each, to decide which to watch all the way through.

First up: One-Piece: Episode of Alabasta (2007):

Prologue: A hawk flies a blue-haired girl across a desert.  He explains that his job is protecting the country, which doesn't necessarily involve fighting.  Presumably this will be important later.

Scene 1:
The blue-haired girl has become a big-breasted, bikini-clad teenager lounging on Luffy's ship. She is called to help save a "man-woman" who fell off his ship.  Great, Minute 2 and we already have an "evil transvestite" stereotype.  At least he's not gay: he makes lewd propositions to both of the girls in the crew.  He explains that he can clone himself; as proof, he turns into a clone of Luffy and clobbers him.  Then he turns into one of the girls and gets naked (gratuitous female nudity).

Luffy, the Dog, and Long-Nosed Usopp cheer at these tricks; the other crew members are not impressed.  His ship sails by to pick him up, and he leaves.  

Scene 2:  Green-haired Girl points out that the man-woman's crewmen called him Sir Bon Clay: he's one of Crocodile's men!  Crocodile is a crime boss who stole an enormous quantity of the fobidden Dance Powder, which makes rain by stealing moisture from other regions  (so why not Rain Powder?), and then framed the King as the culprit, causing a war. 

Whew, this is complicated, and there's too many girl parts.  On to One-Piece: Episode of Chopper (2008).

Prologue:  We hear the back story: Before he died, famous pirate Gol D. Roger hid the One-Piece, which will allow you to own everything in the world, so hundreds of pirates are out searching for it, including the invincible trickster god Luffy and his Straw Hat crew.  They have almost everyone they need, but they are still missing a doctor.

Scene 1:
  Beefcake alert!  Zoro, a green-haired muscle-hunk, is doing push-ups with a 1,000 pound weight on his back.  Up on deck, Luffy, Long-Nosed Usopp, and a muscular speedo-clad guy are lifting weights, and two girls lounging, while Sanji, a blond guy with hearts in his eyes, serves them snacks.   

Sanji notices that one of the girls, Nami, has flushed cheeks, indicating romantic interest.  This makes him furious.  Who has stolen the heart of his crush?  Wait -- maybe she is in love with him?  He dissolves into a slurry of hormones. A bit too much hetero-romance here.  I'm looking for gay subtexts.

Meanwhile, Nami, who is the ship navigator, ignores him to order a change of direction.

Scene 2:  Nami steers them out of the way of a cyclone, then collapses.  She has a fever of 106 degrees; she needs a doctor.  Sanji is distraught.

I don't see any gay subtexts here. Let's try One-Piece: Strong World (2009).

Prologue: A giant rock with masts and oars floats over Navy headquarters.  Everyone panicks.  The commander says that only one man is capable of such a feat: Shiki the Golden Lion.  Everyone gasps in shock.  He was defeated and imprisoned, but he cut off his legs to escape the shackles.  He's been in hiding for 20 years.

Shiki the Golden Lion levitates a lot of navy ships and drops them on headquarters as "a warning," then flies away in his pirate rock.

Scene 1:  A crocodile-shaped car is chasing Luffy through the jungle on a desert island.  It is clobbered by a giant octopus, which takes up the chase.  Then a giant praying mantis takes over.  Then a giant striped bear.  I'd advise against settling on this island.

This redition of Luffy wears his shirt open, displaying six-pack abs.  Come for the giant monsters, stay for the beefcake.

Scene 2:
In a ruined city, the skeleton of a 1960s hippie, a speedo-clad barbarian with another six-pack, and a Japanese schoolgirl fight an army of ants with swords and a giant shark.  I don't know what's going on, but it's certainly inventive.

Scene 3:  As they discuss the craziness of their island, we pan out to see that it's floating in the sky, along with many similar islands, some surrounded by water bubbles.  Then we're introduced to Luffy's pirate crew: Green-Haired Zoro, a dog named Tony, Nico (the Japanese schoolgirl, actually an archaeologist), Frankie (the barbarian in a speedo), Brook (the dead hippie), Blond Sanji, Long-nosed Usopp from the previous movie; and a red-head girl, who is swimming for a ridiculously long time, giving us extensive female semi-nudity.  Her boobs fill the screen. Yuck!

It goes on and on and on.  Is this movie called Strong World or Girl Swimming?  She does a backflip.  Her butt fills the screen.  

I'm outta here.  

Or not.  The three movies are all rather obsessed with the female form, but it looks like the least heterosexist (at least in the first few scenes) is Strong World.  But I will definitely fast-forward past the ten-minute scene of heterosexual softcore porn.

See also: One Piece.


  1. haha; sorry boomer! >__< i don't remember noticing the cheesecake-girly stuff as much; it seemed way less than in the average manga-anime series, to me.

    (& don't take the trans-baddie thing too seriously; people are all over the place in their "styling" in this story-universe. especially the villains; they cover a vast range of "looks", literally trans guy is 1 in 100 or so. in-context with the whole series, i wouldn't read it as transphobic, more like they are exhaustively going through ideas for villain-types... luffy's 1st big baddie battle is with a jock-gangster pool-shark, for example; & somewhat later he takes on a gummi-fruit powered clown)

    if you go back to the early episodes, sanji has a strong-intense survival experience with an older seaman (in his flashback backstory episode), & you get the beginning of luffy's daddy crush on the pirate who gave him his straw hat (also a flashback backstory ep). (mr. choppers is the hulk-transforming reindeer/doctor btw)

    ty for giving it a go, anyway.

  2. (my apologies if i am repeating myself; typed this all out before, got a login prompt when i tried to publish it, no idea if it sent after i logged in, on not)

    haha; sorry Boomer! >__< i don't remember noticing the cheesecake-girly stuff as much. my overall impression was that the series had far less hetero boy-girl content than the average manga-aime. mostly story-driven adventuring & battles & crazy things going on.

    (& don't take the trans-baddie thing too seriously; the people in this story-universe have a wide range of "style"-s, especially the villains. trans-guy is literally 1 in 100 or so; they pretty much run through every "look" they can think of, for the baddies; 1000 eps & counting, remember. xD luffy's 1st "boss" showndown battle is with a gangster-jock pool-shark, not much later he takes on a gummi fruit powered evil clown)

    if you go back to the early episode, you get one with sanji's backstory, where he has an intense survival experience with an older seaman, plus a few with the history of luffy's daddy-crush on the pirate who gave him his straw hat. (btw mister choppers is the hulk-transforming reindeer/doctor. i've read the manga for his origin story, it's not bad)

    ty for giving it a go anyway; hope you got some enjoyment from it.

    1. Maybe they added the cheesecake to the movies to appeal to an "older" audience.


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