I’d like to think that one day I’ll muster the bravery required to commence finally digesting the epic phenomenon that is One Piece. It’s the animated series that never died after showing up on American shores back in 2004 from 4Kids Entertainment having crossed the pond from Japan’s own 1999 rollout from Toei Animation.
Now some 900 episodes and thirteen feature animated movies in, Sony’s Funimation joins in the 20th anniversary celebration that now delivers director Takashi Otsuka’s One Piece: Stampede into North America for its upcoming release this Fall. Shepherded by original creator Eiichiro Oda and featuring character designs by Masayuki Sato, its U.S. segue comes after packing in $28.7+ million at the Japan box office, becoming a record setter to date for biggest opening-day audience for 2019.
“We are so excited to bring ‘One Piece: Stampede’ to North America as part of our 20th anniversary celebration of this beloved anime series,” said Colin Decker, General Manager of Funimation. “It’s a blockbuster film that will delight new audiences and long-time fans alike,” said Colin Decker, executive vice president and general manager of Funimation.
One Piece: Stampede is billed as a stand-alone film with events unfolding outside the anime’s canon. It centers on dauntless, super-stretchable pirate Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat pirate crew as they are invited to a massive Pirate Festival that brings many of the most iconic characters from throughout the franchise to participate in competition with the Straw Hats to find Roger’s treasure. It also pits the Straw Hats against a new enemy named Bullet, a former member of Roger’s crew.
“‘One Piece: Stampede’ is a bold celebration of One Piece and its unique blend of action, humor and heart,” said Masayuki Endo, President and CEO of Toei Animation Inc. “Even among those who are new to the anime, Monkey D. Luffy and his crew are instantly recognizable pop culture stars. ‘One Piece: Stampede’ has plenty of surprises for every viewer, and we’re excited for North American audiences to participate in this important anniversary event.”
An opening U.S. & Canada date remains pending. Peep the poster below!