Luffy and the straw hat pirates are sailing to new heights with One Piece Film: Red, which continues to break records. The latest volume of the manga has hit over 1.5 million in sales, but not everyone feels so sanguine about its continued success.
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Since the series began serializing in the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, creator Eiichro Oda has depicted pirates including the Straw Hats as rebels of various genders, sexual orientations, ages, etc., against the world’s oppressive authoritarian World Government.
As recent as chapter 1066 of the One Piece manga, the origins of Monkey D. Dragon’s revolutionary army “that would shake the world to it’s core” was revealed to stem from the World Government’s mass murder of unarmed academics of Ohara, for the crime of “speaking their mind.”
On November 12th, after taking his daughter to see One Piece Film: Red, Japanese human rights lawyer Hajime Kambara accused Oda’s best-selling pirate franchise of being the Right wing’s favorite anti-democracy, anti-feminist and counter-revolutionary ideology. In addition, he claims the popularity of an anime like One Piece will doom Japanese society (translated via DeepL).
“My daughter accompanied me to see the movie One Piece for the first time.” Kambara recounted. “Which was filled with the right-wing’s favorite counterrevolutionary ideology: ‘If the people want peace, the opposite will happen.'”
“The story is about a bunch of men who look like bodybuilders, and they just keep on violating each other.” He added. “I guess the author (Eiichro Oda) is anti-feminism and anti-democracy.”
“Even though the beginning of the film depicts the people suffering from the war, it does not show any resolution in the end.” Kambara acknowledged. “If there is an ideology in this film, it is at best a chivalrous one, i.e., a gangster’s ideology.”
Kambara proceeded to describe One Piece as “Anti-revolutionary ideology and chivalry, anti-feminism and anti-democracy. Japanese society is truly hopeless when it comes to the popularity of such anime.”
The lawyer then began to compare the marketability quality and quantity of the various works that Disney has to offer to Japanese anime. They claim the reason why anime is inferior to Disney is due to the “values” of Japanese creators being stuck in the past.
It should be noted that recently the first part of the best selling Japanese manga adaptation of Disney’s mobile game Twisted Wonderland concluded. Currently, the second part of the manga and a Japanese anime adaption are in development.
“While Disney has many works that are suitable for children but can be appreciated by adults, Japanese anime is really bad.” Kambara stated. “This is probably because the values of the creators are stuck in the Showa era (1926-1989).”
“In the process of a country’s decline, even at the level of ideology and values, there is a regression and corruption.” He added. “This is not just a problem of anime, but a problem of the decline of Japanese society as a whole.”
Upon his initial thread reviewing One Piece Film: Red being ratio’d by Japanese twitter, Kambara addressed the critics of his controversial hot takes on the film.
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“I get comments on this tweet that I should read the original manga, just watch the movie, but I’m giving my opinion of the movie, so why do I need to read the original story?” Kambara inquired. “If the original story and the movie are different, why don’t people who like the original story protest the movie?”
“In the original story, there’s a counterargument that pirates are anti-authority.” Kambara acknowledged. “But at least in this movie, the pirates and the navy were pretty familiar with each other.”
“Uta is the revolutionary in this movie, right? Uta’s revolution is destined to lose popular support because it is self-righteous.” He continued. The pirates may be anti-authority, but shouldn’t the film as a whole be understood as anti-revolution?”
Kambana proceeds to criticize what he claims are the stereotypical chauvinistic bodybuilding pirates depicted in One Piece Film: Red. He specifically refers to Uta’s adopted father Gordon. Additionally, due to the popularity of the alleged “sexist” One Piece Film: Red, he accuses Japan of being stuck in the Showa Era.
“And the pirates are macho anyway. They all have bodies like bodybuilders.” Kambara noted. “The master of the pirates (Uta’s foster parent) is a man of the Showa era (Ken Takakura type).”
“It’s a mystery why this kind of stereotypical, macho, male chauvinism, Showa-era look is still popular.” he pondered. “After all, hasn’t time stopped in Japan since some time in the Showa period?”
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