More than 20 years before Monkey D. Luffy set sail from his home island on a quest to become the pirate king, another man was undertaking that same quest: Gold Roger. In the New World he is confronted by Gold Lion Shiki, chief of an infamous pirate fleet, with an offer to join forces and conquer the world. He refuses and a fight ensues. Later, upon hearing of Roger’s capture, Shiki attacks the marines out of respect for his rival and is captured, subsequently escaping and plotting his revenge.
summary by Illjwamh
Highs: Neat look at the past of One Piece
Lows: Nothing of substance; 90% exposition
Comedian Patton Oswalt once did a routine involving George Lucas discussing an upcoming prequel trilogy with an enthusiastic fan. In it, he asked if the fan liked Darth Vader, to which the reply was an emphatic yes. George then announced that, “In the first movie, you get to see him a little kid!” The fan asked if he would be a psychotic murderous child with a helmet and cape and lightsaber going around killing people. The response? “No, he’s just a little kid and then his mom dies and he’s very sad.”
The fan was disappointed, but soon cheered up when Boba Fett was announced for movie 2. But would he be a bounty hunter with the helmet and weapons and flying around? “No, he’s just a little kid and then his dad dies and he’s very sad.” But you know what shows up in the third movie? The Death Star. What’s it doing, George? “Well, you just see it for a minute at the end when it’s being built and Darth Vader’s just kinda lookin’ at it.”
The fan is understandably distraught. It was this same sense of underwhelming disappointment that coursed through me upon viewing what should have been an epic prequel to one of the shounen genre’s best titles around. I mean, Gold Roger? War in the New World? Sign me up! This sounds like a recipe for success. But all we actually get are a few clips here and there, maybe a bit of dialogue and exposition, but nothing actually happens. Every time it looks like we might get an exciting action scene, it cuts away and they give us more narration. We then are treated to a montage of minor characters from the series in their younger days as they react to events we don’t get to see, or in some cases just do other stuff that’s completely unrelated to the main plot of the OAV entirely.
And the worst part? We already knew about everything this OAV explains. There is literally no new information here, save perhaps one or two minor details that most people could have deduced on their own anyway. There is quite plainly no reason for this anime to exist besides milking the die-hard fans of their hard-earned cash. I mean sure, the production values were good and a lot of cool characters were there, but we may as well have been given still images of them and it would have had the same effect. There was no substance at all.
In other words, if you’re a total One Piece junkie and need your fix, you might be able to squeeze a few precious drops of enjoyment out of this, but otherwise don’t bother. The only upside to it being so short is that it will only waste a small amount of your time.
Strong World Episode 0 can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.