One Piece: Adventure of Nebulandia is a television special that tells a new story that features the return of the Foxy Pirates.

One Piece: Adventure of Nebulandia
Original Japanese airdate: December 19, 2015
Directed by: Konosuke Uda
Runtime: 106 minutes

The special opens at Marine Headquarters, where the soldiers are presented with a plan to eliminate the Straw Hat Pirates. Meanwhile, the Straw Hats see an SOS signal coming from Mushroom Island, and it looks like a large group of women are shipwrecked. Of course, the lovesick Sanji insists they go to the island and help them. However, when they get to the island, it’s discovered that this was a trick by the Foxy Pirates in order to lure the Straw Hats into another Davy Back Fight. Luffy, of course, accepts.

But before the Davy Back Fight begins, Foxy brags about two new members he gained in his group: a shipwright named Dojaku and a former Marine named Komei. Komei is a strategist, and he convinces Foxy to let him use his abilities for the first competition of the Davy Back Fight. It’s an eating contest using mushrooms grown specifically on that island. It turns out Komei is using Foxy in order to capture the Straw Hats, and during this first competition, he manages to capture Sanji and Zoro, along with Porche and Hamburg from the Foxy Pirates (who were in the cage at the time the trap was sprung). Komei and Dojaku take the cage, along with Foxy’s ship, and leave an Eternal Pose for the rest of the Straw Hats to follow them.

Even though they know it’s a trap, Luffy insists on going after Komei in order to rescue his crewmates. Brook and Chopper stay behind on Mushroom Island in order to find a specific mushroom to counteract the effects of the mushrooms that the others ate during the contest. Foxy begs Luffy to let him join the Straw Hats so he can rescue Porche and Hamburg. Luffy agrees, and Foxy’s new crewmate, Kansho, insists on going along.

The journey takes the group to an island called Nebulandia, which turns out to have an environment that is unfriendly to those who possess Devil Fruit powers. As the story continues, the Straw Hats are defeated one by one and taken prisoner by Komei (except for Nami and Luffy). It’s up to Luffy to try to save his crewmates before the deadline that’s set by Komei.

When I saw that this special featured Foxy and his pirates, I wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about watching it. To me, Foxy is one of the most annoying characters in One Piece, and up to this point, I hadn’t really liked any of the stories featuring him. When the special begins and we see the Davy Back Fight start, I thought it was going to be some of the “same old, same old” stuff that I’m used to from Foxy. But when it comes out that Foxy is being used by Komei and two of his crewmates are taken away, I actually felt kind of sorry for Foxy. It was also interesting to see Foxy having to work with the Straw Hats, since they have a common goal.

If Foxy’s situation hadn’t been enough to make me tolerate him in this special, the fact that Komei was an even more annoying character made Foxy seem tame by comparison. Komei’s strategy names were a little amusing at first, but I thought the gag wore thin by the end of the special. Also, Komei’s character was so full of himself and just “over the top.”

When it comes to the writing, it felt like it fell apart near the end. The writer introduced inconsistencies, and it came across as the writer wrote themselves into a corner and was trying to get out of that corner and end the special so everything could “return to zero.” It also didn’t help that the twist involving Kansho was predictable and that my husband and I guessed what it was right when he was first introduced.

Overall, the animation was decent… except for the scenes that featured a lot of Marines. The shots that featured a large number of Marines were very noticeably done using CG. You could also tell that only one or two characters were actually designed, and the animators did a lot of “copying and pasting” for those one or two designed characters, so the Marines looked unnaturally similar. These scenes just looked awkward and out of place in comparison to the rest of the animation.

While I applaud One Piece: Adventure of Nebulandia for telling an original story instead of simply retelling stories that had already been seen previously in the anime, this story just wasn’t as strong as it could have been. While I wouldn’t say this story was bad, I can’t really say that it was good, either. To me, it just kind of “was.” If you’re a fan of Foxy and his pirates, though, you might enjoy One Piece: Adventure of Nebulandia because it tells a new story featuring these particular characters.

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