One Piece Z is the 12th film in the long running anime and manga franchise, One Piece. Released on December 15th, 2012. It's the first One Piece movie to be set after the time skip.As the title suggests, it focuses on Z, a former Marine Admiral who now leads his own version called the Neo Marines, with the intent of wiping out every pirate on the Grand Line. To do this, he has stolen one of the Marines' trump cards, the Dyna Stones (stones that create explosions with immense destructive power when exposed to air) for his own ends. The Straw Hats unwittingly get involved when Z attacks their ship while crossing their path, gaining Luffy's anger and leading up to a battle that will determine the fate of the Grand Line.Oda has stated Z's the toughest challenge they'll have faced so far and added that Kizaru and Aokiji appear in the film as well. Surprisingly Avril Lavignedoes two of the movie's theme songs which are covers of Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" and Nickelback's "How You Remind Me".See also Z's Ambition Arc, a short mini arc of the anime that takes place before and leads into this movie.The movie was released in France on May 15th, 2013 (Dubbed in French, of course), and Toei has shown interest in releasing it in the U.S. as well.One Piece Z has the following tropes.
Action Prologue: The movie doesn't waste time beating around the bush to introduce the main villains, as it opens with a fight scene between them and the Marines.
All There in the Manual: Z's backstory is revealed more in detail in the complementary book Volume Z, which was given as a present to the Japanese movie-goers.
Artificial Limbs: Z sports a gigantic robotic arm on his shoulder. It's a wonder he can even lift the thing, let alone attack with it.
Kuzan uses his ice powers as a prosthetic for the leg he lost in his fight against Akainu.
Badass: Z. Word of God states he's the strongest villain the Straw Hats have ever faced up to that point.
And he more than lives up to that title. That huge right arm of his deals a lot of damage, he's able to go up against Kizaru, and even after his arm is destroyed, he still gives Luffy a hard time. He's one of the only villains, if not the only villain, who Luffy doesn't even manage to knock out. He does knock him down, but Z accepts his defeat, and instead uses the last of his strength to make an awesome Bolivian Army Ending.
Badass Longcoat: Z and Ain on the villains' side, and several of the Straw Hats in their battle outfits on the heroes' side.
Beware the Silly Ones: Bins makes a lot of weird facial expressions and sounds in battle but as proven in his first encounter with the Straw Hats, he is a force to be reckoned with.
Big Damn Heroes: Believe it or not, Aokiji saves the crew during their escape from a resort island as it's exploding.
Franky does one as well when Usopp, Nami, Chopper, Robin and Brook get cornered by the Neo-Pacifista. Using his General Franky to turn them into scrap, and finishing them off in proper fashion with a Radical Beam.
Bolivian Army Ending: Z's final fate as, after his battle with Luffy whom he came to respect, the group are beset by Kizaru and his troop of marines. Having nothing left to lose, Z goes to fight them and hold them off to allow the Straw Hats to escape, despite knowing it means certain death. Unlike most examples though, this one isn't ambiguous: Z doesn't make it. His death isn't shown, but Ain, Bins and Aokiji are seen mourning at his grave.
Book Ends: The movie opens with a fight scene between the Marines and the Neo Marines, partially set to Ocean's Guide. The movie ends likewise, with a tearjerker of an awesome fight between Z and the Marines, once again set to Ocean's Guide.
Canon Discontinuity: Stated by Oda himself. He did want to make it canon to the series, but realized it would cause too many plot holes to cover.
Christmas Cake: Usopp accidentally implied this trope about Robin when she was deaged and he complimented on her new body "having everything in the right place again". His comment wasn't well received.
Contemplate Our Navels: Aokiji does this while talking to Luffy group after coming from the hot springs. Wonderingif One Piece was responsible for the Pirate Age or just the actions of the pirates themselves.
Crazy-Prepared: Don't think Z's mechanical arm is the only thing he has up his sleeve. He used to be an Admiral, long before he got that arm. Not only does Z have Haki, but he's also got Kairoseki bullets in case someone No Sells his regular bullets, and a regular-sized prosthetic arm to attack with in case his huge mechanical arm is destroyed or rendered useless.
Dark and Troubled Past: Z. He joined the Marines at a young age, wanting to become a hero, but soon realized that the Marines aren't exactly what they seem. He got married to a beautiful young woman and had a son, both of whom were killed by a pirate he had arrested some years later. This event led to him quitting his Admiral position to become a Marine trainer. However pirates had invaded his ship and killed all his trainees (save Ain and Bins) and he lost his arm to another pirate who would later become a Shichibukai during the timeskip. This was the last straw for Z, who left the Marines to form the Neo Marines. No wonder he hates pirates.
Deconstruction: The final battle between Luffy and Z. Instead of being decided through raw strength, the fight came to a stalemate with the two using their Haki-enhanced fists after exhausting each other after a Punch Parry, with Luffy winning, not with a powerful technique, but only after just barely being able to hit Z in the torso at the climax. The whole thing is very brutal in that, unlike the other fights in One Piece, the two combatants are on their last feet, and are equally getting injured throughout the whole fight.
Heck it could barely even be considered a win. It only ended due to Z admittance when he clearly was on his feet after the final hit. Dropping to the ground right after Luffy as it obvious both men are too tired to continue. Though Z does lampshade that he had gotten old and couldn't fight like he used to.
The Dreaded: Z yet again, as the Marines are terrified of him. And with good reason, he trained a majority of the major players such as Aokiji and Kizaru when he was with them.
Dying Moment of Awesome: Z's death aided wonderfully by a orchestrated version of his Leitmotif, Ocean's Guide, as he goes to town on the Marines attacking him.
Early-Bird Cameo: Downplayed, since the following characters have already been established, but this movie nonetheless marks the first post-Time Skip appearances of Aokiji, Kizaru, Sengoku, Garp, Coby and Helmeppo, among other Marines.
Empty Piles of Clothing: Subverted: During the Straw Hats' first fight with the Neo Marines, this seemed to be all that remained of Nami and Chopper after Ain hit them with her power, until it was revealed they were merely deaged into kids - turning this into Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing.
Fanservice: A hot bath scene with the Monster Trio, Brook and Aokiji, for the female audience, boob shots of Nami and Robin (Especially Robin) for the male audience, and just for laughs, a shot of Brook's ass as he returns to his proper age.
Touch of Death: However if Ain continues touching you with said power, she can regress you into nothing. It is only an Informed Ability, as she never does it on-screen, but the idea itself is still unpleasant.
Freak Out: Luffy, Zoro, Sanji and Brook (who has to be told why they're freaking out as he wasn't with them at the time when they first met him) understandably have one when they run into Aokiji at a hot spring, though luckily by that point he's resigned from the marines and isn't interested in fighting them anymore. Likewise later in the film, Ussop, Nami, Chopper and especially Robin aren't too thrilled to see him when he comes to see Luffy.
Funny Afro: Franky sports a pink one in one of his outfits.
Genre Savvy: The Straw Hats were cautious when they took in the unconscious Z. Chopper wasn't left alone with him and outside, Zoro and Sanji were on guard.
A Good Way to Die: Few men have the chance to die on their feet, foes before him, with tears of love and respect shed for him, even by his enemies. Zephyr is a truly fortunate man to have had this honor.
Green Thumb: Bins' Devil Fruit power, which allows him to make plants grow incredibly fast.
Heroic BSOD: Luffy suffers a minor one after his second battle with Z.
Hoist By Their Own Petard: Double whammy for the heroes during their first fight with the Neo Marines. Thanks to Bins' Devil Fruit, which can control plants, their own lawn deck is used against them. And when Robin puts Ain in a submission hold, the latter manages to rejuvenate her by touching her duplicated limbs.
It's Personal: As often, this is the reason why the Straw Hats want to beat the hell out of Z. He attacked them after they healed him, his subordinate rejuvenated Nami, Chopper, Robin and Brook, and later, he even stole Luffy's straw hat.
Kill 'em All: Z's plan is to exterminate all pirates, by destroying the three Endpoints, islands that seal a huge amount of subterranean magma called the Grande Imbuto. If all three Endpoints are destroyed, the Grande Imbuto is released, flooding the entire Grand Line, New World included, with magma. This will obviously kill all pirates, but also cause way too many civilian casualties and collateral damage for even Akainu to approve.
Knight Templar: Z and his crew. You know a villain is hardcore when even fuckingAkainu disapproves of his plan to dispose of all pirates in the New World.
Late Arrival Spoiler: The movie expects you to be up to date with the manga, or at least to have read/watched the Fishman Island arc, as it spoils Aokiji's duel with Akainu, and his subsequent resignation from the Marines.
Little Miss Badass: Nami may have been turned into a little girl, but that doesn't mean she can't kick ass.
Little Miss Con Artist: She also takes advantage of her cuteness to get some info about Z and his plan from a group of Marines on Secon Island.
Lock and Load Montage: When the crew head off to fight Z for the final time, they dress themselves in the equipment left behind by Z's previous victims.
Meaningful Name: Z, Zephyr's alias, turns out to be the name he used when playing superhero when he was a kid.
Mecha-Mooks: Z's crew has their own models of Pacifista, named Shiro Kuma. True to Z's crew being Neo Marines, the Shiro Kumas wear white outfits, instead of the real deal's black outfit. They don't seem to be much different than regular pre-timeskip Pacifistas in terms of strength, though.
Left the Background Music On: A noncomedic example; there is a slow, somewhat haunting song about the sea that plays three times during the movie, each time acting as Z's Leitmotif. The second time around, it's eventually revealed that Aokiji is the one singing.
Noodle Incident: Kuzan (Aokiji) had one with Sakazuki (Akainu) on Punk Hazard, which permanently altered the island's climate, and led to Sakazuki's ascendancy to Fleet Admiral and Kuzan's resignation from the Marines. Exactly what transpired is still unclear (as in the series itself at this point), but he's missing his left leg at the knee, and his body has a variety of new burns and scars.
Nuke 'em: The Dyna Stones basically do this when exposed to oxygen.
Oh Crap: Believe it or not, Kizaru himself has one just before Z unleashes one of the Dyna Stones right in his face, destroying the island they were fighting on. Though of course, being a Logia, he came out of it unscathed.
Both Ain and Bins have one during the respective final fights against Zoro and Sanji. The former when Zoro slices through her cannonballs, disarms her and rushes her with a finishing move. The latter when Sanji sets himself aflame and about to slam into him with a final kick.
Nami, Chopper, Robin, Brook and Usopp have one when the Shiro Kumas go after them.
Pintsized Powerhouse: Nami and Chopper as kids. They may be weaker than normal, but they're still strong enough to wipe the floor with the Neo Marine troops.
The Oner: Yes, in an animation movie of all things. The climax battle scenes are surprisingly smooth and fast-paced, with barely any cuts in between them.
Prequel: Two supplementary materials. The aforementioned Z's Ambition Arc, which takes place before the movie, and the smartphone-exclusive (though later featured on the DVD) short Glorious Island, which actually takes place in the movie up to a certain point (Around the same time the Neo Marines invade Firs Island, to be exact).
Sequel Escalation: You thought Strong World had a lot at stake? This film makes that look like child's play.
Two former admirals and a current one all in the same movie? This goes beyond Strong World.
Soundtrack Dissonance: A beautiful rendition of Ocean's Guide, sung by Z, is heard in the beginning of the film as a fierce battle is taking place.
Spit Take: Early on in the film, Nami and Usopp see that one of the Log Pose's needles is spinning wildly, which means that whatever island it used to point to is either destroyed or way too dangerous to go to, and decide not to show it to Luffy. You get exactly three guesses as to what happens next.
Start My Own: Z's Neo Marines, which he started after leaving the main ones in disgust when the pirate who massacred his trainees (save Ain and Bins) and cut off his arm was promoted to be a Shichibukai.
Storyboarding the Apocalypse: Aokiji describe what'll happen if Z isn't stopped and blows up the final End Point. We get a brief visual of this as well.
That Man Is Dead: Z's real name is Zephyr, but he changed it when he started his own army. When Kizaru calls him by his real name, he angrily states that he's no longer called that.
Trailers Always Spoil: The last few trailers to the movie spoil the final battles with Sanji fighting Bins and Zoro taking on and defeating Ain. At least they don't show the actual finishing moves.
Undying Loyalty: Similar to the Straw Hats, Ain and Bins are willing to go to great lengths to follow Z.
Ungrateful Bastard: Yep, it happened again. Just like Strong World, this is how the crew meet Z in the first place. They fish him out of the ocean (where he landed after narrowly escaping Kizaru) and nurse him back to health. Of course, once Z realized they were pirates, he instantly attacked them.
Then again, considering his past, who can blame him ? The last time he showed mercy to a pirate, the asshole came back, cut his arm, and slaughtered his entire division. Note also that he was actually quite grateful for the save, until he learned they were pirates.