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Anime / One Piece Film: Z

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I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation
You're living in the past, it's a new generation

One Piece Z is the 12th film, and 2nd Film label, 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.

Eiichiro Oda has stated that Z was the toughest challenge the Straw Hats had ever faced at that point in time. Kizaru and Kuzan (formerly known as Admiral Aokiji) appear in the film as well. Surprisingly Avril Lavigne does 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 in Germany on November 29th, 2013 (this time, in German). In April 2014, Funimation announced an official U.S. release, which came to pass on September 30th, 2014, making it the third One Piece film (behind Episode of Alabasta and One Piece Film: Strong World) to be released in English. Here's a trailer for the English dub. The English dub came complete with the Avril Lavigne covers.note .

One Piece Z contains examples of 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.
  • An Arm and a Leg: During the hot spring scene, Luffy, Zoro, Sanji and Brook are stunned when Kuzan comes out of the tub minus one leg which he fixes with his ice powers. In canon, this was from his fight with Akainu and the Straw Hats were told of that by Jimbei on Fishman Island, they just never expected to see how severe the wounds were for themselves.
  • Antagonist Title: The titular Z.
  • 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. After it's destroyed in his fight with Luffy. It's revealed there's a regular prosthetic hand underneath it.
    • Kuzan uses his ice powers as a prosthetic for the leg he lost in his fight against Akainu.
  • 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, Kuzan saves Luffy, Ussop, Zoro and Sanji 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 Kuzan 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.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: When the Straw Hats prepare to go after Z and the Neo Marines one last time. Kuzan warns them it's a pretty much one way deal. If they don't stop Z's plan, all of the Grand Line will be destroyed. If they do, they're be surrounded by Marines, lead by an admiral no less, and be captured. Sure enough the latter does happen but Aokiji and Z prevent the Marines from going after the Straw Hats and Z's subordinates, subverting this trope.
  • Co-Dragons: Two of Z's henchmen were introduced in the material, namely Ain (a shapely young woman with a Marine-like Badass Longcoat) and Bins (a large man dressed as a Highly-Visible Ninja). They're also Devil Fruit users: Ain's Modo Modo no Mi allows her to revert the age of whoever or whatever she touches, and Bins' Mosa Mosa no Mi allows him to to make plants grow at a ludicrous speed.
  • Combat Breakdown: By the end of their final battle, Luffy and Z have already used their big, showy techniques. Z's Battle Smasher is broken and they're both so tired that they're reduced to simply slugging it out with haki-enhanced punches.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Kuzan does this while talking to Luffy's group after coming from the hot springs. Wondering if the One Piece treasure was responsible for the Pirate Age or just the actions of the pirates themselves.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: You really shouldn't be able to get so close to magma without some sort of Devil Fruit power, even if you're Made of Iron. Z keeps Luffy's straw hat a foot or two above the magma, with no ill effects on it.
  • Continuity Nod: Robin and Kuzan's past is alluded to when they share a small non-speaking moment before the climax.
  • Cool Shades: Z again.
  • 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.
  • Cue the Sun: After Luffy regains his resolve from his second defeat and vows to beat Z no matter what. The sun breaks through the stormy clouds.
  • Darker and Edgier: This film is much less optimistic in tone than Strong World, starting with the Big Bad Z, who has little comical qualities in comparison to Shiki.
  • 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 a pirate had invaded his ship and killed all his trainees (save Ain and Bins) and cut his arm only for say pirate to become a Warlord of the Sea during the timeskip and all his crimes were forgiven by the Marine. 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 legs, and are equally getting injured throughout the whole fight.
    • Heck it could barely even be considered a win. It only ended due to Z's admittance when he clearly was on his feet after the final hit. Dropping to the ground right after Luffy as it's 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.
  • Dual Wielding: Ain uses two knives for close-range attacks, and a pair of guns for long-range.
  • 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 Kuzan, Kizaru, Sengoku, Garp, Coby and Helmeppo, among other Marines.
    • Especially true for the English Dub as the series has yet to reach the end of the first half, and it had been reported that the anime dub was slowed due to work on this movie. At the time Funimation released this simultaneously with the first half of the Thriller Bark arc. So if you're following exclusively with the dub and watch this movie, prepare to be spoiled.
  • 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 de-aged into kids - turning this into Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Fleet Admiral Akainu’s type of Justice is legendary but even he thinks Z’s plan is going too far. Also despite the battle with Kuzan over the Fleet Admiral position he still spared his life.
  • Evil Old Folks: Word of God states Z is the strongest villain the Straw Hats have ever faced up to that point despite being 74 years old. 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.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Zephyr at the end when he goes to confront the battalion of Marines set to capture him and the Straw Hats.
  • Fanservice: A hot bath scene with the Monster Trio, Brook and Kuzan, 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.
  • Final Solution: Z's plan, which he calls Grand Reboot, is to exterminate all pirates by destroying the three Endpoints, islands that seal a huge amount of subterranean magma. If all three Endpoints are destroyed, the magma is released, flooding the entire Grand Line, New World included. This will obviously kill all pirates, but also cause way too many civilian casualties and collateral damage for even Akainu to approve.
  • Fountain of Youth:
  • 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.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Kuzan of all people to the Straw Hats, after their second defeat at Z's hands.
  • 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.
  • The Gunslinger / Guns Akimbo: Ain, who uses two guns for long-ranged attacks.
  • 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.
  • Knight Templar: Z and his crew. You know a villain is hardcore when even fucking Akainu 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: Nami 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.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Straw Hats meet Z after fishing him out of the ocean which he landed in after his battle with Kizaru. Initially he's pretty cordial with them and thankful for saving his life.... right up until Luffy reveals they're pirates. Then Z instantly turns hostile since, despite the crew not being evil, he hates all pirates regardless and shows no mercy.
  • 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.
  • No MacGuffin, No Winner: One of Z's main motivation to plan Grand Reboot, is try to destroy One Piece, thus invoked this trope. But the paln didn't finish anyway.
  • Non-Serial Movie: Several things later in the manga contradict the movie such as the new Marine headquarters is different, Brannews rank, and Robin's powers contradicting what she's capable of in Dressrosa. That and most obviously the movie doesn't seem to fit within the manga's timeline.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Outrun the Fireball: When the volcano erupts, Sanji, Zoro and Usopp with Luffy on his back, attempt to outrun the lava flow and ash cloud. They only succeed thanks to Kuzan using his Devil Fruit abilities to freeze the flow and cloud in place.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Product Placement: Threefold though folks outside Japan wouldn't know it. First the lighter that Sanji carries is a custom made one by French designers, DuPont. Second, the clothes Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Robin and Brook wear during their time on the spa island are designer wear from Armani Exchange. And lastly the drink Kuzan gives Z in their last meeting is based off a real brand in Japan.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Brook holds a yellow umbrella over Luffy's head. The yellow umbrella being a symbol of kingship.
  • 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.
  • Single Tear: Doberman sheds one during Z's last stand.
  • 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 Warlord of the Sea.
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse: Kuzan 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.
  • The Unreveal: We never find out which of the Seven Warlords was the one that massacred Z's troops back in the past and later being promoted which caused his resignation and disillusion with the Marines. The only thing we do know is that said pirate was promoted during the Time Skip, but even that is All There in the Manual. Given that the only options are Buggy, Law, and Weevil, Weevil seems like the most likely candidate.
  • 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 the villain in the first place. They fish Z 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 attacks 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.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Zoro had no trouble fighting against Ain. Though he did hold back by use the back of his blade in order to knock her out to release her power from the rejuvenated Straw Hats, she is later shown to be fine not long after.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Z sacrifices himself to buy enough time for the Straw Hats, Ain and Bins to escape.