As the crowd of Anime Expo poured into the Los Angeles Convention Center, the welcome car was none other than Monkey D. Luffy. A thirty-foot-tall statue of a monkey towering over the main foyer to celebrate all things One Pieceit is.
With the most successful manga franchise of all time unveiling new information about the upcoming feature film, its new tabletop and video game and more, Straw Hat Pirates docked at Anime Expo.
One Piece: The Card Game and One Piece: Odyssey
The massive Luffy in the main hall was unforgettable, but only the beginning of the play was found a little deeper into the conference center. Right in front of the main exhibition hall, fans could see an elaborate copy of the thousand sunny pirate ship, arranged by Bandai Namco as part of their promotion for the upcoming One Piece: Card Game, which will be launched in Japan later this year. Employees in striped pirate uniforms shuffled loop lines with fans into the exhibition period, which included exclusive figure exhibitions, a manga library with the entire volumes of One Piece manga, and demo screens that introduce some of the rules for the upcoming card game.
With several of the most iconic characters from the franchise, One Piece: Card Game uses a unique turn-based combat system similar to another Namco Bandai’s other Digimon card games, with “Don” energy used to summon characters. Across the aisle from Bandai’s card game booth, another screen was set up for the upcoming video game release, One Piece: Odyssey. With clip views of the main characters in the franchise and footage showing highlights from the game, One Piece: Odyssey able to inform fans about Bandai Namco and ILCA’s production goals, knowledge and functions.
One Piece Film Red: Hyper up the upcoming feature
While the announcements on the tabletop and the video game were plays in themselves, things hyped up even more with the official panel for the upcoming One Piece Film Red feature films, held in the main event hall at the conference center. As over a thousand fans gathered for information about the upcoming film project, producers at Toei Animation discussed the importance of the franchise and adapted the vision of the original manga creator Eiichiro Oda. The international release, which will be launched in Japan on August 6 this year, is handled by Crunchyroll, which has actively moved into the theater distribution area.
One Piece Film Red: An exclusive performance by Steve Aoki
After the long day of announcements and exhibitions, Toei had one last event planned to top things off. As night fell on Day 2 of the convention, the crowds at the convention filtered up into the Novo Theater in Los Angeles Live for an exclusive concert by Steve Aoki, inspired by One Piece Film Red. When the sold-out main event began, Aoki greeted the sold-out audience by claiming that his concert with Toei allowed him to play as many songs as his regular concert circuit would never accommodate. The anime-colored lineup included remixes of One Piece theme, a Ghost in the shell remix, and a techno karaoke rendition of Pokemon theme.
In the red upper lounges of the Novo Theater, guests were treated to the top of Toei’s theme. Original seam One Piece pillows adorned the sofas in the lounge, and the bars served cocktails named after Thousand Sunny, Straw Hats and Shanks. Leaders with Bandai mixed with actors and influencers, and recordings of the latter One Piece media. The atmosphere was really something, perhaps such a place one could almost expect to find the namesake cat to Gold Roger.
As all the new events and announcements abound at this year’s Anime Expo, GameRant is pleased to present full coverage of all the major announcements, screenings, events and fandoms. For full coverage of the event, stay tuned to the GameRants anime section.
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