Dec 3, 2009

One Piece the Movie 4: Dead End Adventure

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Dead End Adventure (Dead End no Bōken?) is the fourth animated feature film of the franchise and the first to additionally star Yuriko Yamaguchi as Nico Robin. It premiered in Japan on March 1, 2003 and was released to DVD on July 21, 2003. The film made a seven weeks run in the Top 10 of the Japanese box office, placing second in its first week of showing, then fifth for two weeks, sixth for another two weeks, seventh in its sixth week, and tenth in its seventh week of showing. In Japan it earned at total of 2,000,000,000 Japanese yen, according to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan and 14,794,017 US dollar, according to Box Office Mojo. Internationally, it earned 14,817,006 US dollar.

In a port town pub, the once again flat broke Straw Hats witness a suspicious exchange between a customer and the proprietor. Nami immediately senses money and endeavors to convince the host to give her whatever information he had given him. The other Straw Hats join in and soon he is persuaded. He shows them to a backdoor, behind which they find a long and winding tunnel. That tunnel leads to a large underground chamber, where a number of pirate crews have a gathering. The island they are on, turns out to be the starting point of an irregularly occurring, anything-goes sailing competition.

For a moment, the Straw Hats weigh whether it is wise to join in the race, considering that two giants and a crew of fish-men, who were once the rivals of Arlong's gang, were participating as well. But once they learn the height of the price money, not entering is out of the question. From the bookmaker they receive an eternal pose, to lead them to the goal of the race.

Free food is available at the bottom of the chamber and Luffy makes extensive use of it. His eating habit of stealing other people's food quickly angers the bounty hunter Shuraiya Bascùd, as well as a group of men from General Gasparde's crew. Gasparde is a deserted marine, with a bounty more than three times as high as Luffy's and said to be the race's favorite. A fight arises, and after Luffy and Shuraiya beat up his men, they find themselves standing before the general himself. He is impressed with their skill and offers both of them to work under him.

Of course they refuse, but Luffy finds some insulting words to do it and is caught off guard by Gasparde's right hand man, Needles. Luffy's courage impresses Gasparde even more. He renews his offer, orders Needles to let go of the rookie pirate, and leaves the room. The next morning, a strong ocean current starts the race, by pushing the ships upstream over the island. As soon as they are over the top, the various crews start shooting broadsides, board each others' ships, and ram their competitors out of the water. But once the island is left behind, the field quickly clears up, leaving the Straw Hats time eat.

While inspecting the ship, Zoro discovers a boy named Amaguma, who had stowed away to earn money by killing some pirate to buy medicine for his adoptive grandfather, who works as an engineer on Gasparde's partially steam powered ship. The race continues. After fighting yet another rival crew and an encounter with a group of large sea kings, they arrive at the island the eternal pose is pointing to. The eternal poses were all mislabeled and led the fleet of unsuspecting pirates into reach of the cannons of the navy stronghold Navarone. Luffy has no doubt to whose fault it is. They turn around and using Choppers fine nose, attempt to catch up with Gasparde's ship.

Shuraiya, who had followed Gasparde's invitation to come along on his ship, turns against him to take revenge for Gasparde's killing his parents and sister. He fights Needles and throws him over board, but stands no chance against Gasparde's Logia-type powers, which allow him to turn parts or all of his body into liquid or solid candy. The general is about to kill the bounty hunter, when the Straw Hats arrive and catch his attention. Luffy confronts him and the two engage in a fierce but one-sided battle.
Any attack Luffy throws at his opponent causes his limbs to get stuck in Gasparde's body. Only after Sanji gives two sacks of flour to Luffy, can he overcome the villain's ability. Anaguma turns out to be a girl and Shuraiya's thought-dead sister, Adele Bascùd. With all their competitors taken out, the Straw Hats are about to arrive at the goal of the race, when a fleet of navy ships appears and forces them to abandon their prize money.

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