As of Nov. 3, One Piece Film: Red has officially hit American shores. As usual, English speakers have two options for viewing this anime movie; it can either be watched in Japanese with English subtitles or dubbed in English. Most fans will watch the subbed version, but there's an interesting type of merit to watching the English dub this time around.
The way the English dub has been released in America recently lines up surprisingly well with the movie's American release. Not only that, but some content from the movie is rather prevalent to recently featured events and characters in America. Because of this, those who have been watching the dub through either Toonami or Crunchyroll should be in for a real treat.
Who Gains from English-language Film Viewing?
For the Toonami faithful, Film: Red should be an opportunity for them to listen to more of Jimbei's English voice. He was last seen during the Fishman Island Arc, which finished its Toonami run a few short months ago. Anyone who liked Daniel Baugh's interpretation of the Knight of the Sea and can't wait to hear more of him can listen to him again in the movie.
Of course, it's important to keep in mind the potential for spoilers from this movie. Film: Red assumes that its audience is caught up on the ongoing events of the anime, namely the Wano Arc's Raid on Onigashima. In this sense, it's certainly not for people who are on the Fishman Island Arc, which wrapped up 10 years ago in Japan. If Toonami fans are going into this movie, it should be because they know what will happen in future arcs and are simply rewatching One Piece in English for fun. Otherwise, they'll be susceptible to a lot of massive spoilers.
With that said, it's also arguably possible to watch this movie following the Whole Cake Island Arc, which the English dub recently finished. Besides Jimbei, dub viewers will also get to hear more from the English voices of the Big Mom Pirates like Brûlée, Oven, and Katakuri. There are still some spoilers, but they're negligible compared to what they would be for someone still on the Fishman Island Arc.
One could argue that watching Film: Red after the events of Whole Cake Island rather than Wano is the ideal move. According to the movie, the world still knows Luffy as the Fifth Emperor, the epithet he earned following his trip to Whole Cake Island. In fact, the recently-dubbed Episode 878 is about Luffy earning this title and everybody's reactions to it, including Shanks'. Again. there would be some spoilers for people watching, but it might be worth it for that synergy. Of course, some fans would suggest at least watching One Piece: Stampede before Film: Red.
Why Else Should One Watch the Movie Dub?
It would also be worthwhile to watch the dub to hear Uta's English voice, Amanda "AmaLee" Lee. Not only is she a seasoned voice actress but she also has a large following thanks to her years of doing English anime cover songs. This makes her an ideal for the One Piece world's greatest diva.
While AmaLee didn't get to sing for the movie, she will be releasing covers of its songs on her own time. Regardless, watching the dubbed movie should give listeners an intimate familiarity with Uta's English voice. This should enhance the experience of listening to AmaLee's covers of her songs by making listeners feel more connected to the character she's portraying.
Anyone considering watching Film: Red in English should strike while the iron is hot. Besides the movie's limited theatrical release stateside, the stars have lined up too well for dub-watchers to simply ignore it. Even for those who don't regularly watch dubs, this movie is worth considering if only for Amalee and her upcoming cover songs. If there's ever a time to watch this movie dubbed, it's now.