The anime movie One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta
is a condensed 90 minute version of the Alabasta story arc in One Piece. The plot of the series itself, in a nutshell, is that the main character Luffy searches for the dead King of the Pirates’ treasure to hold the title himself. He travels the seas with eight crew members who have their own quirks.
The Alabasta arc takes place in a major sea called the Grand Line. The Grand Line is second only to the sea that comes after, called the New World. The plot is that the pirate Warlord of the Sea named Crocodile takes over a desert kingdom. He is believed by the people to be a hero, but he is actually the main antagonist of the story arc. Crocodile ate a Devil Fruit that gives him the ability to turn into sand and to suck the moisture out of anything. It is up to the princess of Alabasta Vivi and Luffy’s pirate crew to stop Crocodile, as well as his assassination group Baroque Works. A war is brewing between the royals and the civilians, who were all manipulated into battle by Crocodile.
The 90 minute movie condenses 39 episodes, which leaves many things out. I enjoyed the movie, but I think that it can only be appreciated by One Piece fans who have watched the story arc or read it in the manga. All of the fights between the pirate crew and Baroque Works are shortened. Those fights were some of the most epic in the series, but the same quality does not come out when the fights are severely condensed. Only the ending of the fights against the main members of Baroque Works are shown. While not the same quality, the fights can still be enjoyed. The fight between Straw Hat Pirate Sanji and Baroque Works agent Mr. 2 Bon Clay is a fun, but weird fight.
I think that the movie is fun to watch, but only because I am well acquainted with the Alabasta story arc as well as the show itself. Viewers who are not One Piece fans might be confused about what is going on. There is not even an introduction to who the pirate crew members are, even though they are the main characters.
The movie is available in the United States from Funimation. It can be watched in either English or Japanese with English subtitles.