One Piece Movie: Red releases this Saturday, August 6 in Japan. Despite this, we still know relatively little about what will happen there. There haven’t been any big announcements about the overall plot, who the new characters are, or even who the villain is. However, several clues about the film’s central character, Uta, were presented in the form of a micro-series.
On One Piece official Youtube channel, six videos titled UTA Journal were released in the last two months leading up to the film. This micro-series features a VTuber-style Uta who records herself via Video Transponder Snail and lets her fans know a bit more about herself. Therefore, it also gives A play fans more information about her and what to expect from her in the film.
Uta’s first entry is mostly about relaying behind-the-scenes information. She mentions how she usually diffuses herself by singing and dancing; the concert she will give in the film will be her first live performance. She says the set list would be a secret, but she confirmed that “New Genesis” will be sung. After all, it was the song that made her famous.
She also notes that the concert will take place on Elegia, despite its seemingly tragic history. She doesn’t mention what’s going on, but her moment of silence says it all. Its aim is “to write about everyone’s sad memories” and to “turn Elegia into a place of music”. In doing so, she intends to create the “beginning of a new era”. The offhand commentary on Elegia seems a bit unsettling, but everything else seems fine so far.
In Uta’s second entry, she talks about herself to her listeners. According to her, she is still in her room; she sits by the window and looks at the sea. She also makes songs and repeats them from her room, including “I Am Invincible”. This, combined with the fact that she has never performed live, suggests that she lives a somewhat sheltered life.
She also talks a bit about her past. There was a time when she was depressed, but she learned to love herself again when she realized how much people loved her music. The lyrics of “I Am Ivincible” reflect how strong she has become and her gratitude to those who have helped her.
Uta mentioned a bit more about what happened to her when she was young. Apparently, she was often on her own and sang songs when she was bored. The fact that she apparently made a career out of her solitary singing can really show how isolated she really was.
Uta also reveals a bit more about his philosophy in this video. She notes how songs can change a person’s whole perspective; the sea, for example, can be hopeful or lonely depending on how you sing it. In this sense, music has the power to change a person’s heart; reality cannot be changed, but if a person’s feelings change, so does the world around them. So, Uta wants to be happy with everyone through the power of music.
The third entry is where something much bigger about Uta starts to become apparent. As she talks about how “Backlight”, one of her most famous songs, will be on the concert set list, she mentions how much the people who love her hate pirates. From there, there’s an unexpected shift in Uta’s tone.
The singer explains what a deep-rooted hatred for pirates is. For her, pirates make many people suffer. They are ready to hurt these people to get treasures and money. It’s something she can’t understand, so she hates him with all her heart.
Uta really expresses her hatred with a story. She received letters from a sick girl whose only joy in life was her songs. This same girl had her family killed by pirates and died alone. There are many people in the world who suffer because of pirates, just like this girl.
There are also people like this girl who wish for a peaceful world like the one Uta envisions. According to Uta, “If these people can escape into my music and forget the bad things for a while, I want to keep singing for as long as possible.” she makes this point with surprising vehemence. Finally, she expresses her desire to sing as many songs as possible during her concert for everyone.
Uta made her fourth entry as she felt a bit more upbeat. This video had her showing off the concert hall, but more importantly, it showed her reacting to pirate wanted posters. Normally she doesn’t want to know or associate with pirates, but she made an exception when she found a satchel of posters washed up on the beach.
Apparently, Uta lacks basic knowledge of the pirate world. She doesn’t know big names like Doflamingo from the Seven Warlords or Big Mom from the Four Emperors. She is unfamiliar with the Straw Hat Pirates, although the idea of a Straw Hat seems to make her think about what the captain is. This lack of knowledge testifies either to her status as a civilian or to her isolation.
Uta’s fifth entry has her talking about dreams. For her, a good dream would be worth staying asleep forever. She says she developed this ideal dream world in her song “The World’s Continuation”. She would like a world without fights and rather full of fun things like music; such a dream world could go on forever without waking up. It sounds like a good idea on the surface, but it’s also dangerous, extreme, and seriously wrong. Between this way of thinking and Uta’s apparent dislike of all the suffering in the world, she may end up trying to do something reckless.
She made a song to chase away all the scary things in the world and bring everyone to a nicer place, and that’s what “The World’s Continuation” is meant to be. She was about to give a sample of it but had to cut the video for something happening outside.
The sixth and final entry saw Uta come back very well. Apparently the disturbance was a pirate ship holding the crew of a trading ship hostage and demanding Uta. However, Uta captured all the pirates and rescued the crew. She didn’t explain how she did it, although she hinted that she might reveal how at the concert.
Sha also sang “Where the Wind Blows” to the crew of the trading ship. It’s a song she’s never heard before, and hasn’t sung since she was a child. It goes back to a more innocent time before she realized how awful the world could be. She concludes by saying that she will livestream the concert for anyone absent and hopes a certain person will listen.
Much of this micro-series appears to be crafted in Film: Red. There are a lot of things about Uta that seem to be important to the overall story of the film; his backstory, his reasons for hating pirates, his isolation, his fascination with Straw Hats, his concept of an ideal world and, of course, his plans for the gig. Most of this is to say nothing of how Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates, Shanks, and everyone else who is set to appear in the movie will figure into his story. As for exactly when and how these potential plot points will appear, that remains to be said.
Everything in these videos is meant to get A play fans excited for the film. Not only do they make people more familiar with Uta, but the nuggets of information they provide are tantalizing clues to her history. The best way to find out what it all means is to watch One Piece Movie: Red when it hits theaters.