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What We Know About Shanks' Appearance In One Piece Film: Red

"One Piece" has had one heck of a run as far as anime series go. The franchise has been going for over 20 years, boasting over 1,000 episodes (via IMDb) and 15 movies and a world so vast new and old fans might need the entire timeline explained. With a new film on the way, which is being released outside of Japan next month, this anime shows no signs of slowing down.

The popular anime follows Monkey D. Luffy (Mayumi Tanaka/Colleen Clinkenbeard) as he sets out on the high seas, hoping to become the pirate king. "One Piece Film: Red" takes a different approach, focusing on the famed singer Uta (Kaori Nazuka/Ado). The movie will explore the ramifications that follow the revelation of her true identity as Shanks' (Shuichi Ikeda/Brandon Potter) daughter. "One Piece" producer Shinji Shimizu sat with Anime News Network to discuss "One Piece Film: Red" and how fan-favorite Shanks will figure into the new film's plot.

Shanks figures big into the endgame of One Piece

Shinji Shimizu had been begging "One Piece" creator Eiichiro Oda to put Shanks in a movie. With "One Piece Film: Red," the creator finally relented (via Anime News Network). "If you follow the series, you know that Luffy received his iconic straw hat that sets off this entire adventure from Shanks. And Shanks is going to make an appearance in this movie," Shimizu explained. Anyone with even a passing knowledge or familiarity with "One Piece" will recognize Luffy in his straw hat, so it's easy to see where Shimizu is coming from here.

The producer discussed how hard he pushed for Shanks to appear in a movie at last. "There's over ten films in the 'One Piece' film catalog," he said. "And very often I would ask Oda-san, 'Can we put Shanks in the next movie? Can we put Shanks in the next movie?' and he rejected me every time until 'Red,' so I'm very excited for him to finally make an appearance." 

Shanks is such a popular character, so it's surprising that it took so long for him to show up in a "One Piece" movie. "I would say the timing is right and even Oda-san himself understood that 'hey, this is the right moment to revisit Shanks,'" Shimizu explained. "The big question mark that remains is, 'Will Shanks and Luffy ever meet?' which, I can't answer that, so we'll have to find out." Fans in North America will be able to watch "One Piece Film: Red" in theaters starting November 4.