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One Piece Film: Red Fans Will Have Several Opportunities To Connect With Uta Beyond The Film

"One Piece Film: Red" is set to take the franchise in an exciting new direction. The film breaks new ground by featuring a female lead, Uta (Kaori Nazuka), an anonymous singer. Her public reveal promises surprises dating back to one of the property's longest-running characters.

The project also marks a major milestone for "One Piece," coinciding with its 25th anniversary. Noticeable callbacks to franchise lore make it easy for newcomers and die-hard fans alike to enjoy the story. Still, over two decades of entertainment have occurred, and with it, a changing entertainment landscape. The age of social media and the Internet opens up the Grand Line to a host of possibilities.

While the film opened strongly in Japan (via Crunchyroll), there appear to be even more opportunities to connect with audiences. Producers of "Red" are introducing elements that not only promote the film but open up the characters to a new generation of fans. Its inclusion alters how devotees of the popular anime and manga interact with their favorite characters.

Uta sings several songs that fans can enjoy outside of the film

Uta seemingly mirrors many of today's most popular social media celebrities; the persona is built-up even further by adding anonymity to the mix. In a nod to blurring lines between Internet culture and fictional characters, the sensation is seeing music videos appear on her own YouTube channel. Like any pop sensation, the update gives an awaiting public the perception of glimpses into their favorite artist; characters from the film are experiencing these details along with the audience. Shimizu credits that detail directly to "One Piece" creator Eiichiro Oda (via CBR).

"There is going to be seven different tracks that Uta will be singing in this film," producer Shinji Shimizu told CBR. "These seven different emotional journeys that she goes through will draw the audience in, and that's when fans will be able to resonate with her. Uta's diaries are available online, and she talks about her emotions as she writes each song. As we experience this — and Oda thought of this himself — the characters of 'Red' are also experiencing this."

Music has always been a part of the One Piece world. Fans still debate which season had the best opening theme, even citing a love for the original "We Are." Surprisingly, the anime has never delved into the world of music as deeply as it has with "Red." The film features seven new songs which give viewers a glimpse into the character's emotions; these selections set the tone while presenting her response to each major moment.

Bringing in this new approach to music is something that excites Shimizu. He cites its use in the film as something that excited him the most (via ComicBook). More than anything, music represents a connection between generations who may have yet to explore "One Piece."