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Does One Piece Film: Red's Ending Song Pay Homage To Iconic Pro Wrestler Minoru Suzuki?

Over the course of its decades-long history, "One Piece" has ballooned into a pop cultural behemoth. In total, more than 480 million volumes of the "One Piece" manga are in circulation worldwide, whereas the anime series adapted from author Eiichiro Oda's comic is in the midst of a run of more than 1000 episodes and counting.

In 2022, "One Piece" grew even larger upon the premiere of "One Piece Film: Red." In Japan alone, "Film: Red" surpassed fellow shonen smash hit "Jujutsu Kaisen 0" at box offices soon after it hit theaters on August 6. Meanwhile, "Film: Red" became available to theatergoers in the United States on November 4.

Despite the decades of history preceding its premiere, producer Shinji Shimizu thinks "Film: Red" is a good entry point for burgeoning "One Piece" fans. According to Shimizu, younger viewers who might recognize "One Piece" but find its lengthy run intimidating should still be able to enjoy "Film: Red," and perhaps even use it as a catalyst to jump into the series' past.

As it turns out, "Film: Red" also includes what appears to be a shout-out to none other than the iconic Minoru Suzuki, which professional wrestling fans too should be able to appreciate.

The final song in One Piece Film: Red references Minoru Suzuki's entrance music

"One Piece Film: Red" revolves around a character named Uta, voiced by Kaori Nazuka in Japanese and Amanda Lee in English. Uta is also a popular musical artist, and her  performances are sung by real-life pop star Ado. In total, Ado performs seven songs as Uta in "Film: Red," and the soundtrack compiling all of these singles made history on the Oricon charts in Japan (via Crunchyroll).

One of those tracks, which serves as the film's ending song, is titled "風のゆくえ," or "Fuyu no Yukue," which translates to "Where the Wind Blows." At the end of that song's chorus, Ado/Uta sings, "Oounabara wo kakeru atarashii kaze ni nare," which can be translated as "race to the ocean, become the new wind."

That final phrase, "kaze ni nare," should ring a bell to those familiar with professional wrestler Minoru Suzuki. These words serve as the culmination to the chorus of his entrance song, titled "Kaze ni Nare" (written "風になれ" in Japanese). Even in the United States, fans often scream along with this phrase when it plays during Suzuki's entrance.

This isn't the first time "One Piece" has shouted out Suzuki either — one "Chopperman" spinoff features a character named Minoru Kazeno similar to Suzuki in appearance, and voiced by the wrestler himself. Uta's "Fuyu no Yukue," then, continues this "One Piece" tradition of nodding to Suzuki by quoting his musical catchphrase.