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Why Uta From One Piece Film: Red Sounds So Familiar

The expansive universe of "One Piece" is full of interesting characters; "One Piece Film: Red" is set to add yet another name to that list with Uta. This larger-than-life pop star is set to reveal her identity to the world in a groundbreaking concert event.

Uta has already become a sensation before the film's release. Songs from "One Piece Film: Red" have set records not only in Japan but around the world. The film's theme song, "New Genesis," hit the top 5 on Apple Music's Top 100: Global chart; that's an even more remarkable number considering "Red" still has two months before its release in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (via Siliconera). The character is also a YouTube star, with videos gaining millions of views.

She's more than a singer — finding herself a key part of Luffy's childhood. Her connection to another iconic "One Piece" character establishes an even more important plot point in the franchise. Fans are showing their support for Uta and her place in the pivotal backstories; from artwork to cosplay, the adoration is evident. Many don't know that it's actually a pair of voices behind newbie Uta.

AmaLee voices Uta with one major exception

Popular YouTuber AmaLee takes on the role of Uta for the English language dub. AmaLee, whose real name is Amanda Lee, became a pop sensation thanks to the LeeandLie YouTube channel. The project, started with a former partner, has millions of subscribers and continues to post covers of anime and gaming's most popular songs. Her VTuber personality, Monarch, only grew AmaLee's fandom; the self-dubbed Queen of the Multiverse can be found on YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter (via Anime Corner).

While AmaLee creates Uta's voice for dialogue, it's not her voice on the film's signature songs. All of this is not lost on the YouTuber, whose background delves into covers. Any other project might have seen the personality create covers the instant Uta's songs reached the internet. Instead, AmaLee's inclusion in "Red" saw her hit pause on possible versions "...it was really incredible to get that call. I was like, "Huh, maybe I'll hold off on uploading those for a little bit," she said during a ComingSoon interview.

Fans worried about the lack of AmaLee covers will be excited to learn that AmaLee will eventually add her own take on the songs. "I get to play the character and understand the character and then cover them," she said further into the interview. "I'm super excited to sing them, and I'm excited for everybody to hear Uta sing them in the movie as well."

AmaLee has a long history with anime

More than a source for entertaining covers, AmaLee is also an accomplished voice actor. Her work can be heard in a range of popular English anime dubs; some of the top series to feature the multi-faceted performer include "Black Clover" and "Tokyo Ghoul: re."

AmaLee also ventured into the "My Hero Academia" franchise for a short turn as Bibimi Kenranzaki. The character may have been only a brief part of the U.A. School Festival arc, but her contribution was still memorable. She also returned to the popular anime series, this time credited in the feature film "My Hero Academia: World Heroes' Mission" as additional voices.

She's no stranger to "One Piece," either. The YouTube personality voiced a Grand Line character before the pop singing sensation; as Otohime, the voice actor finds her way into the history of "One Piece." Taking place during the Fish-Man Island arc, this mermaid meets an untimely fate that nonetheless spurs the Straw Hat Pirates into action.

Uta's songs will be familiar to J-pop fans

Uta is a singer whose hype comes from the unrivaled mix of well-written songs, an anonymous identity, and a wonderful voice. The latter just happens to belong to a Japanese pop idol in her own right, Ado; she was engaging with followers around the world long before "One Piece" tapped her to provide the singing voice of their female lead. The singer herself has seen songs hit the top of the charts since her debut in 2020 (via Universal Music Japan).

Much like her "One Piece" counterpart, she's keeping her real identity private. The anonymity extends to her presentation, with animation being her primary medium; anime videos and only hints at personal information such as her age keep the public guessing. It also provides an added layer of mystery as fans around the world are discovering her talents.

Her performances on the "One Piece Film: Red" soundtrack already gives the global streaming bragging rights. The hype surrounding her work in the film is causing others who might not be as up on J-pop to take notice as well. She recently signed with Geffen Records to bring her music to U.S. audiences. The president of the record company, Tom March, echoed why this is a great time to introduce her music to American listeners, saying, "Her music from ONE PIECE FILM RED has taken the world by storm, and we're looking forward to starting our partnership as the film opens here in the U.S. in November" (via Crunchyroll).