With the reveal of the key visual for One Piece‘s upcoming Zou arc, today’s issue of Weekly Shonen Jump noted that the Straw Hats won’t be setting sail to Zou just yet. First, there will be an anime original Silver Mine arc before the show goes back to adapting the manga. The Silver Mine arc will debut on June 26th and links to the story of One Piece Film Gold, which opens in Japan on July 23rd. Be aware that the visual and story details below contain spoilers for the Zou arc and Dressrosa arc, respectively.
One night, as Luffy and some of his crew are sailing Bartolomeo’s ship toward Zou, they are attacked by the pirate Desire and her motley Battle Boat crew. She is is part of the Silver Pirate Alliance which is led by Bill, a devil fruit user who ate the “Gutsu-Gutsu” (simmering) fruit, and plies his trade as a “Smelting Man” who can manipulate metals and forge and wield various weapons.
Desire drags Luffy and Bartolomeo to the “Silver Mine”, the island which also serves as the Silver Pirate Alliance’s stronghold. The arc then follows Luffy and Bartolomeo in their efforts to escape Silver Mine and get back to their crews. But it will come to light that Desire has a connection to Bartolomeo’s past, while Bill has some business with the “Gold Emperor” Gild Tesoro, the Straw Hats’ adversary in Film Gold.
Jump has also announced that Hiroshi Kitadani and Kishidan’s collaborative theme song for the anime’s next stretch is titled ‘We Can!’. Kitadani previously performed the first One Piece opening theme ‘We Are!’ and its 15th opening theme ‘We Go!’, while Kishidan has provided themes for One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island, Naruto Shippuden, and Kamen Rider Ghost
The characters in the new arc have been given their designs and descriptions as follows:
Bill, a “Smelting Man” who ate the Gutsu-Gutsu fruit. He is the leader of the Silver Pirate Alliance, and is after Luffy.
Desire, a pirate who wears a biker gang jacket. She has a connection to Bartolomeo.
Peseta, one of the leaders of the Silver Pirate Alliance who adores Bill.
Abellon, a “Rail Car Man” who ate the “Korokoro” fruit (“korokoro” is the sound of a small round object rolling). He corners Luffy with his attacks.
Tanaka-san (voiced by Gaku Hamada, who was also Miss Hokusai‘s Zenjiro/Keisai Eisen), Gild Tesoro’s subordinate and a devil fruit user who also appears in One Piece Film Gold.
One Piece Film Gold will be showing at a record of 743 screens across Japan, and the country wants tourists to get in on the fun, so selected cinemas in five cities will show the film with English and Chinese subtitles right from its opening day. A full-length trailer for the film featuring GLIM SPANKY’S theme song was released last month.