Fans of anime have made One Piece, one of the most popular anime franchises ever; "Gold" is the thirteenth episode. The franchise follows the adventures of sea going pirates - The Straw Hat Pirates - who sail around looking for lost treasure.


Trying to keep up with or describe the pirates would require more space than allotted, needless to say, there are plenty of characters. But they come off like a seagoing band of Avengers with each character having a special quality like elasticity, super is even a skeleton. The exist on a planet that has one world government that apparently doesn't work well.

In this episode, they face-off with a guy named Tesoro (voiced by Keith Silverstein), a super wealthy control freak who owns a ship that is six miles long and doubles as it's own country. Moreover, it is made out of solid gold and yet still somehow floats. It sails around the planet as a ultra luxury resort casino, entertainment facility; Tesoro acts as the captain/emcee.


The Straw Hats are initially invited about as VIP guests of Tesoro. But they soon learn that the invitation is a ruse to capture the pirates and turn them into entertainment slaves by getting them indebted to Tesoro by a few million.


They first get a whiff that something is amiss when they learn of children who have been enslaved to pay off their parents debts. Tesoro has a colleague who has the power to transmit good luck or bad luck to people. Together, they give the Straw Hats fits.


The story adds abject lessons in greed, trust and deceit in the whirlwind tale. However, there is never a recap on the heroes; if you have not followed the series, you'll be hard pressed to understand the characters.


"One Piece Film Gold" is a non-stop, action packed adventure that fans of the series will get a kick out of. The animation is probably the most vibrant one can imagine as director Hiroaki Miyamoto saturates the screen with the theme   -- GEOFF BURTON