Fuji TV began streaming an ad last Monday for the 2014 special edition of the 2008 film One Piece: Episode of Chopper + Fuyu ni Saku, Kiseki no Sakura. The new edition will add new animated footage to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the One Piece television anime.
The new special edition will air on Fuji TV and its affiliates on December 31 at 9:00 p.m. (7:00 a.m. EST). The movie depicts how Tony Chopper, the cute blue-nosed reindeer who serves asthe ship doctor for the Straw Hat Pirates, met Luffy and the others during the Winter Island/Drum Kingdom arc. Livedoor News describes the film as the story that fans praise as the “most tearful in One Piece history.”
Original manga creator Eiichiro Oda contributed to the film during its early planning stages. The film featured Nico Robin and Franky (even though they did not appear in the original manga’s Drum Island arc) and the screen debut of the Thousand Sunny ship.
The original manga had opening page art that depicted what happened to the characters after this story. That art was the only depiction of the story’s epilogue until now; the 2014 special edition of the film will add special footage that animates the epilogue with Dolton, Dr. Kureha (who taught medicine to Chopper), and others. The New Year’s Eve airing will also end with a special message from the Straw Hat Pirates to the fans, to show their gratitude for the 15th anniversary.
The ninth film in the One Piece anime franchise premiered in Japan in 2008, and ran at the Italian Future Film Festival the next year. This year’s 52nd issue of Shueisha‘s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine announced the special edition airing of the film last month. In its New Year’s Eve time slot, the movie will go up against NHK‘s Red & White Song Battle, the most popularmusic program of the year.