The official Twitter account for Toei Animation announced on Thursday, March 16, that One Piece Film: Red will be digitally released in English dub only later this month. Regions include North America, New Zealand, and Australia, with no additional details for other regions in the tweet.
One Piece Film: Red’s digital release is set to come on March 28 and will most likely be available for purchase first rather than being available to stream. Unfortunately, this is purely speculative at the moment, with Toei Animation telling fans to stay tuned for more details in their aforementioned tweet.
One Piece Film: Red's March 2023 purchasing debut would suggest film to be streamable by Fall of 2023
As mentioned earlier, Toei Animation’s tweet concerning the One Piece Film: Red digital release in English dub only will most likely prove to be a purchasable digital release, rather than the film being made available on anime streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll and Funimation.
This is welcome news to those who’ve been long-awaiting international home releases for One Piece Film: Red. The news has also sparked speculation on when the series will become available to stream on various services, with Crunchyroll being the most likely candidate.
While purely speculative, many assume that March’s release of the anime film will be a purchasable digital version rather than its debut on streaming services. Should this prove true, the streaming service release will be sometime in the final quarter of 2023 or possibly early 2024.
One of the biggest home-release questions for the film now is physical releases, especially considering the beauty of the limited edition Japanese DVD sets released earlier this year. Those interested in owning such an edition of the film are pressing Toei for this information. Still, there has been no response from the company in any capacity as of this article’s writing.
One Piece Film: Red was first released in Japan in August 2022, where it went on a massively successful run. The film cemented its rankings on the top ten highest-grossing anime films of all time and the top ten highest-grossing films in general of all time for Japanese theaters. Upon leaving theaters in January 2023, the film had grossed over 19.7 billion yen at Japanese box offices.
The film follows the Straw Hats as they head to a concert by singer Uta, a childhood friend of Luffy. While the reunion is cheery at first, things quickly turn sour when Uta discovers that Luffy is now a pirate. As her true intentions are slowly revealed, Luffy is forced to fight his former friend, along with some help from an old mentor.