Episode of Chopper Plus: Bloom in Winter, Miracle Sakura is the 9th One Piece film. Released on March 1, 2008, it is a remake of the Drum Island Arc (essentially a "what if" story). It features Franky, Nico Robin, and the Thousand Sunny, who were not present in the original version.
In addition to Wapol, Chess and Kuromarimo, Wapol's older brother, Musshuru appears, with a new Devil Fruit power that allows him to produce poisonous spores. The film reveals that he too had been exiled from Drum Island and is seeking his revenge.
This film was nominated for the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year in 2008, but was beaten by Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea.
To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the One Piece television anime, a 2014 special edition of the movie, featuring new footage, aired on Fuji TV and its affiliates on December 31, 2014. The new footage included adaptations of the Drum Island installments of From the Decks of the World. The New Year's Eve airing also ended with a special message from the Straw Hat Pirates to the fans, to show their gratitude for the fifteenth anniversary.
The film begins with a brief flashback in the history of the Great Pirate Age, during which we see how Drum Island was attacked by the Blackbeard Pirates. Wapol, the king at the time, fled the land with the 20 best doctors, not even bothering to fight back. Afterward the film introduces Luffy and his crew.
While sailing the ocean, Nami notices a storm coming in, and alerts the rest of the crew, allowing them to quickly take action and launch the Thousand Sunny away with a Coup De Burst. Almost immediately afterward, Nami collapses from a high fever, and as none of the crew know enough about medicine, they decide to find a doctor to save her.
Upon arriving at Drum Island, the crew receives a hostile reception, but Luffy apologizes and begs them to save Nami. Luffy, Sanji, Robin and Usopp take Nami ashore while Franky and Zoro stay behind. Luffy's group then learns about Wapol, the former king of the island, forcing everyone to only receive treatment from his personal 20 doctors, and of him fleeing the island with those doctors after Blackbeard's invasion. It is revealed that one doctor, Dr. Kureha, remains and that she is a "witch".
Meanwhile, back at the ship, Franky notices a strange ship, the Bliking, and he and Zoro investigate with the Shark Submerge. Soon after they reach the ship, Wapol's men attack them, and Zoro and Franky defeat them. Elsewhere, Wapol and Musshuru begin climbing the mountain, eventually being joined by Wapol's henchmen, Chess and Kuromarimo. Luffy and Sanji get attacked by some Lapahns, and they are unable to fight back, fearing that the shock of any blows given or received will kill Nami. An avalanche buries the mountain in snow, and Sanji kicks Luffy out of the way to save him and Nami, being buried in the process. The avalanche sweeps through the town and buries Robin and Usopp, and Robin digs the two of them out and slaps Usopp awake with her powers. Zoro and Franky find a snowmobile and use it to head toward the mountain.
Luffy continues climbing the mountain, barely able to keep himself alive in the extreme cold. Just before losing consciousness, he reaches the top of the mountain, where Chopper saves him and brings him, Sanji and Nami in for treatment, curing Nami of her disease.
Nami learns about Chopper's past, and how he was ostracized by his herd and humanity for being different, but eventually was accepted by Dr. Hiriluk, a quack doctor who believed in the ability of the Sakura tree to cure any illness. Unfortunately, Hiriluk was suffering from a fatal disease, and Chopper's attempt to save him backfired, fatally poisoning him. After Wapol lured him into a trap, Hiriluk declared that the country's sickness would one day be cured before drinking a failed medicine and blowing himself up.
Eventually, Wapol and Musshuru reach the castle, intending to take back Drum Island. Chopper and Sanji fight against Chess and Kuromarimo. Wapol, using the powers of his Baku Baku no Mi, attempts to shoot Hiriluk's flag off the top of the castle. Luffy protects the flag and starts to fight Musshuru, whose spores knock out Chess and Kuromarimo. Musshuru initially has the advantage in speed and easily defeats Luffy and poisoning him with his spores. Chopper tries to fight back, but he is defeated, too. Musshuru is shot and set on fire by Usopp while Robin quickly administers the antidote to Musshuru's poison to Luffy. Luffy then uses Gear Second allowing him to keep up with and ultimately dominate Musshuru. Wapol escapes into the castle and eats Musshuru, fusing with him in an attempt to annihilate everyone in Drum. Chopper uses Arm Point to launch him into the roof, and Luffy manages to defeat him and send him flying with Gear Third's Gigant Pistol. Some of Musshuru's poisonous spores drift down, but Franky incinerates them with Fresh Fire.
After the battle, Robin and Nami manage to persuade Kureha to let her leave by handing over the antidote to the spores. While Chopper initially believes that he could not possibly be friends with any human, he decides to go with Luffy. Chopper tells Kureha, who berates him, claiming that he is not ready to leave home, and chases him out of the castle. She then orders the Drum guards to fire off Hiriluk's Sakura mixture, resulting in a pink snowfall and causing the mountain on which the castle stands to resemble a Sakura tree. With Chopper in tow, the Straw Hats sail off toward the next adventure.
In the real world, two years since the events of Drum Island, Dr. Kureha and Dalton, accompanied by a Lapahn peace-keeper, are seen reacting to the news of the Straw Hat Pirates' return.
An older Chopper wakes up during the night, surprised that this was all a dream. He had fallen asleep on board the Thousand Sunny, on the Survey Room rooftop. He is called down to enjoy a party with the rest of his crewmates, as snow falls from the sky, reminding him of the Sakura Kingdom. He rushes down to have a toast with the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates. Elsewhere, Dr. Kureha and Dalton have a toast of their own.
Art by Oda
In addition to the above mentioned changes:
- Rather than being in a hurry to get to Arabasta, the Straw Hats are desperate to get off of Drum Island before the Log Pose resets.
- Luffy's Gear Second and Gear Third appear in the film showing that the movie takes place after the events of the Enies Lobby Arc, probably after The Straw Hats get away from Garp using the Coup De Burst. However since this is an alternate take on the story, it is non-canon.
- Instead of the independent actions he took in the original story (such as swimming in the cold lake), Zoro interacts with Franky throughout the film. In the original story, he meets up with Usopp and Vivi after the avalanche.
- Vivi is no longer with the crew, and Robin performs the actions Vivi did during the story, such as slapping Usopp to his senses after the avalanche.
- Because Vivi is not in the film, Luffy bows to the citizens of Drum Island and begs for them to let his crew pass on his own, rather than her admonishing him for failing to responsibly address the situation.
- Wapol's subordinates are shown to drive around in snowmobiles, which can climb up cliffs.
- Chessmarimo does not appear, as Chess and Kuromarimo are knocked out by Musshuru's spores early on in the climax. However Chessmarimo did appear in the trailers meaning he may have been intended to be a part of the movie in its earlier development.
- Dalton's Ushi Ushi no Mi, Model: Bison powers are never seen or mentioned.
- The abilities of Chopper's Rumble Ball are not mentioned, and while he uses every form except Horn Point against Chessmarimo, he only uses Walking Point, Jumping Point and Arm Point against Musshuru Wapol Cannon.
- The Straw Hats do not encounter the Bliking Pirates before arriving at Drum. Additionally, Dalton does not attack Wapol and his men when they arrive in his village.
- Because Dalton does not get injured, the Isshi 20 instead break away from Wapol to aid those injured in the avalanche. Instead of leaving in order to follow Hiriluk's example, they leave because they are horrified of Wapol's plans.
- Kureha treating Tamachibi in Cocoa Weed is removed.
- There is no lift to Drum Castle in the present timeline, despite it being used by Hiriluk shortly before the end of his life.
- For Wapol's final weapon, he uses the Baku Baku no Mi to fuse with Musshuru and the Bliking Cannon.
- While Luffy does dig out the Lapahn after the avalanche they never get a chance to repay the favor.
- The avalanche was not caused by the Lapahns; instead, it was Musshuru's idea to shoot at the castle. Being too far, the cannonballs reached the mountain, causing the snow to collapse.
- In the 2014 special edition of the movie, all its events were retroactively turned into a dream being experienced by Chopper after the timeskip while he is sleeping on the deck of the Thousand Sunny, allowing to exist within the main One Piece universe as a fictitious world dreamt up by Chopper. It also sees the first post-time skip animated appearances of Dalton and Dr. Kureha as well as Drum Island.
- This is the first "What If?" re-imagination, the next being is Special Episode "Luff".
During the introduction of the movie, several wanted posters of past villains appear. Here is a list of them in order of appearances:
|A A A||2,200,000|
|Kuro||14,000,000 (16,000,000 is the actual bounty from the manga)|
|Monkey D. Luffy||300,000,000|
|Movie 9 (remake)|