One Piece: Stampede was a huge box office success for the franchise, and it was suitably so considering the film was crafted as a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the anime series. But while it was a non-canon story which fans were able to enjoy without being completely caught up with the series, one major reveal was actually crucial for the franchise's future. With a surprise tie-in to the mysterious island at the end of the Grand Line, Raftel, we also got the official romanization of the name which was much different than everyone expected.
In an interview with Oricon News, One Piece Media Editor Takuma Naito explained the process behind Raftel's name change to "Laugh Tale," and why it was officially debuted during this film rather than at a later point in the series.
Confirming in the interview that the Laugh Tale name is completely canon, and actually a decision from series creator Eiichiro Oda himself. It was a name that Oda wanted to reveal in the story at some point, and decided to do so in Stampede. Elaborating further, according to @newworldartur on Twitter, Laugh Tale isn't just the island where One Piece is and there's a bigger meaning to the island overall.
There's a bigger meaning to the name, which Naito teases is tied into the lore of the island, and it was revealed in Stampede as a way to truly emphasize its importance. In fact, Laugh Tale's name and its involvement in the film was a way for Oda to go against the grain of big reveals only being in the main anime and manga stories for the series. Oda wanted fans to connect with Stampede in a different way, and considering its impact, he has succeeded.
Funimation screened One Piece: Stampede in the United States with English subtitles on October 24, 29 and 31, and with an English dub on October 26 and 30. They officially describe the new film as such, "Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat pirate crew are invited to a massive Pirate Festival that brings many of the most iconic characters from throughout the franchise to participate in competition with the Straw Hats to find Roger’s treasure. It also pits the Straw Hats against a new enemy named Bullet, a former member of Roger’s crew."
You can check out our spoiler-free review of the film here, and here's an excerpt to get you started, "One Piece: Stampede continues to surprise the longer it goes on. Each scene is brimming with excitement, and it's an experience that only a franchise like One Piece can provide. A film paying loving tributes to the past, the present, and even the future, One Piece: Stampede is incredible."