Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection One

One Piece Collection One packages the One Piece Season One First Voyage and the One Piece Season One Second Voyage releases together. Between the two sets, there are 26 episodes of the series included. Episodes can be watched with either the English dub or with the Japanese audio with English subtitles. It should also be noted that in addition to watching episodes or using the “Play All” option, there is also a marathon feature, which allows you to watch all the episodes on a disc back-to-back without interruption. In the marathon feature, the opening credits only plays once, there are no next episode previews, and the ending credits are not included.

One Piece Collection One
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: July 26, 2011

It’s established in the opening credits that before Gol D. Roger, the “Pirate King” was executed, he said that anyone could have his treasure, but they would have to search the whole world in order to find it. This event marked the beginning of the great era of piracy.

A young man named Monkey D. Luffy is on a quest to become the Pirate King. In his youth, he had eaten “the devil’s fruit” and became rubbery. While his rubbery body allows him to stretch himself out a great distance, the drawback is that he will never be able to swim.

During the episodes in this collection, Luffy sets out to assemble a pirate crew and go to the Grand Line in order to look for Gol D. Roger’s treasure, which is called the “One Piece.” Luffy officially gains three members of his crew: a pirate hunter named Roronoa Zoro, a female thief named Nami, and a young man named Usopp who is known in his village for telling lies and tall tales (but it turns out he’s also a sharpshooter). The group also meets Sanji, a cook at a sea restaurant. Luffy wants Sanji to join his crew, but the cook shows no interest in doing so.

These sets include character development episodes for Usopp, Zoro, and Sanji. While Usopp’s backstory is shown more in real time, the backstories for Zoro and Sanji are conveyed to the viewer through flashbacks. I appreciated how the flashbacks felt like they naturally belonged in the story and not as if they were shoehorned in. Even though One Piece tends to be more on the comedic side, the series doesn’t shy away from having its serious moments. The character backstories are just one example of the serious moments that this series includes.

The flow of the series at this point works well, and nothing truly feels like “filler” material. But being so early in the series’ run, though, there was obviously enough material in the manga with the character building and world building that there really wasn’t a need for any “filler” at this point. Unfortunately, One Piece Collection One ends in the middle of a story arc, so you have to watch the next set in order to find out how that arc continues and will ultimately end.

The animation style of One Piece is more on the unique side, but it effectively captures the look that Eiichiro Oda used for the manga. This unique feel to the animation helps to make this series stand out from other anime titles.

When it comes to the bonus features included in this DVD set, there are textless songs and trailers included on the second and fourth discs of the set. Staff commentaries can be found on the first and third discs.

If you’re a One Piece fan who wants to own the series on home video, but don’t want to spend the time and money to track down each individual set that’s been released, these Collection sets are a good way to go.

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