Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection Three

One Piece Collection Three packages the One Piece Season Two First Voyage and One Piece Season Two Second Voyage releases together. Between the two sets, there are 25 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 Three
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: November 29, 2011

All the episodes on the first disc in this set cover a “filler” story arc that is not in the original manga source material. A girl named Apis escapes from the Marines and ends up on the Straw Hats’ ship. The Marines come after Luffy and his crew, which causes them to end up in the Calm Belt. Apis helps them escape from the Calm Belt, and they manage to get her back home to Battleship Island. After Apis shows them to a cave where a dragon named Ryuuji resides, Luffy and the others learn why the girl is being chased by the Marines. They try to get the dragon to Lost Island but are thwarted by a man named Eric who was hired by the Marines.

When this arc first started, I just couldn’t come to care about Apis, and I think this is was because I had already read this far in the manga and knew that this storyline was filler. I generally have a harder time caring about characters introduced in filler arcs because I know that I more than likely will never see them again in the series.

It was also interesting to note that when Apis is first introduced in the arc, she is depicted as being rather klutzy. However, near the end of the arc, she’s shown doing things like running up a rope connecting the Straw Hats’ ship and the raft flawlessly. I’m not sure if this was meant to symbolize that she has become stronger and self-confident, or if the writers decided to abandon that aspect of her character.

After this arc ends, the Straw Hats arrive at the Grand Line. We see Luffy and the others end up inside a whale, and they meet a doctor who has been taking care of the whale. In addition, new antagonists Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday are introduced. After becoming friends with the whale and making a promise to return someday, Luffy and the others are ready to continue. Nami learns she needs a log pose to accurately navigate the Grand Line, and Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday convince the crew to take them to their home at Whisky Peak, because they lost their log pose. When they reach Whisky Peak, they are welcomed warmly and a celebration is held. It turns out there’s a dark secret to Whisky Peak, which Zoro manages to figure out.

In addition to Whisky Peak’s dark secret, it’s also revealed that Miss Wednesday is an alias taken on by Princess Vivi from Alabasta. She has penetrated Baroque Works because the organization has incited a rebellion in her home country. Vivi convinces Luffy to take her back to Alabasta so she can expose the organization and its leader, Crocodile, for what they really are. We are also introduced to Miss All Sunday, who is partnered with the head of Baroque Works.

Unfortunately, this storyline is interrupted by a two episode “filler” story that features Coby, the boy Luffy met back in the first episode of the series, as he works as a chore boy for the navy. It turns out Helmeppo, the son of “Axe-Hand” Morgan, also works as a chore boy. During this filler, it’s revealed that the group they are traveling with is headed for the Grand Line. Hopefully at some point, Coby and Helmeppo will run into Luffy and the others in the Grand Line. If not, then these filler episodes would be rather pointless.

We then return to the main storyline, which sees Luffy and the others arriving on an island called Little Garden. The group encounters two giants from Elbaf named Dorry and Broggy who have been fighting each other for 100 years. However, they can no longer remember why they’re fighting. Their duel is interrupted by Mr. 3, Miss Golden Week, Mr. 5, and Miss Valentine. And to make things worse, Mr. 3 is trying to turn Vivi, Nami, and Zoro into wax figures. It’s up to Luffy to try to save everyone and to defeat the members of Baroque Works. The final episode in the set sees Nami falling ill, but no one on board the ship has any real medical expertise. A decision is made to try to find an island with a doctor before heading to Alabasta.

I liked the story with Laboon, the whale. I felt bad for him after hearing the story of what happened to him to lead him to the point he is at when we meet him. I also found what Zoro learned at Whisky Peak rather interesting, and it was also nice to have episodes that give more of a focus on Zoro. In the filler arc, Zoro spent more time sleeping on the deck of the ship than anything else, so it’s nice to see him in action.

It was also interesting to note in the bumps that appear in the second half of set, there is now a wanted posted that shows Vivi and her duck. During the first half of this set, I never would have imagined that there was more to Miss Wednesday than what was shown on the surface. She’s a nice addition, since she allows the cast to have another regular female character. Of course, this means that she is also another girl on the ship for Sanji to flirt with. Also, since Vivi isn’t used to Luffy and his crew yet, she is someone who can be awed by what the Straw Hats can do.

I also enjoyed the storyline that takes place on Little Garden, especially the interactions with the giants and the hunting battle between Sanji and Zoro. Both pieces of the story provided some amusing humor to the story arc.

The bonus features are what I’ve come to expect from these releases: staff commentary, textless songs, and trailers. The commentary can be found on the first and third discs of the set, while the remaining bonus features are on the second and fourth 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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