Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection Eight

One Piece Collection Eight packages the One Piece Season Three Fourth Voyage and One Piece Season Three Fifth Voyage releases together. Between the two sets, there are 23 episodes 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 Eight
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: September 25, 2012

Most of the first half of this set focuses on Eneru’s plan to destroy both Sky Island and Upper Yard. Of course, Luffy wants to stop Eneru from succeeding, and this reaches its climax with a major fight between the two of them.

But in the middle of the battle, we get a treat as three episodes are devoted to what happened between Noland and Calgara in the past, and how Calgara and his people disappeared when the part of the island they occupied rose into the sky. I thought it was effective to include this. While we had heard a brief telling of Noland’s story earlier in the arc, it was helpful for me as a viewer to see this story with more detail. This section is brought into the story as a flashback from Wyper, so it didn’t feel like it was breaking up the arc as much as it could have.

Overall, I have to say I like how this story reached its climax, and I loved what Luffy did to bring the battle to a close. And Robin makes an interesting discovery that ties in with her dream of finding and deciphering the Rio Poneglyph.

The ending of the arc was rather satisfying, and I think this was probably the best way to conclude it. The set ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, though, since the Going Merry is just discovered when it returns to our world by landing in the middle of a Marine base.

While I liked the Skypiea arc, it ended up running throughout the episodes that made up the first four DVD sets for the third season, which comes out to 48 episodes. There were one or two fights that I thought could have been tightened up somewhat. However, with One Piece being a shonen series, the various fights that took place in the arc would be done in a way that would take a while to help lengthen the story out. I should at least be happy that there weren’t any filler episodes thrown into the middle of arc and disrupting the story! In that respect, perhaps having a 48-episode arc isn’t as bad as it could have been.

When the second half of the set begins, the crew realizes where the Going Merry has landed. Luffy and the others scatter themselves throughout the stronghold in an attempt to avoid being discovered

The episodes in this set see the various members of the crew ending up in various situations, many of which include needing to have a disguise. Sanji and Luffy disguise themselves as chefs, Nami disguises as a nurse, Chopper disguises as a doctor, and Robin and Usopp disguise themselves as the same visiting inspector. Usopp is jailed, and finds himself in the same cell as Zoro, who didn’t bother to even try to put on a disguise. Luffy inadvertently reveals himself to the leader of Navarone, and the Marines hunt him and Sanji down as they try to make it to the brig to rescue Usopp and Zoro.

During this section, one of my favorite parts had to be when Chopper and Nami help a doctor who’s nervous about treating the Marines’ injuries since she’s a pediatrician and doesn’t like surgery or the sight of blood. With Chopper having medical training, he was an incredible help to this doctor. Later, after the doctor discovers they’re pirates, she’s still grateful to them and decides to help them reunite with their friends at the Going Merry.

But after they manage to escape from Navarone, Nami discovers that the Marines took the gold they got in Skypiea. As you’d expect, Nami freaks out about it being gone and insists that they return to Navarone to retrieve it. It was rather comical how the Going Merry manages to make it back into the stronghold without being detected by the Marines who were pursuing them as they escaped.

Unfortunately, this story arc does not conclude at the end of this set. From what I’ve seen, it appears there’s only one episode remaining in this arc. This is a little frustrating, especially since the second half of the set only had 10 episodes. It makes me wonder why they couldn’t have acquired that final episode of the arc and placed it on this set. I seem to recall that there had been a bit of a gap between this DVD set and the next one, so maybe this was as far as the Japanese licensors had licensed to FUNimation at the time this set was released? If that’s the case, then I’m more forgiving about this situation.

But I have to say that this story arc was relatively short, especially when compared to how long the Skypiea arc ran. And after making it through such a long arc, this shorter one is a nice change of pace. The humor in this arc has really helped to lighten the mood, and it’s a nice break before potentially launching into another longer 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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