Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection 11

One Piece Collection 11 packages the One Piece Season Four Voyage Five and One Piece Season Five Voyage One 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 11
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: February 3, 2015

The episodes in this set focus on Luffy and the others as they try to rescue Robin and keep her from being sent to Enies Lobby, the judicial island. Sanji boards the Puffing Tom on his own and takes down enough guards to free Usopp and Franky, but it takes a little while for Luffy and the others to get going. Nami and Chopper need to find Luffy and Zoro first, and then they need to find a way to get out to sea during Aqua Laguna. The craft that they’re allowed to use may or may not surprise viewers; it depends on whether they could see it coming. And Luffy finds himself making a surprising alliance before heading out to rescue Robin.

While on the Puffing Tom, Usopp decides to disguise himself with a mask and gives himself an almost superhero sounding name. Not only that, Usopp even comes up with a theme song, and the animators had a little too much fun doing an animation sequence to make it look like the opening for a superhero type show. It was obviously time kill, but it was amusing the first time it showed up. But when this same footage showed up for a second time in the same episode, it wasn’t nearly as funny.

Of course, it wouldn’t be One Piece without the introduction of outrageous villains. Wanze was the most annoying and disgusting villain to be introduced in this arc. Eating flour and shooting ramen noodles out of his nose… yuck! To me, Wanze was probably the worst thing I saw in these episodes.

These episodes also show Franky working with Sanji and Usopp, and they do seem to get along well, all things considered. And during one of the battles, we get to see more of what Franky’s cyborg parts can do. But this set ends on a bittersweet note because things don’t go quite as Sanji had planned for rescuing Robin, and Franky finds himself in a position that he thought he had escaped from.

The second half of this set moves the series into the Enies Lobby arc. Robin and Franky are presented to Spandam, and the audience gets to see just how cruel and conceited he is. He has no qualms about beating on prisoners who are chained and unable to defend themselves, regardless of their gender. He also feels like he can hurl insults at his prisoners as well.

When Luffy and the others reach Enies Lobby, Luffy decides to go off on his own instead of following the plan that the Straw Hats and the Franky Family came up with. As expected, it’s comedic to see Luffy beating up guards who are caught off-guard. But unfortunately for Luffy, his easy time of it comes to an end when he’s surrounded by a whole bunch of guards and their reinforcements. But that’s still nothing compared to when Luffy finally makes it to the building where Robin and Franky are being held, and he comes face to face with Blueno from CP9.

But the action isn’t solely focused on Luffy. The other Straw Hats, along with the Franky Family, follow through on their plan. They encounter their own obstacles, including a pair of giants guarding one of the gates. But as we learn later, these giants have a connection to a couple of giants that were introduced after Luffy and the others came to the Grand Line. I thought it was a nice way to tie this back to an earlier arc, and what happens here becomes an important character moment for Usopp.

There were also a couple of emotional moments during the fighting, when the Franky Family experienced casualties among their ranks. These casualties rocked the Straw Hats as well as the Franky Family, and it’s becoming clear that the two groups have become closer as allies as they’ve traveled together to rescue their respective members. But in the midst of the action and drama, there’s still plenty of the comedy that the One Piece series is known for.

It was a little disappointing that right near the end of the set, Robin is reunited with the Straw Hats and we just start seeing her backstory when the set ends. However, I admit that this is a good way to try to ensure that viewers will want to watch the next set in order to find out how Robin’s backstory ends.

The ending credits for the episodes in this set are worth sitting through after each episode. The ending on this set shows several different pictures of fan art each time, and that the fan art is always different. I thought this was an awesome idea, and it made the credits more interesting to watch to see which characters would appear in the art and the various art styles.

I’ve heard it said that the Enies Lobby arc is known for stretching things out. After watching this set, I can say that I believe it. There was one episode when the recap almost retold everything that had happened in the previous episode before continuing. While most of the recaps weren’t that long, there’s more time being spent on recap in this arc than we normally see in One Piece. There’s a good story in these episodes that’s worth watching, but you have to sit through more recap than usual in order to get to it.

There are six bonus features on the second disc in this set. There is a textless version for an opening song (“Kokoro no Chizu”), as well as a textless version for two ending songs (“Dear Friends” and “Asu wa Kuru Kara”).

I was happy to see two more of the “On the Boat – Behind the Scenes of One Piece” featurettes included on this set. This time, ADR Director Mike McFarland interviews Christopher R. Sabat (the voice for Zoro) for almost 13 minutes and Colleen Clinkenbeard (the voice for Luffy) for almost 14 minutes. These interviews were done in the exact same manner as the two on the previous set, and they were just as enjoyable to watch as the previous two. These interviews are a much welcome bonus feature and adds a little more value to these One Piece sets.

The fourth disc also contains bonus features. There is a textless version for an opening song (“Brand New World”), as well as a textless version for an ending song (“Adventure World”).

This disc includes two more of the “On the Boat – Behind the Scenes of One Piece” featurettes. This time, ADR Director Mike McFarland interviews Sonny Strait (the voice for Usopp) for about 14 minutes and Patrick Seitz (the voice for Franky) for almost 15 minutes. Both Sonny and Patrick were amusing, which helped to make these interviews fun for the audience. I’m hoping to see more of these kinds of interviews on future One Piece DVD sets.

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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