Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection 24

One Piece Collection 24 packages together the One Piece Season Nine Voyage Five and One Piece Season Ten Voyage One releases together. Between the two sets, there are 24 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 play once, there are no next episode previews.

One Piece Collection 24
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: February 2, 2021

The set begins with the final 10 episodes of the Fishman Island arc. As expected, Luffy and the Straw Hats are able to take down Hordy and the New Fishman Pirates. Unfortunately, though, even with this success, they still have to figure out a way to stop the Noah from falling onto Fishman Island. Shirahoshi plays an important role in stopping this disaster from happening. But Luffy is hurt badly enough from everything he’s gone through that he needs a blood transfusion. At first, no one on Fishman Island is willing to help, even though Luffy just saved their hides. While this is unfortunate, it’s also very realistic, especially since there’s still a law saying that fishmen cannot give blood to humans. However, Jimbei steps forward because he has the right blood type. At least Neptune is gracious enough to circumvent this law in order to help the man who just saved him and his people. Luffy makes an offer to Jimbei to join the Straw Hats. While Jimbei doesn’t accept right away, he says he will join them later. So there’s something to look forward to at some point later down the line. And I think Jimbei would make a good addition to the crew. Jimbei also gives the crew a piece of information that serves as foreshadowing for the next arc in One Piece.

But before the Straw Hats leave Fishman Island, Robin talks with Neptune about the poneglyph she found and read and learns the story behind what’s written on it. It’s also revealed that Shirahoshi is one of the ancient weapons referenced in the poneglyphs, although Neptune wishes that weren’t the case. Considering how Shirahoshi was so instrumental in this story arc and how she became friends with Luffy, I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising that Shirahoshi could have a bigger role to play later on in the series.

The audience is also introduced to Big Mom, who is one of the Four Emperors of the New World. She has an agreement with the candy factory of Fishman Island to receive monthly payments of candy. However, since the candy that was taken to a celebration (which was ultimately gobbled up by Luffy), they don’t have the candy to pay. Luffy gets involved and through a transponder snail conversation, makes an enemy out of Big Mom. This is a problem for Jimbe, however, because he has ties with Big Mom. Oops! But it looks like this is setting things up for Big Mom to be one of the antagonists Luffy will have to deal with in the New World.

We get an episode of the Straw Hats making it into the New World, and then this is interrupted by a four-part episode that serves as a prelude to One Piece Film: Z. This story introduces a character named Lily, a giant who has eaten the Mini Mini Fruit, which allows her to shrink. She asks the Straw Hats for help rescuing her father, Panz Fry. Most of the story focuses on the rescue attempt, which ends up being successful in the end… which is what a viewer would expect from a shonen anime series like One Piece. The final scene of the fourth episode of this storyline sets the stage for One Piece Film: Z. I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t say how well these episodes complement it. However, I have to say that these four episodes were my least favorite ones included in this set. Maybe after I get a chance to watch One Piece Film: Z, I might develop a better appreciation for these episodes.

The remaining nine episodes in the set start the Punk Hazard arc. Remember how I mentioned that Jimbei provides information that foreshadows the next arc? The Straw Hats end up at Punk Hazard after receiving a distress signal on their transponder snail, and it turns out the island has two parts: one part that is covered in fire and one part that is covered in ice. The fire and ice came from a big battle between Aokiji and Akainu over the title of Fleet Admiral. Luffy, Zoro, Robin, and Usopp end up on the fire portion of the island, where they discover a dragon, as well as a pair of legs that are still alive. I was just as amazed as the characters when a dragon appeared in this show. Yes, a lot of strange things have appeared in this series prior to the Punk Hazard arc, but a dragon was something I had never even thought of appearing at any point in this series.

Meanwhile, the Straw Hats who are on board the Thousand Sunny are put to sleep with sleeping gas. They are kidnapped (except for Brook, who they assume is someone who is already dead), and the kidnapped Straw Hats are imprisoned in the icy part of Punk Hazard. In their cell, they see pieces of the head of a man that has been cut. They put the pieces back together, and the head tells them that his body was cut into pieces by a Shichibukai. The head belongs to a samurai, who becomes quite upset when he learns that his face was put back together by pirates. When the Straw Hats break out of their cell, Sanji forces the samurai’s head to come with them.

Both groups have their adventures. Luffy and his group encounter a centaur, whose group was attacked by samurai. When the centaurs see Zoro’s swords, they assume they are with the samurai and become hostile. Brook wakes up on the ship, which has been taken to the icy side of Punk Hazard. The imprisoned Straw Hats come across a nursery of children as they try to escape and end up trying to help the children as well.

I can’t forget to mention that these episodes see the return of Smoker, Tashigi, and Trafalgar Law. These three characters end up on the icy side of Punk Hazard, and we get an amusing scene when the imprisoned Straw Hats come across these three characters in their attempt to escape.

It’s hard for me to say too terribly much to review the actual Punk Hazard arc, since it’s just getting started in this set. It seems to be off to an interesting start, though. I can’t wait to see how this story continues in One Piece Collection 25.

When it comes to the bonus features, there are no bonus features included on the first disc. The second disc includes a video commentary for Episode 567, “Stop, Noah! Desperate Elephant Gatling!” This feature runs for 23 minutes, and it includes Mike McFarland (ADR director), Colleen Clinkenbeard (voice of Luffy), Larry Brantley (voice of Hordy Jones), and Johnna Miller (a copywriter at FUNimation Entertainment) giving commentary on the episode. This is done in a “picture-in-picture” way, with the episode running as a picture inside the shot of the four commentators. This is basically like a regular commentary, except you get to see the people providing the commentary. There is also a regular commentary for Episode 571, “She Loves Sweets! Big Mom of the Four Emperors!” There’s a textless version of the opening song, “We Go!,” as well as trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

The third disc includes a commentary for Episode 576, “Z’s Ambition! A Dark and Powerful Army!” The fourth disc includes two Japanese commercials for One Piece. The first one is a commercial for a Luffy special that aired on Japanese television before One Piece Film: Z was released to theaters. The other is a Japanese commercial for One Piece Film: Z. Both of the commercials are subtitled, so non-Japanese speakers can understand what’s being said. I loved the inclusion of these commercials, especially since it’s the first time I have ever seen FUNimation do this for a One Piece release. I hope they include other Japanese commercials for the franchise on future releases. There’s also a textless version of the opening theme song, “We Go!”

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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