Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: One Piece Collection 28

One Piece Collection 28 packages together One Piece Season Eleven Voyage Four and One Piece Season Eleven Voyage Five. This set includes four DVDs and four Blu-ray discs. Between the two sets in this release, there are 26 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, and there are no next episode previews.

One Piece Collection 28
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: December 14, 2021

The set opens with the final round starting in the colosseum, and the introduction of Diamante, one of Doflamingo’s executives. When my husband saw Diamante for the first time, he wondered out loud if he was designed after Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. After he said that, I couldn’t “unsee” the Steven Tyler comparison for the rest of the episodes I saw him in during this set. The five contestants remaining (Burgess, Bartolomeo, Sabo (disguised as “Lucy”), Rebecca, and Diamante) have to fight each other, as well as the Fighting Fish. One of fish has a box with a chest attached to it, and inside the chest is the Flame-Flame Fruit.

We are also introduced to Pica, another one of Doflamingo’s executives. It turns out he can move through stone and utilize the stone to make himself bigger and stronger. At first, he’s used to slow down Luffy, Zoro, and Viola as they move through the castle. When they finally make it to where Doflamingo is, they hide and wait for Sugar to go down. They are joined by the toy soldier.

Meanwhile, Usopp, Robin, and the Tontattas are trying to get Sugar to eat the grape that’s filled with Tatabasco in order to knock her out and break the spell on the toys. Things don’t go as planned, though, and Robin is turned into a toy, while Trebol (who is guarding Sugar) causes issues. At first, Usopp runs away, but after he hears enough things being said over a Transponder Snail, he makes his way back. While Usopp does manage to accomplish the goal in the end, it’s through sheer luck… and possibly stupidity on Sugar’s part, since she thinks the grape is poisoned and not just simply filled with a very hot sauce. But, in the end, Sugar is knocked out and the toys revert back to their original forms.

And this is when all hell breaks loose in Dressrosa. Chaos breaks out in the colosseum, and Sabo is ultimately able to win the match and win the Flame-Flame Fruit… which he takes a bite out of. It tastes bad (and Sabo has a great expression on his face to convey this), but he acquires the power that his brother, Ace, once possessed. The toy solider returns to his true identity as Kyros, the great warrior and Rebecca’s father. But before his transformation, we get a backstory episode about Kyros, which I appreciated getting because I understood him better and had a greater appreciation for him as a character.

Doflamingo gets rather pissed off, and Luffy, Zoro, Viola, Kyros, King Riku, and Law (who is still cuffed in sea prism stone shackles) are forced out of the castle. Luckily, Luffy is able to use his ability to inflate himself so he can catch the others after they fall. Doflamingo also uses his “puppetmaster” ability to take control of some of the people (even including navy forces) and makes them to start causing chaos through setting fires, killing people, etc.

Doflamingo then uses a birdcage ability to seal off Dressrosa, so no one can leave and no one can call out with Transponder Snails. He then begins a “game”: either he is killed, or 12 people he has set bounties on have to be killed in order for it to end. The list includes Luffy, Zoro, Robin, Law, King Riku, Rebecca, Kyros, Kine’mon, Sabo, Viola, Franky, and Usopp. But poor Usopp, because he took down Sugar and was treated as a god by the toys who had been turned back to their normal selves, Doflamingo places the highest bounty on him. Oh, the irony.

Meanwhile, Franky is fighting against Senor Pink as he tries to help the Tontattas free their friends who are working as slaves in the SMILE Factory. Thanks to what the Tontattas inside the factory are able to do to help open the door, Franky makes it inside… only to encounter the factory manager.

Luffy is trying to get to Doflamingo to kick his butt, but he has a group of people who are intent on repaying their debt to Luffy, so they want to take on Doflamingo for him. In the end, these disparate groups come together to fight Doflamingo’s executives so Luffy can take on Doflamingo himself. By the end of the set, Luffy, Law (who is still stuck in his shackles), Kyros, and Cavendish are on Cavendish’s horse. I have to admit that in the last couple of episodes, both Cavendish and Law had some great lines. At the same time, Robin, Bartolomeo, and Rebecca are trying to get to Luffy to meet up with him in order to deliver the key that’s needed to unlock Law’s shackles. Zoro gets to have a battle with Pica in order to help them proceed on to their destination.

We also see the Tontattas discovering that their princess, Mansherry, is not in the factory and they’re trying to figure out where she is. Kine’mon is also finally reunited with Kanjuro, the samurai he came to Dressrosa to look for.

Yikes! A lot takes place over the course of the episodes included in One Piece Collection 28. It should be noted that while we start getting a couple of small pieces of Law’s backstory near the endo of the set, it isn’t revealed in its entirety here. From what I’ve seen online, it looks like Law’s full backstory will finally appear in the sets that will comprise One Piece Collection 29. But even though a lot happens over the course of these 26 episodes, I still enjoyed watching this set.

We’re now also at a point in the series where I read the original manga source material in VIZ Media’s digital Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine a few years back. At the time I was reading this material in its original manga form, I felt like I was experiencing whiplash because of how often the story would be switching locations in each chapter. When watching the anime adaptation, I’m not experiencing nearly as much whiplash as I did. I think that since animation is a format focused on movement, more time can be spent in each location to show the movement involved in each scene, so it slows things down a little. Unlike the manga, where it’s a much more static medium.

When it comes to the bonus features on this set, both the first DVD and the first Blu-ray Disc don’t have any. The second DVD doesn’t include any bonus features, but the second Blu-ray Disc does. First, there is “Lightning Round With the Straw Hats,” which runs for about 13 minutes and sees the English voice actors for the Straw Hats answering questions. One of the questions was asking them to name all of the Straw Hats as fast as they can. Poor Brina, she just couldn’t remember Franky’s name. Most of the others had smaller struggles, but what I found most amusing is that on one of Christopher R. Sabat’s attempts, he was struggling to remember the name of his own character. This was a decent bonus feature, and it turns out to be the only bonus feature of any real substance on this set. There is also a textless version of the opening theme that appears during the first half of the set.

There are no bonus features on either the third DVD or on the third Blu-ray Disc. The fourth DVD doesn’t include any bonus features, but the fourth Blu-ray Disc does. All that’s on the fourth Blu-ray are textless versions of the opening song that appeared in the first half of the set, as well as the new opening song that appeared in the second half of the set. I’m confused as to why the opening from the first half is included, since the new opening theme premiered with the first episode that is included in the second half of the set.

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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