One Piece: Episode of Skypiea is a television special for the One Piece anime that aired on Japanese television on August 25, 2018.

One Piece: Episode of Skypiea
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: November 26, 2019

This special is an abridged retelling of the Skypiea arc. It begins with the Straw Hats encountering a boat falling from the sky as they travel on the Going Merry. During the chaos, a map of Skypiea ends up on Luffy’s face, and Nami’s Log Pose picks up a signal from this supposed sky island. Even though they don’t know for sure if it really exists, Luffy wants to go there.

After meeting a man named Montblanc Cricket (a descendant of Montblanc Nolan, a man with a reputation for being a liar), they find a way to make it to Skypiea. They encounter a man named Gan Fall and a girl named Conis on a beach, and these two become allies when the Straw Hats are targeted by Eneru (who is serving as God). The Shandians, a group of people who live on Skypiea, take advantage of the confusion to take on Eneru. The special reaches its climax when the Straw Hats and Wyper (the leader of the Shandians) team up to take on Eneru.

There are some significant changes and omissions to this telling of the Skypiea arc in order to distill the story down to its main points: the Straw Hats getting to Skypiea and the fight with Eneru. Overall, the changes are much more noticeable in the early part of the special. While there are changes later in the special (such as Luffy being the only character swallowed by the large snake), they aren’t as noticeable at first glance. Of course, these changes and omissions also meant either the omission or the reduced role of several characters who were introduced during the original telling of this story arc.

Conis also had a major change made to her personality. Instead of being the timid character from the original telling of this story arc, she has more agency. She plays an important role to get Zoro and Robin to where they need to go, since the way the Going Merry was taken to the sacrificial altar was changed.

Overall, One Piece: Episode of Skypiea was successful in distilling this story down to a shorter length. I understood why certain elements and characters had to be changed or omitted, but I admit that picking up on these changes was a little unnerving while watching this special. However, I have to give this special credit for telling a distilled version of this story in such a way that it doesn’t feel as choppy or jumpy as the One Piece: The Desert Princess and the Pirates Adventures in Alabasta anime film.

The Blu-ray included in this release has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native) video. The audio includes Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. The DVD included in the release has two audio options: English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo.

There is only bonus feature included in this release, and it is only on the Blu-ray Disc in this set. It’s a selection of “outtakes” from the recording sessions for the English dub of One Piece: Episode of Skypiea that runs for about three minutes. Some of these clips sound like they were actually mistakes made during the recording of the dub, but others sound like the voice actors were having fun in the studio while recording. To me, this was kind of a “meh” bonus feature. While it’s better than not having any bonus features at all, it’s not something I’m going to rush to watch again.

This Blu-ray/DVD combo release is the only way to acquire the One Piece: Episode of Skypiea anime special in North America, and I would recommend it to fans who want to add this special to their anime home video library.

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