One Piece Collection 31 packages together One Piece Season Twelve Voyage One and One Piece Season Twelve Voyage Two. This set includes four DVDs and four Blu-ray Discs. Between the two sets in this release, 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, and there are no next episode previews.
One Piece Collection 31
English Publisher: Crunchyroll
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: April 11, 2023
This set opens with the four-episode storyline that takes place at Silver Mine, an island that serves as the base of the Silver Pirate Alliance. Bartolomeo’s ship is attacked, and the attackers get Luffy’s attention by dangling a large piece of meat on fishing wire. Luffy falls for the trap, and Bartolomeo tries to save him. Both of them are captured by the attackers and taken to Silver Mine.
At Silver Mine, Luffy and Bartolomeo are separated. Bartolomeo is forced to work to mine ore, while Luffy is trapped in a silver ball created by the leader of the Silver Pirate Alliance through the power of his Smelt-Smelt Fruit ability. Bartolomeo escapes from the mine and is able to save Luffy before Bill (the leader of the alliance) is able to kill him, and this launches into Luffy rolling around while trapped in the ball. This leads to Luffy, Bartolomeo, and Desire (a member of the alliance who is Bartolomeo’s childhood friend) getting involved in a zany adventure on Silver Mine.
It turns out that Desire has a grudge against Luffy, because Bartolomeo chose to help Luffy become King of the Pirates instead of honoring the promise he made to her to reach for the top together. Over the course of this story arc, Desire comes to learn the truth behind Bill and the Silver Pirate Alliance. While Desire truly never becomes friends with Luffy by the end of the story, she at least no longer is out for revenge against him.
After this, the Zou arc officially gets underway. Unfortunately, the very first episode of the arc is essentially a recap, framed around Bartolomeo sharing what he’s learned about the Straw Hats and how they came together to his subordinates. The only real important part of this episode is what happens at the very end, when the ship arrives at Zou, which is an island on the back of a large elephant.
The next episode basically spends most of its time setting up other story threads that should be appearing later in the series. We discover that Burgess has found the location of the Revolutionary Army’s base and contacts the Blackbeard Pirates to encourage them to pillage it. Two new characters, Edward Weevil and Bakkin, are also introduced. Bakkin convinces Edward that he is the biological son of Whitebeard and determines that he should rightfully get whatever Whitebeard left behind. They plan to go after Luffy to find where the rest of the Whitebeard Pirates are. Unfortunately, neither one of these plot threads appear again in the remaining episodes of this set. With the story threads that are established for the Straw Hats in the remaining episodes, it might be a while before either the attack on the Revolutionary Army’s base happens or Edward and his mother make another appearance in the series.
The rest of the episodes in this set focus on the Straw Hats and Law making it to Zou. The two samurai eventually make it as well, but they encounter setbacks. The Straw Hats and Law discover that the town they enter is destroyed and wonder what happened to all the people. Luffy decides to go off into the nearby forest and explore on his own, and he, along with everyone else, encounter the Mink Tribe, the residents of Zou. It’s also revealed that Bepo, a member of Law’s crew, came from Zou, and that he and the other Heart Pirates are staying in the forest.
Luffy and the others reunite with Nami, Chopper, and Brook, but it’s not as happy of a reunion as it could be. Nami keeps apologizing about Sanji, but it takes a while for the audience (as well as some of the characters) to learn what truly happened. Over the course of several episodes, the story of Jack (the right hand man of Kaido) attacking the minks as he looks for the ninja Raizo is told, and how Nami and the others helped out and became the minks’ saviors. We also find out that Sanji was taken away by one of Big Mom’s subordinates, after the truth about his family is revealed and that he is being forced into a marriage with one of Big Mom’s daughters.
While I appreciate learning what happened to fill in the gap, it was a little frustrating that it had to be framed as Wanda (one the minks), as well as Nami and the others, telling Luffy and the remaining Straw Hats what happened. I wish there could have been a way to intersperse some of this story with what was happening in Dressrosa. I know this the way its told here is likely how Oda presented it in the manga, but I think interspersing some of what happened with the Straw Hats in Zou with what was happening in Dressrosa might have helped break up the Dressrosa arc a little more. But, then again, the anime writers would have had to have figured out where the Zou incidents would have fit in timeline wise with what was happening in Dressrosa, which could have been too difficult.
When the two samurai make it to Zou, it seems like everything is going to horribly wrong, since the Straw Hats believe that the minks will be angry with them because it was Jack’s search for their ninja partner that brought about all the destruction on Zou. But there’s an interesting twist that happens when the two samurai reveal their identities to the minks. There’s also a surprising revelation about Momonosuke, as well as important information that’s revealed through a Poneglyph that Robin reads at Zou.
There’s a lot that takes place over the course of the episodes on this disc, although the story of Silver Mine kind of feels unnecessary. From what I can tell, these four episodes appear to be filler material that’s not in the original manga source material, which would help explain why these four episodes seem to be unnecessary. Right when the characters first get to Zou, the pacing is good. But once we start into the section where the Straw Hats who recently arrived are being filled on what happened before they got there, it can start feeling dense, to the point that it’s almost “information overload.” Attempts were made to break things up a little by having characters in the current time making commentary about what they heard before moving on to the next part of the backstory, but it can still feel overwhelming if you’re watching more than one or two episodes in a sitting. These aren’t bad episodes or anything, but there’s just a lot to take in over the course of the episodes in this set.
When it comes to the bonus features on One Piece Collection 31, the only thing that appears on the second and fourth Blu-ray discs in this set is the textless version of “We Can,” the opening theme that appears on all 24 episodes that are included in this set.
Even though the bonus features are lacking, One Piece Collection 31 is still worth it for fans of One Piece who don’t want to spend the time and money to track down each individual set that’s been released for the series.
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