Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: One Piece Collection 26

One Piece Collection 26 is the first Blu-ray/DVD combo release for the One Piece collection sets. The set packages together One Piece Season Ten Voyage Four and One Piece Season Eleven Voyage One. This set includes four DVDs and two Blu-ray discs, because only One Piece Season Eleven Voyage One was released as a Blu-ray/DVD combo. Future One Piece collection sets should include four DVDs and four Blu-ray Discs. Between the two sets, there are 27 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 26
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: June 15, 2021

The first 11 episodes of the set continue the Punk Hazard arc. During these episodes, there is of course an epic fight between Luffy and Caesar Clown. But there’s also an important battle that takes place between Smoker and Vergo. But Trafalgar Law plays an important role in the battle between Smoker and Vergo, and he also destroys the SAD that Caesar was manufacturing to make SMILE (an artificial Zoan Devil fruit). This is an important plot point, because Doflamingo, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, depends on both SAD and SMILE. While Law had made the alliance with Luffy and the Straw Hats to go after one of the Four Emperors, targeting Doflamingo in this way is one of the steps toward the goal… since Doflamingo has a deal with the Emperor, who uses SMILE to build up an army with Zoan Devil fruit powers.

Luffy ends up giving Caesar a powerful punch that sends him flying out of his laboratory, which gives everyone the opportunity to work at escaping from the lab while trying to avoid the poisonous gas. Even though Luffy kicked Caesar’s butt, that’s not the end of this story. Doflamingo sends a couple of his people (Buffalo and Baby 5) to Punk Hazard to try to rescue Caesar and bring him back to Dressrosa, since he’s the only one who knows how to make SAD. This time, Franky gets the spotlight as he goes up against Doflamingo’s minions.

When all is said and done, the children who were rescued from Caesar’s lab are sent with the Navy to be reunited with their families. There’s quite an impactful scene here, because many of the Navy members are trying to hide the Straw Hats from the children and trying to indoctrinate them into believing pirates are bad. The children are traumatized by this, and Tashigi eventually intervenes… although I thought she should have reacted sooner to what her men were doing. Kin’emon and his son accompany the Straw Hats, since they’re all headed to the same place.

Law and the Straw Hats capture Caesar, and Law uses a transponder snail to send his demands to Doflamingo… Doflamingo can have Caesar back if he resigns from the Seven Warlords of the Sea. Unfortunately, before we can see what Doflamingo decides to do, the series cuts away to three episodes that are obviously not part of the “canon” storyline from the manga. Caesar is kidnapped by a man named Breed, who has eaten the Pet-Pet Fruit. This gives him the ability to throw a slime that forms a collar around the target’s neck… and Breed is able to control anyone who is wearing one of his collars. While it was kind of neat to see Luffy and Chopper being reunited with the Dugong that became Luffy’s disciple during the Alabasta arc, these three episodes didn’t truly add anything to the story. The only important part happened right at the end of the third episode of this section, when it’s revealed in the newspaper that Doflamingo has resigned from the Seven Warlords.

We then move on to the final 13 episodes of the disc, which are the first 13 episodes of the Dressrosa arc. When Law makes contact with Doflamingo again, Luffy grabs the transponder snail and threatens Doflamingo… who calmly responds that he has something that Luffy wants. It turns out that Doflamingo has acquired the Flame-Flame Fruit, which was the Devil Fruit that Ace ate to gain his Devil Fruit power. It’s being offered as a prize in a big fight at the coliseum, and Luffy (who is in disguise) joins in the fight under the name “Lucy.” Franky is originally with Luffy, but leaves the coliseum after running into a talking toy soldier, who says he has a mission to destroy the SMILE factory and rescue the workers being held prisoner there.

During these episodes, the other Straw Hats are separated. Zoro chases after something that has stolen one of his swords. Sanji is distracted by a beautiful girl named Violet and has an adventure with her. Robin, Usopp, and Law go on a mission to take Caesar Clown to Green Bit, where they’re supposed to hand Caesar over to Doflamingo. Robin and Usopp have an encounter with a group of fairies near the end of these episodes, and their storyline is just getting going there when the set ends. Nami, Chopper, Brook, and Momonosuke (Kin’emon’s son) are on the Thousand Sunny, while Kin’emon is trying to find one of his samurai companions.

A lot of time is spent on the fight at the coliseum, where new characters are introduced, such as Rebecca (a female gladiator) and Cavendish (a “beautiful boy” pirate who is rather stuck up). However, we also see the return of Bellamy, a man who had made fun of Luffy back in Mock Town when he heard that the Straw Hats were trying to get to the Sky Island. It was kind of interesting to see Bellamy reappear after all this time, but dang… he really got huge since we had last seen him.

Personally, I thought the Dressrosa arc was off to a good start on this set, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen next to the various characters in this arc. Although, I have to admit that with just how split up the characters are right now, I’m trying to keep up with several storylines that are taking place at the same time. And since quite a bit of time focuses on the story in the coliseum, it can make it a little harder to remember where the other storylines are at when the focus returns onto them.

When it comes to bonus features, the first DVD in the set doesn’t include any. The second DVD in the set has a roughly six-and-a-half minute feature about dubbing the Punk Hazard arc. It’s hosted by Josellie Rios, the audience development strategist at FUNimation. She talks with Colleen Clinkenbeard (the English voice for Luffy) and Brina Palencia (the English voice for Chopper). They talk about what it’s like to return to dubbing One Piece after being away from the property for a while, and they also talk about how their characters have evolved over the two-year timeskip. I thought this was a nice feature. There’s also a textless version of the opening song, “Hands Up!” included as well.

The third DVD in this set (as well as the first Blu-ray Disc) do not have any bonus features included. The fourth DVD doesn’t include any bonus features, but the second Blu-ray disc does. It includes “FunimationCon 2020 One Piece Panel – Part 1,” which runs for about 17-and-a-half minutes. The panel is hosted by Josellie Rios (who hosted the Punk Hazard dubbing feature on the second DVD), and includes appearances by Colleen Clinkenbeard (English voice for Luffy), Brina Palencia (English voice for Chopper), Stephanie Young (English voice for Robin), Jerry Jewell (English voice for Caesar Clown), and Chris Ryan (English voice for Kin’emon). Josellie asks various questions of the panelists about One Piece. Since this was done online with something like Zoom, it can be a little jarring at times if someone’s audio was acting up while they were talking. There were also a couple of instances where there was an obvious cut made to the footage (the most glaring is seeing Colleen grabbing a cup, and then there’s a sudden “jump cut” and the cup is nowhere in sight). This wasn’t a bad bonus feature at all, considering what they had to work with at the time One Piece Season Eleven Voyage One was being authored. The COVID pandemic definitely made some of the usual bonus features that appear in these sets basically impossible to do, so FUNimation tried to do the best they could to provide something as a bonus feature. There’s also a textless version of the opening song, “Wake Up!”

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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FUNimation Entertainment Sets Streaming Plans for the Dubbed Versons of Episodes 707–719 of One Piece

The Fandom Post is reporting that FUNimation Entertainment has announced the streaming plans for the English dubbed versions of Episode 707-719 of One Piece. According to the report, Episodes 707 through 719 will appear on Microsoft Movies & TV on July 6, 2021, which appear on the Season 11 Voyage 7 home video release. FUNimation’s site will begin streaming these episodes on July 27, 2021.

FUNimation brings out episodes for purchase through Microsoft and Amazon digital storefronts. Episodes are available as a season chunks for $21.99 and bonus extras for $2.99.

Crunchyroll streams the series in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, France, and French-Speaking Europe, and Latin America. FUNimation streams it to the United States and Canada.

Source: The Fandom Post

Crunchyroll Announces Simulcasts for the Summer 2021 Anime Season

Crunchyroll has announced that it will simulcast the following anime during the Summer 2021 season:

  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (Season 2)
  • I’m Standing on a Million Lives (Season 2)
  • SD Gundam World Heroes
  • The aquatope on white sand (Shiroi Suna no Aquatope)
  • The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace (Heion Sedai no Idaten-tachi)
  • Girlfriend, Girlfriend
  • Peach Boy Riverside
  • Fena: Pirate Princess
  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S
  • To Your Eternity
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • IDOLiSH7 Third Beat!
  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
  • Case Closed
  • Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai
  • Kiyo in Kyoto: From the Maiko House
  • My Hero Academia (Season 5)
  • Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure
  • One Piece
  • Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun! (Season 2)

Source: ANN

FUNimation Entertainment Announces September 2021 Releases

FUNimation Entertainment has announced the September 2021 releases for Crunchyroll and FUNimation.

Crunchyroll:

  • Black Clover: Season 3 Part 5 with Artbook (Blu-ray/DVD) – 300 minutes – $69.98 – 9/14/21
    Episodes 142–154
    Includes special artbook featuring artwork from Season 3 and cast/staff interviews
    Special Features: Black Clover Season 3 Voice Actor Panel Part 2, Clover Clips Special Edition, Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • Black Clover: Season 3 Part 5 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 300 minutes – $54.98 – 9/14/21
    Episodes 142 – 154
    Special Features: Black Clover Season 3 Voice Actor Panel Part 2, Clover Clips Special Edition, Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • DARLING in the FRANXX: Complete Collection (Blu-ray SteelBook) (Best Buy exclusive) – 9/28/21

FUNimation Entertainment:

  • Assault Lily Bouquet: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 9/21/21
    Special Features: Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Songs
  • Ga-Rei-Zero: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 300 minutes – $29.98 – 9/7/21
    Special Features: Locations Specials Parts 1-6, Series Premiere/First Episode Promo Videos, DVD Promo Videos, Textless Opening and Ending Songs, Trailers
  • Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation: Season 1 Collection (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 9/21/21
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song
  • One Piece: Season 11 Voyage 4 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 325 minutes – $44.98 – 9/7/21
    Episodes 668 – 680
    Special Features: One Piece: Lightning Round with the Straw Hats, Textless Opening Song “Wake Up!”
  • Robotech: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray) (Funimation Shop exclusive) – 2125 minutes – $249.98 – 9/28/21
    English with English subtitles
    Collector’s Edition includes: Exclusive transforming Veritech – Roy Fokker’s VF-1S (color variant); Exclusive action figure – Roy Fokker in pilot uniform (shade of black); Military-style 3-inch patches (set of 4)
    Special Features: The Macross Saga: Opening & Ending Songs; The Macross Saga: Rare Promotional Reels; The Macross Saga: Macross Original Pilot (Extended Ver.); The Macross Saga: Photo Galleries; The Masters: Music Videos; The Masters: Deleted Scenes (Over 60 Min.); The Masters: “Robotech: The Inside Story” Documentary; The Masters: “Galaxy of the Stars” (Harmony Gold Promo Reel); The Masters: Character Bios, Model Sheets, Pre-production Art, Comic Book Covers, Merchandise Galleries; The New Generation: Robotech Overview; The New Generation: MOSPEADA Original Pilot; The New Generation: Toy Commercial and Video Game Reels; The New Generation: International Clips for All 3 Series; The New Generation: Prototype Toy Presentation
  • Robotech Part 1: The Macross Saga (Blu-ray) – 900 minutes – $69.98 – 9/2/21
    English with English subtitles
    Special Features: Opening and Ending Songs, Rare Promotional Reels, Macross Original Pilot (Extended Ver.), Photo Galleries
  • The Gymnastics Samurai: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 275 minutes – $64.98 – 9/21/21
    Special Features: Promo Videos and Episode Previews, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song versions 1 and 2

Source: The Fandom Post

FUNimation Entertainment’s Announcements for the Summer 2021 Anime Season

FUNimation Entertainment has announced during its Summer Season Preview event that it will stream the following anime in Summer 2021:

  • The Case Study of Vanitas
  • Sonny Boy (first episode premiered early on June 18, 2021)
  • Scarlet Nexus (first episode premiered early on June 18, 20212)
  • RE-MAIN
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom
  • Robotech (FUNimation had previously announced a Fall 2021 release for streaming)

FUNimation will stream the following films:

  • The Stranger by the Shore
  • Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train
  • Natsume Yūjin-Chō: Ishi Okoshi to Ayashiki Raihōsha

FUNimation will also continue to stream the following anime

  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 Part 2
  • One Piece
  • My Hero Academia Season 5
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

The company will announce more anime at a future date.

Source: ANN

The Hundreds and Toei Animation Make Waves With Anime-Inspired One Piece Collection Dropping June 17

On June 17, 2021, The Hundreds and Toei Animation Inc. are joining forces to celebrate the iconic international anime series One Piece – one of the greatest stories ever told. The Hundreds X One Piece Collection is a monumental collaboration between the Los Angeles-based streetwear brand and the legendary Japanese anime series that brings One Piece‘s beloved characters to life in a whole new way.

For over two decades and counting, One Piece has been entertaining anime fans of every age around the world. Produced by Toei Animation and based on the top-selling manga title of all time by Eiichiro Oda, the One Piece anime series spans more than 975 episodes to date since it first debuted on Japanese TV in October 1999. This iconic series features pirate Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat crew on their epic quest to find “One Piece,” the legendary treasure of the Pirate King Gol D. Roger. The global pop culture status of One Piece is the crowning achievement for an anime franchise that now encompasses theatrical films, home videos, video games, and an ever-expanding catalog of licensed merchandise that includes accessories, toys, novelties, furniture, housewares and, of course, apparel.

The Hundreds and Toei Animation are thrilled to partner together for the very first time. The Hundreds X One Piece Collection will feature Monkey D. Luffy, Roronoa Zoro, Nami, TonyTony Chopper, and the rest of the crew across a line of graphic T-shirts, long sleeves, crewnecks, pullover hoodies, sweatpants, and hats as well as an array of collectible accessories including stickers, coffee mug, pin set, keychain, and Post-It Notes.

The Hundreds X One Piece Collection arrives on June 17, 2021, and will be available on The Hundreds App and Online Shop, as well as The Hundreds flagship store at 501 N Fairfax in Los Angeles and in select authorized retailers in the United States and Canada.

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection 25

One Piece Collection 25 packages together the One Piece Season Ten Voyage Two and One Piece Season Ten Voyage Three releases together. Between the two sets, there are 26 episodes included. It should be noted that Episode 590, which was a crossover episode between One Piece, Toriko, and Dragon Ball Z, is not included in this set.

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 25
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: May 11, 2021

This set continues the Punk Hazard storyline, and it still isn’t concluded by the end of this set. It starts with Trafalgar Law using his power to make Smoker and Tashigi trade bodies, and it’s obvious that Smoker has no clue about modesty and women’s bodies. Poor Tashigi, trapped in Smoker’s body, can’t do anything about it. At the same time, Luffy reunites with Law. While the two aren’t friends, since they’re both after the One Piece, they do end up making a short-term alliance. But we also see that Law is meeting with Caesar Clown, the madman scientist behind everything that’s going on at Punk Hazard. It’s obvious that Law is working as a double agent, but right at first, it’s not clear which side he’s going to betray. But it becomes apparent that Law is betraying Caesar.

It’s also revealed that Caesar was behind the failed experiment and accident that happened at Punk Hazard, and that he has been working on developing a gas that basically turns people into stone if they inhale it. This gas plays a very important role in the episodes that take place in this set, especially after the Straw Hats head to the main building where Caesar is in order to carry out a plan concocted by Law. But it turns out that Vergo, someone who is affiliated with Smoker and Tashigi’s unit, has double-crossed the military and is working with Caesar, makes an appearance. He seems to know Law quite well, and his appearance adds some unexpected complications to Law’s plan. It comes out that Vergo is working with someone calling themselves “Joker.” Joker’s identity is revealed during this set, and it’s someone who viewers have seen in the series in the past.

In the previous set, some of the Straw Hats found a group of children in the laboratory and helped them to escape. During this set, it’s revealed that the children are unknowingly part of one of Caesar’s experiments. They’ve been given candy every day, which has been poisoning them over time. Unfortunately, the children are addicted to the candy. But after Chopper discovers the truth behind the candy, he tries his hardest to keep them from getting any. Of course, Caesar tries to thwart Chopper’s plans. One of the girls named Mocha, who the group has befriended, is the only one to come to her senses. After Chopper reveals what he knows to her, she is given the task of taking the candy in the Biscuit Room and keeping the other children from getting it. What ultimately happens to Mocha at the end of the set, because of the only choice she felt she could make, pulls at the audience’s heartstrings. We don’t know what her ultimate fate will be by the end of the final episode of this set.

This arc, like many of the One Piece arcs before it, build up the tension and adds new layers. By the end of the set, though, I was starting to feel like this story was being stretched out a little. However, I reminded myself that this is nothing compared to the combined Water Seven and Enies Lobby arcs (while they are labeled as separate arcs, they really do belong together), as well as more recent arcs that are slightly longer than this one. When put into that perspective, I realize that I just need to be a little more patient and that the arc should be concluding in the next set. However, I do appreciate the fact that Law, who was briefly introduced before the timeskip, is getting more focus now.

One other thing I have to mention is the fact that it was kind of interesting for me to watch these episodes, since I watched them subbed. Caesar Clown’s Japanese voice actor also voices Freiza in the Dragon Ball franchise, and Law’s Japanese voice actor also voices Levi in Attack on Titan. For both of these characters, their voice actors used voices similar to the characters I mentioned from other franchises. Even though I had the visual on the screen, I still had to keep reminding myself that Freiza and Levi weren’t saying these lines. LOL!

One thing I did find annoying, though, had to do when text would show up to tell the audience what location the story is currently taking place at. Sometimes, there would be both the Japanese text and the English translation. Other times, the Japanese text would be there, but no English translation. And there were also times when the location text would appear in English, but there was no corresponding Japanese text. I wish there had been some consistency to this, because I found the changing method for the location text to be a little on the distracting side.

There were limited bonus features included in this set. On the second disc, there are textless versions of two of the opening themes (“We Go!” and “Hands Up!,”), while the fourth disc has a textless version of “Hands Up!” Normally, the lack of bonus features would have been a mark against this set, but I believe that the original sets that comprise Collection 25 would have been put together during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of that, the voice actors and crew members wouldn’t have been able to get together and record the usual bonus features that they would have for these 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.

Additional posts about One Piece:

Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: One Piece: 3D2Y

One Piece: 3D2Y is a television special for the One Piece anime that aired on Japanese television on August 30, 2014.

One Piece: 3D2Y
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: January 22, 2019

This One Piece television special is set during the two year timeskip that takes place between Episodes 516 and 517 of the anime series. Right at the beginning of the special, the audience is reminded of the important events that led up to the timeskip and why Luffy is training with Silvers Rayleigh.

While Luffy is training, a convict named Byrnndi World escapes and wreaks havoc on the high seas. World had been locked away on Level 6 of Impel Down but had escaped during Blackbeard’s infiltration of the prison. We see that World isn’t above sacrificing his own crew to accomplish his goals, and this clearly sets him up as the villain in the special. World makes enough of a ruckus that the World Government takes notice of him and summons the Seven Warlords. When World catches wind of this, he decides he needs to strike first, and discovers that Boa Hancock is the Warlord who is closer to his location. He kidnaps two of Hancock’s sisters, and this is what ultimately sets the overarching story of the special in motion.

Luffy pauses his training and joins Hancock on a mission to save her sisters from World. The story ultimately leads to Luffy fighting against World, while Hancock fights against Nightin, one of World’s crewmembers. The fight between Luffy and World is what viewers have come to expect from fights that Luffy takes place in. Hancock’s battle against Nightin, another woman, was also interesting to watch. Nightin finds crazy and unusual methods to try to avoid falling prey to Hancock’s Devil Fruit power attacks. We’ve seen how much Hancock’s powers affected men prior to this special, but it was interesting to see a woman potentially falling for these charms as well. At least it was nice to see that women aren’t necessarily immune to this power.

Overall, I appreciated the fact that this special tried to fill in some of missing story from the two-year time skip in the main One Piece story. And to be honest, it made sense to focus the story on Luffy, instead of trying to cover what Luffy was doing as well as the other Straw Hats. The anime series gives the viewer some insight into what happened with the other Straw Hats, but we really didn’t get to see much of Luffy’s training. We saw enough to establish the idea he was training with Silvers, but that was about it. And of the Straw Hats, Luffy is not only the main character and the leader, he’s also the one who went through a lot emotionally in the wake of the Battle at Marineford. It made the most sense to have a story that was focused on him.

I would recommend the One Piece: 3D2Y special to fans of One Piece, so they can see a story that helps to fill in a piece of the two year timeskip that takes place in the series. While this story may not be part of the canon storyline for the manga, I feel it was a necessary work to help flesh out what was otherwise unseen events in the One Piece timeline.

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.

Unfortunately, FUNimation Entertainment didn’t really go to much effort for this release of One Piece: 3D2Y. The only bonus feature included were trailers for other anime releases from FUNimation. Instead of being presented with a menu to choose trailers to watch, it just launches into playing several trailers back-to-back. It would have been nice if FUNimation could have somehow negotiated with Toei to be able to include the commercials that would have aired on Japanese television to promote the broadcast of the special. That would have helped to make it feel like there were actual bonus features included on this release.

This Blu-ray/DVD combo release is the only way to acquire the One Piece: 3D2Y special in North America, so even though there are no true bonus features included, I would still recommend this release to One Piece fans who want to own this television special in their anime home video library.

Additional posts about One Piece:

Anime Special Review: One Piece: 3D2Y

One Piece: 3D2Y is a television special that helps to fill in the time skip that takes place between Episodes 516 and 517 of the One Piece anime series.

One Piece: 3D2Y
Original Japanese airdate: August 30, 2014
Directed by: Naoyuki Ito
Runtime: 107 minutes

The special opens with a recap of the events that took place when Luffy went to rescue Ace during the battle at Marineford, as well as what led Luffy to start training for two years. The special then begins its story with Luffy training in Rusukaina with Silvers Rayleigh.

We get some comedy out of Boa Hancock worrying about Luffy. It’s always amusing how she acts like such a lovesick teenager when she thinks about Luffy, even though she’s the ruler of Amazon Lily and is also a Warlord of the Sea. Hancock helps to provide some levity early on in the special, but she also plays an important part in the overall story, so it makes sense to utilize her like this early on.

While Luffy is training, a convict named Byrnndi World escapes and wreaks havoc on the high seas. World had been locked away on Level 6 of Impel Down but had escaped during Blackbeard’s infiltration of the prison. We see that World isn’t above sacrificing his own crew to accomplish his goals, and this clearly sets him up as the villain in the special. World makes enough of a ruckus that the World Government takes notice of him and summons the Seven Warlords. When World catches wind of this, he decides he needs to strike first, and discovers that Boa Hancock is the Warlord who is closest to his location.

This leads to World kidnapping Boa’s sisters, Marigold and Sandersonia, in order to lure Hancock to him. Luffy finds out about the kidnapping, and he pauses his training in order to save Hancock’s sisters. He accompanies Hancock on the rescue attempt. As expected, this leads to a fight between Luffy and World. And I can’t neglect to mention that Buggy the Clown, who is now one of the Seven Warlords, becomes an important character in the story when he gets involved with Luffy’s fight. Mr. 3 is still with him, as well as Buggy’s original crew and the new crew members he gained when they escaped from Impel Down. The new crew members constantly misconstrue what Buggy is doing, and constantly cheer for him. I swear, these new crew members are so enamored by Buggy that they’d probably jump off a cliff if Buggy told them to. But they do help to add a little bit of humor to what is otherwise a serious story at this point in the special.

I can’t forget to mention that Hancock gets into a battle with Nightin, a prideful and arrogant woman who is part of World’s crew. These two women have an interesting fight, and it becomes especially amusing when Nightin keeps trying to avoid falling prey to Hancock’s Devil Fruit power. We’d seen how much it had affected men prior to this special, but it was interesting to see a woman potentially falling for these charms as well. At least it was nice to see that women aren’t necessarily immune to this power.

Overall, I appreciated the fact that this special tried to fill in some of missing story from the two-year time skip in the main One Piece story. And to be honest, it made sense to focus the story on Luffy, instead of trying to cover what Luffy was doing as well as the other Straw Hats. The anime series gives the viewer some insight into what happened with the other Straw Hats, but we really didn’t get to see much of Luffy’s training. We saw enough to establish the idea he was training with Silvers, but that was about it. And of the Straw Hats, Luffy is not only the main character and the leader, he’s also the one who went through a lot emotionally in the wake of the Battle at Marineford. It made the most sense to have a story that was focused on him.

The animation is a little better quality than what is normally seen in the television anime, but it’s not quite as good as the animation that appears in the feature films.

I would highly recommend the One Piece: 3D2Y special to fans of One Piece, so they can see a story that helps to fill in a piece of the two year timeskip that takes place in the series. The special doesn’t feel like it was something that was thrown together just to have something out there. While this story may not be part of the canon storyline for the manga, I feel it was a necessary work to help flesh out what was otherwise unseen events in the One Piece timeline.

Additional posts about One Piece:

Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: One Piece Film: Strong World

One Piece Film: Strong World is the tenth anime film in the One Piece franchise. It was releases to Japanese theaters on December 12, 2009.

One Piece Film: Strong World
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: November 19, 2013

One Piece Film: Strong World is set before the timeskip, and it seems to set between the Thriller Bark and Sabaody Archipelago arcs. The main antagonist is Shiki the Golden Lion, the only prisoner to ever escape from Impel Down, the prison that houses the worst criminals in the Grand Line.

The Straw Hats learn that attacks are happening in the East Blue, and Luffy vows to protect the sea that he came from. They have a run-in with Shiki and his crew, which involves Nami warning them of a coming storm and saving them. Shiki asks Nami to join his crew as a navigator, and when she refuses, Shiki kidnaps her. Shiki uses his ability to make any inanimate object he touches float to make the Thousand Sunny fall. This leads to the Straw Hats being separated and having different adventures before reuniting at a village that is going to become part of Shiki’s plan.

Nami, of course, finds a way to escape, but she’s put to the test when Shiki finds her. This leads to an exciting climax, which includes using a dial to get the action of the climax going. I enjoy seeing the dials continue to be used every once in a while after the Straw Hats left the Sky Island. I find it to be a nice throwback to one of the earlier arcs of One Piece.

Nami is definitely the focus of the film, but I think that Brook got some of the best moments. I’m guessing that Brook got the attention that he did because this is the first One Piece anime film that he appears in. I was also a little surprised by Robin’s appearance, because those glasses are throwing me off. I don’t recall seeing her wearing glasses in the anime series, so I’m baffled as to why she’s suddenly wearing them throughout this film.

From what I’ve read, Eiichiro Oda wrote the story for this film in honor of the tenth anniversary of One Piece. I have to say that while the story was interesting, I wasn’t sure that it was truly necessary. It didn’t help that this film has the same kind of ending that many films for shonen anime properties have: there’s an exciting and climactic story being told, but at the end of it, everything “resets to zero,” and any changes or twists that appear in the film are wiped out somehow so the television anime can continue on its merry way. And now that I’ve seen this film, I can say that while the four episodes in the television anime leading up to this film provide some important context for the film, I think the film would have been just as enjoyable for an audience who never saw those episodes of the anime. One Piece Film: Strong World isn’t a bad film, and in fact it’s quite enjoyable. However, it’s not a film that is a crucial part of the franchise.

When it comes to the Blu-ray in this release, it has 1080p High Definition 16×9 video. The audio includes Dolby True HD: English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1. However, the bonus features on the Blu-ray have Dolby True HD: English 2.0 and Dolby True HD: Japanese 2.0 for the audio. The DVD has English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound and Japanese 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound.

The main bonus feature included in the set is “Behind the Scenes of One Piece: Introducing Brook.” This roughly 20-minute feature combines footage of cosplayers at a convention talking about Brook’s character, and interview clips of Ian Sinclair (the English voice of Brook), Mike McFarland (the director of the English dub), and Brina Palencia (the English voice of Tony Tony Chopper). Ian and Mike also talk a little but about the audition process for Brook. Personally, I didn’t think the inclusion of the cosplayers truly added anything to the bonus feature, and I think intercutting them with the interviews made the feature feel a little choppy. And I’m also wondering why Brina was included as part of this feature, since the whole idea of it is to introduce Brook to North American viewers. I would have expected this feature to have appeared as a bonus feature on one of the episode sets after Brook joins the Straw Hats, but I believe this would have been the first thing FUNimation released that included Brook in it. If that’s correct, then that would explain why Brook got a bonus feature on this release. There is also the U.S. trailer for One Piece Film: Strong World, as well as trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

If you’re a fan of One Piece Film: Strong World or are a One Piece fan who wants to own every episode and film that’s been released for the franchise, then you’ll want to pick up this Blu-ray/DVD combo release of the film.

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