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.

Additional posts about One Piece:

FUNimation Entertainment Announces July 2021 Releases

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

Crunchyroll

  • ALL OUT!!: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 625 minutes – $34.98 – 7/6/21
    Special Features: Textless Opening and Closing Songs, Trailers

FUNimation Entertainment

  • A Certain Magical Index: Season 1 Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 600 minutes – $34.98 – 7/13/21
    Special Features: Commentaries for Episodes 3, 6, 14 and 23, Textless Opening Songs: PSI-missing and masterpiece, Textless Closing Songs: Rimless~Fuchinachi no Sekai~ and To Aru Majutsu no Index, US Trailer, Trailers
  • Arte: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 7/27/21
    Special Features: Textless Opening Song and Textless Closing Song
  • Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 7/27/21
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Commercials, Web Previews, Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • Gleipnir: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 7/6/21
    Includes special metallic print O-card (while supplies last)
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Teaser Trailer
  • ISEKAI QUARTET2: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) – 144 minutes – $34.98 – 7/13/21
    Special Features: Promo Video & Commercial Collection, Web Previews, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Songs
  • Listeners: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 7/20/21
    Special Features: FunimationCon 2020: Listeners – Dai Sato and Voice Actor Q&A, LISTENERS GIG #01 Special Edit ver., Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Songs for All 12 Episodes
  • One Piece: Season 11 Voyage 3 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 325 minutes – $44.98 – 7/6/21
    Episodes 655 – 667
    Special Features: Toei Animation and Funimation Present: A One Piece Livestream Watch Party, Textless Opening Songs
  • Plunderer Part 2 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 7/27/21
    Special Features: Plunderer: Voice Actor Lightning Round, Promo Video & Commercial Collection, Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • Shironeko Project ZERO CHRONICLE: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 7/6/21
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Classics) – 593 minutes – $49.98 – 7/20/21
    Special Features: Episode 1 Commentary, About Making the Closing Theme “Destino” by Alchemy+, Digest in Commemoration of Sales Release (Second Half of Episode 1 ~ Episode 2,) Stills of Recording the Music for Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar, Information and Sneak Peek of the Pay-Per-View Program 1-6, Teaser Trailers 1-2, Textless Opening Song “Follow Me,” Textless Closing
  • The Vision of Escaflowne (TV): Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Classics) – 650 minutes – $69.98 – 7/6/21
    Special Features: Inside Look: A Conversation on Escaflowne, Inside Look: A Conversation with the Creators, Club Escaflowne Parts 1-6, Special Thanks to Escaflowne Kickstarter Backers, Escaflowne at the Bar: A Special Round-Table Chat, Music Videos: “Friend,” “Blue Eyes,” and “Into the Light,” Textless Opening and Closing Songs, Trailers
  • Uzaki-Chan Wants to Hang Out!: Complete Season (Blu-ray/DVD LE) – 300 minutes – $84.98 – 7/20/21
    Includes 9 art cards, a 100-page art book, a SUGOI DEKAI Patch, and a Kuso Cat Sticker
    Special Features: Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!: Whose Advice is This?, Promo Video & Commercial Collection “SUGOI EIZOU,” Episode Previews “SUGOI MITAI,” Textless Songs “SUGOI NANIMONAI,” Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • Uzaki-Chan Wants to Hang Out!: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 7/20/21
    Special Features: Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!: Whose Advice is This?, Promo Video & Commercial Collection “SUGOI EIZOU,” Episode Previews “SUGOI MITAI,” Textless Songs “SUGOI NANIMONAI,” Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song

Source: The Fandom Post

Toei Animation and FUNimation Entertainment Present “One Piece Wano Watch Party” Global Simulcast Fan Event

It’s no secret that anime fans around the globe have fallen entranced with the world of One Piece. With fans fully engrossed in the Land of Wano Arc, Toei Animation and FUNimation Entertainment are excited to bring viewers worldwide the “One Piece Wano Watch Party.” This live stream event of epic proportion will coincide with the simulcast stream of Episode 971. Special guests and One Piece voice actors Mayumi Tanaka (voice of Monkey D. Luffy), Kazuya Nakai (voice of Roronoa Zoro), and Director Tatsuya Nagamine will join hosts Justin Rojas (Toei Animation) and YouTuber RogersBase for the 75-minute long simulcast celebration. As always, fans can also look forward to giveaways throughout the live stream on Toei Animation’s YouTube channel and FUNimation’s YouTube channel. “One Piece Wano Watch Party” kicks off on Saturday, April 24 at 7 pm CT / 8 pm ET in the United States and Canada, and internationally, including 10:00 am AEST in Sydney and 12:00 pm NZST in New Zealand.

“One Piece Wano Watch Party,” A Virtual Simulcast Event
Presented by: Toei Animation and FUNimation Entertainment

Date: Saturday, April 24, 2021
Time: United States and Canada: 7 pm Central / 9 pm Eastern
International: April 25, 2021 at 10:00am AEST Australia / 12:00pm NZST New Zealand
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
URL: Simulcast on Toei Animation’s YouTube channel and FUNimation’s YouTube channel
Hosts: Justin Rojas (Toei Animation) and Roger DiLuigi of the YouTube Channel RogersBase
Special Guests: Mayumi Tanaka (Voice of Monkey D. Luffy), Kazuya Nakai (Voice of Roronoa Zoro), and director Tatsuya Nagamine
Program: “One Piece Wano Watch Party” featuring a live stream simulcast of Episodes 969 and 970 on YouTube coinciding with the premiere of Episode 971. The event will also include a pre-recorded Q&A with voice actors and director as well as promotional giveaways throughout the event

One Piece Land of Wano Arc Synopsis
Luffy arrives at the Land of Wano to find its people and its beautiful lands in a disastrous state. The one behind it all is Kaido of the Four Emperors, who is in league with the shogun. The Straw Hats search desperately for allies while the island’s tragic history comes to light. Amid the stories of the past, a tale of Oden and Gol D. Roger surfaces.

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection 23

One Piece Collection 23 packages together the One Piece Season Nine Voyage Three and One Piece Season Nine Voyage Four releases together. Between the two sets, there are 22 episodes included. It should be noted that Episode 542, which was a crossover between One Piece and Toriko, is not included on this set. It’s one of the few episodes of the series that FUNimation Entertainment does not have the rights to.

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 23
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: November 13, 2018

The first five episodes in the set continue the backstory arc that started at the end of One Piece Collection 22. Over the course of these episodes, Queen Otohime gains support for her petition for equality between humans and fishmen. But there are cracks forming between members of the Sun Pirates. Tiger and Jimbei are against killing humans, but Arlong and Hordy believe that humans should be killed. This crack becomes wider when Tiger agrees to take a human slave girl named Koala back to her home. But this leads to an attack on Tiger, who dies because he refuses human blood to be donated to him. Tiger’s death causes the splitting of the Sun Pirates, with Arlong creating the Arlong Pirates and Macro creating his own crew. Jimbei becomes one of the Seven Warlords.

When a Celestial Dragon named Mjosgard appears on Fishman Island and threatens Otohime, Shirahoshi unknowingly uses her power to summon the Sea Kings and save her mother. After Mjosgard is healed, Otohime agrees to go to the surface with him to negotiate. When Otohime returns to Fishman Island with a signed paper from the Celestial Dragons supporting her cause, and she successfully gathers signatures for her petition. Unfortunately, this success is short-lived when the box of signatures burn and Otohime is struck down by an assassin’s bullet. It appears that Otohime was killed by a human, and the success that Otohime was about to accomplish is completely destroyed. This is definitely something that One Piece has been good at: building something up and making it look like something good is about to happen, but the event is destroyed by someone or something… and the destruction is usually done in the most cruel way.

After making it through all this backstory, I was glad to see Nami forgive Jimbei. Nami has reached a point where the only Fishman she harbors any resentment for is Arlong. And her resentment of him is completely justified. I’m just glad to see that she realizes that not all Fishmen are like Arlong, and that she refuses to discriminate against a group of people just because she was treated badly by one of them.

But then, Hordy launches his plan. He intends to execute Neptune, and that any Fishman associated with humans will be exiled from the island. He also has a signature box from Shirahoshi’s brothers’ attempts at trying to keep their mother’s dream alive and says he will use the signatures he finds in the box to track down and kill Fishmen.

And this is the focus of the remaining episodes of the set. Shirahoshi and Luffy go to Hordy, and Luffy launches an attack. The other Straw Hats eventually join them, and they all get to showcase the new abilities that they honed during their two years apart. The Straw Hats are up against a lot of enemies, but with their new powers, they are able to keep taking them on. Hordy reveals the truth about Queen Otohime’s death, and the citizens of Fishman Island are horrified.

We can’t forget about Vander Decken and his obsession with Shirahoshi. After she rejects him, he decides to kill her… by using an abandoned ship called the Noah. He targets her with his Devil Fruit power, and Luffy finds he has more to deal with than just Hordy. In true One Piece style, the stakes continue to get higher and higher as the episodes progress. However, this arc isn’t finished with the final episode of this set, so the stakes could continue to get even higher.

Even though the big battle that takes place on this set spans 17 episodes and still isn’t finished at the end of it, I still found it to be exciting and entertaining to watch. And to be honest, I’ve seen enough of One Piece to expect this kind of pacing for the battles that take place in each arc. I’m actually looking forward to acquiring the next One Piece Collection set in order to find out what happens next.

When it comes to the bonus features, the first disc includes commentaries for two episodes: Episode 541 (“Kizaru Appears! A Trap to Catch Tiger!”) and Episode 543 (“The Death of the Hero! A Shocking Truth of Tiger!”). The second disc includes a video commentary for Episode 552 (“A Surprising Confession! The Truth Behind the Assassination of Otohime!”). It is an episode commentary done with visuals, and there are three commentators: ADR director Joel McDonald, Jim Foronda (the English voice for Vander Decken), and Larry Brantley (the English voice for Hordy Jones). Sometimes, the image is done as a “picture-in-picture,” and alternates between the commentators being the main image and the footage from the show being the main footage. To be honest, this feature didn’t do much for me. I didn’t think that being able to see the commentators really added to the commentary, This disc also includes a textless version of “We Go!,” as well as trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

The third disc in the set includes commentary for Episode 559 (“Hurry Up, Luffy! Shirahoshi’s Life in Jeopardy!”). The final disc in the set includes an 11-minute feature titled, “One Piece: Pop Up Moments.” This feature includes two employees of FUNimation, Bryn Apprill (the English voice for Shirahoshi), and ADR Director Kyle Phillips. In this feature, various scenes from this set are highlighted, and we see the commentators appear in a “picture-in-picture” image, as they share their thoughts on the scene being shown. This was an OK bonus feature, but I know that FUNimation is capable of more than this. To be honest, I thought the bonus features on this set were a disappointment compared with many of the previous collection 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:

Crunchyroll Announces Simulcasts for the Spring 2021 Anime Season

Crunchyroll has announced that it will simulcast the following anime for the Spring 2021 anime season:

  • My Hero Academia Season 5
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • To Your Eternity
  • Zombie Land Saga Revenge
  • The Slime Diaries (The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime)
  • Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood
  • Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro
  • Fruits Basket the Final Season
  • Osamake: Romcom Where The Childhood Friend Won’t Lose (Osananajimi ga Zettai ni Makenai Love Come)
  • Farewell, My Dear Cramer
  • Odd Taxi
  • I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
  • Those Snow White Notes
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard overDress
  • Fairy Ranmaru (Fairy Ranmaru ~Anata no Kokoro O-tasukeshimasu~)
  • Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway (Hige o Soru. Soshite Joshi Kōsei o Hirou.)
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Ω
  • Koikimo (Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui)

The following anime are continuing simulcasts:

  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
  • Case Closed
  • Digimon Adventure:
  • Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai
  • Kiyo in Kyoto: From the Maiko House
  • Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure
  • One Piece
  • So I’m a Spider, So What?

Source: ANN

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection 22

One Piece Collection 22 packages together the One Piece Season Nine Voyage One and One Piece Season Nine Voyage Two 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, and there are no next episode previews.

One Piece Collection 22
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: September 25, 2018

This set begins right after the two-year timeskip, and the first six episodes see the Straw Hats reuniting at the Sabaody Archipelago and heading to Fishman Island on the now coated Thousand Sunny. Of course, it wasn’t easy for the crew to reunite, especially when a group of pirates disguising themselves as the Straw Hats try to intimidate people and convince pirates with high bounties to join their crew. But the fake Straw Hats learn the hard way that you really shouldn’t be trying to pass yourself off as someone as notorious and wanted as Luffy and the others. One of the higher bounty pirates who is insanely violent is captured by the Straw Hats and taken with them as they head to Fishman Island. Caribou’s capture and eventual escape play an important role for the story that unfolds during this set.

When the Thousand Sunny arrives at Fishman Island, the crew is approached by Hammond, a fishman who says he is part of the New Fishman Pirates. Luffy is given an offer to join this group, but he refuses. In order to make it onto the island, a Coup De Burst is used. When they arrive on the island, the bubble surrounding the ship bursts, and the crew is separated. Luffy, Usopp, Sanji, and Chopper are found by their friend, Camie, and taken to her place to recuperate. They are taken to meet Camie’s mermaid friends, and Sanji gets so many nosebleeds because of going two years being around cross-dressers, that he loses a lot of blood and needs a blood transfusion. The twist as to who the eventual blood donors for Sanji are is kind of amusing.

A fortune teller sees a vision of Fishman Island in fire and Luffy standing by the flames. She assumes this means that the Straw Hats are going to destroy the island, and the three sons of King Neptune try to track down the crew. Meanwhile, Neptune finds Luffy and the others (who have reunited with Nami in the meantime) and invites them to the palace because they saved his daughter’s pet in a fight they had as they came to Fishman Island.

A lot actually happens at this point. Luffy finds Shirahoshi, the mermaid princess, who’s locked in a tower because she’s being stalked by Van Decken IX, who is obsessed with marrying her. He believes that if he can’t have her, then no one will. Luffy and Shirahoshi become friends, and he helps her escape so she can visit the Sea Forest. It turns out the Thousand Sunny, Franky, Robin, and Jimbei are also here. Franky meets a relative of his master, Tom, and this relative is recoating the ship. Meanwhile, the palace is attacked by the New Fishman Pirates, and Decken tracks down Shirahoshi.

The last couple of episodes in the set see important backstory revealed for Jimbei, as well as information about Shirahoshi’s mother, Queen Otohime, as well as Fisher Tiger, the man who freed Boa Hancock and her sisters when they were slaves. I found Jimbei’s backstory to be a little more interesting, though, because he has connections with Arlong. Nami’s reaction to learning of this connection was realistic. Unfortunately, the set ends before all of the backstory is revealed, so you have to see the episodes included on One Piece Collection 23 in order get the remaining information.

A big theme in these episodes is how often the Straw Hats are separated from each other for various reasons. While this has happened in the series before, it just hits the viewer more with how often they are being split up when they’re finally reunited after being apart for two years.

As a viewer, I was happy to finally see the Straw Hats make it to Fishman Island. This plot point was referenced before Luffy and his crew were separated at the Sabaody Archipelago. Even though the road (or sea in this case, I guess) wasn’t a straight one and had many twists and turns, the group still managed to make it… although it was two years later than originally planned.

The new look of the various crew members took a lot of getting used to, especially the characters who had the more drastic redesigns. However, by the end of this set, I was finally accustomed to the characters’ post-timeskip designs. Even with the redesigns for the characters, I enjoyed the episodes included on One Piece Collection 22 and getting to see how the characters have changed and evolved. I’m curious to see how the story will progress going forward.

When it comes to the bonus features, the first disc includes commentary on Episode 519, “The Navy Has Set Out! The Straw Hats in Danger!” The second disc includes a feature titled, “One Piece Cast Goes to Matsuricon 2016: Live Dub.” This roughly 19-minute feature shows several of the One Piece English dub actors doing a “live dub” of some scenes from the series. Sometimes, they would have the usual actors doing their characters, and sometimes they would switch people around. This was an interesting idea, although the scene they were “dubbing” wasn’t projected, so it could be hard to remember what scene they were doing. I think that having that visual context would have made this bonus feature a little stronger. There’s also commentary on Episode 526, “Undersea Volcanic Eruption! Drifting to the Fish-Man Island!” There are textless versions for the two versions of “We Go!” that are included on the first two discs of the set, as well as trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

The third disc in the set includes commentaries for two episodes: Episode 532 (“A Coward and a Crybaby! The Princess in the Hard Shell Tower!”) and Episode 534 (“The Ryugu Palace in Shock! The Kidnapping of Shirahoshi!”). The fourth disc includes a feature titled, “One Piece Cast Goes to Matsuricon 2016: Q and A Panel.” This roughly 33-minute feature is a question and answer panel session of some of the One Piece voice actors that took place at Matsuricon in 2016. I really enjoyed this bonus feature, because the voice actors were very endearing, and through some of their answers, I felt I got to know them a little better as people. And some of those answers were highly amusing. There’s another textless version of “We Go!” on this disc, as well as trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

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 DVD Review: One Piece Collection 21

One Piece Collection 21 packages together the One Piece Season Eight Voyage Four and One Piece Season Eight Voyage Five releases together. Between the two sets, there are 24 episodes included. It should be noted that Episode 492, which was a crossover between One Piece and Toriko, is not included in either this set or on One Piece Collection 21. It’s one of the few episodes of the series that FUNimation Entertainment does not have the rights to.

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 21
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 5, 2017

The first two discs in the set make up a long flashback arc of Luffy’s childhood and growing up with Ace, beginning from when Luffy is first brought by Garp to live with the mountain bandit Curly Dadan and her henchmen. Garp had already brought Ace to them as a baby to look after and has decided that they should watch over his grandson as well. Luffy wants to become friends with Ace, but Ace wants nothing to do with him for a while. This is such a change from how close we saw Luffy and Ace were during the series. This arc also introduces Sabo, a boy of noble birth who has run away from home and lives among the junkyard at Gray Terminal. He’s friends with Ace, and the two of them are stealing treasure to save up for their own pirate ship.

Over the course of this flashback arc, we see Ace warming up to Luffy, and how the three boys form a brotherhood with one another. This flashback also shows just how incorrigible the nobles are, and you understand why Sabo ran away from home. We see tragedy befall Sabo when a Celestial Dragon shoots the fishing boat that he was aboard, although unknown to Ace or Luffy, Sabo isn’t dead. The end of this flashback shows both when Ace heads out and sea and when Luffy heads out three years later.

While it might seem like this type of a flashback is filler, it really isn’t when you think about it. Right before this flashback, Luffy has learned that Ace died and he’s taking it hard. This flashback could very well be Luffy remembering Ace and the things going through his mind as he’s trying to process his grief. I also appreciated this flashback because it introduces Sabo, a name that Ace mentioned as he was dying in Luffy’s arms.

The second half of the set sees Luffy deciding what we wants to do, and how he gets a message across to his crewmates about the change in plans. It’s a crazy stunt that he pulls, but it’s effective and gets the attention of the media. Considering how widespread his crew is at this point in time, getting a special tattoo on his arm and getting his picture taken by the press by pulling a crazy stunt was the most effective way for Luffy to reach the others.

With these episodes, it becomes apparent that what I thought was filler episodes (what was happening to the rest of the crew while Luffy was trying to rescue Ace) is actually canon material. This is especially made clear with the episodes in the final disc of the set, because these episodes explain what these characters are going to be doing during the two years that they wait to reunite with Luffy. The final episode of the set also shows the audience the type of training that Luffy will be undergoing with Rayleigh over the next two years. From the preview that’s at the end of the final episode of this set, the next set is going to open with the timeskip.

Overall, I found Collection 21 to be an important release for the series. The episodes included here give the audience backstory on Luffy and Ace’s past, as well as preparing the audience for the timeskip that is about to happen.

The first disc includes a commentary on Episode 495, “I Won’t Run! Ace’s Desperate Rescue Operation!” The second disc has a bonus feature titled, “Inside Look: The Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” This roughly 14-and-a-half minute feature has Mike McFarland, Joel McDonald, as well as two other people associated with FUNimation Entertainment, and they talk about how Ace’s death affects Luffy and the overall story of One Piece. They also talk about their own reactions to this pivotal moment in the series. This disc also includes commentary on Episode 503, “Take Good Care of Him! A Letter From the Brother!,” as well as a textless version of the opening theme, “Fight Together,” and trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

The third disc includes a commentary for Episode 506, “Straw Hats in Shock! The Bad News Has Reached Them!” The final disc in the set includes a bonus feature titled, “One Piece Outtakes: Part 1.” This nearly 11-minute feature has outtakes from some of the dubbing sessions for the various characters. Most include mistakes voice actors made, although some just seem to have been done as jokes. I’ve seen various “outtake” special features on anime DVD releases over the years, and this is probably one of the better ones. Most of the others I’ve seen come across as fake and scripted. Most of these, at least, feel like legitimate outtakes. This disc also includes commentary on Episode 515, “I Will Get Much, Much Stronger! Zoro’s Pledge to His Captain!,” as well as another textless version of the opening theme, “Fight Together,” and trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

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:

FUNimation Entertainment Announces June 2021 Releases

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

Crunchyroll

  • Black Clover: Season 3 Part 4 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 300 minutes – $54.98 – 6/1/21
    Episodes 130 – 141
    Special Features: Black Clover: Season 3- Voice Actor Panel, Clover Clips Special Edition, Textless Opening Song “Stories,” and Textless Closing Song “Answer”
  • Mob Psycho 100: Season 1 Collection (Blu-ray) (Classics) – 300 minutes – $49.98 – 6/1/21
    Special Features: Mob Psycho Mini, Promo Video, Flipbook Video, Commercials, Textless Closing Song “Refrain Boy,” and Trailers

FUNimation Entertainment

  • A Certain Scientific Railgun T Part 2 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 6/29/21
    Special Features: Much More Railgun VI, Promo Video, Commercials, Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • APPARE-RANMAN!: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 6/1/11
    Special Features: Making of APPARE-RANMAN Original Soundtrack, Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • Fruits Basket: Season 1 Collection (Blu-ray) – 625 minutes – $69.98 – 6/8/21
    Episodes 1 – 25
    Special Features: Episode 4, 7 and 18 Commentaries, Fruits Basket Tell-All, Fruits Basket: Inside the Episode, Textless Opening and Closing Songs, Fruits Basket: Interview with Cast and Crew
  • Hatena Illusion: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 6/29/21
    Features commissioned cover artwork from Kentaro Yabuki, creator of Black Cat
    Special Features: Episode 6.5, Promo Videos, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song Version 1, Textless Closing Song Version 2
  • LAST EXILE -Fam, The Silver Wing-: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) (Essentials) – 575 minutes – $34.98 – 6/1/21
    Special Features: Episode 01, 11, 17, and 21 Commentaries, Anime Expo 2011: Part 1 Spin-off Anime CM Series “Friday Night” #01-07 (Kinyo no Yoru), Fam Event Opening Movie, Commercial Collection, Anime Expo 2011: Part 2, Spin-off Anime CM Series “Friday Night” #08-13 (Kinyo no Yoru), Promotional Videos, Textless Openings, Textless Closing Songs, U.S. Trailer, and Trailers
  • No Guns Life: Season 2 Collection (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 6/22/21
    Includes a special metallic O-card
    Special Features: Promo Video, Commercial Collection, Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • number24: Complete Collection (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 6/8/21
    Special Features: Episode 10.5: Omnibus Episode, April Fools’ Footage (Welcome to the Number24 Host Club), Commercials, Textless Opening and Ending Songs
  • One Piece: Collection 26 (Blu-ray/DVD) – 675 minutes – $34.98 – 6/15/21
    Episodes 615 – 641
    Special Features: One Piece: An Inside Look at Dubbing Punk Hazard, Textless Opening song “HANDS UP!,” FunimationCon 2020: One Piece Panel Part 1, Textless Opening Song “Wake Up!”
  • Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle Part 2 (Blu-ray) – 325 minutes – $64.98 – 6/15/21
    Japanese with English subtitles
    Special Features: Episode 12.5 – Xiao’s Report, Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Shachibato! President It’s Time for Battle!: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 6/1/21
    Special Features: Web Previews, Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Opening Song Version 1 & 2, and Textless Closing Song
  • Smile Down the Runway: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 6/22/21
    Special Features: Promo Videos, Character Promo Videos, Commercial, Textless Opening Song, and Textless Closing Song
  • Wave, Listen to Me!: Complete Season (Blu-ray) – 300 minutes – $64.98 – 6/28/21
    Special Features: Textless Opening and Closing Songs

VIZ Media Announces June 2021 Manga Releases

VIZ Media has announced the company’s manga releases for June 2021.

Shonen Jump

Seraph of the End Volume 21
Story by Takaya Kagami, Art by Yamato Yamamoto, Storyboards by Daisuke Furuya

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Guren catches up to Yuichiro’s captors, but does nothing to save Yuichiro from the Hyakuya Sect’s clutches. Suddenly, Mahiru appears and attacks Mika. Meanwhile, Noya, the other demon inside Guren, stands and watches the situation unfold. Despite Guren’s apparent betrayal, Yuichiro still has trust in him, but will Yuichiro decide to run away and escape with Mika once and for all?

We Never Learn Volume 16
Story and Art by Taishi Tsutsui

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Although the main college entrance exam is finally done, the beleaguered Nariyuki Yuiga must now focus on the secondary exams. But sometimes even students as driven as Nariyuki and his fellow classmates need a break from the constant grind of studying. Besides, it’s Valentine’s Day, and the girls are determined to make Nariyuki some chocolates he will never forget… in more ways than one.

Jujutsu Kaisen Volume 10
Story and Art by Gege Akutami

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

In order to regain use of his crippled body, Kokichi Muta, otherwise known as Mechamaru, has been acting as an informant for the cursed spirits. He’s prepared for the betrayal when he’s thrust into a battle to the death against Mahito, but is knowing his enemy enough against a cursed spirit whose powers keep growing exponentially?

One Piece (Omnibus Edition) Volume 31
Story and Art by Eiichiro Oda

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$14.99

ADVENTURE IN THE LAND OF WANO

Luffy’s just landed in Wano and he’s already lost his crew. An isolated country of samurai with mysterious customs, Wano’s ruled over by Kaido, captain of the Beast Pirates, known as the strongest creature in the world. Naturally, Luffy picks a fight with him—but without his Straw Hat Crew to back him up, will the rubber wonder make it out alive?

Twin Star Exorcists Volume 22
Story and Art by Yoshiaki Sukeno

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

When Kamui tries to make Benio the spoils who go to the victor, Rokuro drops some wisdom on him. Meanwhile, Tenma and Shimon must get along long enough to battle the deranged Gabura.

Spy x Family Volume 5
Story and Art by Tatsuya Endo

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Anya Forger has been trying her best to befriend Damian Desmond, the son of the powerful Ostanian political leader Donovan Desmond. But her attempts have been constantly rebuffed. Despite the setbacks, Anya is determined to gain access to the Desmonds’ inner circle and devises a new plan—acing her midterm exams. Can the academically challenged Anya pull off this feat for the sake of world peace?

Dragon Ball Super Volume 13
Story by Akira Toriyama, Art by Toyotarou

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Moro’s goons have arrived on Earth, but the planet’s protectors aren’t about to go down without a fight. However, when Moro himself finally appears and pits a powered-up Saganbo against Gohan and friends, the good guys struggle to keep up. With a planet in peril, will Goku and Vegeta make it back in time?

One-Punch Man Volume 22
Story by ONE, Art by Yusuke Murata

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Child Emperor uses his trump card, the robotic Brave Giant, to fight against the reincarnated Phoenix Man. However, his enemy easily counters this last-ditch attempt, brushing it off as a mere toy. When Phoenix Man then evolves into an even stronger monster, Child Emperor’s conviction is shaken. Does this spell the end for the clever child hero?

My Hero Academia Volume 28
Story and Art by Kohei Horikoshi

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

The all-out war against the Paranormal Liberation Front continues at the hospital and the mountain villa. Mirko desperately battles High-Ends in order to reach Tomura’s stasis tank, knowing exactly how much is at stake if she fails. At the PLF hideout, Dabi is determined to roast Hawks, but Tokoyami isn’t about to let his mentor fall. Meanwhile, while helping to evacuate the city, Midoriya senses an ominous presence that’s awoken in the hospital…

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Volume 22
Story and Art by Koyoharu Gotouge

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

After centuries of preparation and training, the Demon Slayer Corps has come face-to-face with their greatest enemy, Muzan Kibutsuji. It is a desperate battle, and several Demon Slayers have already been killed. Tanjiro himself has engaged Muzan. Despite giving it everything he has, Tanjiro gets taken out of the fight. But although he is severely injured and near death, he sees a vision of his ancestor that may hold the key to finally destroying Muzan.

Shojo Beat

Yakuza Lover Volume 1
Story and Art by Nozomi Mino

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA$9.99

When drug dealers attack feisty college student Yuri at a party, she’s saved by Toshiomi Oya, the young boss of a yakuza syndicate. Despite her obvious attraction to him, she convinces herself that she’s not in the market for a bad-boy type. But when they meet again, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to him—kicking off a steamy and dangerous love affair that threatens to consume her, body and soul.

Yona of the Dawn Volume 30
Story and Art by Mizuho Kusanagi

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

While the Kingdom of Kohka and Sen Province armies battle, Hak goes all-out on the front lines and ends up fighting North Kai leader Ying Kuelbo one-on-one. Meanwhile, in a palace in Sen Province, will Yona be able to overcome Priest Gobi’s treachery?

Vampire Knight: Memories Volume 6
Story and Art by Matsuri Hino

On Sale Date: June 1, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Ai tries to protect her little sister Ren from every danger, for Ren is despised by many of their kind who hate Ren’s vampire hunter father. Although Ren is not as strong as her pureblood sister, she finds she has her own gluttonous thirst for blood…

Kaname wished for peaceful coexistence between vampires and humans, but the path forged by Yuki and Zero has been cut off by the dark, malicious intentions of others. Can they withstand a world shaken by hatred and despair?

VIZ Originals

World Piece Volume 1
Story by Josh Tierney, Art by Agroshka

On Sale Date: June 8, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$16.99

When not playing basketball on his high school team, Lucas Densen enjoys visiting his mother’s archaeological excavations. During one visit, Lucas accidentally triggers an ancient alien artifact that transforms Earth into a small glowing orb no larger than a basketball. Transported to a mysterious realm with nothing but what’s on his back and the Earth in his hands, Lucas encounters a friendly alien, Lully. What does she know about this world-shrinking artifact, and is she the key to restoring Earth?

VIZ Media

Kirby Manga Mania Volume 1
Story and Art by Hirokazu Hikawa

On Sale Date: June 8, 2021
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA$9.99

Jump into Dream Land with Kirby and gobble up some fun. Everyone’s favorite pink puff teams up with his friends to keep arch-frenemy King Dedede in line. Fans of all ages can enjoy this collection of classic Kirby comics—just take a deep breath and hop on in.

Pokemon Adventures Collector’s Edition Volume 8
Story by Hidenori Kusaka, Art by Satoshi Yamamoto

On Sale Date: June 8, 2021
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA$17.99

The finale of the Ruby & Sapphire arc crescendos with a battle between Legendary Pokemon Kyogre and Groudon. And, in the new FireRed & LeafGreen arc, Green’s long-lost parents have been sucked into a vortex created by a mysterious Pokemon. Red and Blue want to help, but first they must improve their battle skills.

Collects the original Pokemon Adventures Volumes 22, 23, and 24.

How Do We Relationship? Volume 3
Story and Art by Tamifull

On Sale Date: June 8, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Miwa and Saeko are loving the couple life, but a miscommunication in the bedroom proves to be more of a threat to the easy rhythm of their relationship than either thought possible. After all, the past is hard to leave behind, especially when Miwa is invited to a reunion with some of her high school friends, including the first love she never really got over.

Requiem of the Rose King Volume 14
Story and Art by Aya Kanno

On Sale Date: June 8, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

Reigning as king at last, Richard slips out of the banquet to celebrate in Buckingham’s loving arms. Meanwhile, due to the behind-the-scenes machinations of Richmond, a Lancaster with his sights set on the throne, his happiness starts to lose its color. Questions arise about the true parentage of Richard’s son Edward, shaking the foundations of his rule. Richard and Buckingham are faced with a test of their love.

VIZ Signature

Fist of the North Star Volume 1
Story by Buronson, Art by Tetsuo Hara

On Sale Date: June 15, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$19.99

In a postapocalyptic world, humanity has risen from the ashes of nuclear war, but only to a nightmare of endless suffering. It is a time of chaos. Gangs of savage marauders and warlords rule the broken ruins of civilization, terrorizing and enslaving the survivors. Life has become a brutal struggle for existence and death the only release.

RWBY: The Official Manga Volume 3
Story and Art by Bunta Kinami, Based on the Rooster Teeth series created by Monty Oum

On Sale Date: June 15, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$12.99

Roman Torchwick’s plans have been laid bare, and now it’s up to Team RWBY to save the day. This is everything they’ve been training for at Beacon Academy. Ruby is ready to protect the people of Remnant from Torchwick’s machinations, and Weiss, Blake and Yang are right by her side. The final volume of RWBY: The Official Manga is here, and Torchwick doesn’t stand a chance.

Blue Flag Volume 8
Story and Art by KAITO

On Sale Date: June 15, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$12.99

Toma and Futaba have their first sit-down talk after the big fight at school. Meanwhile, Taichi struggles with the problems that have been dumped in his lap by his friends’ choices, and he ends up distancing himself from Toma. Then, one day, Toma stops coming to school. Left in the lurch, what can Futaba and Taichi do? Everyone chooses their futures, and time marches on. Don’t miss the heartfelt conclusion of Blue Flag.

Maison Ikkoku Collector’s Edition Volume 4
Story and Art by Rumiko Takahashi

On Sale Date: June 15, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$24.99

Yusaku Godai has set his heart on Kyoko Otonashi, but he still goes on dates with Kozue Nanao frequently. Kozue senses that Godai is growing emotionally distant, so she asks Kyoko’s tennis coach Shun Mitaka for advice. Yet once Mitaka gets involved, misunderstandings abound on all sides.

Golden Kamuy Volume 22
Story and Art by Satoru Noda

On Sale Date: June 15, 2021
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA$12.99

Asirpa’s adventure in Karafuto changed her feelings about not only her father, but also the Ainu struggle for independence. Sugimoto has also come to realize something about his own feelings about Asirpa as well. If they’re really going to be equal partners, they’ll need to come to a new understanding. Once again on the run from Lieutenant Tsurumi, they head for Hokkaido. But the rogue officer isn’t about to give up. The pursuit once again leads into forbidding, frozen territory…

Ôoku: The Inner Chambers Volume 18
Story and Art by Fumi Yoshinaga

On Sale Date: June 15, 2021
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA$12.99

Prince Kazu had expected to hate her life in Edo, but her marriage to the shogun Iemochi unexpectedly became a source of true comfort in her life. But now tragedy has destroyed her fragile happiness, and Prince Kazu must struggle alone to find some solace in the shattered remnants of that brief joy.

Shonen Sunday

Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 13
Story and Art by Tomohito Oda

On Sale Date: June 8, 2021
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA$9.99

Komi’s family is hosting a guest, and the standoffish Rei is really putting Komi’s friendship skills to the test. But Komi sees a little of her old loneliness in the child and won’t give up on making a connection, even if she has to chase Rei all over town to do it.

Call of the Night Volume 2
Story and Art by Kotoyama

On Sale Date: June 8, 2021
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA$9.99

What’s the difference between desire and love? Does Nazuna know any better than Ko? What about Ko’s childhood friend Akira? Unable to answer these romantic questions, Ko and Nazuna go swimming. Turns out bathing beauties at pools are just as hot at night as in the blazing sunshine at the beach. Then, Ko gets jealous when he learns about Nazuna’s night job. But after she drafts him into temping for her, the two of them join forces to save a client from her boss—and herself.

Anime DVD Review: One Piece Collection 20

One Piece Collection 20 packages together the One Piece Season Eight Voyage Two and One Piece Season Eight Voyage Three releases together. Between the two sets, there are 23 episodes included. It should be noted that Episode 492, which was a crossover between One Piece and Toriko, is not included in either this set or on One Piece Collection 21. It’s one of the few episodes of the series that FUNimation Entertainment does not have the rights to.

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 20
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: September 19, 2017

Unlike some of the previous collection sets, there are absolutely no filler episodes included here. All 23 episodes work to advance the plot of the current arc that’s taking place at Marineford.

All of the episodes in the first half of this set lead up to Luffy making it to the scaffold where Ace is. Hancock gives Luffy the key to Ace’s handcuffs, while Buggy and his men take a transponder snail into their possession as part of their plan to make Buggy famous around the world. The Navy shuts off the other transponder snails that were transmitting to the Sabaody Archipelago because they want to maintain an illusion that they are winning the war against Whitebeard. However, they are unable to shut off the one Buggy has. Unfortunately, since Buggy and his men are focusing on Buggy, the people watching the broadcast are frustrated because they can’t see what’s actually going on.

Squard, one of Whitebeard’s “sons,” is tricked by Akainu, which leads to him to believe that Whitebeard has betrayed him and the others. Squard stabs Whitebeard through the chest with his sword, The physical wound doesn’t affect Whitebeard too much, but the emotional pain is there from Squard’s betrayal. When Squard realizes he’s been tricked, it takes an emotional toll on him… which will play an important role in one of the later episodes in the set.

Just when it seems like Luffy is about to successfully reach Ace, the Navy activates a wall to block him and the other pirates from advancing or retreating. This happens when Luffy has used his Gum-Gum power to launch toward the scaffold, and the rising wall knocks him down. I felt so bad for Luffy, because he was so close to reaching Ace.

There’s basically seven more episodes of chaos and fights that take place until Luffy can finally manage to reach Ace on the scaffold. It sounds like it takes a lot of episodes to reach this goal, but I didn’t think the story was stretched out. In fact, I appreciated seeing the tensions rising and the stakes upped. This is a war, after all, and it wouldn’t have been realistic if it had been too easy for Luffy to reach his goal.

The second half of the set is an emotional viewing experience. After rescuing Ace, Luffy teams up with him and it seems like everything is going to be OK. Whitebeard knows he’s not going to be leaving Marineford alive, so he gives his final order… as many of his “sons” need to escape from Marineford alive. It looks everyone, including Ace and Luffy, will manage to escape. But then, Ace is fired up by Akainu taunting Whitebeard. Unfortunately, this loyalty to Whitebeard ends up being his downfall. He takes on Akainu, but Akainu takes aim at Luffy with his power. Ace jumps in the way to protect Luffy and takes the blast instead.

And this is where the emotional portion of the story comes in. Episode 483 focuses on Ace and Luffy as Ace is dying, and this episode felt like an emotional gut punch. I was actually starting to cry right near the end of this episode. The relationship between Ace and Luffy, as well as Ace’s own emotions as he’s dying, are portrayed so well. And poor Luffy takes Ace’s death really hard, to the point that he basically shuts himself down. Jimbei has to take on a role of protecting Luffy throughout the rest of the set.

Blackbeard enters the fray, which leads to a battle between him and Whitebeard. Unfortunately, Whitebeard doesn’t survive this ordeal, which adds another emotional layer to this story which had already become emotional. Coby finds some inner strength after seeing all the needless death that has happened around him after the Navy achieved its goal. Fortunately, Shanks appears in time to save Coby from being harmed by Akainu. Shanks has enough power to declare that the war is over. However, the Navy spins the situation into being a complete win for them and that they defeated all of the pirates. Of course, the audience knows this isn’t true. After initial jubilation from the public, it’s revealed that with the death of Whitebeard and his declaration before his death that the One Piece is real, the pirates are driven to be more unsettled and being more active. With this renewed activity, the Navy appears to have egg on its face for underestimating the effects that this war would have on the pirates.

It should be mentioned that when Shanks appears, Trafalgar Law and his crew arrive in their yellow submarine. I admit, I couldn’t help thinking about The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” song when his sub surfaced. It’s revealed that Law is a doctor, and he takes the injured Luffy and Jimbei on board his submarine and operates on the two of them. The very last episode in the set sees Luffy being taken to Maiden Island, after an invitation is extended by Boa Hancock. The sub has to stay out in the bay, though. Right at the end, Luffy wakes up and keeps asking where Ace is. When he finally realizes that Ace is dead, it hits him hard. At this point, Luffy is going to have both physical and emotional healing that he needs to do, and I suspect that the episodes in the next collection will focus on Luffy trying to recover. The PTSD that he now has from this incident is going to be quite the hurdle to overcome.

Collection 20 is one of the stronger collections for One Piece that I’ve watched in a while. I was impressed that all of the episodes in the set progressed such an important storyline, and that there wasn’t any interruptions of any kind for filler material.

When it comes to bonus features, there are absolutely no bonus features included on the first disc. The second disc has a bonus feature titled, “Music Lessons With Brook.” This nearly five minute features Ian Sinclair, the English voice actor for Brook, offering to give a “music lesson” to the audience because he has background for playing some instruments. He is first asked to demonstrate playing a violin, and it’s obvious he doesn’t have a clue. He gets frustrated, and there is a “technical difficulties” screen. When he comes back, he is asked to play the piano… which he also doesn’t know and gets frustrated with. After another “technical difficulties” screen, he is upset and asked to play a flute. He figures this one out, and his mood improves. To be honest, I felt this feature became a little redundant and wasn’t that humorous. There are two audio commentaries included: one for Episode 476 (“Luffy at the End of His Tether! An All-Out Battle at the Oris Plaza!”) and one for Episode 480 (“Each on Different Paths! Luffy vs. Garp!””). There is a textless version for the opening theme song, “One Day,” as well as trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

The third disc includes two episode commentaries: one for Episode 482 (“The Power That Can Burn Even Fire! Akainu’s Ruthless Pursuit!” and Episode 486 (“The Show Begins! Blackbeard’s Plot Is Revealed!”). The fourth disc includes a Top 10 Moments feature, which runs for about 18 minutes. Three voice actors, a director, and two other staff members share what they feel are the Top 10 moments in One Piece. Overall, I agreed with their top ten choices, except for the one that features the Foxy Pirates. Outside of that, it was a decent list. Although I felt that some of the commentary was a little on the annoying side. But I have to say that this was a stronger bonus feature that most of the recent features that focused on the voice actors acting like their characters. There’s another textless version of the opening song “One Day,” as well as trailers for other releases from FUNimation Entertainment.

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: