DVD Review: One Piece – Collection 2

one_piece_collection_2_review (4)We continue the epic journey with the comical Straw Hat crew, but is this second outing better than the first? find out in our DVD Review of One Piece – Collection 2.

Synopsis:

Luffy and his mates encounter the sinister scallywag Don Krieg, master chef Sanji joins the crew, and the ferocious fishman Arlong’s cruel betrayal of Nami the navigator leaves the rubber-man seeing red! But that’s not all: a bodacious brawl with some mean-spirited marines lands Luffy and Zoro on the most wanted list, officially cementing their status as pirates! With an armada of angry adversaries in hot pursuit, the Straw Hats set sail for Logue Town, the final resting place of the legendary Gold Roger.

Our View:

One Piece – Collection 2 begins in full swing, quite literally, as we recommence the battle between the Baratie Restaurant and Don Krieg’s pirate fleet, with Sanji mortally wonded from the fight against Pearl. Keen to help Sanji and the old man (i.e. Red Foot Zeff) Luffy steps in to take control of the situation by destroying the Baratie’s wooden surface, thus causing confusion among everyone and after a quick betrayal from Ghin a battle between Sanji and Ghin takes place, with Don Krieg’s eyes set frimly on Luffy. From here on it’s a destructive, but comical, battle for survival with Don Krieg willing to sacrifice anything in order to get what he wants. Elsewhere Usopp, Johnny and Zoro have managed to find the Going Merry docked at a small island, but after being seen by Fishmen and engaging with the locals, they learn that the island is being controlled by the notorious Arlong Pirates.

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As you can probably assume, Collection 2 of One Piece features the entire Arlong Story Arc which not only sees some impressive inhuman (Dragon Ball Z style) fights against Fishmen, but it also reveals the dark secrets of Nami’s past. This story arc is considered as an important part of Nami’s character development within the One Piece’s saga, as it fully explains how Nami learned her navigational skills as well as the desire to steal treasure from pirates, but more importantly it also reveals her emotional reason for hating pirates. This amount of backstory and emotion, which is portrayed over a selection of episodes, is (at this point) a first for the One Piece anime and it provides a new side to the characters which we have yet to fully see, such as deep concern from Luffy for the wellbeing of his friend.

It’s not just the Arlong Story Arc which is included in this set either, as the ‘side-story’ of Buggy the Clown is also featured, whereby after his battle with Luffy we find him stranded on an island filled with animals. This side-story may seem like it deviates from the on-going story of the Straw Hat pirates, but in reality it’s actually a build up to what happens next whereby Buggy teams up with a few familiar faces and captures Luffy at logue town, which is the final resting place of Gold Roger.

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In a sense this Collection 2 set of One Piece shows, as a whole, what the series will offer to the viewer, that being a continuing story of friendships, insane battles and comical antics with each character hoping to achieve their individual dreams filled – basically it tries to cater for all audiences, most of the time pulling it off extremely well.

Extras:

Just like the previous collection release, One Piece- Collection 2 features text less opening and closing songs as well as two cast commentaries.

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The first commentary, which is presented on Disc 1 for Episode 30, features commentary from Mike McFarland (Line Producer) and Eric Vale (Voice of Sanji) as they discuss how they produced the dub for the series along with the different styles of voices used for Sanji. The second commentary is provided on Disc 3 and it is for Episode 44 this time featuring Mike McFarland (Line Producer), Luci Christian (Voice of Nami) and Jason Grundy (ADR Director) as they too discuss how they produced the dub for the series.

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In terms of the text less songs, all of which are presented in ‘English Only’, are located on Disc 2 and Disc 4, with Disc 2 featuring the Text less Opening (We Are) and Text less Ending (Run, Run, Run) while Disc 4 features the second text less opening (believe) along with the curren text less ending (Run,Run,Run). As mentioned all of the text less songs are presented in English only so people hoping to listen to the Japanese version of the song will have to watch the episode in Japanese Audio track.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x4
Running Time: 2:45:06 (Disc 1), 2:21:31 (Disc 2), 2:45:20 (Disc 3), 2:44:51 (Disc 4)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 448Kbps (English), Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbs (Japanese)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

One Piece – Collection 2 continues the enjoyment of the One Piece saga and it provides the most ‘entertaining’ story arc in its entirety (i.e the Arlong Arc), so there are no pains of waiting for the next Collection. While the Collection does end on a cliff-hanger (of sorts) it is not in the middle of a crucial battle (unlike the Dragon Ball Z Season sets) so viewers can patiently wait for the next release.

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In terms of the overall quality both the audio and picture quality remain consistent with the previous collection one release by offering clear audio in both English 5.1 Surround and Japanese 2.0 Stereo. It’s worth noting that while the English Dub has a fair amount of swearing, the Japanese Audio (with removable subtitles) provides even more swearing suggesting that the English Dub was toned down in places to give it a wider appeal. While the audio is clear some grain / pixilation on the picture quality is noticeable on larger screens, this was present within collection 1 and it occurs during fast moving fight scenes. This minor flaw was present on original the US Release, furthermore the ‘Next Episode Preview’ from Episode 52 is missing and this too was missing on the US DVD Release of the series. It’s unclear why it is missing, but it is worth pointing out.

As for the included DVD extras it is business as usual and while it is nice to see Commentaries and Text Less songs included it would have been nice to have the original Japanese Text Less videos included as well as the English Dub editions. The inclusion of English Cast Commentaries means that fans of the English dub can get a closer look into how an English Dub is produced and so far this Collection 2 Commentary provides the most entertaining Commentaries that I’ve listened too. Another minor annoyance with this release is the DVD Menu, which has the same issues as it did in Collection 1, whereby different colours are used to highlight the menu options. Disc 1 and 3 have buttons highlighted with a green colour while Disc 2 and 4 have buttons highlighted with a Blue colour – while it does its job of making it easier to see what’s highlighted it just looks unprofessional and basic, not to mention having different colours over different discs just seems strange.

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Overall One Piece – Collection 2 improves upon its previous release by delivering a more emotional story with unique battles and characters, and for those un-sure of the series this set will give them there answer of what to expect in the future. However for One Piece / Dragon Ball (Shonen) fans it is a must-have purchase that has been long overdue for release in the UK.

Score: review-stars-4

One Piece – Collection 1 will be available on DVD from the 1st July 2013.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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