DVD Review: One Piece – Collection 8
29/10/2014 Leave a comment
It’s time to set sail once again as we venture out of Skypeia and into the hands of the Marines; quite literally, but with potential plot spoilers aside what did we think of Manga Entertainment’s DVD Release of One Piece – Collection 8? Find out in our Review!
Lightning bolts rain from the heavens and cloud-dwelling citizens run for their lives as Luffy and Eneru go toe to toe to determine the fate of Skypiea! The rubber-man is determined to make this exceedingly evil villain pay for his sins against the innocent, but Eneru won’t be easily defeated. With his electric ark chock full of gold, the heinous holy man sets in motion a petrifying plan to obliterate life on Angel Island!
Luffy is ready to rumble, but his shipmates are falling one by one, and his punching power bottoms out after Eneru encases his hand in a giant ball of gold. Only one hope remains: Nami and Luffy must risk their lives in a desperate attempt to ring the sacred bell of Shandora – and chase away Eneru’s looming cloud of death!
The eighth instalment into the One Piece Collection sets takes us beyond the 200th episode but while celebrations may be in order that will have to wait as the fight between Eneru and the Straw Hats rages on in the clouds of Skypeia; although yet again you’ll have to wait in order to find out what happens.
This is probably the most disappointing aspect of this collection of episodes; the story doesn’t go anywhere relatively quick – of course most of us have come to expect this from long running franchises – but even this was annoying. Basically the set resumes whereby the previous set ended, with Eneru unleashing wave after wave of lightning strikes onto the unsuspecting inhabitants of Skypeia while at the same time climbing higher into the sky in order to claim his prize; the golden bell. It all starts to get interesting, with Luffy racing up the giant beanstalk (yet this whole part of the arc is a Jack and the Beanstalk reference) and Sanji, Usopp and Nami attempting to hold off Eneru; but then it all just stops to provide a history lesson on the Shandorians great fighter; Calgara.
That’s right; the current story of Eneru destroying Skypeia and the Straw Hats trying to save it just stops mid-way as Wiper starts to reminisce in the story of Calgara, the main shandorian warrior from decades ago. It’s a back-story that no-one talked (or even cared) about but yet it randomly takes up three episodes of the remaining twelve episodes of the Skypeia story arc. While this, for me at least, was disappointing and a bit of a bore it did provide the ‘additional’ background details of how the Shandorians homeland was raised into the sky and how the golden bell became at the top of beanstalk. Of course when all is said and done the storyline moves back to the fight with Eneru, but even this (and the inventiable final fight with Luffy) is shortlived.
The most enjoyment I had from this collection of episodes was with the remaining ten episodes of this set whereby after leaving skypeia they find themselves crash landing into a marine base and attempt to remain undetected – which of course the Straw Hat crew are not capable of doing. Basically each of these episodes focuses on one particular character of the crew, for instance one episode sees Chopper prented to be human doctor to cater for wonded marines, while another episode sees Nami trying to blend in through various different uniforms. It’s different to the ‘traditional’ One Piece episodes, so it’s a refreshing experience to watch, but at the same time it still retains the charm of each characters personality, such as Luffy who just decides to eat everything in the mess hall of the marine base.
When it comes to bonus content then don’t expect too much as just like the previous seven collections the only extra features are English cast commentaries and textless opening songs.
The second DVD disc is where majority of the bonus content is held, as illustrated above, however the third DVD disc contains an English Cast Commentary for Episode 196 while the fourth DVD disc features the opening and closing songs. Both Audio commentaries continue the trend of offering some ‘interesting’ insight into the English Dub production of the series, such as experience of voice acting and casual witty banter, but in terms of discussion of the episode at hand then it’s pretty much non-existent.
It’s also worth mentioning that the textless songs are available in both Japanese and English; it all depends on the audio language you have selected at the time of choosing the song. It’s a feature which has been implemented in all previous sets, but its easily overlooked as you don’t expect it – as usually you expect them to be in Japanese.
Media: DVD 9 x4
Running Time: 2:38:20 (Disc 1), 2:15:43 (Disc 2), 1:53:06 (Disc 3 & Disc 4)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English) & Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frame Rate: 25 fps
The eighth collection into the continuous stream of One Piece episodes sees the conclusion of the Skypeia story-arc combined with ten episodes that sees the Straw Hats accidentally infiltrate a marine base; this isn’t the typical One Piece series you’ve become familiar with but it does offer a fair amount of laughs, even if the storyline is relatively boring.
For starters the fight between Luffy and Eneru, which has been building-up for quite some time, still takes a further full disc worth of episodes before we get to see anything interesting, and even then its only brief. Instead viewers are treated to a flashback story that no-one else was wanted to see, much less cared about. The most enjoyment I had from this collection of episodes was during the final two discs of the set as it sees the Straw Hat crew in numerous predicaments; be it Luffy pretending to be a cook and opt to eat food, Zoro getting lost or Robin pretending to be a marine inspectoror – it’s different, fun and more importantly adds some comical charm to the series.
All in all the episode content is pretty uneventful, although a few ‘fist-fights’ during the Luffy and Eneru battles are pretty cool, but overall it left me feeling unsatisfied and wanting more. The same can be said for the DVD discs as well as while the visual (and audio) quality are much better than previous sets the inclusion of stale commentaries and textless songs, which feature both English and Japanese audio depending on which audio option you’ve chosen, are becoming boring as well. I’d like to see more ‘bonus content’ but unfortunately I doubt that will happen so let’s just be grateful for what we get.
One Piece – Collection 8 continues the series with 23 (if I counted correctly) episodes and while it brings another story arc to its conclusion, and begins to build-up another one, the episodes themselves left me feeling unsatisfied and wanting more from it. In reality its another collection of episodes, with a strong English dub, which continues the One Piece storyline; this aside it’s also another ‘strong’ One Piece release by Manga Entertainment, whereby everything works as it should.
One Piece – Collection 8 will be available on DVD from the 3rd November 2014.