DVD Review: One Piece – Movie Collection 3
31/10/2014 Leave a comment
This week we are treated to two One Piece DVD releases via Manga Entertainment UK, as we already covered One Piece – Collection 8 earlier in the week, but today we are going to take a look at the subtitled-only (excluding Movie 8) DVD release of One Piece – Movie Collection 3; so what exactly were our thoughts on this release? Find out below!
One Piece Movie 7: Mega Mecha Soldier of Karakuri Castle – The Straw Hats visit an island known as Mecha Island and once again, they are on the hunt for treasure. But it is not any ordinary treasure! For what they seek is the legendary Golden Crown.
One Piece Movie 8: Episode of Alabasta: The Pirates and the Princess of the Desert – The island kingdom of Alabasta is about to erupt in civil war – a war engineered by Crocodile, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and his criminal organization Baroque Works. Monkey D. Luffy, his Straw Hat pirates, and Princess Vivi race to the island, where the strongest warriors of Baroque Works wait to stop them. Can Vivi and her friends stop an entire war? And how can Luffy fight Crocodile, when Crocodile can turn into sand?
One Piece Movie 9: Episode of Chopper + The Miracle Winter Cherry Blossom – Nami has fallen ill and without a doctor on board the ship the Straw Hats seem to be out of luck; fortunately for them an island is nearby, however upon docking they soon discover that Wapol, the current proclaimed king of the island, has banished all of the doctors from the island. With no doctors nearby and Nami’s fever becoming increasingly worse who can the Straw Hats turn too?
One Piece: Movie Collection 3 should really be known as the “One Piece What If Movie Collection” especially seeing as two out of the three movies are nothing but re-caps or what if scenarios of past events within the One Piece storyline. Is this a bad thing? Not exactly as while they may be re-caps of past events they have been re-animated, re-recorded and re-told to offer a brand new One Piece experience, which isn’t something that happens often.
Let’s start at the beginning of the set; One Piece Movie 7: Mega Mecha Soldier of Karakuri Castle is easily the weakest movie of this entire collection as it sees the straw hats attempt to uncover a lost treasure on Mecha Island. While this isn’t uncommon for pirates it’s the way that it has been done which makes it a bit of a dreary, but interesting, experience for the viewer. For starters, the whole process of attempting to find the treasure is achieved through puzzles, riddles and traps, something which is actually quite interesting to start with, but then after a while it starts to get repetitive and then ultimately a bit dull. Additionally since there isn’t a main enemy, or an evil bad guy to speak of, not many fights take place and as a result it is just a constant search for the treasure.
The only ‘bad person’ is the so called ‘mecha-king’ of the island; as he sends his minions out to attack the straw hats so that he can find the treasure himself. This ultimately creates some amusing moments and heated discussions between the characters, but yet again they quickly become forgot like the rest of the treasure hunting. While this ‘mecha-king’ isn’t a bad guy Luffy still ends up having a final showdown with them and just like other One Piece movies it’s quickly over before it gets good.
Of course for me the biggest annoyance of this movie, and I hate to mention it, was the blatant fan-service placed on Nami. Not only are her breasts larger than in the TV series but animators gave her breasts their own sense gravity. Basically every other second Nami’s breasts would jiggle around on screen like nobody’s business and at times even a ‘boing’ sound effect is included, much to the approval of Sanji. At first it is a bit amusing, as its not something you see in the TV series or other one piece films, but it gradually becomes annoying – especially as, in the TV series at least, she is seen as an important (but easily scared) figurehead for the crew.
Moving away from the first, and the only true stand-a-lone film within this collection, we then turn to the two potential re-cap movies of this collection; One Piece Movie 8: Episode of Alabasta: The Pirates and the Princess of the Desert and One Piece Movie 9: Episode of Chopper & The Miracle Winter Cherry Blossom, both of which are a painful moutful. To start off with One Piece Movie 8: Episode of Alabasta: The Pirates and the Princess of the Desert, or One Piece: The Desert Princess and the Pirates, is an abridged re-telling of the Alabasta story arc, whereby the Straw Hat crew, along with Vivi, infiltrate Alabasta to put a stop to Crocodile and his evil shenanigans.
This particular movie is ‘exactly’ the way you remember it from the TV Series, albeit completely re-animated, and it manages to compile 40 plus episodes into a single 85 minute film. Somehow it works quite well as all of the ‘key moments’ are left intact while ‘filler styled moments’ are removed; basically it gets to the point of the story instead of messing around with pointless dialogue or interactions. While this may be a ‘re-cap’ styled movie do not let it discourage you from watching it as it features better quality animation, detailed fight-scenes and a more ‘direct-to-the-point- storyline than that of the original series. In hindsight if you ever wanted to re-watch the alabasta story arc then you are better off watching this movie; as its just better.
The final movie of this collection, entitled One Piece Movie 9: Episode of Chopper & The Miracle Winter Cherry Blossom, is a re-telling of the Drum Island Story Arc from the original TV and Manga series but unlike the Alabasta movie it features a selection of previously unknown characters and new scenes. The core storyline of Nami falling ill and the Straw Hats searching for a doctor, which ultimately lead them to chopper, remain intact but new crew mates, such as Robin and Franky, as well as introductions of previously unknown bad guys, including Wapol’s brother, make their appearance. This film is basically a ‘what if’ scenario whereby “What if the Straw Hat crew recruited Robin and Franky and obtained the Thousand Sunny before meeting Chopper on Drum Island”. Like I mentioned before the core principles of the Drum Island story arc all remain intact; its just that some ‘slight’ differences have been made to make it a refreshing viewing experience.
What One Piece – Movie Collection 3 offers is a real mixed bag of content; the first film is a stand-a-lone movie within the One Piece franchise and offers a brand new story with your favourite One Piece characters; meanwhile the other two films provide a refreshing new twist on an already told tale – and to some extent – provide a quick way of catching up on two story arcs worth of content.
There are no bonus features; that is unless you include an interactive styled DVD Menu.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:30:51 (Disc 1) 1:26:18 (Disc 2) 1:48:20 (Disc 3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese & English*)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
* Only Disc 2 (Movie 8) contains English Audio; the remaining movies of this set are only available in Japanese with English subtitles due to an English dub track not existing
One Piece – Movie Collection 3 combines three extremely different, but entertaining, One Piece movies into a single collection that is a great package for both newcomers and fans alike. While two of the films, Movie 8 and Movie 9, may be considered re-caps to the ‘main’ One Piece storyline they still offer a different perspective on past events and with them being animated differently the offer a better visual experience.
In regards to this DVD release by Manga Entertainment UK then you can expect clear audio and picture quality across all three discs with easy to navigate ‘interactive’ styled DVD Menus.
While the overall product was enjoyable some disappointments can be found, and no I wasn’t looking for them. For starters I found the subtitles at certain points of the film to be quite difficult to read, such as the first 10 minutes of the first film, when the crew are on the ship discussing their next plan of action. Personally I felt like the text blended into the background colours as opposed to standing out and being easy to read for the view. This aside the subtitles are ‘a lot’ better than previous One Piece Movie Collections but interestingly some amusing choices have been made on the subtitles; for instance during the earlier stages of the first movie actual love hearts appear in the text when Sanji becomes infatuated with a women.
Honestly there is no reason for these ‘hearts’ to be included and it makes it feel like an amateurish fan-sub as opposed to an official retail release. Another disappointment I found was that the English Audio, for movie 8 at least, is only available in Stereo. Usually I wouldn’t complain but a 5.1 Surround Sound audio track does exist, and would have been the better choice, so its strange that it wasn’t included as part of this set.
Overall the One Piece – Movie Collection 3 DVD set is a great collection if you are a fan of One Piece or a newcomer to the franchise as you’ll easily become accustomed to the films and what they have to offer; furthermore it’s also a relatively quick way of getting yourself up to speed with current events within the One Piece timeline.
One Piece – Movie Collection 3 will be available on DVD from the 3rd November 2014.