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DVD Review

DVD cover

One Piece
Collection No. 2


Starring (voice): Akemi Okamura, Hiroaki Hirata, Ikue Ohtani and Kappei Yamaguchi
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: 12
Release Date: 01 July 2013

Madcap, sixteen year old, Monkey D. Luffy finds that, having eaten a piece of magic fruit, his body has become extremely elastic and almost impervious to harm. With this new found gift Luffy decides that what he most wants to do is run away and become a pirate and find the fabled One Piece treasure of Gold Rogers...

One Piece: Collection Two continues the comedic anime show with another twenty six episodes spread across four DVDs. The show worked its way through a number of director and writers in its extended run, which still continues and has racked up in excess of six hundred episodes to date. The show was originally cut when it was shown outside of Japan, so here is your chance to enjoy the uncut experience.

This is a pretty cheap anime. If you look at the frames, movement goes from none at all to just a couple of elements actually animated - usually just the mouths. For an action show this can be a problem, as some of the expected dynamism just isn’t there. This cost cutting also affects the look of the show which is cartoonier than most anime, with an overabundance of close ups so they don’t have to draw the background. What the show lacked in quality it made up for in its overall popularity with audiences.

This then, is a show which sells not on its individuality, but in homogenous ability to provide a formulaic form of entertainment readily accessible to the legions of fans for shows like Naruto and Bleach. Fight of the week is its main reason to exist, layered liberally with gurning type humour and taken as individual episodes this is a silly, but fun show. However in its entirety the narrative repetition can get wearing.

Pirates have had a bit of a renascence since the success of Pirates of the Caribbean and so the makers can’t go very wrong with the setting for the show and along the way Luggy gathers both friends and enemies as he continues his quest.

Each episode is presented with a 4:3 aspect ratio picture, with audio options for either an English 5.1 Surround Sound dub, or the original 2.0 Japanese track. The set comes with a number of extras. On disc one we have a full length commentary for episode thirty. Disc two has the textless opening and closing sequences. Disc three has a commentary for episode forty-four and the last disc has another set of textless opening and closing sequences.

Whatever you think of the quality of the show, you can’t complain about the price, given the amount of episodes on offer. That said if you’re looking to acquire the whole run, then this is likely to be an expensive prospect.


Charles Packer

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