ONE PIECE COLLECTION 10

PrintE-mail Written by Dominic Cuthbert

Since 2013, Manga Entertainment UK has been releasing fully uncut One Piece collections with a quality English dub to boot. While this writer prefers the original Japanese, the cast Funimation assembled is a great take on the beloved characters that thankfully overshadows the 4Kids Club dub that aired on Toonami in a heavily cut and compromised state. Gathered here are episodes 230 – 252, known as the Water 7 arc, though the concluding episodes are stowed away on the eleventh collection. The episodes might have originally aired a decade ago, they still look remarkably fresh, due mostly to the distinctive animation that captured the spirit of Eiichiro Oda’s manga; equal parts economic and stylish, from the long limbed, tiny-waisted women to the wide-mouthed, unblinking Monkey D. Luffy.

After they narrowly escape Foxy the Silver Fox in the Davy Back Fight following the Dazzling Skypiea Saga, the Straw Hat Pirates head for Water 7 in search of a shipwright to join their disparate crew. The floating city, a Venetian-like metropolis with its magnolia coloured buildings and canal streets, is the seventh island the Straw Hats encounter on the Grand Line and the world’s number one shipyard. After trading in their booty, the crew soon find themselves the delighted proprietors of 300 million berries, cue slapstick Charlie Chaplin-like sequences, loosing, finding and losing their quarry again. But the money puts one of the series’ best story arcs into motion, famed for its twists and narrative shifts. While crewmember Robin disappears, the rest of the Straw Hats make enemies of the Franky Family, an eccentric gaggle of ship dismantlers; the shipbuilding Galley-La Company, after being framed for the one crime they didn’t actually commit, and the clandestine government organisation CP9. To top it all off, their faithful ship, The Going Merry, is deemed irreparable after its many adventures, while a storm surge closes in.

Episodes 248 - 250 are told largely in flashback and are every bit the equal, if not better, as the present setting, chronicling the tempestuous history of the island and teasing out a in-depth and emotional familial story. But the collection isn’t without its fair share of tremendous action sequences, charged with energy and motion. A particular highlight is Luffy verses Usopp, as exhilarating as it is heart-wrenching.

Facing down 700 episodes is daunting, but this collection provides a great entry point for newcomers, introducing its myriad characters and their motivations, as well as a lull in the narrative where the action is dialled down. If it is your first time viewing, you’ll soon fall for the ever enduring, if perpetually unhinged, Luffy; the cute naivety of Chopper and cool master swordsman Zoro, with the rest of the crew quickly following. Collection 10 is essential viewing for newbies and seasoned fans alike, being the debut of bequiffed cyborg Franky. With the crew scattered at the end of this collection, you’ll definitely want to get a hold of the next.

Special Features: Episode commentaries / Behind the scenes / Clean opening / Closing animation

ONE PIECE COLLECTION 10 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: KONOSUKE UDA / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: AKEMI OKAMURA, HIROAKI HIRATA, IKUE OHTANI, KAPPEI YAMAGUCHI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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