One Piece Collection 2 DVDDirector: Hiroaki Miyamoto, Munehisa Sakai, Junji Shimizu, Konosuke Uda,

Starring: Mayumi Tanaka, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Kazuya Nakai, Christopher R. Sabat, Akemi Okamura, Luci Christian, Kappei Yamaguchi, Sonny Strait, Hiroaki Hirata, Eric Vale

Running Time: 650 minutes

Certificate: 12

Picking up directly where Collection 1 left off, ONE PIECE returns to complete its introductory arc. The last member of the crew, chef Sanji, joins the gang but just as it looks as though everything is in place, we discover that navigator Nami may not be everything she appears. After a gruelling battle with Don Krieg, the show clearly announces that although violence isn’t going to be used on a regular basis, the show isn’t afraid to use it when creating conflict and consequence. This fact becomes even more obvious during the next arc of the show that focuses on Nami’s past and her connection to the dreaded fishmen. Fish-men hybrids that are super song, and despite the fact they sound rather silly, they are the biggest threats to date thanks to their exceptional strength and agility.

This arc is very impressive, as just when our heroes are united, they are then tested to see how far their loyalty can be pushed. ONE PIECE takes its time in making the character relationships believable and strong, ensuring that sacrifices and gambling with their lives doesn’t seem out of character. Making the audience this invested with the characters is one of ONE PIECE’s greatest achievements. Nami’s back story is presented as a true tragedy, one that is filled with tears for both Nami and the audience.

The fishmen themselves are a wonderful set of villains. Beautifully and comically designed, there’s no reason that these creatures should feel so threatening. That is until we see them in action. Their inclusion, as well as that of some other sea beasts goes a few steps further to expanding the fantastical nature of the world of ONE PIECE. They represent this bizarre world perfectly. The animation not only lends itself to such colourful characters, but also to the humans. Each of the main characters has a distinct fighting style which is captured through the animation. Each one brings a different pace and visual flair to battles, making sure that fight sequences are never dull.

The latter half of this collection presents our hero Monkey D. Luffy as becoming a real threat to the established order of things. He is gradually gaining momentum as a worthwhile adversary for the government, despite his childish nature continuing to be the source of much comedy. Some old fiends return, as well as a number of new and interesting characters. Luffy is now a threat to fellow pirates and those in control, which makes the show seem as though it is escalating too quickly. One thing’s for sure, these are unmissable adventures that leave you wanting more.

5 STARSONE PIECE Collection 2 is released on 1st July via Manga Entertainment.

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