Director: 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, Ikue Ohtani, Brina Palencia, Yuriko Yamaguchi, Stephanie Young
Running Time: 650 minutes
Like with any anime series following a huge arc, One Piece settles into a few smaller adventures during its sixth boxset. Each one makes a strong effort to be more than simple filler though, elaborating on characters or making sure the individual adventures are fun and engaging. This is leagues away from becoming anything even close to stale, which may be down to the general theme of exploring. Other animes seem to become bogged down in overcomplicating stories and having to add new elements, whereas One Piece has an entirely imaginative world to explore as our heroes make their way to their goal but become distracted by other adventures and events that take place.
Best of all in this set are the interactions of the characters, with teh crew now feeling very comfortable with another as well as having developed running gags and individual quirks which become instantly funny for fans. It’s getting to know these characters which is most important as it adds to the laughs, thrills, and tension. As Luffy goes for revenge against a person he earlier refused to fight, we know exactly how powerful he can be, giving us a sense of joy and nervousness in the build up to a serious showdown. Not only are the core characters all here and all given moments to shine, but they are also joined by former villain, Miss All-Sunday now going by her real name, Nico Robin. Robin oozes a calm and sensual appeal, and it quite frankly my favourite character the show has yet offered. She fits right in with the crew and also provides a great straight man to many of the sillier aspects. She also has the best superpower of all time, being able to make body parts appear anywhere.
The adventures here range in their importance and excitement, but this is mostly a lighter affair than the previous arcs. This is something that is much needed after the heavier elements in teh previous storyline, although some strong themes are beginning to be handled such as the very idea and belief in God. For a show with talking animals, bright and colourful characters, as well as a complete disregard in terms of technological anachronisms, one might suspect that these issues are handled haphazardly, but they’d be wrong. The show knows when to go for laughs and when to have some serious moments.
Still unique in its design and simply glorious to look at, One Piece, provides fans of animation and adventure with one of the most consistent shows currently being released. There is no doubt that this show will be revisited time and time again, and there is a reason for its international success. It appeals to all without having to make compromises, and that is a very rare thing indeed.
ONE PIECE Collection 6 is released on DVD on 19th May via Manga Entertainment.