Anime Reporter re-embarks with the crew of the Going Merry for One Piece Collection 06 (Episodes 131 – 156 ) Following on from the last amazing instalment, reviewed here, Luffy and crew have entered a relatively calm period. The first few episodes of Collection 06 are stand-alone episodes, giving some insight into the histories and characters of Chopper, Nami, Sanji and Zoro. Following from this is a nice little filler arc where the crew encounters a weak old man and his crew of… cute goats. This arc lasts just a few episodes and things soon move on to a longer storyline; the Skypiea Arc.
While enjoying a Marine-free stretch of ocean, the crew is understandably startled to find a dilapidated ship raining down upon them, complete with deceased crew members. Combined with a log line pointing upwards to the sky, Robin soon deduces that they must have fallen from an island in the sky. Not content to simply jump really high in a vain attempt to reach a place they can’t see, the crew make their way to a nearby island, where they’re treated to a four hundred year old legend which most have come to call an outright lie.
While searching for any evidence of the island in the sky as well as a way of getting there, Luffy’s pride as a great pirate is put to the test in a way long-time fans may recall from the very earliest episodes and which should remind some viewers of Luffy’s hero, Shanks. Bellamy, a pirate with a pretty steep bounty on his head declares the age of pirates chasing ridiculous dreams to be over and declares the new age of piracy to be all about treasure and fighting. This doesn’t take too long to clash directly with Luffy’s pirate code with results that don’t just make for impressive action, but inspiring character development too.
Luffy’s defeat of Crocodile, one of the seven pirate warlords causes waves far and wide, with the World Government hungry for his head as well as eager to find someone to fill Crocodiles spot. For those unfamiliar with the Seven Warlords, they are seven pirate captains who have risen to such power that the World Government has had no choice but to cancel their bounties and make them allies. These pirates are allowed to operate in much the same way as they did before, without attacking or harming the marines of the World Government. Crocodile’s defeat has left a power vacuum with many powerful pirates eager to take his place. One such pirate is an unknown entity in the age of pirates, a man named “Teach”, but who goes by another name; Blackbeard.
The collection finishes up as the crew make their way closer to unravelling the secrets to the island in the sky, finding themselves in new and incredibly unfamiliar territory and a story arc that will last well into Collection 07
One Piece Collection 06 is a great example of the heart and charm that make One Piece the treasure it truly is to watch. With great strides in character development just as much as brute strengths, slightly more sentimental viewers may just experience a little swell of pride at seeing just how much Luffy’s grown since his earliest days in East Blue.
One Piece Collection 6 is available on DVD in the UK and Ireland from 19th May 2014 from Manga Entertainment. For more information, take a look at the Manga Entertainment Twitter page (UK) and of course, stay with us here at Anime Reporter for more updates and reviews.
Character Development: 9.5
84% – “No less than We’d Expect”
One Piece Collection 06 takes a little while to pick up steam following the events of the previous season and surpasses just setting the scene for what’s to come by a few episodes. What you find in between these two greater arcs is a reason to love these characters and a reminder why One Piece remains at the top end of the anime rankings.