Anime Reporter continues the sky-island adventures with a look at One Piece Collection 07 (episodes 157 – 182)
Now, typically in One Piece reviews I’ve taken the tack of revealing a few basic plot details; who gets split up from who, who’s fighting in what kind of battles and why there’s a fight at all, etc. This time, however, I’m going to take a slightly different approach. If you’re reading this, then you’re presumably, as the first line of the review implies, over one hundred and fifty episodes into the series (if not, really, last warning; Collection 3 will give you a more palatable introduction), or else you’re just not that bothered about spoilers and back story. In any case, and if you’re really just looking for the basic details, here are some bullet points:
- Humour: Plenty- cheeky, clever and self-effacing, but of course, being familiar with the series, you’ve come to expect that.
- Action: Abundant and imaginative- Battles push characters to think and react in entirely new ways, avoiding overly familiar battle scenes and making each battle into a genuine plot in its own right. Again, you probably already know that, having come this far.
- Characters: Delightful and well fleshed out- Protagonists differ from each other in behaviour, desires, principles and fighting styles. As imaginative and satisfying as any other part of the series. This, you surely know by now.
- Plot: Wonderful- There is ever more being unveiled about the motivation of antagonists and it’s rare that any character is simply rendered as good or bad. Shades of grey abound and never patronise viewers. You know this.
- Animation: A little out of date with newer releases but more than satisfying in terms of action, humour and character rendering. A pleasure to watch. This is old news.
So, establishing in short all of the reasons that I find One Piece to be a charming and tremendously enjoyable series, I’m going to use the rest of this review to tell you just why it stands out from any other series which have the same factors as mentioned above.
One Piece, as we surely know, starts off with the premise that the world is in a great age of sailing and piracy and that there are special fruits known as Devil Fruits which can grant great powers to people. It would be possible, if not easy, to create a fantastic adventure series from this premise alone, but Eiichiro Oda, the series creator, isn’t satisfied with that. The Skypiea arc is perfect evidence for this. Luffy and crew have found themselves on islands floating in the sky which most people in their already fantastic world have dismissed as myth. More than this, the series leaves behind the device of Devil Fruits and gives the people of Skypiea (the aforementioned sky-islands) dials; simple little objects which contain greater power and versatility than most objects found on ground level. One Piece is not satisfied with having a fantastic, magical, imaginative premise, but insists on creating new worlds and surprises along the way.
One hundred and fifty episodes into the series, we’re presented with an untouched civilisation, brand new sets of physics and species as well brand new technology and abilities. One Piece is not afraid to venture into completely new waters and, just like Luffy, it will dive in headfirst with a smile on its face.
Yes, One Piece Collection 07 gives us delightful characters, exciting battles and a consistently entertaining package. It also gives us wonderful new villains and emotional growth in its protagonist side by side with wacky humour and a growing mythology. But as a series, One Piece would hardly be satisfied with simply being a great story fantastically executed. One Piece is a journey of growth, discovery and a true sense of adventure. If you think you’ve seen all that One Piece has to offer, you might not have been paying close enough attention.
One Piece Collection 07 is available on DVD from Manga Entertainment UK on Monday August 11th 2014. The Manga UK website has more information about upcoming releases. If you like what you see here at Anime Reporter, check out some of my other posts and feel free to leave a comment or get in touch, I love it.
91% – “A True Adventure!”– One Piece Collection 07 maintains the excellent quality of the series, displaying innovation and imagination that prove the series has plenty of life left in its veins. Why do the scoring criteria form the acronym PEACH? I have no idea.