Anime Reporter pulls himself together from reviewing One Piece Collection 10 and now does his best to bring you the verdict on One Piece Collection 11 (episodes 253-275).
I know it. You know. I’m saying it anyway because this storyline is that important. Spoilers. Spoilers, and not just in the sense that I’ll be talking about story elements that people might not have heard of yet. Spoilers in the sense that if you don’t know what I mean when I say “Water Seven”, then you’ll be hearing about plot points from the last collection that deserve to be experienced rather than heard about second hand. Please feel free to check out my review of Collection 10, but also be aware of the spoilers there. I can’t recommend One Piece as a series highly enough, so if you’re completely new to it just turn around, walk outside, find a bookshop, a comic shop or a DVD retailer and stock up on some Grade A manga/anime. (Pssssst, also, if you’re completely new to One Piece, we should have an announcement that should interest you. Keep an eye out on upcoming Manga posts) If, on the other hand, you just want to know if this particular collection is worth picking up, then please step forward… not literally, that could be bad for your computer, but, you know, read on.
Okay, world’s lengthiest spoiler-alert over, I press on. Collection 10 ended with the Strawhat crew split up in all sorts of ways. Luffy and Zoro have been missing ever since their last brawls catapulted them into the distance while Robin seemingly abandoned the crew. We later learned that this was for their own protection against the combined forces of the World Government and, of course, there was the powerful moment when Usopp and Luffy fought as adversaries over the fate of their beloved ship and Usopp left the crew, heartbroken and alone. Usopp and Franky managed to get themselves captured on the same train as Robin and Nami just managed to miss out on her chance to catch the train and try to help. Things are already pretty bleak for the crew, but here’s Collection 11 to save the day!
Sanji manages to find his way onto the train before it leaves and sets about fighting his way through carriage after carriage to find her. At the same time, Nami and Chopper comb the city looking for Luffy and Zoro before the worst storm Water Seven has ever seen is about to hit. After a couple of close calls, the four of them make some new allies and set out into stormy seas to follow the sea train before it reaches its destination. Aboard the train, Sanji manages to rescue Franky and Usopp, recruiting Franky for the rescue attempt, but Usopp can’t bring himself to rejoin the Strawhats. He leaves Sanji and Franky to fight alone against a horde of enemies.
Luckily, just after he leaves, a masked hero known as Sniper King (or Sogeking in the Japanese translation) joins the pair. Now, I know what you’re thinking… Surely Sniper King is Usopp. Well, nope, because a- Usopp doesn’t wear a mask, b- Sniper King comes from Sniper-Island, which is not Usopp’s home and c- Sniper King’s voice is noticeably deeper and more heroic than Usopp’s… a lot of the time. Also he has a theme song which is catchy enough to become a classic.
The clock is truly kicking for all of our heroes because, not only is the train carrying Sanji, Robin, Franky, that damned coward Usopp and the courageous Sniper King full of powerful enemies, but it’s heading to Enies Lobby, the impregnable headquarters for much of the Navy’s strongest and home of the most feared prison in all the world. Those who enter never come out and every second brings Robin closer to this fate. I won’t go any further into the plot for fear of serious spoilers, but rest assured, this collection has it all.
Fights: You bet! Imaginative and quick-paced. While there are a lot of fight scenes, they’re balanced superbly with the plot so as not to interrupt the suspense.
Humour: Naturally. This is One Piece we’re talking about. These people know how to inject originality and humour into their characters. Definitely a few giggles to be found, even in this perilous situation.
Feels: Most certainly. Feels abound. Particularly at one moment… I can’t say any more. This show just knows how to emotionally knock the stuffing out of me.
Overall verdict: You’ve read this review, right? This is One Piece being brilliant and entertaining and making it look easy. Officially highly recommended and then some.
One Piece Collection 11 is available on DVD in the UK and Ireland from 10th August 2015 courtesy of Manga Entertainment. Check out their site for more info on upcoming releases!