A review copy was provided by Funimation Entertainment.
One Piece is a highly popular anime, and much of its appeal comes from the exceptional character work, interesting visuals, and compelling plotlines. One of the best parts of the series thus far is known as the Water 7 arc, which sees the Strawhat Pirates head to the titular city in order to find a shipwright to repair their damaged vessel, the Going Merry. Funimation’s latest release, One Piece Collection 10, includes episodes 230 through 252, which comprise the start of this exciting arc.
After their adventures in Skypeia and their battle with Foxy the Silver Fox, Luffy and his crew head to Water 7, a city renowned for its shipbuilders. Presided over by Iceburg, the shipwrights of the Galley-La company build some of the best ships in the world. However, tensions rise within the crew as Usopp refuses to accept that the Going Merry is beyond repair. Things are further complicated as the crew has a run-in with the Frank Family, a gang of ship dismantlers. Furthermore, Nico Robin’s past is hastily catching up to the archaeologist, and she will be forced to make a dire choice.
One Piece Collection 10 contains a plethora of compelling episodes, including one of my favorites which sees two of the Strawhat Pirates duel (including one of the best scenes in a fight in the entire series). These episodes introduce a lot of new characters, while deepening the characterization of the main cast. We learn a great deal more about both Usopp and Robin’s motivations, which further cement them as key cast members. A new group of villains, CP9, are introduced in these episodes, and they are intriguing and memorable. These episodes kick off an arc that still ranks, in my eyes, as the best in the series thanks to the engaging plotline, significant character development, and interesting abilities of the new characters introduced.
In terms of voice work, both the English and Japanese voice acting is excellent. Funimation assembled a great cast to dub the series, and the actors are very true to the work of their Japanese counterparts. Patrick Seitz and Christopher Corey Smith, the English voice actors for Franky and Spandam, respectively, deserve special mention for excellent performances. My only complaint about the cast involves Colleen Clinkenbeard (who plays Luffy) and Juli Erickson (who voices Granny Kokoro); while both give decent performances, their voice are grating in some scenes, which reduced my enjoyment of the episodes. Still, Clinkenbeard and Erickson are clearly both improving from prior roles I’ve heard them in, and I have faith that the next DVD set will see a better performance from both.
Overall, One Piece Collection 10 is a must-have for series fans. Given that this DVD set includes over twenty episodes, it’s also quite a good deal financially. I’m confident anyone who picks up this collection will enjoy it. Brace yourself, though: One Piece only gets better from here!
-excellent story arc
-strong character work
-great voice acting
-some of the voice actors (both English and Japanese) have grating performances
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