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One Piece: Collection Eight

FUNimation // Unrated // September 25, 2012
List Price: $34.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted October 19, 2012 | E-mail the Author

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One Piece Collection 4 DVD


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align="center">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
Background of One
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style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">One
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first began as a serialized manga series in 1997. It debuted in Weekly
Shonen Jump
in August 1997.  The Japanese pop-culture
phenomenon was
created by the author and illustrator Eiichiro Oda. The manga has sold
copies than any other manga series ever with over 250 million
having been sold since initial publication. The manga has yet to end
and has
received over 60 published volumes. It has continued to receive
acclaim and enthusiastic recognition from its always-expanding

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
(also) massively popular anime series is still ongoing and has aired
over 500
produced episodes. It is amongst the longest running series of all time
-- in
anime form or otherwise. The show premiered in Japan in October 1999.
In North
America the series was first released by 4Kids Entertainment originally
and was
heavily criticized for having a poor dub and for edits considered as
significant cuts (sometimes entire episodes went missing). Funimation
saved the
show for North America, produced an excellent dub, and has continued to
One Piece in its uncut, original form as it is presented here
and on all
One Piece Collection DVD box-sets.

align="center">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
Series and Characters:
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style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">One
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follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew of pirates. He
is joined
by Roronoa Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Chopper, Nico Robin and Sanji. The
beginning of the series
takes some time to build as the characters are introduced over a nicely
span of episodes and stories. There are some other characters that join
crew over the course of the show, which will be noted in this section
of future
One Piece Collection reviews when the characters are later

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style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
main character is Luffy. As the series begins he is a 17 year old
kid with a heart of gold and a head of emotions. He looks at almost
scenario with total optimism and is unwavering in his belief that
things can
work out in the end. As a young boy he ate a Gum Gum "Devil" Fruit by
accident that gave him special powers. The main power he gained was a
body. He can bend, stretch, and seem rubber-like (he is rubber!)
in a
way that no one else can. Essentially, Luffy is the most flexible
person in the
entire world (at least in terms of the characters introduced
on the show
so far).  Luffy was once saved by the pirate Shanks, who Luffy
seemed to
view as a hero and father figure. Luffy decided then that he is to
become the
"King of the Pirates!" as the legendary Gold Rogers pirate was once
called. It has less to do with stealing treasure or amassing wealth as
it does
with sailing the seas and experiencing the world with friends. Unlike
most of
the pirates depicted on One Piece, there is little doubt that
Luffy has
a pure heart and is not attempting to hurt anyone or gain from the loss
others. Luffy is a character that is unafraid of fighting for what's
right and
this is an endearing quality that has no doubt played a significant
part in his
long-term popularity. He usually thinks with his emotions more than his
brain-power though, and when he does use his brain (i.e. "I have an
IDEA!") catastrophe can sometimes ensue. Some viewers of the series
consider him an idiot (other characters on the show have expressed this
sentiment as well) but he has things in the right place where they
count the
most: heart, spirit, and soul. Luffy is easily one of the most
comical, and fun characters in anime history.

align="center">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Trivia
style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";"> He is
also dubbed
the "Straw Hat" pirate as he always fondly wears an old straw hat
throughout the series. He might also have the largest appetite in any
which is certainly saying something.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Roronoa
Zoro is one of the most physically strong additions to Luffy's crew. He
used to
work as a bounty hunter before he met Luffy. Zoro has magnificent
skills with
swords and he has a dream of becoming the greatest swordsman in the
world. He somewhat reluctantly joined the crew at first but he quickly
a huge asset and friend. One of his sword techniques requires the use
of three
blades: one in each hand and another held using his mouth. While those
don't know him seem to fear Zoro, he is actually a kind of funny guy
who takes
more naps than anyone else in the crew (even when compared to Luffy).
Zoro is
probably the most "kick-ass" type of character within the entire One

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Usopp
is many things to different people. He gained a reputation as being a
"liar", which is true but not exactly telling of his character. Usopp
is a storyteller more than anything else. He seems to encourage
laughter and
happiness in others. It is fascinating to me how he is such a brave and
courageous man at times and also a definite coward when something has
too much
scare-factor for him to face. Most of the time, he pulls through in the
anyway. While some viewers might be inclined to refer to him as a
"comic relief" character, there is a lot of sides to Usopp that make
him stand out. His dream seems to be to become a strong, confident, and
talented sea-adventurer.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Nami
is the Navigator.  She helps to make sure that the crew heads in
the right
direction at all times. She also has a dream (clearly a recurring theme
of the
series with each character) to map out the entire world. Nami is also
known as
a thief because unlike some of the other pirates of the crew she
enjoys finding and taking treasures. Ironically, Nami claims to despise
pirates in the early episodes of One Piece until she officially
Team Luffy. Nami is undoubtedly the smartest member of the entire crew
and she
is able to use her wit and intelligence to help everyone out of some of
strangest and most dire situations on the show.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Sanji
might be the most compassionate of the central characters. He is the
cook for
Luffy's crew and he never hesitates to serve food to those in need of a
Early in his life, Sanji experienced what it was like to suffer from
firsthand and this dramatically impacted his attitude towards others
experiencing hunger. He can seem to be the most level-headed of the
team at
times but then also the most over-tempered as well. If someone rubs
Sanji the
wrong way he never takes the matter too lightly. Besides having the
anger-management issue there is no question that he's a genuinely nice
who receives enjoyment from cooking, flirting with women, and helping
out in a pickle (the pun was absolutely intended). Sanji's goal is to
find the All
, which connects each area of the ocean.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">A
wacky, well-spirited, and adventurous doctor named Tony Tony Chopper
joins the
group during the previous One Piece Collection. Chopper is a
with a blue nose. He ate a Human Human Fruit that gave him the ability
to speak
and act in a human manner. Chopper hasn't been entirely the same ever
since. He
can walk, talk, and act as goofy as all the rest of the merry pirates
on this
show. There are multiple forms that this character can take: the form
of a
normal reindeer, a reindeer with the qualities of a young human boy,
and a
monstrous gigantic reindeer with the power of a body-builder man. This
the character an interesting addition to the series. It
was nice to see his relevance to the crew become a part of the ongoing
Team Luffy needed a doctor and he was a perfect match.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
mysterious and ever-so quiet Nico Robin is also a crew member. She is
perhaps the most
peculiar of all of the additions to the Straw Hat Pirates crew, because
in previous episodes she had seemed to be more of an opposing force to
some degree. Her actions were often very confusing because it is hard
tell if she is with the group primarily for her own (and not entirely
disclosed) reasons or if she is turning a new leaf and wants to be a
part of the positive proceedings accordingly. This makes her character
one that is hard to grasp sometimes but it also makes her a
fascinating addition to the One Piece
group. As we get to know the character a bit better, however, she does
seem to serve as an invaluable asset to the crew and spirit.  Nico
is a archaeologist and she has a wide range of
knowledge about historical events and this gives her a more extensive
understanding of some of the potential pitfalls looming before the
Straw Hat Pirates that can help them during their adventures. Nico also
has some strange powers, indeed, and fans are surely going to continue
to see plenty of her abilities in later episodes. Think of some of the
skills a certain captain named Luffy has but multiple all of that by a
few times at least.  You might get an idea (or at least a hint) of
what one of her own skills is. Absolutely Impressive!

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style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">For
anyone who has experienced the joys of watching One Piece there
is no
question as to why the series has been such a massively huge hit in
Japan and
around the world. It starts with the characters as the most essential
but it extends far beyond that. There are many high quality production
storytelling aspects to this series, all of which helps it to stand out
distinctively from a crowded anime scene.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The art
stands apart all on its own
as one of the best production elements. The character designs are
and memorable: not only for the central leading characters but for the
of the supporting players as well. The unique art style crafted by One

manga artist Eiichiro Oda has been faithfully translated as the main
style of the series. This will no doubt please both longtime fans and
who should be able to easily see the wondrous qualities in
There is a silly and comical tone to the art that ultimately helps to
make it
easier to absorb the many varying aspects of the ongoing story.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
central direction for the entire series is done by K├┤nosuke Uda.
Uda doesn't
have that huge of a list of directorial credits to his name prior to
his work
on One Piece (perhaps his most significant previous directing
job was
for Sailor Moon S - the third and best season). Yet there can
be no
mistaking the massive undertaking and leadership taken on with the One

craftsmanship at his helm. The series has a near perfect blend of
action, comedy, drama, adventure, and more. Oda contributed
significantly to
this success story through having crafted the characters, artwork
styles, and
overall genre styling's with his manga creation but anime general Uda
uses that
magic to craft even more unique magic with this increasingly

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
pacing is surprisingly consistent and enjoyable. The story rarely seems
to have
what usually becomes known as a high episode count of "filler"
episodes typically found in any series that runs as long as this show
has by
this point. While the story occasionally veers towards telling
that might seem designed as filler to some members of the audience
there is
also an undercurrent of smart and finely-tuned scripting that makes it
impossible to not find some new and entertaining aspect during these
Ultimately, the storytelling is so vibrant, full of life, and exciting
most of
the time that it seems illogical to complain about an aspect that isn't
disappointing at all. One Piece has even altered my concept of
the filler
episode by bringing enjoyment to those types of episodes as well.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">There
is a trifecta of One Piece elements that seem worth discussing
The music used on the show is excellent and definitely adds another
layer to
the energy and thrill of each episode. The comedy is jubilant and silly
so that
the primary goal of the storytellers was most likely to bring genuine
smiles to
the audience. Lastly, the themes and message behind the series prove to
meaningful. This trifecta exists because of the occasionally repetitive
of these reoccurring aspects. This comment is not meant as a negative
but is instead primarily an observation. The humor often relies upon a
joke that proved successful in an earlier episode, and while the show
is smart
to continue adding original elements on a frequent basis it seems to
how certain elements can be reused in different circumstances to some
The music draws heavily upon a core group of musical themes that seem
emphasis different emotions that are the focus of a given scene. This
viewers a welcoming blend of familiarity while also establishing some
consistency at the core.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
essential message of One Piece: To follow your dreams. It's the
message a show or film can give towards audiences and it is something
that is
handled with a level of grace that is uncommon. When audiences are also
given a
thematic backdrop which suggests it is important to bring some kindness
others and to remember to keep friends close to the heart it becomes
clear that One Piece is far more than one of the best series on
television: it is a show which wears its beautiful heart directly on
sleeve. One Piece deserves to be seen by anyone in the world
considers themselves an anime fan on any level. It is not to be

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Collection (Set 8, Episodes
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style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">One
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found itself arriving at a bit of
a rut at the end of the last volume and this aspect was still
at the start of this eighth collection. This generally fantastic anime
seemed almost to be running on auto-pilot for several episodes and with
no gas in
the engine. One Piece became
repetitive, almost entirely action-based, and it was going into a
storytelling path that was frustrating for me as a fan of this
comedic, and smart series. What happened to the series and why were the
stalling so much?

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
is that it is probably due to the
manga publication dates because the anime script writers have always
wanted to
emphasize the original storyline as best as possible, without
alienating it and
the fans that cherish reading the manga. I can appreciate that

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Nonetheless,
I wish the anime could sometimes be stalled itself by going on hiatus.
everything One Piece is so popular
that it's doubtful this will ever happen to the anime. Unfortunately,
fans can
pretty much resign themselves to expecting some overlong and
occasionally dull
moments. It's become an aspect of this series that I expect now.

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
great news regarding style="">Collection 8? The
story stalling doesn't last forever.
In fact, storytelling on the series picks up much faster than it took
for the
show to slow-down and become aggravating in the first place. The
Skypiea story
arc is finally concluded. The arc manages to end on an incredible note
that has
plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments which beautifully wrap up this
story arc in
a way that is undeniably satisfying.

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
moments between Luffy and Eneru finally arrive, and with one major
element in
play: Luffy cannot become damaged by Eneru's lightning attacks because,
he's a rubber man.  Rubber is immune to
the effects. This element makes the final battle for Skypiea unfold
even more
intensely. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the story takes a strange
turn away
from the battle and takes us back 400 years to when the great explorer
found the city of gold. I don't know how else to put this, so here goes
comment: these episodes were incredible to behold. I'm not sure what my
expectations were for this storyline prior to it happening. I was
actually surprised
to see the anime even tell this side of the story. Yet it manages to
make the
entire Skypiea arc so much more involving and meaningful. Learning this
backstory was one reason why the prior episodes also seemed to drag on:
there was
a lack of genuine purpose in them. This aspect of the storytelling
rectified, and it makes the final showdown that everyone in the
audience has
been waiting for seem even more ambitious.

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">So
does the final conclusion to the Skypiea arc look like? Imagine Luffy
someone who becomes determined at all costs to ring the legendary
golden bell to
prove to Noland's son the existence of the city in the sky, to set the
straight on the legend of Noland, and to save everyone in Skypiea from
wicked wrath of the self-called "God" Eneru. Imagine Nami, Zorro,
Usopp, and
the rest fighting the good fight with all of their skills to save
everyone in
Skypiea. Truly, the conclusion to the Skypiea arc turned out to be one
of my
favorites and it managed to do so even despite the annoying filler
that preceded it being concluded. Fans are likely to rejoice the last
batch of
Skypiea episodes as these are stellar additions to a series that was
to enter a period of too-many filler episodes: a worthwhile ending

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
of the collection 8 set features the Straw Hat pirates in an
adventurous side-story
with the G-8 arc. These episodes are largely meant a detour from the
long arcs One Piece enjoys to take us on, and it's
good as a change of pace to follow an arc as lengthy and involved as
what was
found on the Skypiea arc with someone that is more focused on these
as a side story that doesn't make us go on as long of a journey.

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">One
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rebounds beautifully with Collection
8 and continues to be one of the few ongoing, long-running series that
to be a classic anime even despite the occasionally overlong arcs and
episodes. The Skypiea arc has a stellar conclusion and the short story
which almost concludes on this set
offers a change-of-pace that was needed. Fans will and should be
prepared to

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style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
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align="center">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Note:style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">One
style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">
arrives on DVD from Funimation in a Collection box-set format that
combines two
of the previously released "Voyage" sets into one. The PQ and AQ are
no different from the earlier releases. Funimation hasn't even altered
the menu
design for these DVD collections.

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Video:style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
picture quality is pretty decent looking for a series that was started
in the
late 1990's. Funimation has done a solid job of representing the series
on DVD.
There is some aliasing and the image is a tad softer than recent
productions on occasion but the series also comes equipped with colors
that pop
and shine beautifully and the image is free from annoying compression
each disc contains no more than seven episodes each.  The
from One Piece are in pretty good shape and the release should
fans looking for decent picture quality. Funimation has released One
the original broadcast aspect ratio of 4:3 full

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Audio:style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The 5.1
Dolby Digital surround sound option for the
language dub is an excellent choice for fans. The surrounds have been
used to create an enveloping experience with good use of sound effects
enough room for the score to add an element of suspense, fun, and
intrigue. The voice cast for the Funimation dub is superb and a huge
up over what 4Kids attempted many years ago. Anyone who
watches One
through these Funimation releases should be able to
appreciate the company's English dubbed

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">In
the original Japanese stereo track the series can also be appreciated
with the
original audio. English subtitles are provided for the
dub.  Either option is worthwhile. I had a slight preference for
the more
robust sounding surround sound choice accompanying the English dub but
options feature clean and easy to understand dialogue.

style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; text-align: center; line-height: normal;"
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style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Extras:style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">The
selection of bonus materials is limited on each Funimation One Piece
Collection DVD release. Funimation included select staff commentary,
, and trailers promoting other anime series released
by the

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Commentarystyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";"> with
staff members
is included on the following episodes of Collection 8

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Episode
193: The Battle Ends! Proud Fantasia Echoes Far!

196: A State of Emergency Is Issued! A Notorious Pirate Ship Has

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style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">

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style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Final

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">One
style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">is
one of the grandest anime adventures.
This series manages to stay around as a fun ride with great characters
and it
does so with epic story-arcs and amusing side-stories. This set
contains a
sampling of both elements with the conclusion of the Skypiea arc and
beginning (and most of) the G-8 side storyline. I loved these episodes,
consider myself to be a huge fan.

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">The
downside to this release is that the set represents the last collection
Funimation for the time being. We are likely over a year away from
seeing any more
collection sets because the Voyage sets are still being released and it
time for the series to be dubbed in English. Still, the wait will be
worth it
if you have been collecting One Piece
Collection sets. These collection releases represent some of the best
value for
your money in the entire anime on DVD market.

style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman","serif";">Newcomers
should start at the beginning, but for those of you who are already
these One Piece sets, you can now enjoy
another must-have DVD release of one of the best anime series around. style=""> 

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">

style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">Highly
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style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt; line-height: normal;">style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Verdana","sans-serif";">

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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