About This Item

Preview Image for One Piece Collection 9
One Piece Collection 9 (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000167996
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 13/4/2015 18:07
View Changes

Other Reviews, etc
  • Log in to Add Reviews, Videos, Etc
  • Places to Buy

    Searching for products...

    Other Images

    Review for One Piece Collection 9

    7 / 10


    That doesn’t look good. The first episode on disc 1 offers judder, broken line art, aliasing, shimmer, all sorts of weird little artefacts, the like of which I haven’t seen on an anime disc since disc 1 of Naruto Shippuden: Collection 5... Which explains it. That was when Naruto switched to widescreen, and this, One Piece Part 9, is where the adventures of the rubber band pirate also stretch horizontally. For some reason, when it comes to anime episodes, it seems that Madman, who authored these discs; have an issue putting 4:3 and 1.78:1 material on the same disc. The first episode here is 4:3, converted to native PAL from an NTSC source. Thereafter the episodes are in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and it looks as if they’ve been mastered from an HD source. If anyone can stretch to widescreen, it’s Monkey D. Luffy.

    Inline Image

    Monkey D. Luffy wants to be a pirate. No he wants to be the best pirate of them all, sail the Grand Line, find the legendary One Piece treasure left behind by Gold Roger, and become the Pirate King. He’s inspired in this by his mentor, Red-Haired Shanks, who saved his life when he was a child. He also ate the Gum-Gum fruit, a devil fruit which has given him stretchy rubber limbed abilities, although at the cost of his ability to swim. You’d think this would be a fatal handicap in a pirate, but Luffy has set sail nevertheless, looking to gather the best crew on the high seas, and venture forth onto the Grand Line. The first candidates for his crew include the mighty pirate-hunter swordsman, Roronoa Zoro, the skilled, pirate-hating thief Nami, the world’s greatest liar, Usopp, and the toughest chef around, Sanji. He’s later joined by the world’s first and only blue-nosed reindeer doctor, in the form of the fatally cute Tony Tony Chopper as well as the enigmatic and multi tasking Nico Robin.

    Inline Image

    Previously on One Piece, the Skypiea arc had been concluded, with our heroes escaping from that lofty cloud perched land and returning back to the Grand Line, and crashing right into the middle of an arc of filler stretching some eleven episodes. We had ten episodes in Collection 8, but the final episode is presented here, the last 4:3 episode of One Piece before the next season starts and it all goes widescreen. Can Luffy and his crew escape from the Marine fortress? They’ll have to go out the way they came in. It’s a good thing that Luffy’s come up with an ‘octopus in his pants’ plan.

    Inline Image

    The next 24 episodes of One Piece are presented across 4 discs from Manga Entertainment.

    Disc 1
    206. Farewell, Marine Fortress! The Last Battle For Escape!
    207. Great Adventure at Long Ring Long Land!
    208. A Davy Back With the Foxy Pirates!
    209. Round 1! One Lap of the Donut Race!
    210. Silver Fox Foxy! The Merciless Interference!
    211. Round 2! Shoot it into the Groggy Ring!

    Disc 2
    212. A Barrage of Red Cards in Groggy Ring!
    213. Round 3! The Round-and-Round Roller Race!
    214. A Seriously Heated Race! Into the Final Round!
    215. Screaming-Hot Bombardment! Pirate Dodgeball!
    216. Showdown on the Cliff! Red Light, Green Light!
    217. The Captains Square Off! The Final Combat Round!

    Inline Image

    Disc 3
    218. Full-Blast Slow-Slow Onslaught vs. Invulnerable Luffy!
    219. Epic, Heated Combat! The Fateful Final Conclusion!
    220. Was It Lost? Stolen? Who Are You?
    221. A Mysterious Boy with a Horn and Robin’s Deduction!
    222. Now, Let’s Get Back Our Memories! The Pirate Crew Lands on the Island!
    223. Zoro Bares His Fangs! A Savage Animal Stands in the Way!

    Disc 4
    224. The Last Counterattack by the Memory Thief Who Reveals His True Colours!
    225. Proud Man! Silver Fox Foxy!
    226. The Guy Who’s The Closest to Invincible? And the Most Dangerous Man!
    227. Navy Headquarters Admiral Aokiji! The Ferocity of an Ultimate Powerhouse!
    228. Duel Between Rubber and Ice! Luffy vs. Aokiji!
    229. The Dashing Sea Train and the City of Water, Water Seven!

    Inline Image


    Things start off worryingly with the first episode on disc 1, the last to be presented in the 4:3 ratio. While the colours and the animation are still as strong as ever, the coding of the episode on the disc isn’t as hot, with judder afflicting pans and scrolls, strangely broken line art, some aliasing, and generally not looking all that hot. Fortunately things improve from the next episode onwards.

    Inline Image

    Henceforth, One Piece is presented at a 1.78:1 anamorphic ratio, and we get anime of the quality that we’ve come to expect on DVD in this high definition age. It’s a native PAL transfer of course, with 4% speed-up as you would expect. The image is clear throughout, and now obviously comes from an HD source, so improved is the line detail. Colours are strong, the animation is vibrant, and if there is the odd judder to pans (most noticeable in the opening theme song), it’s not detrimental to the viewing experience. There are still moments where the animation really takes a walk on the wild side, bringing to mind the wackiness of Tex Avery cartoons and the like. This is a show where surprise can make people’s eyeballs bug out of their sockets, and their jaws drop to the floor.

    Inline Image


    You have the choice of DD 5.1 Surround English, and DD 2.0 Stereo Japanese, with optional translated subtitles and a signs only track. As usual, I watched the series through in Japanese with subtitles, and found a fairly standard shonen anime dub, with enthusiastic and over the top performances that suit the tone of the show well. The stereo does a good job in conveying the show’s ambience and action sequences. Where One Piece really impresses is in its music score. Far from the comparatively weedy synth efforts afforded to the usual anime shows, One Piece apparently gets a full on orchestral score, at times giving the show an epic and grand soundscape that by far belies its comic book origins. The subtitles are free of error and are accurately timed.

    Inline Image


    The discs present their content with static (widescreen) menus set to the theme song, with jacket pictures to look at when the discs are at rest in compatible players. Funimation took a hiatus of a year between One Piece releases just as they switched to widescreen, and that tells in the ditching of the English version theme songs, and the doubling up of audio commentaries; we now get four instead of two.

    The extras begin on disc 1 with the audio commentary on episode 211. It’s par for the course for a Funimation dub commentary, and features ADR Director Mike McFarland moderating Ian Sinclair (Ito Mimizu), Eric Vale (Sanji), and Christopher Sabat (Zoro).

    Inline Image

    Disc 2’s audio commentary has Mike McFarland again on episode 215, this time with Colleen Clinkenbeard (Luffy), and Tia Ballard (Porche) for another typically disposable commentary.

    You’ll also find the textless credits, two openings and two closings, as well as the English trailer.

    Disc 3 has another listenable audio commentary on episode 218, Mike McFarland again with Colleen Clinkenbeard (Luffy), and Jonathan Brooks (Foxy).

    Disc 4 has the textless credits again.

    It also has an audio commentary from ADR Director Mike McFarland, this time with Sonny Strait (Usopp), and Stephanie Young (Robin).

    Inline Image


    Gum Gum Widescreen!

    We’ve seen this pattern before with canon One Piece. You’ll get two lengthy, dramatic arcs, separated by a short comedy arc. We’ve just finished the Skypiea adventure, which got pretty dark, and heartfelt at times, so Collection 9 is where we take a little break for levity, and a wind-down, give Luffy and his crew something not too strenuous and life threatening to do before things get serious again, or at least as serious as they ever get in this high seas Looney Tunes anime adventure show. Collection 9 complicates matters by throwing in some filler episodes, although this is the unlikeliest looking filler that you might expect.

    Inline Image

    We begin by ending the obvious filler arc, with the last episode of the Marine Fortress adventure, the last ‘square’ episode of One Piece merely tying off that arc with a bow before getting back to the canon storyline, and resuming the comic adventures of Luffy and his crew. Their first stop is on Long Ring Long Land, a visually daft country where everything is stretched, horses look like giraffes, trees stretch into the sky, dachshunds are miles long, and it’s where the crew encounter a strange hermit who’s spent the last several years atop some ridiculously high stilts.

    Inline Image

    This island is actually the venue for the Davy Back Fights, which occur when the Foxy Pirates arrive. Captain Foxy has a vast ship with a massive crew, most of which he’s ‘recruited’ via the Davy Back Fights. It’s a way of recruiting crewmembers which follows the pirate code, and is less bloody than simply shanghaiing. One captain challenges the other, and if challenge is accepted, the two crews play each other at a series of games; the losing side has to forfeit a crew member for each loss. The Foxy Pirates cheat, quite naturally, and Captain Foxy has taken a liking to ship’s surgeon Chopper. Luffy being the kind of guy he is, is always up for a challenge, and quite naturally they get into trouble.

    Inline Image

    It’s here that the first unexpected dose of filler arrives. The creators apparently liked the Foxy Pirates and their potential for comedy so much, that what were in the manga originally three rounds of one battle, here become six rounds of Two Davy Back Fights, adding four episodes to the run in the process. Captain Foxy with his ridiculous laugh and his equally daft crew are probably an acquired taste, but I loved this unconventional character, and his collapsing in the face of criticism, and I laughed out loud more during this arc than I have in any of the previous One Piece arcs. All hail the afro!

    Inline Image

    The filler resumes at episode 220, more recognisable as such with a visit to an island where the crew get their memories stolen, reverting to the people they were prior to joining the Going Merry. It’s actually a very well crafted story, as we get to see just how much these people have changed since joining with Luffy, get some idea of how much they have gained from their association, as well as a nice reminder of the earlier episodes in the show. Of course since we’ve yet to learn about Robin’s past, she’s the one who retains her memories, and it falls to her to try and keep the crew together, now that Zoro can’t stand anyone and just leaves, while Nami regains her hate of pirates, doesn’t trust anyone, and also skedaddles (with the gold). It’s a way of reminding us of who these characters are, and restating the show’s mission statement, in the course of an interesting story. We get a couple more filler episodes with Captain Foxy and his crew, at which point even I thought that he’d outstayed his welcome.

    Inline Image

    An interesting thing is that during these past few episodes and the filler, there are little hints and meaningful moments with Nico Robin, seeing her warm up to the crew and integrate even more, as well as dropping a few subtle hints to her past. You can guess where this is going, as when the main storyline resumes, Nico Robin becomes the focus of attention, when the crew of the Going Merry run into the most powerful slacker Admiral in the Navy, Aokiji, who’d apparently just ridden his bicycle to the next island that they visit. He’s got history with Robin, he’s the one person that we’ve met so far that Robin is terrified of, and he’s surprised that she’s survived and prospered this far. When at a whim, he decides to end that survival, Luffy and the others stand against him, and learn just how outclassed they are against one of the three most powerful men in the Navy. He’s like a T1000 but in ice, and it isn’t long before he’s completely frozen Robin and Luffy, and rendered the others incapacitated. It’s only on his whim, and the fact that Luffy dealt with Crocodile that he changes his mind and decides to spare them.

    Inline Image

    As the collection closes, they arrive at the city of Water Seven, where they hope to recruit the next member of their crew, a shipwright, which is timely as just as the Going Merry docks, it falls apart. It’s just the start of the next storyline, but it seems likely that Robin’s past will play a part, and we’ll finally learn about Luffy’s most enigmatic crewmember.

    Inline Image

    This ninth collection of One Piece is funnier than the show has been in quite some while, but it isn’t long before you begin to sense the weight of filler material, and even if it is a funny diversion, the fact that it is diverting you from the next, major story arc is always apparent. You won’t be disappointed with Collection 9, but you’ll be looking forward to Collection 10 even more.

    Your Opinions and Comments

    Be the first to post a comment!