One Piece Movie Collection 1 Review

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Manga and anime have been rapidly gaining popularity in the west with lead titles such as Naruto, Bleach and One Piece. The franchises themselves fall under the Shonen demographic, and at one point were the highest selling manga in Japan. That isn’t necessarily the case anymore, however one strange occurrence is that One Piece had barely been licensed in the United Kingdom, with the box sets only becoming available recently. To overcome that Manga UK have released a box set containing three of the first One Piece movies, with another set to be released in September.

For anyone new to One Piece, the series begins at the execution of famed pirate Gol D. Roger (also dubbed Kaizoku-Ō – The Pirate King). Before he is killed he announces, “My fortune is yours for the taking, but you have to find it first! I left everything I own in One Piece.” This sends pirates in a frenzy looking for the famed treasure known as the One Piece, with the series following Monkey Luffy and his journey to become the Pirate King. Along the way we see his development and new members join to his crew as the world of One Piece begins to unravel.

The One Piece Movie Collection 1 contains three movies that include One Piece: The Movie, Adventure of Spiral Island and Chopper’s Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals. Out of the twelve One Piece films, these ones are not considered to be canon, however they are interesting stories within themselves.

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One Piece: The Movie concerns the treasure of the Great Gold Pirate Woonan who managed to amass 1/3 of the world’s gold. An evil pirate by the name of El Drago is intent on finding the gold, and the Straw Hat pirates must find a way to stop him from obtaining it whilst being split up. Now this movie in particular was different for me, because as much as I am very familiar with the One Piece canon universe, I have never ventured into the movies (apart from One Piece: Film Z, which was significantly longer). The characters that were on the Straw Hat crew included Luffy, Nami, Zoro and Usopp, which led me to believe that the movie was set before their fifth crew member joined. It was a fun One Piece movie that felt like a filler; it wasn’t too bad and nice to watch. The characters were interesting, the humour was great and the music was very familiar, which was a good thing.

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One Piece: Adventure of Spiral Island is set before Chopper joins the crew. The Straw Hats encounter a pair of siblings named The Thief Brothers, whose goal is to steal the Diamond Clock from Clockwork Island. They also tell the Straw Hats their belongings and ship were stolen by a group of criminals called the Trump Siblings, who have made their stronghold on Clockwork Island. The Trump Siblings consequently kidnap Nami, so the Straw Hat crew go on a mission to retrieve their belongings and crew member back. Yet again this  felt like your typical One Piece filler episode, with a bit from the Straw Hats, something going awry, and so forth. However it does build upon the first movie by adding Sanji, who does have a hilarious personality. The movie focuses more on the Thief Brothers, but it’s not something that fans of One Piece would particularly want, or outsiders would particularly expect. The storyline is an improvement over the first, but it is easily forgettable.

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One Piece: Chopper’s Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals begins when the Straw Hats arrive on Crown Island. Legend has it that the island has immense treasure. During the travel, as per usual, a member is separated from the crew, and this happens to be Chopper. Chopper is found by a young boy, and then hailed as the Animal King of the Island. However unbeknownst to him the great treasure of the island is great power which is said to lie within the horns of the Animal King. So trouble erupts when people want to get the supposed power from Chopper’s horns. This film was a vast improvement over the other two, because the main focus was an actual Straw Hat member. It had the same great humour and music, yet even though it was technically filler, I actually thoroughly enjoyed it.

This box set is an interesting one, because if you’ve never seen the movies it’s great for quick access. If you have never really seen the series, it’s good for getting a feel of how the series would be. However it does feel like the writing quality of these movies aren’t up to scratch when you compare them to the canon material. Yet as they make more movies, they do get progressively better.

One important factor when it comes to these movies is the animation. It may not seem like it now, with the films having originally been released over a decade ago, but the animation is vastly superior to the television show due to the increased budget, which I quite liked.

Overall the box set has a collection of films that could be forgettable, but as one shots they do make for good films.

One Piece Movie Collection 1 is available to buy now on Amazon.

 

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