It’s no secret that One Piece Collection 13 has seen a number of delays this past year that have left fans waiting for this instalment; the previous collection was released back in December 2015. Thankfully, this instalment features some of the best story-lines and action of the series thus far and the conclusion to the Water 7 arc. Manga Entertainment also looks set to bring more One Piece to fans sooner rather than later with Collection 14 currently set for a November release.
We’re in the final stages of the Water 7 story arc and everything is coming to a head, Monkey D. Luffy is locked in a gruelling battle against his toughest opponent yet – CP9’s Rob Lucci. The rest of the Straw Hats are in a race against time-fighting separate, but equally impressive, battles across Enies Lobby in the hopes of rescuing Nico Robin who is being led to her doom by Spandem. This epic conclusion to one of the series’ best story arcs features some of the best action seen in the series thus far. Luffy’s showdown with the Devil-Fruit user Rob Lucci has always been a personal favourite of mine and to see it animated was a pure joy. Fans of Usopp will definitely find something to like in this set as he probably goes through the biggest transformation in terms of maturing and growth.
I won’t go into any more details regarding the story as I feel this should be seen with fresh eyes and if you have happened to read this far in the manga then sit back and enjoy this awesome conclusion in all its animated glory. The amount of character growth and development within this collection is fantastic and I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release for some time. We also see the addition of two new Straw Hat members, as well as the loss of one which, come the end, will have you overcome with emotion just as the Straw Hats no doubt are. While this collection does feature very minimal filler, those episodes that are included are inserted in random places and interrupt the flow of the main story. That aside, this release was really enjoyable to watch and I can’t wait for the next collection and the start of an even bigger story arc.
Visually the series continues to impress at this point despite being a DVD-only release. There are some poor uses of CGI when it comes to the ships but it’s a minor issue overall. There are also instances of different spelling used for Gol D. Roger, sometimes incorrectly written as Gold Roger, in the subtitles. If you’ve been watching One Piece up to this point then you’ll no doubt know which audio track you prefer by now. If you do happen to be jumping in at this point (I don’t know why you would) then either track will serve you well. I honestly prefer the Japanese but the English dub has really been coming into its own as of late.
Extras on-disc include textless opening animations, a selection of episode commentaries, and “One Piece In The Booth” interviews with English-dub voice actress’ Brina Palencia (Chopper) and Colleen Clinkenbeard (Luffy). The “One Piece In The Booth” interviews provide a great and rare look behind the scenes on anime dubbing and are a recommended watch whether you like the English dub or not.
Taking place during one of the most exciting and interesting story arcs of the long-running One Piece franchise Collection 13 includes some of the best action and memorable battle of the series thus far. A really enjoyable watch for the majority and finishes off the Water 7 arc with a flourish and I can't wait to begin the next arc.