Anime Review: One Piece Collection 16 (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 01.04.2017

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One Piece Collection 16 (UK Rating: 12)

When last leaving the Strawhat crew, the superb Thriller Bark arc had built up to a fantastic finale, with each of Shichibukai Gekko Moriah's crew facing off against each of Luffy's, not to mention the gargantuan threat looming of Oars and Moriah himself. Now the battle of Thriller Park reaches its stunning finale and there are some short new adventures before the next big story of Sabaody Archipelago begins. This latest collection comes courtesy of Manga Entertainment and is out now.

The previous collection brought the story of Thriller Bark right up to the climax of its story, and within the first few episodes in this collection the story has reached its end. When the dust settles at Thriller Bark, though, a brutal reminder that its captain Gekko Moriah is one of the Shichibukai appears. The World Government protects its own, and with the Strawhats already pushed to breaking point, they would have little chance of putting up a fight against a tyrant.

Thriller Bark was a fantastic arc in the grand overall story of One Piece. The macabre style of monsters and zombies made for a fantastic backdrop to this story. It also gave numerous members of the crew opportunities to shine in their own character developments. Chopper standing up to Hogback on the nature of being a doctor, Usopp again showing off his manly side by showing he had the ability to face off against a powerful negative enemy that no other could stand against, Zoro racking up yet more of the most bad-ass moments in the series history and, of course, a new Nakama to join the crew. Brook is a great character that ticks all the boxes on the list of joining the crew with a tragic back-story, a big goal to accomplish and an instant thumbs-up from Luffy. He fits into many roles alongside the crew, too; he's extra comic relief with his constant skeleton puns and jokes, another naughty chap to join Sanji with harassing the ladies, he's powerful enough to stand up for himself and, of course, the crew have now finally got their musician, able to raise the spirits of them all as he belts out Binks' Sake. ~Yo-ho ho ho, yo-ho ho ho!~

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After Thriller Bark, the next step for the Straw Hats was meant to be Fishman Island, but there are a few delays along the way. The next arc in line is Sabaody Archipelago, another amazing arc, full of world building and tons of new character introductions, but this collection first has a few… *sigh*…filler episodes… To be fair, though, they aren't the worst filler out there and only consist of three episodes. Two of these see Luffy and crew visiting the special Spa Island resort and going head to head once again with the Team Rocket-esque Silver Fox Foxy Pirates, protecting a pair of sisters from some evildoers who want their father's research. Sure, the episodes are silly and light-hearted but they are enjoyable enough and fit with the overall story. They also don't outstay their welcome. The third filler episode is used to show how Brook is trying to fit in among his new crew. It's a charming little episode that gives a glimpse into the bonds between the crew, and has some great moments showing how Robin went through the same thing.

The extra features included with this release consist of two episodes with commentary tracks - the first with a pair of lovely ladies, the voice actors of Robin and Luffy, who talk all about their recent experience having babies, and the second with the voice actors of Sanji and Zoro, who talk total nonsense - for those who enjoy such things. There's also a feature called "In the Galley with the Straw Hats" where the voice actors answer questions, along with the usual clean opening.

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
A fantastic conclusion to a superb arc here in One Piece Collection 16, once again showing why One Piece is the (Pirate) King of Shonen and will continue to be for many, many years to come. You know a show is good when even the fillers are enjoyable! Thankfully, there's not a lot of filler here, either, so with the next collection it will be a case of diving straight into one of the most important arcs in all of the series. Look out for some big Pirate introductions in Collection 17!

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