Header Ads

One Piece Collection 19 [Episodes 446-468)

While split off from the rest of his crew, Straw Hat Luffy has managed to successfully break into the high-security Navy Prison Impel Down. When it turned out his brother Ace was no longer inside, he sets out to break again. With the Navy's toughest prison guards in his way, even with the help of new allies, it's not going to be easy.

One Piece Collection 19 contains Episodes 446- 468 of the series. These episodes were originally aired in Japan and streamed online between April and September of 2010.

This collection opens with the conclusion of the Impel Down prison-break storyline. While this arc has been a bit lacking overall, it's certainly had its moments- particularly bringing Bon Clay, Buggy The Clown and other long-MIA characters back into play.  It also goes out on something of a high, when the arrival of Blackbeard leads to some pretty spectacular action. The unexpected friendship that developed between  "Staw-boy"Luffy and Clay also pays off with an emotionally effective ending.

Later, as Luffy heads off to Marineford to try and stop Ace's execution,  we take a break to catch up with the rest of his scattered crew.  These episodes each follow one of the crew-members for around half an episode. The quality here is mixed, ranging from the entertaining (In the case of Zoro and Usopp's adventures) to the almost painful (Sanji's story is mean-spirited and misjudged). Still, if you've been wanting to check in with the rest of the crew, it does the job.

The volume takes a definite uptake in quality for its final third. Switching location to the Navy headquarters and the site of Ace's imminent execution things begin to feel instantly more dramatic. There's a sense of gravity to events here that's been sorely missing from other recent arcs. Through some effective use of flashbacks (a favourite technique of One Piece), it really adds both depth and emotional weight to the story.  Luffy and Ace's brotherly bond at the very heart of the action.

There's shocking revelations, unexpected twists and no shortage of spectacular set-pieces ensure that the next arc is off to a very strong start indeed. In fact, this is the most fun that the show has been since around the Thriller Bark arc.

Overall the volume turns out to be a mixed bag. In some ways, it contains One Piece at both its best and its worst. But even at its worst, One Piece is never dull.  This volume spends quite a bit of time treading water but when it hits its stride- it really takes off. With the situation threatening to spill out into all-out war between Pirates and the Marines, the scene is set for one of One Piece's most epic sagas yet.


IN A NUTSHELL:  One of One Piece's weaker arcs segways into one of its most thrilling so far.