“Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” – Frank “Kin” Hubbard.
Moving into three figures, this fifth collection of One Piece covers episodes 104-130, the conclusion of the Baroque Works storyline, and ultimately a major development in the story and cast.
So far, the Straw Hat Pirates, accompanying Princess Vivi of the desert kingdom of Alabasta, are trying to prevent the head of Baroque Works, Crocodile, from taking over the land. Having stopped the rain for three years, Crocodile is confident he will win as he’s been pulling the strings to start a civil war. However Luffy, Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Sanji and Chopper are determined to bring him down and return both peace and rain to the kingdom. There are two main arcs which tell this final section of the story. The Straw Hat Pirates turn up at Crocodile’s base in “Rainbase”, before crossing the desert in a final attempt to stop the civil war in the capital Alubarna.
There are several plus points to this collection, one being that the battles are entertaining: not just the overall fighting that is going on, but the individual battles between Straw Hat Pirates and Baroque Works members. For example, Zoro battles a man who is able to turn his body into steel. In another Nami battles a spike-producing woman with a new weapon designed by Usopp which allows her to control the weather. Then there are the many fights between Luffy and Crocodile.
Admittedly there are some issues. For example, one of the central stories involves Crocodile planning to destroy the capital Alubarna within thirty minutes. However, these thirty minutes are spread over at least five episodes, which must make it the longest half-hour in fiction.
Overall, the good points outweigh the bad ones. This collection also has other merits. For example there is relatively little in the way of filler. However, perhaps the best thing is that at the end we find out the identity of the seventh Straw Hat Pirate. However, if you are new to series and are looking to avoid major spoilers, it must be pointed out that the identity of this new crewmember is given away in the opening titles as of the third disc in this collection, so you are advised to skip the titles if you do not want to find out until the end. Even then the title of the last episode also gives it away.
Regarding extras, there are textless opening and closing songs and episode commentaries.
This collection is entertaining overall and should not disappoint, depending on how you watch it.