FUNimation continues their release of One
Piece with the
third set of episodes, and even though this collection takes us through
39, we're still not done with the first season.
That's okay, because One Piece
is one of the most popular and longest
running anime series (currently at over 390 episodes.)
This show is an irreverent and fun filled
romp that's sure to please young and old viewers alike.
In this set Luffy finds a cook for his crew,
and meets his first villain from the Grand Line.
When Gold Roger, the King of the Pirates was executed, he
used his last words to tell the world that he had hidden all of his
"You want it, you can have it. Find it! I left everything the world has
offer there!" This started the Great Pirate Era: the seas are filled
men looking for adventure, riches, and most of all Gold Roger's
Of the many looking for the One Piece, few are as unlikely
to find it as Monkey D. Luffy. This young boy has vowed to become King
Pirates, but he doesn't have a ship, or even a crew. He sets off to sea
barrel, and it is only by luck that he's taken aboard a pirate ship.
While Luffy may have none of the skills that a pirate would
need, like how to navigate on water (or dry land for that matter) he
a powerful advantage: he's eaten a Gum-Gum Devil Fruit. This magical
turned his body to rubber. Not only does this make him invulnerable to
and most physical attacks, but he can stretch his arms great lengths
his first as powerful weapons or turn himself into a human slingshot
his body through the air. Along with his unwavering resolve to succeed,
makes him a formidable opponent.
The first sets of shows basically involves Luffy getting his
crew together along with cleaning the floor with a couple of mean
an evil naval officer.) The first person he recruits is Zoro
Zolo in the manga) a pirate-hunter who wants to become known as the
swordsman in the world. He also manages to convince an attractive
to become his navigator, and adds Usopp, a youth who's good with a
(and telling tall tales) who has dreams of becoming a great pirate
The collection opens with Luffy defending the Baratie, a
floating restaurant. Don Krieg, head of
the largest pirate organization in the area has shown up and wants to
restaurant over. Though he's unbelievably
tough, Krieg and his crew were near death after spending just a short
time on the Grand Line, the oceans where the One Piece is likely
home to the most vicious pirates in the world.
Zoro is practically out of it, having met his match and
almost died when he fought Mihawk, the greatest swordsman on the Grand
and Nami ran off with Luffy's ship (and what treasure he had) leaving
rubber boy to take on the most vicious pirate in the area.
After the epic battle, Luffy convinces one of the cooks
aboard the Baratie to join his group.
Together they head off in search of Nami and their boat, though
sure the whole 'stealing of the boat' thing was just a misunderstanding.
Without much trouble they track her down to Cocoyashi Village
on a small island. The island doesn't only
hold a town of
tangerine farmers though, it's also the base of Fishman Pirate Arlong,
from the Grand Line. His crew of half-man, half-fish cutthroats is
powerful and mean. Not only that, but
Nami is working for him! When Zoro shows
up in advance of Luffy she lets him know that everything she told the
man about being his navigator was an act to gain his confidence. Some aren't sure if she's really with Arlong,
but when she stabs Ussop and throws him in the ocean to die it seems
really is on the side of the evil pirate.
Of course Luffy doesn't believe that for a minute.
This was another set of fun and riotous shows. This
anime is based on a long running manga
that appears in Shonen Jump, and as such it's aimed at young boys.
lots of fights and plenty of action. What makes this show better than
other Shonen Jump-based anime is that this one doesn't take itself
all. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Luffy and his friends walk
strange and unusual world that's almost comical. In
the stand alone episode Luffy meets a man
who has been stuck in an empty treasure chest for so long that it has
be a part of him. He lives on an island
with elephant-sized turtles and other odd creatures.
That's not to mention the Baratie, the
fish-shaped floating restaurant, or the pirate Pearl, an effeminate villain who
fire when he gets upset. With strange
and unusual characters, outrageous situations, and a tongue firmly
cheek, One Piece is a great show.
While the show is really entertaining, the animation style
cuts a lot of corners. The show airs for
over 40 weeks a year in Japan,
and creating an animated show that often is grueling.
So a lot of short cuts are taken. It's
not unusual to see the camera panning or
zooming in and out on static images to give the illusion of motion, the
backgrounds (and foregrounds for that matter) are pretty sparse. They also repeat a lot of footage at the
beginning of every episode, with these recaps sometimes taking over 3
minutes. That's a lot especially when
you're watching the shows one after another.
It should also be noted that this is the uncut version of
the show. Though it is aimed at kids, there is some swearing. People
"ass" and "son of a bitch", but nothing worse than that.
People do get killed too, and when blood is spilled it's red. The show
very bloody though, and I had no problems letting my 6th grader watch
This set contains the next 13 episodes (27-39) on two DVDs,
each in its own thinpak case. The two
cases are held in a nice slipcase.
This set offers the original Japanese track in stereo as
well as an English dub in either stereo or 5.1. While the 5.1 dub was
during the battle scenes, I preferred the original language track. The
just seemed to fit characters better and made for a more enjoyable
experience. The English voice actors did do a good job however and
like watching in English shouldn't be disappointed.
The full frame video looked pretty good overall. The colors
were bright and solid and the blacks were nice and inky. The image was
generally sharp too. The only real problem was a more than average
aliasing. Diagonal lines are often jagged and when the camera pans
scene, fine lines tend to shimmer a bit. There's also a bit of cross
colorization, but it wasn't distracting.
I was a little disappointed that the bonus items were so
meager. There's a "Marathon Play" option, which lets you watch the
show without the opening and closing credits, which is really cool. I
anime would offer something like this.
Unfortunately the only other bonus item is a clean opening.
A funny, irreverent, and exciting show, it's great to
finally get to see this program in its uncut form. With a lot of
action, this show never takes itself seriously and that's what makes it
enjoyable. While there aren't many laugh-out-loud sections, the whole
of the show will have you smiling all the way through. Highly Recommended.