The fourth set of One Piece episodes takes our hero from the jaws of
death (quite literally) to being on his way to the Grand Line.
FUNimation continues to release these wildly amusing and entertaining
shows in nice double disc sets. Though the extras are slim its
the show that brings people back time and time agian and
releasing this show in 14 episode chunks is just the way to go.
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 basically involve Luffy getting his crew
together along with cleaning the floor with a couple of mean pirates
evil naval officer.) The first person he recruits is Zoro (translated
in the manga) a pirate-hunter who wants to become known as the best
in the world. He also manages to convince an attractive thief, Nami, to
his navigator and adds Usopp, a youth who's good with a slingshot (and
tall tales) who has dreams of becoming a great pirate also, too his
crew. Finally there is the cook,
Sanji, who joins
up to look for the legendary All Blue, a body of water where every fish
in any ocean lives.
The collection opens with Luffy and his crew in dire
straights. They are battling the
Fishmen, and things aren't going well.
Zoro is near death and so is Sanji.
Luffy is unconscious and at the bottom of the harbor with his
in cement. The only reason he's alive is
because Nami's sister has stretched his neck so that his head is above
water. With Arlong, the captain and most
powerful of the Fishmen about to attack, things don't look so good.
That is until Luffy revives and frees himself. After
his nap, all bets are off as he's not
about to be defeated until he becomes King of the Pirates!
Next the crew sets out for Logue Town,
the last place to take on supplies before hitting the Grand Line. Not only that, but it's also the place where
Gold Roger, the pirate who collected the One Piece, was both born and
executed. While Sanji looks for food,
Usopp hits the
novelty stores, Nami the fashion boutiques and Zoro looks for a new
sword. Luffy however wants to find the
where Gold Roger was executed so he can see what Roger saw with his
Unfortunately none of the crew realizes that there's been a
bounty of 30 million berries placed on Luffy's head, the largest bounty
newly wanted pirate ever. After all he's
defeated some pretty powerful foes, and the Marines are taking no
chances. So not only does the group have
about the Marines, but some pretty top-notch bounty hunters too. Oh yeah, and Captain Buggy is back, and he's
looking to even the score against the one person who ever beat him: Monkey D. Luffy.
This was another rollicking set. I swear
this show gets better and better the
longer it goes on. The action is
constant and fun, the comedy works well and the characters are getting
out in a nice fashion. The
(and Luffy's powers for that matter) are so over-the-top that it's
impossible not to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Luffy
and his friends walk through a 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
that it has grown to 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 catches on
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 14 episodes (40-53) 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
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.