Presenting the middle chunk of a great story, One Piece
Season Two Set Five is a not to be missed collection. Luffy and his crew are trying valiantly to
stop a civil war from erupting, but that's hard to do when the crime
Baroque Works is manipulating events from behind the scenes. This is an epic story that ranks up there
with some of the best Dragon Ball Z adventures.
It's a lot of fun and sure to please anime fans.
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,
him a formidable opponent.
In the first season Luffy set off from his home in an old
barrel and started to gather his crew.
He now has a real ship and the people to man it:
Zoro (translated as Zolo in the manga) a
pirate-hunter who wants to become known as the best swordsman in the
Nami, an attractive thief who acts as navigator and dreams of mapping
the oceans of the world, Sanji, a cook and master kick-boxer who's
desire is to find the All Blue a sea that contains every type of fish
world, and Usopp, a youth who's good with a slingshot (and telling tall
who has dreams of becoming a great pirate also. There's also Vivi, the
Princess of Alabasta and Chopper, a reindeer who has eaten a devil
fruit and is
an excellent doctor. Together they head
to the Grand Line, the most dangerous place on the planet, because
the One Piece is hidden!
If you though the last collection was great (and I did) you
ain't seen nothing yet. The set starts
out with the Straw Hats wandering around in the desert determined to
rebels from taking over the oasis kingdom of Alabasta.
Vivi, the Princess of that country, is
determined to risk her life to save her kingdom. When
she says that's the most she can do it
starts fist fight with Luffy. He
strongly disagrees. She can ask her
friends to put their lives on the line too... after all, that's what
Realizing just how strong her bond with the other Straw Hat
Pirates is, Vivi and the group decide to take the direct approach and
the man behind the rebellion, Crocodile.
This isn't such a good idea as the Baroque Works leader has
their move and set a trap for them, one that captures Luffy and most of
crew in an escape-proof cell.
The set ends just as things are getting really good, with
the rebels attaching the capital city and the Straw Hat crew battling
Works officers in some exciting battles.
This is what good kid-oriented anime is all about.
First and foremost, this story arc is grand
and epic in scale. Luffy and his mates
are fighting over the fate of a nation, with huge armies clashing in
of a desert wasteland that hasn't seen rain in three years. There are kings and princesses and generals
at odds with each other and into this mess walks a raggedy crew of
pirates to make it all right.
This story also has a lot of drama and heart. That's
not something Shonen Jump style shows
really worry about, after all they're aimed at young boys who are more
interested in action than drama, but this show manages to work it in
less, and it's a stronger series because of it.
When Luffy fights Vivi and is actually insulted that she
on him to put his life on the line is one such moment where the drama
situation feels real and palatable.
Another such incident is Karoo's valiant beyond-the-call-of-duty
to get Vivi to the capital city of Alabasta before the reble army, and
events that follow. I'm pretty jaded
when it comes to sappy boy and his dog (or girl and her duck in this
stories, but I have to admit I was rooting for the loyal duck by the
That's not to say this arc has toned down the bizarre and
odd facets that make this show so enjoyable.
It hasn't. In this collection
fans get to see a demonstration of Ballet Kempo by the world's most
master. We also get introduced to the
Spot-Billed Duck Squad (aka the Super Sonic Duck Squadron). Ducks are funny (just look at Donald or
Daffy) but ducks that can run really fast while carrying a rider, and
in outrageous getups are hilarious.
As I mention in every review of this series, this is the
uncut version of the show. Though it is aimed at kids, there is some
People called "ass" and "son of a bitch", but nothing worse
than that. People do get killed too, and when blood is spilled it's
show isn't very bloody though, and I had no problems letting my 6th
This set contains the next 13 episodes (104-116) 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.
Like the other volumes in this series, 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 wish more anime would offer
like this. Unfortunately the only other
bonus items are clean animations and a series of trailers.
This is by far the best collection is this series so far,
and that's saying something since the previous volumes were very good
too. This is an epic adventure series
to be missed. Highly