After the long, and very exciting, Alabasta Saga the Straw
Hat Pirates take a bit of a break and have some fun, short adventures
Piece: Season Two, the Seventh Voyage.
It's a nice break from the huge multi-episode story arc that
finished, and this set has some interesting tales that are short and
I'll skip the basic recap, if you're not sure who Luffy and
his companions are, check out my reviews of the earlier sets here.
After freeing the Kingdom
of Alabasta from
Gang, Luffy and the crew of the Going Merry set off to explore more of
Grand Line. The first few episodes are
one-shot stories that flesh out the past of Zoro and Chopper, and
nice story where Sanji comes to the aide of a young cook on a Marine
After that there's a cute three episode tale about an old
man, Zenny, who lives alone on a deserted island with a herd of goats. The man has a weak heart and is dying, but
concocts some medicine that helps. While
the old man is recovering, the Straw Hats discover that Zenny has one
remains unfulfilled: To be a pirate.
The set wraps up with a five-part story about the Rainbow
Mists, a strange phenomenon of the Grand Line, and one that eats ships. It's a good story arc that has a lot of the
elements that make up the best One Piece
tales: an evil mayor, an old man who is
trying to fulfill a promise he made 50 years ago, an odd section of the
and a huge treasure.
While I did miss the epic story that the episodes in the previous
collections were telling, this series of shorter adventures was a very
breather. It was refreshing to take a
break for a while and watch the crew relax and have small scale
One of the best episodes in this collection is the one that
tells a tale from Zoro's past. It takes
place when he was getting a reputation as a good swordsman, but when he
had problems with his technique. He was
so strong that he'd break his swords during combat and needed to
discover a way
a preventing that. After he accidently
out a villain that a pair of bounty hunters had their eyes on, he gives
the unconscious crook as a gesture of good will. The
guy that Zoro captured was way out of
their league, and that shames them into protecting a village from being
plundered, even though the pirate attacking it is way more powerful
are. It was a good story with a lot of
action and a good dollop of humor as and it had an interesting surprise
Though I've enjoyed all of the One
Piece collections so far,
I have to admit that the story gets better as it progresses. The characters become more fleshed out and
there is no shortage of outrageous, hilarious, and just plain weird
that Luffy et al find themselves getting tangled up with.
After the first collection I was wondering
why the show was so popular, especially in Japan, but now I know: it gets better with age.
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 (131-143) 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.
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 show keeps right on truckin'. Even
without the large scale epic adventure
the show is a lot of fun. These shorter stories are a nice break from
season-spanning story that was just wrapped up.
They don't come across as filler at all.