Wow, it's been a long wait.
FUNimation released the last collection of new One
Piece episodes over a year ago.
Before that they were churning out sets of new shows every few
I feared that they decided against licensing more episodes. Happily that wasn't the case as One Piece
Season Four Voyage One is now available.
This set finishes off the previous story arc and then sends the
Hat pirates to face another pirate crew in a Davy Back Fight. Just as irreverent and off the wall as ever,
this set was worth the wait.
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.
It was kind of strange, but the last set ended one episode
short of completing a story line. This
collection starts off with Luffy and his crew escaping from an
Marine fortress where they were briefly held.
After that exciting conclusion it is off to the next adventure: Foxy the Silver Fox and the Davy Back
The Straw Hats continue sailing the Grand Line and things
are as strange, and dangerous, as ever.
First they encounter a pirate ship with a horrible crew. The other ship is just drifting aimlessly and
the crew doesn't seem to know what to do.
The Going Merry doesn't have time it investigate however,
giant wave crops up, which destroys the other ship and pushes the Straw
a new island.
On this new land everything is extremely long. The
trees are tall, the animals are long, and
even the fruit are elongated. While
exploring they discover a man on very tall stilts, and of course Luffy
him down. The man is Tonjit, and he's
been stuck on those stilts for years. He
fashioned them himself but once he was up on them, he couldn't get down. Grateful for his rescue, Tonjit explains
about the island they're on, his people, and the local geology.
They don't have long to hang out with Tonjit though, as the
Foxy Pirate crew with their captain Foxy the Silver Fox attack. This large pirate crew isn't into hacking and
slashing and pillaging. Instead of
battling they challenge Luffy to a Davy Back Fight.
It's a series of contests where the two
pirate crews compete... the stakes are pretty high though.
The winner gets to select any member of the
other team and they have to join the opposite crew.
That's what happened to the strange ship the
Going Merry encountered. They lost all of their officers to Foxy.
Dashing where angles fear to tread, Luffy agrees to a three
round match. The first challenge seems
simple enough, a race around the island in boats that the various three
teams make themselves out of barrels.
The race goes well, until the Straw Hats learn that cheating
allowed, it's encouraged.
The second event is a version of soccer, except one of the
players on each team in the ball. The
Davy Back Fight end with the pirate version of roller derby, of all
The appeal of One
Piece is the bizarre, funny, and outlandish situations that the
themselves facing every episode and this set delivers that fully. Starting with the way they escape from the
Marine base to the odd island and the Foxy Crew's insane crew and
powers, this collection will have One
Piece fans on cloud nine.
It should be noted that there is a licensing problem with
the credits on this set. The original
closing credits for episodes 207-230 are not available so others have
substituted. In addition, the opening
and ending songs not dubbed. Honestly,
I'd like to be outraged at this but I'm not.
To start with, the dubbing of the songs is a non-issue for me. I enjoy the original language versions
more. As for the non-original endings, I
usually skip those after watching them once, and while I can see where
would feel cheated, if obtaining the rights would mean raising the
all for substituting something else.
This set contains the next 12 episodes (206-217) 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.
Note: Episodes 207
and up were originally broadcast with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
episodes 207-229 were only
released on DVD with a cropped full frame image. I
assume that Toei only offered FUNimation
the full frame versions. I would have
enjoyed this in widescreen, but since it wasn't released that way in Japan I knew the odds were stacked
getting a US
release with the OAR.
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.
A pirate that can slow down time, an inflatable octopus, giants, pirate
roller derby and a guy who walked on stilts for a decade. What
more could you want? Still as entertaining as ever, this
set is a must-buy. Highly