FUNimation keeps chugging away with their One Piece
collections. The latest release, Season
Four, Voyage Two, has a lot going on: The conclusion of one adventure,
mini-sagas in their entirety, and the very start of the next big
storyline. The show hasn't lost any
of its energy or
wacky sense of humor even though the set takes us up to episode 229.
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.
When we last left Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates,
Luffy was battling Foxy, the Silver Fox aboard the other pirate's ship
Davy Back Fight. This form of battle
involves wagering crew members and Luffy has already lost Chopper and
he goes all-in and wagers the rest of his crew against Foxy's. Being a habitual cheater however, the pirate
with slow-slow powers has no intention of loosing, no matter. Okay, so on one watching really thinks Luffy
is going to lose his entire crew, but what is he going to do if he wins
hundreds of pirates?
After that story is wrapped up the Going Merry follows
Nami's log pose to the next island in the Grand Line.
They arrive at night and decide to spend the
evening on the ship and explore the island in the morning, but
strange happens. While Robin stays up
all night reading, the others wake up in the morning without any
memories. The last things that they
years ago, before they joined the Straw Hats.
They have no idea where they are, why they're on a ship, or even
other members of the team are. To make
matters worse, Nami and Zorro decide to go solo and head for the island. How can they get their memories back when
they don't even know that they're missing?
The next mini-saga has the return of a recent foe,
Foxy. He's upset at what happened during
his last run in with Luffy and has vowed revenge. But
first he needs the Straw Hat's help in
getting his ship back!
If that's not enough, the final episode in the collection
starts off the next arc, the journey to the island Water 7 and their
someone who can repair the Going Merry, who is a little worse for wear.
This collection was really good. While
it's nice to be immersed in the grand
stories that last for tens of episodes, these short and sweet tales are
viewers a nice break. The crew has an
adventure, bests a baddie, and then moves on.
It gets the show chugging along and presents more of Luffy's
which is always nice.
The show hasn't lost any of its outrageous humor, wacky
action, or off-the-wall creativity.
There are a lot of interesting characters introduced in this
including an incredibly laid back, some would say lazy, guy who has
devil fruit. He's not the easy target
that the crew thinks though. It turns
out he's one of the Marine's strongest fighters: Marine
High Admiral Aokiji.
This set contains the next 11 episodes (218-229) 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, that the bonus items
were meager. There's a "Marathon Play" option, which lets you watch
the show without the opening and closing credits, which is really cool.
more anime would offer something like this.
Unfortunately the only other bonus items are clean animations, a
commentary track on an episode, and a series of trailers.
This show is still firing on all cylinders. Creative,
silly, exciting, and just plain
fun, fans of the rubber boy Monkey D. Luffy will have a great time with
set. Highly Recommended.