After some generally light and minor adventures, the Straw
Hat Pirates find themselves in several difficult positions in One Piece Season
Four, Voyage Three. While they have
it to Water Seven to get their ship repaired, the events on the island
lot of internal strife, causing not one, but two members to quit. Add an attack by the local ruffians and a
lynch mob going after the rest of the crew, and Luffy and his mates are
quite a bit of trouble. It's another
exciting and fun installment of One
At the end of the last collection, the Going Merry has
reached Water Seven, an island that is famed throughout the Grand Line
ship repairmen. Luffy, Usopp, and Nami
take the booty that they've acquired along the way to cash it in, and
go in search of someone to repair their ship.
Meanwhile Chopper and Robin scamper off to find a bookstore
sleeps and Sanji looks for some fresh, local produce.
Things go well for Luffy at first. Their
hoard of gold is worth a large fortune,
more than enough to fix a ship, and they make contact with the best
in Water Seven, the Galley La Company.
Things go downhill from there however.
[Spoilers ahead] After taking a
look at the Going Merry, the shipwrights say that they can't fix her: the keel is too heavily damaged and she's
liable to sink at any time. Equally
important, Usopp has a run in with the local toughs, the Franky Family
steal all of the money that they received for their loot.
On top of that, Robin meets a mysterious
person and goes off with him, and the rest of the crew can't find her.
Continuing the downward spiral, Usopp refuses to accept that
the Going Merry is finished. If they're
going to abandon her, he's going to abandon them. He
storms out in a huff and then challenges
Luffy to a fight: the winner gets to
keep the Going Merry.
What's more, the Franky Family is gunning for the Luffy and
his crew; they have quite a bounty on their heads after all. When the mayor of Water Seven is shot in the
back everyone suspects the Straw Hat Pirates too, that's just the sort
a pirate would do, and the entire city is looking for them. Things are looking awfully black for Monkey
D. Luffy in this collection.
This set was a bit darker than the previous couple of
collections, and that's not a bad thing.
The show is still pushing the boundaries, at least a bit, and
of events served to rekindle my interest.
Not that I had ever soured on the show, but I found myself
through this collection with fewer breaks than I had in the recent past
was much more engaged. There were some
plot twists that surprised me a bit, and while it's too soon to say
of the changes will be permanent, it does stir things up a bit.
This set also introduces a lot of new characters, all of
whom are wacky, zany, or just plain hilarious.
The fact that the new people are oddballs won't come as a
long time fans. I especially liked
Franky, a rapping cybrog who gets his energy from beer, and Iceberg,
of Water Seven who acts like a pouty child.
This set contains the next 12 episodes (230-241) 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, 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.
I wish more
anime would offer something like this.
Unfortunately the only other bonus items are clean animations, a
track on an episode, and a series of trailers.
The show gets a bit more serious (as serious as One Piece
ever gets) in this collection and that makes it even more interesting
before. With some nice twists and a
great collection of new, off the wall characters, fans of the show will
pick this up. Highly