After 250 episodes it's expected that a show would get a
little stale and start repeating itself.
That's what makes One Piece so
astounding. Here we are with
FUNimation's release of Season Four Voyage 5 which covers episodes
not only is the program still fun, exciting, and fresh feeling, but
introduce a new character (sort of) who is the most hilarious and
cast member yet, and that's saying something.
I've gone into the last few collections worrying that the show
the shark, but it's still going strong and now I'm starting to wonder
The collection starts off with the Straw Hat Pirates in a
pretty dire situation. Their ship, the
Going Merry, has been damaged so badly that it can't be fixed, and
Usopp was so
upset at the news that he left the team.
Meanwhile Nico Robin, who has a hefty price on her head, has
government agency CP9 and with them attacked the mayor of Water Seven. She (along with a captured Usopp) have just
left the island on the Sea Train, moments before Nami arrived hoping to
them. And on top of all that a terrific
storm is heading their way, Zoro is stuck in a chimney and Luffy is
a tight space between two buildings.
As this set opens, it's revealed that Nico left the Straw
Hats not to betray them, but to save them. CP9 was threatening to kill
if she didn't join their ranks, and she was willing to give her life to
out her friends. Of course, once Luffy
hears that he's not going to let anything stop him from rescuing Nico,
storm or not. He acquires some
unexpected transportation, the aid of Frankie's gang, and head off
Meanwhile on the train Sanji has stowed aboard and is trying
to rescue Nico himself, even though he has to face an incredibly
Marine that's been stationed in each car.
One Piece has
always been known for wild and outrageous characters and this set has
notable ones. The award for most bizarre
power in the series (so far) goes to Wanze and his Ramen Kempo. This chef has the odd (and rather disgusting)
ability to fill his mouth with flour and extrude Ramen noodles from his
which he uses either in the preparation of food or as a weapon. Of course his fight with the chef Sanji is
funny and entertaining.
This collection also sees the introduction of Sogeking
(translated as Sniper King in the dub).
He quickly shot up to the top of my "favorite One Piece
list. When Sanji rescues Usopp and asks
for his help in freeing Nico, the sling shot wielding pirate turns him
down. Usopp left the Straw Hats and his
pride won't let him rejoin them. He
walks away, and then the long-nosed, masked, Sniper King enters soon
singing his theme song. The song, told
with a montage that looks like the opening to an action TV show, tells
comes from far away Sniper
Island, and that's
all. Of course, no one is fooled, but
Usopp goes through the motions of being a superhero with an intensity
makes the character hilarious.
Surprisingly, the show hasn't lost any of its charm.
The characters are great, the plots are
oddball but fun, and the show still has that slightly off skew outlook
makes it both hilarious and entertaining.
I can't wait to see what's next.
This set contains the next 11 episodes (253-263) 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.
As with the other volumes, there's a "Marathon
Play" option, which lets you watch the show without the opening and
closing credits. That's really cool and
something that all shows should offer.
There are commentary tracks to two episodes, but they don't
excite me. There is, however, a pair of
extras that I did enjoy: interviews with
the voice actors. These segments, going
under the title On the Boat, had some solid information about the
how they see their roles, and they were interesting.
This time around we're treated to talks with Christopher
R. Sabat (Zoro) and Colleen Clinkenbeard (none other then Monkey D.
Luffy). They're hosted by ADR Director
and he asks them about the auditioning process, their favorite moments,
they think their character has changed over the course of the show. They're interesting and worth watching. There are also clean animations and a series
I'm surprised that I'm having just as much fun watching this
show now as when it first started, but that's definitely the case. The program is just as hilarious,
entertaining, and bizarre as when we first met Monkey D. Luffy. If you've been watching this show, you'll
want to pick up this collection too. Highly Recommended.