Monkey D. Luffy and his band of Straw Hat Pirates face off against CP-9
in order to save one of their own in One
Piece: Season Five, Voyage Three. It's another wild, exciting,
and altogether fun collection from one of the most outrageous and
enjoyable anime series ever created. If you haven't been bitten by the
One Piece bug, stop reading and go buy the first collection.
It's a race against time in this collection. Spandam has manacled Nico
Robin with a pair of handcuffs that are hard as diamond, and also
suppress Devil Fruit Power. The only way to free her is with the key,
and each members of CP-9 has one, but which one will fit Robin's cuffs?
The only way to find out is to defeat all of the powerful government
assassins and try all of the keys. The Straw Hats only have a little
bit of time however, as Spandam is taking Robin to the Gate of Justice,
and once past the gate there's no hope of them every getting her back.
To make matters worse, two members of CP-9 have just eaten devil fruit
and now have new, extraordinary powers. The Straw Hats weren't able to
defeat them on Water 7, so going up against them was a dicey
proposition, even before two gained new abilities. Now it seems nearly
On top of all that, Spandam, who isn't too bright, accidently makes
Robin's worst fear come true: he orders a Buster Call to the Navy,
signaling them to surround Enies Lobby and totally destroy it. Even if
they can save Robin before she gets to the gates, how will they ever
escape the island when it's being bombarded by Navy ships?
In addition to the regular story line, this collection includes a pair
of holiday episodes that take place outside the regular One Piece continuity in a world
very similar to Japan during the Edo Period. In these two shows Nami
owns a restaurant where the lazy yet always hungry Luffy sponges meals.
He gets into trouble when he stops Buggy and his crew from extorting
money from an old man and so they hatch a plan with a local official to
get Luffy arrested. The second show, a New Year's program, involves
Buggy's crew trying to steal rice caked that the King is going to
distribute to the populace. One of which contains a valuable gem.
This was another fun set of shows, though I didn't really care for the
back-to-back Christmas and New Year's programs. They were just okay,
and they were inserted in the middle of the Enies Lobby story, which
ground to a halt. It's not nearly as bad as the five recap shows from
the last collection, so I shouldn't really complain.
The show still has a lot of creativity left in it, as illustrated by
the new Devil Fruit powers that are displayed for the first time. One
is a bit unusual and odd, and the second is so silly that it's funny.
When Kaku displays his new powers (which I won't reveal here... that
would spoil the surprise) it's pretty funny. Zoro and Sogeking can't
fight because they're laughing so hard. The best part however is Kaku's
teammate Jyabura's reaction. Classic. The Enies Lobby story doesn't
wrap up in this collection, but a lot happens in any case. This is
another very fun set of shows, so it's well worth picking up.
This set contains the next 12 episodes (288-299) 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 nice during
the battle scenes, I preferred the original language track. The voices
just seemed to fit characters better and made for a more enjoyable
viewing experience. The English voice actors did do a good job however
and people who 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 amount of
aliasing. Diagonal lines are often jagged and when the camera pans
across a 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 really 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 actors and how they see their
roles, and they were interesting. This time around we're treated to
talks with Jonathon Brooks (Foxy) and Jason Liebrecht (Rob Lucci and
his bird Hattori). The roughly 15 minute talks are hosted by ADR
Director Mike McFarland H e asks the actors about the auditioning
process, their favorite moments, and how they think their character has
changed over the course of the show. These are an interesting look
behind the scenes and I've really been enjoying them.
After nearly 300 episodes, One Piece
is still going strong. A fun and exciting collection, fans should run
out and get a copy. Highly Recommended.