We reach, and pass, the three hundredth episode on One Piece with Season Five Voyage Four from
FUNimation! That's surpassing the number of episodes in Dragon Ball Z (if you don't count Dragon Ball) and honestly I'm more
than a little surprised that I haven't grown tired of the series by
now. It's still a wild and exciting show and I just love binge watching
each set as soon as I receive it. There's a lot going on in this
collection too: the Enies Lobby story wraps up, we discover if the
Straw Hats are able so save Robin, an unexpected character shows up,
and an important member of the Straw Hats meets their fate. It's
another winning set of shows.
At the end of the last Voyage, Robin
was about to be dragged through the Gates of Justice (from which there
is no return) by the evil Spandam, the Straw Hats were racing to free
her, and a Buster Call had been issued so the World Government's Navy
was about to destroy the island of Enies Lobby. Things looked pretty
dire for both the Straw Hat Pirates and the gang from Water 7, and
they're going to get worse.
This collection is filled with battles. Luffy continues his fight with
Lucci, the most powerful member of CP9. Luffy doesn't really stand a
chance when Lucci transforms into his animal form, but the rubber boy
has a trick or two up his sleeve that evens the odds a bit. But he's
still facing a powerful foe that shows no signs of giving up.
Meanwhile the men from Water 7, Frankie's gang and the Galley-La
workers, are trying to escape the Enies Lobby before their killed by
the Navy. They make it to the rim, only to discover that the Marines
are already there, and the Buster Call begins.
The rest of the Straw hats have it tough too. They're in an underground
passage, trying to get to Robin, but when Lucci floods the tunnels they
find themselves trapped with water rushing towards them from both
The Straw Hats are at their best when they're back into a corner, and
that's exactly what happens over and over again in this collection. It
makes for some exciting viewing, especially with some of the more
supporting characters. Frankie plays an important role this time, but I
was even more enamored of Ussop's acts in this set.
This story is wrapped up nicely with some nice twists that I didn't see
coming, and what Nico does at the end would have never been allowed to
happen if the show was made in the US. The ending is a bit of a
tear-jerker, which I wasn't expecting, but that's what makes the series
so immensely enjoyable... you never know what's going to happen next.
This set contains the next 13 episodes (300-312) 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. For
the On the Boat segment this time we're given a repeat for some reason.
The same segment with Brina Palencia (Chopper) that was included on Season Four Voyage Four is found
on this set too.
It's another wild, exciting, and altogether fun collection from one of
the most outrageous and enjoyable anime series ever created. With over
300 episodes under its belt, this anime shows no sign of slowing down. Highly Recommended.