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 directions.
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.