A new ship, a new crewmate, and a new set of problems are in store for the Straw Hat Pirates in One Piece Season Five Voyage Six. This time the group heads off for the New World, the second half of the Grand Line and a source of even more powerful enemies for the crew to test themselves, but getting there turns out to be a difficult task. This collection has contains the entire Atchino Family story a nice, self contained adventure that is pretty fun and enjoyable.
After escaping from the Marine force that had come to stop them, the Straw Hats decide to sail off to the New World, the second part of the Grand Line. On their new ship the Thousand Sunny, build by their new crewmate and one-time enemy Franky, the group makes good progress until the run across a ship without sails populated by starving sailors. They feed the crew, the remnants of the Phoenix Pirates, and agree to tow their ship to a port.
What Luffy and his crew don't realize is that the Phoenix Pirates are actually working for a group of bounty hunters, the Atchino Family. After their captain was seriously wounded and another member killed, they didn't have any fight left in them and were easy pickings for the bounty-hunting family. The Sunny, herded by fake Marine ships that the Atchino's place on the horizon, ends up in the Northern latitudes and surrounded by ice bergs that seem to be moving of their own accord. Trying to escape from the frozen waters the crew ends up being split, and when the Atchino Family steals their flag (one of the most insulting things you can do to a pirate) it's up to the Straw Hats to get it back before their wayward captain discovers it's missing.
These shorter adventures are a nice break from the long, multi-collection epics, though they aren't quite as satisfying. This one in particular is just okay. The story was fun and the new characters were interesting, but it didn't have that grand feeling that the Ennis Lobby story possessed. After surviving that last adventure, this group of bounty hunters didn't seem like a big challenge for the Straw Hats.
There is one other thing that is a bit bothersome: they are adding to Luffy's abilities. He's pretty darn powerful as it is, so I don't really think it's needed, and it lessen the tension of the show. It used to be I would wonder how Luffy would get out of a situation with his rubber powers, but now I wonder what new ability he's going to come up with. In the previous story it was revealed that he could go to "Level Two" and become even more powerful, and at the climax of this adventure he pulls another new skill out of his hat. It left me wondering "where did THAT come from?" rather than "cool!" I hope they don't keep adding new and more amazing abilities as the show continues to progress.
This set contains the next 12 episodes (325-336) 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.
A new segment is started this time: One Piece in the Booth where we get to see the process that FUNimation goes through to create the dub track. This time we're given a look at what Luci Christian, who plays Nami, does in the recording booth. It's a pretty interesting and informative extra and well worth a watch.
Still outrageous and hilarious, One Piece continues to remain one of the titles that I really look forward to. This adventure, told completely in this set, is fine. It's one of the more average stories, which means it's still pretty good. It gets a very high Recommended rating.