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One Piece: Season One, Third Voyage

FUNimation // Unrated // January 20, 2009
List Price: $49.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted March 10, 2009 | E-mail the Author
The Series:


 


FUNimation continues their release of One
Piece
with the
third set of episodes, and even though this collection takes us through
episode
39, we're still not done with the first season. 
That's okay, because One Piece
is one of the most popular and longest
running anime series (currently at over 390 episodes.) 
This show is an irreverent and fun filled
romp that's sure to please young and old viewers alike. 
In this set Luffy finds a cook for his crew,
and meets his first villain from the Grand Line.


 


Series background:


 


When Gold Roger, the King of the Pirates was executed, he
used his last words to tell the world that he had hidden all of his
treasure:
"You want it, you can have it. Find it! I left everything the world has
to
offer there!" This started the Great Pirate Era: the seas are filled
with
men looking for adventure, riches, and most of all Gold Roger's
treasure: the
One Piece.


 


Of the many looking for the One Piece, few are as unlikely
to find it as Monkey D. Luffy. This young boy has vowed to become King
of the
Pirates, but he doesn't have a ship, or even a crew. He sets off to sea
in a
barrel, and it is only by luck that he's taken aboard a pirate ship.


 


While Luffy may have none of the skills that a pirate would
need, like how to navigate on water (or dry land for that matter) he
does have
a powerful advantage: he's eaten a Gum-Gum Devil Fruit. This magical
object has
turned his body to rubber. Not only does this make him invulnerable to
bullets
and most physical attacks, but he can stretch his arms great lengths
and use
his first as powerful weapons or turn himself into a human slingshot
and launch
his body through the air. Along with his unwavering resolve to succeed,
this
makes him a formidable opponent.


 


The first sets of shows basically involves Luffy getting his
crew together along with cleaning the floor with a couple of mean
pirates (and
an evil naval officer.) The first person he recruits is Zoro
(translated as
Zolo in the manga) a pirate-hunter who wants to become known as the
best
swordsman in the world. He also manages to convince an attractive
thief, Nami,
to become his navigator, and adds Usopp, a youth who's good with a
slingshot
(and telling tall tales) who has dreams of becoming a great pirate
also, too
his crew. 


 


This set:


 


The collection opens with Luffy defending the Baratie, a
floating restaurant.  Don Krieg, head of
the largest pirate organization in the area has shown up and wants to
take the
restaurant over.  Though he's unbelievably
tough, Krieg and his crew were near death after spending just a short
amount of
time on the Grand Line, the oceans where the One Piece is likely
located and
home to the most vicious pirates in the world.


 


Zoro is practically out of it, having met his match and
almost died when he fought Mihawk, the greatest swordsman on the Grand
Line,
and Nami ran off with Luffy's ship (and what treasure he had) leaving
just the
rubber boy to take on the most vicious pirate in the area. 


 


After the epic battle, Luffy convinces one of the cooks
aboard the Baratie to join his group. 
Together they head off in search of Nami and their boat, though
Luffy's
sure the whole 'stealing of the boat' thing was just a misunderstanding.


 


Without much trouble they track her down to w:st="on">Cocoyashi Village
on a small island.  The island doesn't only
hold a town of
tangerine farmers though, it's also the base of Fishman Pirate Arlong,
a pirate
from the Grand Line. His crew of half-man, half-fish cutthroats is
incredibly
powerful and mean.  Not only that, but
Nami is working for him!  When Zoro shows
up in advance of Luffy she lets him know that everything she told the
rubber
man about being his navigator was an act to gain his confidence.style=""> 
Some aren't sure if she's really with Arlong,
but when she stabs Ussop and throws him in the ocean to die it seems
like she
really is on the side of the evil pirate. 
Of course Luffy doesn't believe that for a minute.

 


This was another set of fun and riotous shows.  This
anime is based on a long running manga
that appears in Shonen Jump, and as such it's aimed at young boys.
There are
lots of fights and plenty of action. What makes this show better than
several
other Shonen Jump-based anime is that this one doesn't take itself
seriously at
all. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Luffy and his friends walk
through a
strange and unusual world that's almost comical.  In
the stand alone episode Luffy meets a man
who has been stuck in an empty treasure chest for so long that it has
grown to
be a part of him.  He lives on an island
with elephant-sized turtles and other odd creatures. 
That's not to mention the Baratie, the
fish-shaped floating restaurant, or the pirate w:st="on">Pearl, an effeminate villain who
catches on
fire when he gets upset.  With strange
and unusual characters, outrageous situations, and a tongue firmly
planted in
cheek, One Piece is a great show.


 


While the show is really entertaining, the animation style
cuts a lot of corners.  The show airs for
over 40 weeks a year in w:st="on">Japan,
and creating an animated show that often is grueling. 
So a lot of short cuts are taken.  It's
not unusual to see the camera panning or
zooming in and out on static images to give the illusion of motion, the
backgrounds (and foregrounds for that matter) are pretty sparse.style="">  They also repeat a lot of footage at the
beginning of every episode, with these recaps sometimes taking over 3
minutes.  That's a lot especially when
you're watching the shows one after another.

 


It should also be noted that this is the uncut version of
the show. Though it is aimed at kids, there is some swearing. People
called
"ass" and "son of a bitch", but nothing worse than that.
People do get killed too, and when blood is spilled it's red. The show
isn't
very bloody though, and I had no problems letting my 6th grader watch
it.


 


The
DVD:





 



This set contains the next 13 episodes (27-39) on two DVDs,
each in its own thinpak case.  The two
cases are held in a nice slipcase.


 


Audio:


 


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.


 


Video:


 


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.


 


Extras:


 


I was a little disappointed that the bonus items were so
meager. There's a "Marathon Play" option, which lets you watch the
show without the opening and closing credits, which is really cool. I
wish more
anime would offer something like this. 
Unfortunately the only other bonus item is a clean opening.


 


Final Thoughts:


 


A funny, irreverent, and exciting show, it's great to
finally get to see this program in its uncut form. With a lot of
adventure and
action, this show never takes itself seriously and that's what makes it
so
enjoyable. While there aren't many laugh-out-loud sections, the whole
attitude
of the show will have you smiling all the way through. style="font-weight: bold;">Highly Recommended.
Buy from Amazon.com

C O N T E N T

V I D E O

A U D I O

E X T R A S

R E P L A Y

A D V I C E
Highly Recommended

E - M A I L
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