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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » One Piece: Season Two, Second Voyage
One Piece: Season Two, Second Voyage
FUNimation // Unrated // August 25, 2009
List Price: $49.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted August 27, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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Highly Recommended
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The Series:
The second season of One Piece is in full swing and Luffy and his crew start the first big story arc since arriving on the Grand Line.  With a new crew member, some new villains and some very tall new friends the show hasn't lost any steam and is still going strong.
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.
In the first season Luffy set off from his home in an old barrel and started to gather his crew.  He now has a real ship and the people to man it:  Zoro (translated as Zolo in the manga) a pirate-hunter who wants to become known as the best swordsman in the world, Nami, an attractive thief who acts as navigator and dreams of mapping all of the oceans of the world, Sanji, a cook and master kick-boxer who's greatest desire is to find the All Blue a sea that contains every type of fish in the world, and Usopp, a youth who's good with a slingshot (and telling tall tales) who has dreams of becoming a great pirate also.  Together they're searching for the One Piece!
This set:
At the end of the last set Luffy met Nefeltari Vivi.  As this set opens, the pirate discovers that she's really the crowned princess of Alabasta, located on an island on the Grand Line.  Her country is undergoing a revolution and she has volunteered to fund out just who is behind it.  Infiltrating the criminal organization Baroque Works, Vivi has discovered that Mr. 0 is inciting the people and plans to take over the country.  Not only that, but she's uncovered Mr. 0's true identity:  he's really one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, Sir Crocodile.
Unfortunately she reveals this information to Luffy, Nami, and Zoro while agents of Baroque Works are spying on them, which puts the whole Straw Hat Crew in danger.  Totally ignorant of the danger, Luffy agrees to take Vivi back to her country so she can reveal the origins of the rebellion.  With Baroque Works after them it won't be easy, and what's worse is that they have to stop on another island first, Little Graden.
While it sounds peaceful, Little Garden is anything but.  It's an island lost in time, with dinosaurs and vicious beasts inhabiting it.  Not only that, but there are two giants, Dorry and Broggy, from the island of Elbaf.  They have been fighting a duel, everyday for over 100 years.  Each time it ends in a draw.  When members of Baroque Works arrive on the island and discover that the giants have a huge bounty on their heads however, their constant combat draws to a close.
There's also a side story that takes up a couple of episodes.  In these we get to find out what happened to Luffy's friend from the first season Coby and Helmeppo, the son of "Axe-Hand" Morgan.  They've joined the marines as chore boys, but they come to the attention of an admiral when Helmeppo's father escapes.
I enjoyed this collection just as much as I did the earlier ones.  The show continues to faithfully adapt the manga, and Creator Eiichiro Oda has not lost any of his imaginative flair.  The creative creatures and bizarre situations continue to entertain.  I especially enjoyed Sanji and Zoro's contest to see who could bring back the biggest dinosaur and Mr. 3's totally weird power. 
As with the earlier episodes, the animation style continues to be a little on the cheap side and cuts a lot of corners.  The show airs for over 40 weeks a year in 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.  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 12 episodes (67-78) 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.
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 commentary on one episode by the English crew that was about average for an anime commentary track.
Final Thoughts:
A battle between two giants that have raged for 100 years, a villain who can shoot an unlimited amount of wax out of his arms, and the return of Coby and Helmeppo.  What more could you want?  Still as entertaining as ever, this set is a must-own.  Highly Recommended.
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