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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » One Piece: Season Two, Third Voyage
One Piece: Season Two, Third Voyage
FUNimation // Unrated // September 29, 2009
List Price: $49.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 18, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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The Series:
A blue nosed reindeer, a 139 year old doctor with a bared midriff and navel ring, and a king who can eat anything (even himself).  You'll find all these oddball characters and more in One Piece Season Two Voyage Three.  The straw hats are on the Grand Line and they're getting into just as much trouble as ever.  In this set Nami becomes deathly ill they head to the nearest island only to find that the ruler has exiled all of the physicians.  That's not going to stop Luffy though. Still going strong, this series is full of wacky fun and excitement.
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 head to the Grand Line, the most dangerous place on the planet, because that's where the One Piece is hidden!
This set:
The Straw Hat crew are still helping Nefeltari Vivi, the crowned princess of Alabasta, to get back to her father's kingdom.  Time is of the essence since she's discovered that the criminal organization Baroque Works are starting a rebellion and plan to take over the country.  When Nami becomes sick with a high fever however, the crew are forced to detour and find their navigator some medical help. 
The land on a winter island, a place where it snows year round, that doesn't have a name.  The whole country was recently devastated by a pirate gang so Luffy and company aren't exactly welcome.  They manage to overcome the natives' reluctance to let them land only to find that there are no doctors!  The ruler, King Wapol, exiled all of the physicians save for the top 20 practitioners who became his private group, the 20 MDs.  If anyone needed any medical care they'd have to come to him and he could extort any amount and only treat those who were loyal to him.
The plan was working until the pirates landed and Wapol fled along with most of the army and the 20 MDs.  The only person who was able to treat medical conditions was an old witch who lives on top of a snow covered mountain with her assistant Tony Tony Chopper, a talking reindeer.  With Nami's life at stake, Luffy and Sanji carry the girl up the mountain fighting giant carnivorous bunny rabbits and dealing with avalanches along the way. 
Meanwhile King Wapol returns to the island to reclaim his throne, but the villagers aren't that happy to see him, especially one of his ex-lieutenants, Dalton.  Dalton organizes the populace and prepares them to fight, but the old army is just too much for them.  That's about when Usopp, Vivi, and Zoro arrive. 
This is another fun collection.  The story moves rather quickly, which is good, and the characters are just as creative and bizarre as always.   One of the things that I like about the show is the way they break up the main plot with side stories that fill in character backgrounds or bring the secondary character's tales up to date.  This time around we get to find out about Chomper, how he became half human, where he learned medicine, and just why he hates everyone.  It was a touching story the offset the larger fight episodes quite well.
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 (79-91) 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.
Like the other volumes in this series, 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:
This is my favorite anime show that currently being released.  The action is exciting and the characters are well developed, but most of all this show is hilarious at times and has a great sense of fun.  If you're looking for something that's a bit different but still entertaining, don't look any further.  Highly Recommended.
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