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One Piece: Season Five – Voyage Four (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

January 24, 2014 by  



onepiece-s5-v4

In “One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Four” , it’s the final battle between the Straw Hat Pirates and CP9 but also an emotional volume as the Straw Hat Pirates say goodbye to something very close to them.  Action-packed, emotional yet magnificent, this is one DVD volume that fans will not want to miss!  Recommended!

Image courtesy of © 1999 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Four

DURATION: Episodes 300-312 (Duration: 320 Minutes, 2 DVD’s)

DVD INFORMATION: 4:3, English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, English and Japanese stereo

COMPANY: FUNimation

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: December 3, 2013

Originally created by Eiichiro Oda

Directed by Hiroaki Miyamoto, Konosuke Uda, Munehisa Sakai

Series Composition by Hirohiko Uesaka

Script by Hirohiko Uesaka, Hiroshi Hashimoto, Junki Takegami, Michiru Shimada, Naoki Koga, Ryota Yamaguchi, Suminori Takegami, Yoshiyuki Suga

Music by Kouhei Tanaka, Shiroh Hamaguchi

Character Design by Kazuya Hisada, Noboru Koizumi

Animation Production by Toei Animation

Featuring the following voice talent:

Mayumi Tanaka/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Monkey D. Luffy

Akemi Okamura/Luci Christian as Nami

Hiroaki Hirata/Eric Vale as Sanji

Ikue Ohtani/Brina Palencia as Tony Tony Chopper

Kappei Yamaguchi/Sonny Strait as Usopp

Yuriko Yamaguchi/Stephanie Young as Nico Robin

Kazuki Yao/Patrick Seitz as Franky

Izo Oikawa/Philip Weber as Iceburg

Takahiro Yoshimizu/David Wald as Paulie

Bin Shimada/Jonathan Brooks as Foxy the Pirate

Tomokazu Seki/Jason Liebricht as Rob Lucci

Masaya Onosaka/Christopher Corey Smith as Spandam

Kumiko Watanabe/Alexis Tipton as Fukuro

Naomi Shindo/Shelley Calene-Black as Kalifa

Hiroaki Yoshida/Andrew Love as Kumadori

Ryotaro Okiayu/Alex Organ as Kaku

Masaya Takatsuka/Phil Parsons as Jabura

Luffy pours his heart and soul into the battle to keep his nakama together!

The assault on Enies Lobby reaches a boiling point as Spandam drags Robin towards the towering Gates of Justice! Zoro’s demonic nine-sword fighting style sets the stage for a blistering barrage of heroic attacks as the Straw Hats inch ever closer to a joyous reunion with their captured crewmate. The showdown between Luffy and Lucci rages out of control against a backdrop of devastating destruction thanks to Spandam’s Buster Call.

While the rubber-man trades blows with the most powerful assassin of CP9, his mates need help from below to avoid a watery grave. Explosions rock the horizon, Luffy’s giant attack sends him down for the count, and the unexpected return of an old friend represents the last glimmer of hope for our heroes!

As The Straw Hat Pirates go to save Robin, the Straw Hat Pirates must take on the Navy elite ala CP9 in “One Piece: Season Five – Voyage Four”!

As Spandam takes a bounded Robin as Franky tries to rescue her, Zoro vs. Kaku and Luffy vs. Lucci in which Luffy utilizes his latest fighting technique! Will it work against Lucci?

Meanwhile, the Straw Hat Pirates must say goodbye to something very close to them.

What is “One Piece”?

“ONE PIECE” is a popular anime series based on the popular manga series serialized in Shonen Jump by Eiichiro Oda. Suffice to say, “ONE PIECE” is the highest selling manga for Weekly Shonen Jump and its popularity has extended to various anime (via the TV series, OVA and films) and video games in America and also worldwide.

The series is so popular, the episode count currently in Japan is in its 16th season and a total of 629 episodes have been aired in Japan.

Despite receiving a heavily edited version in North America via 4Kids Entertainment earlier on, FUNimation began releasing the original, uncut versions since May of 2008 and here we are now with the DVD release of “One Piece: Season Four, Voyage Four”, available now, courtesy of FUNimation.

“ONE PIECE” is an adventure anime about a 17-year-old boy named Monkey D. Luffy who gained enormous strength (and stretching abilities) after eating a magical demon fruit. He eventually teams up with a group of pirates and have the name “The Straw Hats”. Luffy’s driven to one day obtain the most sought out treasure known as “One Piece” and eventually become the King of the Pirates.

So far, in “One Piece”, Robin had quit The Straw Hat Pirates in order to sacrifice herself to save the others.  But for The Straw Hat Pirates, after learning why she wanted so sacrifice herself, they will do anything they can to help her.

But as they go to save her, CP9 (Cipher Pol Number 9), a secret organization affiliated with the Navy, begin their attack on the Straw Hat Pirates.

So far, it has been a tough battle but now Spandam has taken Robin, while Luffy is busy fighting Rob Lucci and Zoro takes on Kaku.

Who will become victorious in this battle?

The Straw Hat Pirates consists of:

Monkey D. Luffy – A 17-year-old guy who is the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates and dreams to be a pirate king by getting his hands on the “ONE PIECE” artifact. When he was young, he accidentally ate a devil fruit which made his body rubbery and can stretch and blow up. An airhead of sorts, loves to eat but always believes and fights for his friends.

Roronoa Zoro – A 19-year-old skilled swordsman. A skilled and very strong fighter. Wants to be the greatest swordsman in the world.

Nami – The navigator of the group. The main female crew member and really good at weapons.

Usopp – A 17-year-old marksman. A talented inventor and artistic. Known by his long nose, his marksmanship with slingshots and weapons are great.

Sanji – The chef of the crew. A skilled fighter that uses only kicks in battle and is passionate towards Nami.

Tony Tony Chopper – A reindeer with a blue nose. Ate a devil fruit known as human-human fruit which makes him human in someways but keeping his reindeer look. Able to speak to humans, walk upright and also able to have transformations to become a huge beast. But his talent is his medical skills as he was trained by the Doctrine to become a doctor. Has very low self-confidence because he had been treated badly not only by his kind but also by humans and has not really had a friend but the Doctor and Doctrine.

Nico Robin – The former Vice President of Baroque Works who has become the newest member of the Straw Hat Pirates despite some of the crew not trusting her since she was a former enemy. Has the ability to use her body parts and project them elsewhere and other mysterious abilities not yet known.

While the FUNimation DVD release is listed as season five for America, in Japan, these episodes are part of season 9.

The “One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Four” DVD comes with episodes 300-312 on two DVD discs. Here are the spoilerless summaries of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 300 – The conclusion of Zoro vs. Kaku’s fight.
  • EPISODE 301 –  Spandam has Robin bounded and reveals to her of the person responsible for causing her so much trouble.
  • EPISODE 302 – The Buster Call shipps arrive and begin attacking the Tower of Justice.
  • EPISODE 303 – A flashback episode about Luffy and the missing 1000-year-old sakura tree.
  • EPISODE 304 – Luffy vs. Lucci and Luffi activates his second gear attack.  But will it defeat Lucci?
  • EPISODE 305 – The backstory of Rob Lucci.
  • EPISODE 306 – Franky vs. Funkfreed, Luffy activates his third gear attack.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 307 – The Straw Hat Pirates reunite, while Luffy continues to fight Rob Lucci.
  • EPISODE 308 – Rob Lucci activates his most powerful technique on Luffy, the Six Kings Gun.
  • EPISODE 309 – The end to the Luffy vs. Lucci battle?
  • EPISODE 310 – The Buster Call ships try to attack the Straw Hat Pirates, Franky Family and Galley-La foremen.
  • EPISODE 311 – What is the mysterious voice calling out for the Straw Hat Pirates?
  • EPISODE 312 – The Straw Hat Pirates must say goodbye to something important to them…

VIDEO :

For most television series, because they are created nearly before they are aired on television, unlike film and OVA’s, there typically is not much detail involved in a Japanese animated television series. “ONE PIECE” is probably one of those rare exceptions in that it has really cool character designs and very detailed artistic backgrounds. Of course, since it is on DVD, you will see some artifacting, combing and edge enhancement but it’s not so noticeable unless you are really looking for it.

The anime series is presented in standard 4:3 definition but for a television series, “ONE PIECE” sports cool and unique character designs and beautifully painted artistic backgrounds. Definitely one of the better looking anime series that has remained consistent and has not downgraded since it first aired on television. Character designer Kazuya Hisada (who worked on the “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball GT” series) and Noboru Koizumi (who worked on “Giant Robo”, “Dragon Ball GT” and “Tenchi Universe”) have been very good of capturing “One Piece” creator Eiichiro Oda’s unique style.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the audio, “One Piece” is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, English Stereo and Japanese Stereo. Of course, the English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound is the better audio choice to listen to, although one who has a receiver that can set their audio to all channels can definitely enjoy the Japanese stereo track as well. But both audio tracks are done very well and I have to admit that “ONE PIECE” has one of the most solid English dub tracks for an anime TV series. Very well done on both audio tracks but again, have been very impressed by the voice talent for the series thus far.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Four” comes with the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 300 Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by Mike McFarland (Line Producer/ADR Director) and voice talents Christopher Sabat (Zoro) and Alex Organ (Kaku).
  • EPISODE 301 Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by Mike McFarland (Line Producer/ADR Director) and voice talents Stephanie Young (Robin) and Christopher Smith (Spandam).

DISC 2:

  • One Piece in the Booth with Brina Palencia – (12:45) Featuring an interview between Mike McFarland (ADR Director/Line Producer) and Brina Palencia (Tony Chopper).
  • Textless Opening – Textless opening song for “Crazy Rainbow”
  • Trailers – Trailers for upcoming FUNimation releases.

There is no denying that this Enies Lobby arc has been one of the most emotional seasons of “One Piece”.

From Robin’s emotional storyline, the exciting battle against CP9 and a final farewell to something so close to the Straw Hat Pirates.

And with “One Piece: Season Five – Voyage Four”, you’re getting one wonderful DVD release which One Piece fans will surely enjoy but also some may shed a tear.

This arc has no doubt been one of the awesome arc’s in “One Piece” considering there have been 16 seasons aired in Japan, but memorable because of the backstories and the final goodbye but how everything has culminated to these episodes have been nothing short of wonderful.

The final battle between Luffy and Rob Lucci was spectacular, also to see Zoro meet a rival so powerful, but it has been a long journey for the Straw Hat Pirates and I really don’t want to spoil the storyline for fans, so I’ll just keep things vague and just say this is a recommended release full of action and emotion.

As for the DVD, picture quality is very good on DVD, audio is also crystal clear with both voice acting soundtracks are well done, as “One Piece” is one of the best cast anime series, everyone is right for their role and considering that Toei was strict on the casting for the English dub, FUNimation did a fine job in their cast selection and I was pleased with both Japanese and English dub soundtracks.

As for special features, you get two audio commentaries and also the latest “One Piece in the Booth” featuring Brina Palencia (voice of Chopper).

Overall, “One Piece: Season Five – Voyage Four” is a magnificent DVD release and if you are a curious or longtime fan, this is one volume you do not want to miss!

Highly recommended!

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