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

September 3, 2013 by  



onepiece-s5-v1

Nico Robin’s past revealed in the latest “One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Two” DVD set.  Also, backstories of how each member became a Straw Hat Pirate and the battle between CP9 begins!  An entertaining and action-packed volume that is highly recommended!

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

DVD TITLE: One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Two

DURATION: Episodes 276-287 (Duration: 300 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: September 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

The tragic secrets of Robin’s past are revealed in series of heartbreaking flashbacks! Bullied because of her unique powers, young Robin’s only friends were the kindly scientists who nurtured her genius intellect while her mother searched for the answers to life’s greatest mysteries. Lonely and afraid, Robin took comfort in the company of books until the day the World Government arrived.

Commanded by men who feared the might of science, an army of warships launched a brutal attack on the peaceful island of Ohara – an attack that threatened to separate mother and daughter forever! Robin’s dark past left her with a lifetime of scars, but Luffy and the Straw Hats never give up on family! Even if it means a deadly showdown with the assassins of CP9!

The Straw Hat Pirates go after their former teammate Nico Robin but why did she leave?  The origin of Nico Robin is revealed and how the Straw Hat Pirates became to be in “One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Two”, available now on DVD courtesy of FUNimation!

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 at 629 episodes and despite receiving a heavily edited version in North America via 4Kids Entertainment earlier on, FUNimation Entertainment began releasing the original, uncut versions since May of 2008 and here we are now with the DVD release of “One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Two”, 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.

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, episode 264 is the first episode of season 9.

The “One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Two” DVD comes with episodes 276-287 on two DVD discs. Here are the spoilerless summaries of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 276 – The giant named Saulo finds out who young Robin’s mother is.  Meanwhile, Robin learns some distressing news.
  • EPISODE 277 – When Professor Clover speaks to the Elder Stars, fearing his knowledge, they send Spandaine to kill him and destroy the island.
  • EPISODE 278 – Saulo tries to fight the Navy in order to allow Robin to escape, but Vice-Admiral Kuzan (aka Admiral Aokiji) comes to fight Saulo.
  • EPISODE 279 – The origin of Luffy and how he became a pirate.
  • EPISODE 280 – The origin of how Zoro and Usopp became Straw Hat Pirates.
  • EPISODE 281 – How Nami became a Straw Hat Pirate.
  • EPISODE 282 – How Sanji and Chopper became Straw Hat Pirates.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 283 – Robin’s back story is revealed.
  • EPISODE 284 – The Straw Hat Pirates try to save Robin.
  • EPISODE 285 – The Straw Hat Pirates must split up and prepare for their battle with CP9.
  • EPISODE 286 – Zoro vs. Kaku, Sogeking vs. Jyabura.
  • EPISODE 287 – Nami vs. Kumadori, Zoro vs. Kaku, Sogeking vs. Jyabura continued.

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, the series 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 Two” comes with the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 277 Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by Mike McFarland (Line Producer/ADR Director) and voice talents Kent Willams (Clover), Jad Saxton (young Robin) and Stephanie Young (adult Robin and Robin’s mother).

DISC 2:

  • On the Boat: Behind the Scenes of One Piece with John Swasey – (16:29) Featuring a video interview between Mike McFarland (ADR Director/Line Producer) and John Swasey (Sir Crocodile).
  • On the Boat: Behind the Scenes of One Piece with Stephanie Young – (16:44) Featuring a video interview between Mike McFarland (ADR Director/Line Producer) and Stephanie Young (Nico Robin).
  • EPISODE 287 Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by Mike McFarland (Line Producer/ADR Director) with Luci Christian (Nami) and Sonny Strait (Usopp).
  • Textless Songs – Textless opening song for “Brand New World”, “We Are!”, “Crazy Rainbow” and closing song – “Adventure World”.
  • Trailers – Trailers for upcoming FUNimation releases.

Why would Robin leave the Straw Hat Pirates?  The series since Robin has joined have left us with nothing about her mystery and for the most part, her life has been unknown.

Until now.

For someone so non-talkative, so dangerous, it has made me wonder why Robin would join the Straw Hat Pirates, since she’s nothing like them.

But now everything is answered as the background of Robin and her sad past is revealed.

In what possibly is one of the most emotional episodes I have seen in “One Piece”, you can’t help but shed some tears when you realize the life that Robin has lived when she was a younger girl and to know the full truth of why she left the Straw Hat Pirates.

But of course, if you watched this series, The Straw Hat Pirates are more than shipmates, they are family (no matter how they tend to get on each other’s case) and as family, they fight for their own.

So, as the rescue attempt and the origin of Robin is revealed, we also get a flashback episode of how Luffy, Zoro, Usopp, Nami, Sanji and Chopper all became Straw Hat Pirates and how, each time these people were in harms way or felt the world was crumbling around them, Luffy was there for them.

And to end things, we get the beginning of the fight against CP9 which will be continued in “One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Three”.

For long time “One Piece” fans, this is one volume you don’t want to miss.  The origin of Robin is one of the most heartbreaking but also one of my favorite backstories in the “One Piece” series.  It’s so emotional that you can’t help but shed some tears over the storyline, it’s that sad!

As for the DVD, picture quality for the series is very good, voice acting for the original Japanese and English is very well-done (Toei is quite strict on English dub voice acting of the series).  And you also get two audio commentaries, two video interviews and more!

Overall, I enjoy the adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates and I’m in it for the long haul. While, we are 287 episodes down, with a total of 620+ episodes having been shown in Japan, it will be a long while until we catch up with the Japanese episodes and so, I look at this series as one that many of us will get to grow up with.

But the fact that we are getting “One Piece” in the U.S. is fantastic.  It’s a series that you can literally jump in at the beginning of a season and get into that season’s arc quite easily.

It is the longest running action anime series in Japan and the fact that young and old continue to read and watch this series, its a testament of how addictive “One Piece” really is and how people gravitate towards this series.

“One Piece” is definitely one of the most entertaining, exciting and action-packed anime series that continues to have a strong presence in Japan for over a decade and it never gets old.

“One Piece: Season Five, Voyage Two” is recommended!

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