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

June 4, 2013 by  



The long-running, popular anime series “One Piece” features the Straw Hat Pirates and the Franky Family trying to find and save Robin, but the mysterious organization known as CP9 stands in their way!  Another wonderful volume of “One Piece”, definitely check out “One Piece: Season Four, Voyage Five”. Highly recommended!

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

DVD TITLE: One Piece: Season Four, Voyage Five

DURATION: Episodes 253-263 (Duration: 320 Minutes, 2 DVD’s)

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

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: May 14, 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 Sea Train has left the station! Next stop, Enies Lobby!

Nami, despite her desperate dash, arrives at the station too late to stop the Sea Train, but she’s relieved learn that Sanji has stowed away on board the vessel and will stop at nothing to rescue Robin! With the storm of all storms bearing down upon them, Nami and Chopper risk their lives to save Luffy and Zoro from the rapidly rising waters. Back aboard the train, Sanji is aided in his battle against the CP9 goons by the arrival of the mysterious Soge King, a wandering warrior from the Island of Snipers!

As the scattered Straw Hats fight to reunite, fate draws them ever nearer the foreboding fortress of Enies Lobby. Will our heroes live to face the hour of reckoning?!

Contains episodes 253-263.

Things are not looking so good for the Straw Hat Pirates.

Their ship the Going Merry was destroyed at sea, Usopp is no longer part of the group and Robin leaves the group in order to keep her friends safe.

While Sanji, Usopp and Franky are separated from the others when the Aqua Laguna floods the main station.  Nami, finding out the sacrifice that Robin had made to join Cipher Pol no. 9 keep them safe tells Luffy what Robin had done.  Luffy realizing that Robin has been their friend all this time and trying to protect them has made it is goal to help Robin and find her before it’s too late.

Inspired by what Luffy is willing to do to help Robin, The Franky Family offers to join the Straw Hat Pirates temporarily in order to help their leader, while Kokoro and Iceburg lend the Straw Hat Pirates their sea train, Rock Man.

But as they try to find Robin and hook up with their Sanji, Usopp and Franky, they are attacked by CP9.

What will happen to the Straw Hat Pirates and the Franky Crew?

Find out in “One Piece: Season Four, Voyage Five”, 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 580 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 Four, 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 DVD release is listed as season four for America, in Japan, “One Piece: Season Four, Voyage Five” takes place during season eight (note: Actually, episode 229 , featured in voyage two, is the first episode that begins season eight). As the Straw Hat Pirates reach the land of Water Seven where powerful craftsmen, the Galley La Company reside, the crew needs the craftsmen to fix the Going Merry, which has been involved in major wear and tear through the many adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates.

But when misfortune hits the Straw Hat Pirates and pits Luffy vs. Usopp and even Nico Robin has disappeared. Things between the Straw Hat Pirates have gotten worse, but can they get any better?

The “One Piece: Season Four, Voyage Five” comes with episodes 253-263 on two DVD discs (note: In Japan, these episodes are part of season 8). Here are the spoilerless summaries of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 253 – The Aqua Laguna floods the main station and Sanji, Usopp and Franky are separated from the others.
  • EPISODE 254 – Nami tells Luffy of what Robin did, meanwhile everyone tries to escape from Aqua Laguna’s giant wave.
  • EPISODE 255 – Sanji manages to find Usopp and Franky, while the Straw Hat Pirates find new allies.
  • EPISODE 256 – A new alliance is born!
  • EPISODE 257 – Ashamed of what he had done to Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates, Usopp comes up with a new superhero identity!
  • EPISODE 258 – Usopp reveals his new identity to Sanji and Franky.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 259 – Sanji vs. Wanze, Franky vs. Nero.
  • EPISODE 260 – As the fights continue, Usopp as Sogeking tries to save Robin.
  • EPISODE 261 – Zoro vs. “Ship Cutter” T-Bone and Sanji vs. Wanze and Franky vs. Nero continues!
  • EPISODE 262 – Usopp (Sogeking), Sanji and Franky try to save Robin.
  • EPISODE 263 – A little of Robin’s past is revealed by Blueno!

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 Four, Voyage Five” comes with the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 255 Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by Mike McFarland (Line Producer/ADR Director) and voice talents Juli Erickson (Kokoro) and Doug Goodrich (Zambai).

DISC 2:

  • On the Boat: Behind the Scenes of One Piece with Christopher R. Sabat – (12:32)  Featuring a video interview between Mike McFarland (ADR Director/Line Producer) and Christopher R. Sabat (Zoro).
  • On the Boat: Behind the Scenes of One Piece with Colleen Clinkenbeard – (13:26) Featuring a video interview between Mike McFarland (ADR Director/Line Producer) and Colleen Clinkenbeard (Luffy).
  • EPISODE 263 Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by Mike McFarland (Line Producer/ADR Director) with Kenneth Thompson (ADR Engineer for “One Piece”), Adrian Cook (Mix Engineer), Josh Kocurek (Marketing and Brand Manager for “One Piece”)
  • Textless Songs – Textless opening song for “Kokoro no Chizu” and closing songs for “Dear Friends”, “Asu wa Kuru Kara”.
  • Trailers – Trailers for upcoming FUNimation releases.

The final episodes of season 8 of “One Piece”, as things begin to look down for the Straw Hat Pirates, after losing their ship, losing Usopp and now losing Robin, Nami finds out the reason why Robin has left the Straw Hat Pirates to join Cipher Pol No. 9 and that is so she can protect them.

But because the Straw Hat Pirates fight together as a family, there is no way any of them are going to let Robin leave without them and will do anything back to help their friend.

But when the Aqua Laguna floods the station that they are in, Luffy, Nami, Zoro and Chopper find new allies with The Franky Gang, while Sanji finds Franky and Usopp who are separated by the giant tidal wave.

As both group try to find Robin, both sides are attacked.  Meanwhile, Usopp wanting to save Robin as well, despite no longer being in the Straw Hat Pirates, takes on a new masked identity.

With this latest fifth volume of “One Piece”, new alliances are formed and the teams are united in trying to save Robin from Cipher Pol. No. 9.  But what does Cipher Pol. No. 9 want with Robin and will the group be prepared for their battle against various members of CP9.

The race is on to save Robin, but will they get to her in time?

As for the DVD, you get 11-episodes and picture quality is very good. Especially in Japan, all “One Piece” episodes since 2007 have been broadcast in HD and widescreen in Japan, it would be interesting if that means the series would get a Blu-ray release in the United States. But for the DVD, picture quality is colorful, vibrant and looks good as one can expect on DVD. Audio is good, dialogue is clear. And for special features, it’s awesome to see FUNimation featuring more special features and in this case, two one-on-one video interviews between Mike McFarland (ADR Director/Line Producer) and main cast members.  There are also two fun audio commentaries featuring the English dub voice talent, textless opening and ending themes plus trailers.

Overall, I enjoy the adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates and I’m in it for the long haul. While, we are 263 episodes down, we are 330+ episodes behind Japan.   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.

With that being said, you can join in at the beginning of any season and still be interested in “One Piece”. I do recommend at least watching the first season, so you get an idea of what’s going on. To find out the goal of the Straw Hat Pirates is and how they all joined to form their crew, the Straw Hat Pirates.

But “One Piece” is definitely one of the most entertaining, exciting and action-packed series that continues to have a strong presence in Japan for nearly a decade.

Exciting, crazy and just an enjoyable anime series, find out why many people have enjoyed the story of the the Straw Hat Pirates and their adventures in “One Piece”!

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

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