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

April 19, 2011 by  



Once again, the Straw Hat Pirates must take on and outwit the marines!  Featuring a comedy-driven storyline with its share of action, “One Piece: Season Three, Fifth Voyage” is another fantastic chapter in the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and the gang!

Image courtesy of © 2004 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: One Piece: Season Three, Fifth Voyage

DURATION: Episodes 196-205 (Duration: 325 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: April 19, 2011

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 by TAP

Animation Production by Toei Animation

Featuring the following voice talent:

Mayumi Tanaka/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Monkey D. Luffy

Misa Watanabe/Caitlin Glass as Vivi Nefertari

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 Yong as Nico Robin

J Michael Tatum as Eneru

When their descent from the sky doesn’t go as planned, the Straw Hats find themselves trapped in the Marine stronghold of Navarone. This impenetrable island is surrounded by scraggy stone walls and governed by a military mastermind known as Commander Jonathan. Pirates imprisoned within Navarone’s walls seldom live to see the other side, but not even the great Commander Jonathan has ever faced foes as formidable as Luffy and his crew.

Eager to escape the island and get back in the water, the Straw Hats hatch a plan to spring Zoro from the clink, reclaim their confiscated gold, and rendezvous at the Going Merry for a life-or-death, do-or-die, daring dash into the freedom of the deep blue sea! The sailing certainly won’t be smooth, and it’ll take all hands on deck to survive this scrape!

The adventures continue in the latest exciting volume of “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 over 400 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 the May of 2008 and here we are now with the third installment of season three, “One Piece: Season Three, Fourth Voyage Voyage”.

“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.

In Season Three, Fifth Voyage (the beginning of Season 7 in Japan), fresh after the SkypEia Arc, coming down from the sky, the Straw Hat Pirates happen to crash landed inside the Navarone marine fortress which is led by Commander Jonathan.

Not knowing the true extent of trouble they are in, the group desert the ship to figure out where they are.

Meanwhile, the marines invade the Straw Hat Pirates ship, “Going Merry and confiscate everything inside.  Captain Foxy is quite confident that he has captured the infamous Monkey D. Luffy and friends.

As for the group, Luffy and Sanji pose as chefs for the marines, Chopper pretends to be a marine doctor, Nami a marine nurse, Robin and Usopp as inspectors and as for Zoro, will he be able to keep himself away from trouble?

Can the Straw Hat Pirates avoid capture by the marines?

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.

The “One Piece: Season Three, Fifth Voyage” comes with episodes 196-205 on two DVD discs (note: In Japan, these episodes are actually considered the final episodes of season 6). Here are the spoiler-less summaries of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 196 – A State of Emergency is Issued! A Notorious Pirate Ship Has Infiltrated! – The Straw Hat Pirates leave Skypeia and out of the air, they end up landing in a heavily guarded marine fortress.
  • EPISODE 197 – Sanji the Cook! Proving His Merit at the Marine Dining Hall! – Sanji and Luffy disguise themselves as new cooks for the marines.
  • EPISODE 198 – Captured Zoro! Chopper’s Emergency Operations! – Zoro tries to pretend he is an inspector to avoid capture.  Meanwhile, Chopper and Nami disguise themselves to work in the marine medical ward.
  • EPISODE 199 – The Marine’s Dragnet Closes In! The Second Member Captured! – As Usopp tries to pretend he is an inspector, Nico Robin shows up also trying to pretend she is an inspector.
  • EPISODE 200 – Luffy and Sanji’s Daring Mission! – Sanji and Luffy continue to try to avoid being detected.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 201 – Enter the Hot-Blooded Special Forces! Battle on the Bridge!– The Straw Hat Pirates try to escape the marine fortress.
  • EPISODE 202 – Breaking Through the Siege! The Going Merry is Recovered! – Nami comes up with an idea for all of them to escape.
  • EPISODE 203 – The Pirate Ship Disappears! Fortress Battle, Round #2 – Usopp comes up with an idea to disguise the Going Merry during their escape.
  • EPISODE 204 – The Gold Waver Recover Operations – Nami is insistent that they go back to the fortress in order to get their gold back.  So, the teams break into two to find their lost treasure.
  • EPISODE 205 – The One Fell Swoop Plan! Jonathan’s Surefire Secret Tactic – As Commander Jonathan predicted, the Straw Hat Pirates will come after their gold.  Will they be able to find it?

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” features 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 Three, Fifth Voyage” comes with the following special features:

DISC 1

  • Episode 196 Audio Commentary – The following audio commentary features English voice talent Mark Stoddard (Commander Jonathan) and Bryan Massey (Lt. Commander Drake).

DISC 2

  • Textless Songs – Textless opening and ending theme.
  • Trailers – Trailers for upcoming FUNimation Entertainment releases.

Another entertaining volume of “One Piece”!

So far, I have to say that this fifth voyage started out very well and one of the reasons why I enjoyed it is that we are getting a pirate vs. marine storyline.  We have seen Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates come close against the marines several times throughout the whole episode run thus far and in this case, the fact that the Straw Hat Pirates happened to land in a marine fortress was quite intriguing but also to see their skills utilized.  Primarily seeing Sanji showcasing his cooking skills and also to see more of Chopper as the doctor saving lives.

If anything, this latest volume is more or less the group finding themselves in a position of mischief and that means a lot of hilarious comedy.  Granted, you do get your share of action but for these episodes, the emphasis is mainly on situations and avoiding detection by the marines and thus leading to plenty of comical situations through the 10 episodes on this latest volume.

As for episodes, I did notice that “One Piece: Season Three, Fifth Voyage” has ten episodes compared to the usual 12-13 episodes.  But I’m guessing that because in Japan, this marine storyline is season 7 and here in the US, they are continuing as part of season three, FUNimation Entertainment can easily get at least two more volumes out for the marine storyline (note: In this latest chapter arc, in Japan it is known as “Escape! The Naval Fortress & The Foxy Pirate Crew”).

Overall, “One Piece: Season Three, Fifth Voyage” is yet again another entertaining arc for One Piece.  More comedy driven this time around and you also get a bit of action but if anything, instead of relying on an action-driven storyline, this time its more about wit and who will outwit the other…Monkey D. Luffy vs. Commander Jonathan and because of that, there are more laughs than battles for now.  I’m sure it will change as the storyline continues but if you are fan of “One Piece”, definitely give this latest volume a chance!

This DVD release of the fifth voyage is recommended!

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