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

August 26, 2010 by  



Humorous and action packed!  The Skypeia Arc continues as The Straw Hat Pirates take on various enemies and learn the history of the new land they are in. “One Piece” fans will not be disappointed!

Image courtesy of © 2001 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: One Piece: Season Three, Second Voyage

DURATION: Episodes 157-169 (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: August 31, 2010

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

The Straw Hats traveled to Skypiea in search of adventure, but they may have gotten more than they bargained for. It took less than a day for Luffy to earn the title of public enemy number one, and now his crew is subject to the harsh judgment of an angry god and the four lethal priests of Upper Yard!

Zoro, Nami, Chopper, and Robin are trapped aboard the Going Merry when it’s commandeered by a crustacean and marooned on a sacrificial alter. Luffy, Sanji, and Usopp are quick to mount a rescue mission, but they’ve got a problem of their own: a dancing dango of madman with an endless supply of agonizing ways to die! It’ll take more than a miracle for this crew to be reunited – especially all in 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 now the final volume of the second season is here with “One Piece – Season Three: Third 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.

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.

In season three of “One Piece”, Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates continue their search for “One Piece”. But with this latest adventure, the group looks for the legendary Skypeia, a land which is built in the clouds and features winged humanoids and in this volume, the group have now arrived in the land in the clouds but are encountered by priests who are want to take them out.

It’s important to ntoe that in the US, this latest season also marked the first season that FUNimation Entertainment licensed the series (previously licensed and heavily edited by 4Kids Entertainment) and was broadcast on the Cartoon Network in 2008.

The “One Piece: Season Three, Second Voyage” comes with episodes 157-169 on two DVD discs (note: In Japan, these episodes are actually considered as season 6). Here are the spoiler-less summaries of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 157 – Is Escape Possible?! God’s Challenge is Set in Motion! – Robin, Chopper, Nami and Zorro are taken hostage by God Enel.
  • EPISODE 158 – A Trap on Lovely Street! The Almighty Eneru! – Conis leads Luffy, Usopp and Sanji to the Upper Yard and decides to tell them the truth of what she did.
  • EPISODE 159 – Onward, Crow! To the Sacrificial Altar! – While Robin, Zoro and Nami explore the Upper Yard, Chopper must stay and defend the ship.
  • EPISODE 160 – 10% Survival Rate! Satori, the Mantra Master! – Luffy, Sanji and Usopp confront Priest Satori.
  • EPISODE 161 – The Ordeal of Spheres! Desperate Struggle in the Lost Forest! – Luffy, Sanji and Usopp must fight their way through the forests, meanwhile Chopper must defend the ship from an invader.
  • EPISODE 162 – Chopper in Danger! Former God vs. Priest Shura! – The invader, Priest Shura is too much for Chopper that he must use the whistle to call on Gan Fall.
  • EPISODE 163 – Profound Mystery! Ordeal of String and Ordeal of Love?! – Luffy and Sanji vs. Priest Satori.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 164 – Light the Fire of Shandora! Wyper, the Warrior! – Chopper receives some help by new friends.  Meanwhile, the people of Shandora attacks the Upper Yard.
  • EPISODE 165 – Jaya, City of Gold in the Sky! Head for God’s Shrine! – The crew is united and the people of Shandora continue their attack.
  • EPISODE 166 – Festival on the Night Before Gold-Hunting! Feelings for Vearth! – Gan Fall tells the crew about the history of Upper Yard.
  • EPISODE 167 – Enter God Eneru!! Farewell to the Survivors! – Who is the mysterious person fixing the ship?
  • EPISODE 168 – A Giant Snake Bares Its Fangs! The Survival Game Begins! – A giant python goes after Luffy, Robin, Chopper and Zoro.
  • EPISODE 169 – The Deadly Reject! War Demon Wyper’s Resolve! – Wyper vs. Priest Shura.

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

DISC 2:

  • Episode 166 Audio Commentary – Mike McFarland (Line Producer/ADR Director) with Stephanie Young (voice of Robin) and Luci Christian (voice of Nami).  The two talk about working on “One Piece” was airing in television and recording now.  The challenges they faced and more.
  • Textless Songs – Textless Songs for the opening and ending theme.
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

“One Piece” is one of the more popular manga and animated series in Japan and in the US, many fans experienced their first anime series through “One Piece”.

With “One Piece: Season Three, Second Voyage”, the episodes featured in this volume was a first for many people as the episodes were the first created by FUNimation Entertainment and aired on the Cartoon Network. Many fans were excited because the episodes were uncut and now would be handled by a company known for carefully hiring the voice talent for the series.

“One Piece: Season Three, Second Voyage” (technically, it’s the sixth season if going by the original Japanese season) continues with the Skypeia arc. The second volume starts to pickup as the crew has reached sky island and experience the wrath of the priests and also meet Wyper and the people of Shandora.  If anything, there is a good amount of action in this volume but it is starting out a wee bit slower than the previous season where there was a lot of drama and action, this season so far is more about the adventure and teamwork.  If anything, the Straw Hat Pirates in unknown territory and it’s more like an adventure through the clouds or jungle for now. Granted, this is still the earlier episodes of the season and things are sure to ramp up soon.

Overall, “One Piece: Season Three, Second Voyage” is an enjoyable volume which has its share of action and humor and so far its more about the introduction of the characters and back history of the area especially Upper Yard but the volume is definitely setting the viewer up for bigger things to come. For those who are familiar with “One Piece” know each season has its payoff storywise as each season progresses past the initial beginning episodes, things typically start a little slow but eventually starts to ramp up.

If you are a fan of “One Piece”, stay persistent as this is one of the longest airing anime TV shows in Japan that is still ongoing and it’s all about being part of the wild ride with the Straw Hat Pirates.  Definitely give “One Piece: Season Three, Second Voyage” a chance!

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