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

December 1, 2010 by  



A much more serious, dramatic and action-packed Skypeia Arc volume thus far! “One Piece” fans will not be disappointed!

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

DVD TITLE: One Piece: Season Three, Third Voyage

DURATION: Episodes 170-182 (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: October 26, 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

Tales of a lost land of gold lured Luffy and his crew to the mysterious realm of Skypiea, but their dreams of untold riches quickly turned to nightmares thanks to the menacing minions of a devious deity!

One by one, the stalwart Straw Hats are separated from their mates and forced to participate in a deadly contest where survival is the name of the game. Poisonous pythons of prolific size, Shandorian warriors with bazookas that burn, prize-fighting pooches that pack a mean punch, and balloon-shaped bad guys with a score to settle are just a few of the horrors which haunt this once-peaceful land! Ruled by Eneru – a fiend who fights with the power of thunder and lightning – the city of clouds becomes a twisting trail of terrible tribulations for these pirates in the hands of an angry god!

The adventures continue in this serious and more dramatic, yet action packed episodes 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, 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 arrived on the  legendary Skypeia, a land which is built in the clouds and features winged humanoids.  In the last volume, the Straw Hat Pirates were attacked by various individuals in Skypeia but now the powerful has turned on his own kind and his plans to kill everyone in Skypeia is in full effect.  Will the Straw Hat Pirates be able to beat their opponents and stop Enneru?

It’s important to note 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, Third Voyage” comes with episodes 170-182 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 170  – Fierce Midair Battle! Pirate Zoro vs. Warrior Braham! – Zoro vs. the Shandian warrior Braham.
  • EPISODE 171 – The Roaring Burn Bazooka! Luffy vs. War Demon Wyper! – Luffy vs. Wyper.  Eneru vs. Usopp and Sanji.
  • EPISODE 172 – The Ordeal of the Swamp! Chopper vs. Sky Punk Gedatsu – Chopper vs. Gedatsu.
  • EPISODE 173 – Unbeatable Powers! Eneru’s True Form is Revealed! – Eneru vs. the Shandian Tribe.  Gan Fall and Nami vs. Kotori and Hotori.
  • EPISODE 174 – A Mystical City! The Grand Ruins of Shandora! – Nico Robin makes it to the ruins but she is attacked.
  • EPISODE 175 – 0% Survival Rate! Chopper vs. Ohm, the Sword Wielding Priest! – Priest Ohm makes his entrance.
  • EPISODE 176 – Climb Giant Jack! Deadly Combat in the Upper Ruins! – Ohm vs. Zoro and Gan Fall vs. Wyper.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 177 – The Ordeal of Iron! White Barbed Death Match! – Ohm has created a barbed wire cage around the area and Nami, Aisa and Gan Fall are trapped inside the python.
  • EPISODE 178 – Bursting Slah! Zoro vs. Ohm! – Zoro vs. Priest Ohm.  Pagaya and Conis find out about Eneru’s treachery.
  • EPISODE 179 – Collapsing Upper Ruins! The Quintet for the Finale! – Eneru continues to wipe out his own people.
  • EPISODE 180 – Showdown in the Ancient Ruins! Sky God Eneru’s Goal! –  Eneru vs. Wyper, Gan Fall, Zoro and Nico Robin.
  • EPISODE 181 – Ambition Toward the Endless Vearth! The Ark Maxim! – Eneru vs. Wyper and Zoro.
  • EPISODE 182 – They Finally Clash! Pirate Luffy vs. God Eneru – Luffy vs. Eneru.  Meanwhile, Conis tries to warn the people of Skypeia.

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, Third Voyage” comes with the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 171 Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by Mike McFarland (Line Producer/ADR Director) and voice actor Sonny Strait (Usopp).

DISC 2:

  • Textless Songs – Textless songs for “BON VOYAGE”, “A to Z” and “Moon and Sun”.
  • Trailers – Trailers for upcoming FUNimation Entertainment releases.

With the latest third volume for the third season of “One Piece”, this volume literally gets to the action and it doesn’t stop.  Every episode features a major battle especially involving the character of Zoro who takes on two tough opponents while Nami and Luffy try to escape from a python that has ingested them.  For the most part, this volume focuses a lot on battles but specifically showing us how evil Eneru is and how he will kill everyone including his former comrades.

I would love to say that this series is lighthearted as the previous two volumes but the truth is that with some of the Straw Hat Pirates out for the count and with Eneru being the most powerful being they have ever faced thus far, for this volume, things are not looking so great for Luffy and the gang as well as some of the Skypeia warriors we have been introduced to earlier.

Personally, I’m quite content by having this volume more action-based as the other volumes, although they had action, some of the opponents were just over-the-top and some of the character designs for these enemies were not as menacing as I’d hope.  This time around, we are left with people who look bad-ass and thus, we find Luffy and the gang in that underdog position.

I felt that season three and this whole “Skypeia Arc” started quite slow at first.  Whereas the second season, it was more action-based, while the second season tried to be more comedy-based with a good number of filler episodes.  But this time around, I’m really digging where this third season is going thus far and the battles featured in “One Piece: Season Three, Third Voyage” was quite intense.

I’m definitely looking forward to the final “Skypeia Arc” which should end by the next fourth volume!  Overall, if you are a “One Piece” fan, this third voyage is definitely recommended!






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