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

August 17, 2009 by  



“ONE PIECE” is just a fantastic anime series that has a great combination of humor, action, artwork, great voice acting and cool animation.  Overall, another solid “ONE PIECE” release from FUNimation Entertainment.  Highly recommended!

 

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

DVD TITLE: One Piece – Season Two: Second Voyage

DURATION: Episodes 67-78 (320 minutes, 2 DVD’s)

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

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: August 25, 2009

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

Kazuki Yao/Barry Yandell as Mr. 2 Bon Clay

Kazuya Nakai/Christopher R. Sabat as Roronoa Zoro

Ryuzaburo Otomo/John Swasey as Sir Crocodile/Mr. O

Yuriko Yamaguchi/Stephanie Yong as Nico Robin/Miss All-Sunday

The Grand Line is no place for a crew of yellow-bellied land-lubbers! Lucky for the Straw Hats, they’ve got Monkey D. Luffy – the bravest captain sailing the high seas. So when a night of drinking turns into a daring attempt to protect a princess from treacherous assassins, Luffy’s crew is ready for action! Their death-defying rescue mission sees them cross paths with monstrous sea creatures, prehistoric predators, and battle-tested giants with an explosive thirst for ale. Adventures like this might take the wind out of some swashbucklers, but it’s all in a days work for a rubberman determined to become the king of all pirates!

Exciting, action-packed and just all out fun! One of my favorite storylines of the “One Piece” anime series makes its way to DVD!

“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, FUNimation Entertainment began releasing the original, uncut versions since the May of 2008 with a total of 13 episodes per volume.

“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.

Vivi Nefertari – The Princess of Alabasta and trying to infiltrate Baroque Works and find out who the leader is.  She and her duck Carue join the Straw Hat Pirates and are on adventure to get back to Alabasta.

Carue – A duck like animal who understands what the crew are talking about and although used by Vivi and others to ride on, Carue is also protective of Vivi and the others.

The cast of Baroque Works in this volume include:

Baroque Works is a criminal organization run by Crocodile aka #0.  Their goal is to take over Alabasta and agents are also Bounty Hunters who capture pirates for money.  Each Bounty Hunter are teamed up with another agent.

#3 – An agent who has the power to create an unlimited amount of wax from his body and can mold it to anything he wants.  The wax hardens and can be hard as steel.

Miss Goldenweek – The young partner of #3.  Has the ability to use colors of paint in order to control a person and have them do a variety of things.  Very aloof and expects #3 to take care of her and serve her tea.

#5 – An agent who has the ability to create explosives.  His body and breath produce explosives and is immune to any type of explosives.

Miss Valentine – The partner of #5 and is known for carrying an umbrella.  She has the ability to make her weight extremely heavy despite being a thin young woman.

With “One Piece – Season Two: Second Voyage”, the adventure continues as Princess Vivi and Carue join the Straw Pirates in an adventure to return the princess back to Alabasta (and hopefully get some reward).  But first, the crew needs to pass through a certain island that they have been warned about by Miss All Sunday, a member of the evil Baroque Works.  What they discover at this island will surprise the Straw Hat Pirates and unknown to them, members of the Baroque Works are after them.

The “One Piece – Season Two: Second Voyage” DVD comes with episodes 67 through 78.  Here are the spoiler-less summaries of each episode included on “One Piece – Season Two: Second Voyage”:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 67 – Deliver Princess Vivi! The Luffy Pirates Set Sail! – The Straw Hat Pirates decide if they want to bring Princess Vivi back to Alabasta.
  • EPISODE 68 – Try Hard, Coby! Coby and Helmeppo’s Struggles in the Marines – Coby is inspired by Luffy and now he and Helmeppo must prove that they can make it in the marines.
  • EPISODE 69 – Coby and Helmeppo’s Resolve! Vice-Admiral Garp’s Parental Affection! – Vice-Admiral Garp wants Coby and Helmeppo to prove that they have what it takes to be in the marines.
  • EPISODE 70 – An Ancient Island!  The Shadow Hiding in Little Garden! – The Straw Hat Pirates end up in a new island that appears to have dinosaurs.
  • EPISODE 71 – Huge Duel! The Giants Dorry and Broggy! – Luffy, Princess Vivi and Carue meet a giant named Dorry, while Nami and Usopp meet the giant Broggy and learn about the duel of the giants.
  • EPISODE 72 – Luffy Gets Angry! A Dirty Trick Violates the Sacred Duel! – Someone has violated the duel between Dorry and Broggy and now Luffy wants revenge!

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 73 – Broggy’s Bitter Tears of Victory! The Conclusion of Elbaf! – Baroque Works #3 plan against the giants works but now they must go after members of the Straw Hat Pirates.
  • EPISODE 74 – The Devilish Candle! Tears of Regret and Tears of Anger! – #3 shows Broggy and members of the Straw Hat Pirates his true power.
  • EPISODE 75 – A Hex on Luffy! Color Trap! – Luffy to the rescue, that is if he can get past Baroque Works agent Miss Goldenweek.
  • EPISODE 76 – Time to Fight Back! Usopp’s Quick Thinking and Fire Star! – With Luffy trapped by Miss Goldenweek, Usopp must do what he can to rescue his crew mates immediately or they will die.
  • EPISODE 77 – Farewell Giant Island! Head for Alabasta! – The Straw Hat Pirates must go to Alabasta but their path is blocked by the monster who eats islands.
  • EPISODE 78 – Nami’s Sick! Beyond the Snow Falling on the Sea! – While the Straw Hat Pirates make their way to Alabasta, Nami is suffering from her insect bite and is ill.  Without any doctors around, the crew must make a major decision.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

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.

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.

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 Two: Second Voyage” comes with the following special features:

DISC 1:

  • Audio Commentary for Episode 67 – Audio commentary by Scott (one of the directors of “One Piece”), Caitlin Glass (Princess Vivi) and Stephanie Young (Miss All Sunday/Nico Robin).  The talents talk about how they did the voice acting for the movies at first but then going backwards and doing the voice work of their character’s for the TV series later.  Also, how they got cast for their roles for “One Piece” and more.  A very entertaining and informative audio commentary.

DISC 2:

  • Textless Songs – Textless Songs for the opening song “Believe” and the closing song “Shouchinosuke”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

I absolutely love “ONE PIECE”.  The characters, the action, the involving and well-written storylines and of course, the wonderful voice work via Japanese and also the English dub tracks and the refreshing and unique artwork.

With the release of “One Piece – Season Two: Second Voyage”, the Alabasta storyline is my favorite earlier storylines of “One Piece” thus far.  There is a good amount of action and humor but unlike other series that tends to drag things out quite a bit and sometimes you end up losing your attention, the Second Voyage is nothing like that.  You will probably most likely find yourself watching ever episode from beginning to end. That is how entertaining this latest volume truly is!

In this volume you get Princess Vivi and Carue joining the crew, viewers get to see Miss Sunday (Nico Robin) for the first time confronting the gang, battle between the two giants Dorry and Broggy but most of all, the continuing battle between the Straw Hat Pirates and Baroque Works.  And the battle against #3 and #5 was very entertaining and well-written.  So, you can definitely expect a lot of action with this volume alone!

You do get two filler episodes featuring Coby and Helmeppo trying to become marines and for the most part, these two episodes are actually quite entertaining and actually relate to the series as opposed to other series that have too many filler episodes and really do nothing to advance the storyline.

But the battle between the Straw Hat Pirates and Baroque Works is quite entertaining and its one of the most original fight scenes that anyone will ever catch in any anime series.

As for the DVD release, you get the original, uncut episodes and English audio via Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and also the Japanese track (in 2.0).  Again, both audio tracks in English and Japanese are well-acted and “ONE PIECE” is simply one of the better looking anime TV series in Japan.

As for the special features, I was glad to find out there was an audio commentary track included with this release and for English dub fans of Caitlin Glass and Stephanie Young, you will definitely find the commentary quite informative and fun to listen to.  But I wish there was more than one audio commentary included but I’ll take any extra special feature aside from the usual textless opening and ending themes and trailers.

“ONE PIECE” is just a fantastic anime series that has a great combination of humor, action, artwork, great voice acting and cool animation.  Overall, another solid “ONE PIECE” release from FUNimation Entertainment.  Highly recommended!

 






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