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

May 20, 2010 by  



After the long Alabasta story-arc, “One Piece – Season Two: Seventh Voyage” features the final remaining episodes of the season before going onto the major arcs of the third season.  Although this volume are filler episodes, these episodes do establish the characters and also the newest member of the Straw Hat Pirates – Nico Robin.  These episodes continue to maintain the humor and action of the series and are very entertaining!

Image courtesy of © 2002 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: One Piece – Season Two: Seventh Voyage

DURATION: Episodes 131-143 (Duration: 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: May 11, 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

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

Bin Simada/Andy Mullins as Wapol

Nobuyuki Hiyama/Duncann Brannan as Mr. 3

Fresh off their adventure in Alabasta, the Straw Hats wash up on an island inhabited by a penny-pinching money lender who lives amongst the livestock. This greedy old goat longs for the life of a pirate, but his boat doesn’t float and his tuckered-out ticker won’t hold out long enough for him to hoist the Jolly Roger.

Nevertheless, Dr. Chopper and the gang do their best to make the old man’s dream come true, and he returns the favor by leading a goat-brigade raid on a marine fleet in hot pursuit of the Going Merry. This barnyard diversion creates an opening for the Straw Hats to sail out of trouble – and straight into the mysterious and deadly Rainbow Mist!

“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 Two: Seventh 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 “One Piece – Season Two: Seventh Voyage”, the crew have left Alabasta and now have a new member named Nico Robin (their former enemy formerly of Baroque Works) who has joined them.  Despite some of the members of the Straw Hat Pirates not trusting her because she was a former enemy, they take to the seas for more adventures but also being careful as the marines continue their hunt after them.  In this volume, the crew visit Goat Island and also run into a mysterious rainbow mist.

The “ONE PIECE – Season Two: Seventh Voyage” comes with episodes 131-143 on two DVD discs (note: In Japan, this volume is actually the conclusion of season 4). Here are the spoiler-less summaries of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 131 – The First Patient! The Untold Story of the Rumble Ball! – The group comes across a pineapple island and while they look for food, Chopper is left guarding the ship and is not sure if he can trust Nico Robin.
  • EPISODE 132 – Uprising of the Navigator! For the Unwielding Dream! – Nami pursues her goal to finish creating her maps.  But will she be able to complete one?
  • EPISODE 133 – A Recipe Handed Down! Sanji, The Iron Man of Curry – As the Straw Hat Pirates get close to the Marines, Sanji helps a marine chef in training.
  • EPISODE 134 – I Will Make It Bloom! Usipp, the Man and the Eight-Foot Shell! – The crew makes a stop at an island that is about to have its fireworks festival and Usop wants to help.
  • EPISODE 135 – The Fabled Pirate Hunter! Zoro, The Wandering Swordsman! – Zoro has a flashback and remembers when he first met Johnny and Yosaku.
  • EPISODE 136 – Zenny and the Island of the Goats and the Pirate Ship in the Mountain – The Straw Hat Pirates meet an old pirate named Zenny but he is dying of a bad heart.  Can Chopper help him?
  • EPISODE 137 – How’s Tricks? The Designs of Zenny the Moneylender!– The Marines arrive but they want the money that Zenny has in possession.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 138 – Whereabouts of the Island Treasure! Attack of the Zenny Pirates! – The Straw Hat Pirates take on the Straw Hat Pirates with help from the pirate Zenny.
  • EPISODE 139 – Legend of the Rainbow Mist! Old Man Henzo of Luluka Island –  The Straw Hat Pirates reach Luluka Island and meet a Mayor who taxes everything.
  • EPISODE 140 – Residents of the Land of Eternity! The Pumpkin Pirates! – Henzo tells his story of how he lost his friends in the mist over 50 years ago.
  • EPISODE 141 – Thoughts of Home! The Pirate Graveyard of No Escape! – Henzo tries to help his friends out of the Pirate Graveyard.
  • EPISODE 142 – An Inevitable Melee! Wetton’s Schemes and the Rainbow Tower! – Nami finds a way into the Rainbow Mist, can she rescue her friends?
  • EPISODE 143 – And So, The Legend Begins! To the Other Side of the Rainbow! – The identities of the marines who are after Luffy and the gang is revealed.

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

DISC 2:

  • Audio commentary for EPISODE 140 – Residents of the Land of Eternity! The Pumpkin Pirates – Director Jason Rutney, Colleen Clinkenbeard (Luffy) and Vic Mignona (Mayor Whetton, Young Whetton and Lake) do the commentary for this episode.
  • Textless Songs – Textless Songs for the opening and ending theme.
  • 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.

But like many long anime series, after each major saga, there is a usual lull of filler episodes and for the most part, some series tend to overdo it when it comes to these filler episodes and leaves you wondering, when will there be a major storyline.  The good news is that “One Piece” coming off the long Alabasta storyline does have filler episodes but they are very hilarious and entertaining.

For one, it was smart that after a major storyline, a new character was added to the series and in this case, it’s how Nico Robin will fit into the Straw Hat Pirates.  And it uses the filler episodes to at least bring some character development for her, since viewers are not all too familiar with her and what other unknown abilities that she may have.

But not all episodes on this seventh volume are all fillers.  You do get the Goat Island arc and also the Rainbow Mist arc as well.  They may not be major arcs but its enough to establish Nico Robin and also feature more episodes featuring each Straw Hats Pirate characters and eventually leading up for Season three of “One Piece” and the upcoming Jaya and Skyiea arcs.

Overall, “ONE PIECE” continues to be a fantastic anime series that has a great combination of humor, action, artwork, great voice acting and cool animation.  The “Seventh Voyage” is not as strong in terms of plot since these are mostly filler episodes but unlike other filler episodes for other series, these episodes do have some relevance and also, they are not maddening because the humor and action is still maintained.  But this is the final volume of the second season and definitely is a good pre-establishment towards the third season.  Check it out!






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