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

October 7, 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.  This volume features the introduction of one of the more popular characters in manga and anime within the last decade – Tony Tony Chopper.  “ONE PIECE” fans, this volume is recommended!

 

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

DVD TITLE: One Piece – Season Two: Third Voyage

DURATION: Episodes 79-91 (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: September 29, 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

Bin Simada/Andy Mullins as Wapol

Letter of Marque

With Nami on the verge of death, Luffy’s crew abandons its voyage to Alabasta and goes looking for help.  Their search leads them to frosty Drum Island, where the locals don’t roll out the red carpet for prates, and the only doctor in town lives atop a treacherous, snow-covered mountain.  In order to save their friend Luffy and Sanji most survive an avalanche, Duke it out with a carnivorous herd of abominable rabbits, and defeat a foe who devours anything he can get his mouth on.  Danger lurks around every corner on this treacherous mission, but the Straw Hats have more at stake than ever before.

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 earlier on, 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.

Drum Island Characters:

In this volume of “One Piece: Season Two: Third Voyage”, we are introduced to new characters but also a new member who joins the Straw Hat Pirates.  Featured are:

Wapol – The King of Drum Island.  He has eaten the Munch-Munch fruit which has given him the ability to eat anything and even increasing his body mass.

Chess – A talented and deadly archer who works under Wapol.

Kuromarimo – Works under Wapol, who uses his afro and can recreate even more afro as weapons and throws it at his enemies to immobilize them.

Dalton – The former right hand man of Wapol who has now dedicated his lives to help the people of Drum Island from Wapol.  Known for his strength and ability to change to a beast.

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.

Doctor Hiriluk – A quack who has always tried to help people but his medical concoctions have never worked.  Raised Chopper and  managed to nurse him during his darker times.  His goal was to make cherry blossoms bloom in the Drum Island.

Doctrine (or Doctor/Witch) – The final doctor left on Drum Island that is not working for Wapol.  Known for her young woman-like physique and strength but her face is of a very, old woman but is dedicated to helping people.  She trains Chopper in medicine.

With “ONE PIECE – Season Two: Third Voyage”, the adventure continues as the Straw Hat Gang plan to go to Alabasta to return Princess Vivi and Carue back to her land.  The problem is that when the gang fought from their last battle in the island, Nami was bitten by a bug and now she is growing sicker and sicker by the day.  Worried about her health and the fact that she may die without medical care, the group knows they need to stop at an island and find a doctor for her.

So, the gang end up in the frosty island known as Drum Island who is run by a dictator named Wapol and his henchman.  And while at Drum Island, the Straw Hat Pirates realize that these people may not be as kind to help them.

The “ONE PIECE – Season Two: Third Voyage” DVD comes with episodes 79 through 91.  Here are the spoiler-less summaries of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 79 – A Raid! The Tin Tyrant and Tin Plate Wapol! – The Straw Hat Pirates come across someone named Wapol.  Also, the group seeks medical help in Drum Island.
  • EPISODE 80 – An Island without Doctors! Adventure in a Nameless Land! – The group meet Dalton and the residents of Drum Island.
  • EPISODE 81 – Are You Happy! The Doctor Called Witch! – We are introduced to a doctor who the residents call witch.
  • EPISODE 82 – Dalton’s Resolve! Wapol’s Corps Lands on the Island! – With Luffy and Sanji bringing Nami to the doctor, Wapol and his men land on Drum Island.
  • EPISODE 83 – The Island Where Snow Lives! Climb the Drum Rockies! – In order to get Nami to the doctor, Luffy and Sanji must brave through abominable rabbits to get to the top of the Rockies.
  • EPISODE 84 – Blue-nosed Reindeer! Chopper’s Secret! – The introduction to Tony Tony Chopper.
  • EPISODE 85 – An Outcast’s Dream! Hiriluk the Quack! – We learn about Doctor Hiriluk who is a quack but his resolve to help people and Chopper.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 86 – Hiriluk’s Cherry Blossoms and the Will that Gets Carried on! – The final days of Doctor Hiriluk and how Dalton came to help the people of Drum Island.
  • EPISODE 87 – Fight Wapol’s Crew! The Power of the Munch Munch Fruit! – Luffy, Sanji and Chopper are confronted by Wapol and his henchman.
  • EPISODE 88 – Zoan-type Devil Fruit! Chopper’s Seven-form Transformation! – In order to fight Wapol, Chopper shows off his seven-form transformation.
  • EPISODE 89 – When the Kingdom’s Rule Ends! The Flag of Faith Flies Forever! – Wapol vs. Luffy, who will win?
  • EPISODE 90 – Hiriluks Cherry Blossoms!  Miracle in the Drum Rockies! – The Doctrine lives up to her promise to Doctor Hiriluk.  Also, the Straw Hat Pirates gain a new member.
  • EPISODE 91 – Goodbye Drum Island!  I’m Going Out to Sea! – The Straw Hat Pirates set off to Alabasta with their new member.  Meanwhile, we are introduced to another member of Baroque Works.

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: Third Voyage” comes with the following special features:

DISC 2:

  • Audio Commentary for Episode 90 – Hiruluk’s Cherry Blossoms!  Miracle in the Drum Rockies! – In order to get this commentary, you need to select individual episodes and you will see it listed under episode 90.  Featuring ADR Director Jason Grundy, Brina Palencia (voice of Chopper) and Sonny Strait (voice of Usopp).
  • Textless Songs – Textless Songs for the opening song “Believe” by folder5 and the closing song “Before Dawn” by Ai-Sachi.
  • 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: Third Voyage”, one can call it the “Tony Tony Chopper” or “Drum Island” saga as the storyline focuses on the group in Drum Island but most importantly, how they gained a member of the group.  Definitely a popular saga, Tony Tony Chopper has become one of the more popular characters in Japanese animation, even being voted in the top 5 characters of  “Shonen Jump” and other polls.  Needless to say, the character has become a major mascot of the show and a fan favorite.  So, if you want to know everything about Chopper, this is the volume where you’re going to see it all happen.

As for the overall storyline, it’s actually very good.  Where the last volume was more set on the battles between the Straw Hat Pirates and Baroque Works, “Season Two: Third Voyage” focuses on character development around the main characters of Drum Island but also major character development storylines built around Chopper.  By no means, does this mean that the series has hardly any battles because there is quite a bit of fighting as we see Wapol take on the people of Drum Island (including Dalton) and of course the Straw Hat Pirates and Chopper taking on Wapol and his men.

Also, I enjoy how the setting is very arctic and that the characters are put into a situation where it’s extremely cold, snow everywhere and for the most part, it’s definitely something different for Luffy and the gang.

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, for fans of Brina Palencia and Sonny Strait will definitely dig the audio commentary.  Hilarious and also cool to hear the English dub voice actors compliment their Japanese counterparts.   Also, included are the textless opening and ending themes and the trailer.

So, for “ONE PIECE” fans, this saga is definitely an entertaining saga but also one of the saddest back stories for a character.  But everything comes full circle and becomes quite enjoyable.

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.  Highly recommended!

 

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