A treasure trove of story arcs comes together in this in-between major story arc collection.
What They Say:
Monkey D. Luffy refuses to let anyone or anything stand in the way of his quest to become King of All Pirates. With a course charted for the treacherous waters of the Grand Line, this is one captain who’ll never drop anchor until he’s claimed the greatest treasure on earth: the legendary One Piece!
Along for the ride are his loyal crewmates, a wonderfully-bizarre collection of outcasts and misfits from the far corners of the world. Each member has their own special talent, and they’ll utilize their skills to help Luffy achieve his dream! Together, the rubberman and his crew can conquer any challenge and defeat any foe!
Contains episodes 218-229
For this viewing session, we listened to English dub. The English 5.1 track is solid with no distortions or dropouts. On par with the other releases, this is a solid sound track that predominately uses the forward sound stage.
The Long Ring Long Land Arc originally aired in 2004 and 2005. As with the previous collections this transfer for One Piece does not disappoint in its original full frame aspect ratio. One Piece’s transfer is consistently clean and pleasing to watch. All of the colors appear very solid and exhibit great vibrancy. Cross coloration is absent and aliasing is at a minimum. On rare occasions there is just a small bit of noticeable background noise, but nothing to be concerned about. Nearly 8 years old, the animation quality is not quite up to par with today’s new anime style. However, One Piece’s bizarre character designs will keep your attention as they can be very random and often memorable.
The packaging for this collection follows the previous collection. Season 4 changes things up a bit with a white background slip cover for the two think pack DVD cases. You will find the familiar One Piece logo across the top with some artwork from the series on the front with the typical collection summary and technical specifications on the back. The artwork is bright, colorful, and always an attention grabber. This edition brings us scenes from the memory loss arc with Zoro and Luffy fighting along with the mysterious seahorse creature. The thinpack case artwork is virtually the same as the previous collection. Overall, this is a decent design with a welcome set of changes that refresh the packaging.
Nothing has really changed with the menu system for this collection. The menu design is rather simple, but effective. The menu background uses the same design that is used for the DVD cases and box. The main menu features a larger image of The Going Merry that is found on the back side of the cardboard slipcover. The right side of the main menu features a vertical menu selection. Your standard episode and setup menus are all found here as well as a great looping musical score for each menu. The music loops appropriately and does not abruptly end, which is a nice touch. The menus are easy to access and transition smoothly without any problem.
As with other the collections preceding this one, the marathon mode feature allows you to view all the episodes without having to watch the episode introduction, preview for the next episode, and the closing credits.
The extras included in the collection are found on the second disc. The extras include the textless songs for the series and a handful of the latest FUNimation trailers. You will also find the staff commentary for episodes 218 and 219.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
The second collection of 2012 rolled out quickly and none too soon. The second part of season four continues on with the crazy antics of the Foxy Pirates while preparing us for the awesomeness that awaits in the next story arc, Water Seven. While this series of episodes is mostly filler, to some extent, it still retains the core essence of what makes One Piece such a joy to watch.
The opening episode concludes the Davy Back Fight between Silver Fox Foxy and Luffy in great fanfare, but is the fight really over with? Foxy tries every trick in the book to cheat Luffy from disguises, to trap doors, devil fruit power, etc.. Of course, Luffy manages to miraculously beat his opponent with the power of the afro! I still find it amusing to hear Usopp talking up the afro power and Luffy assuming the role of a prize fighting boxer. Winning the fight assures that Luffy gets Robin and Chopper back in addition to the 500 crewmembers of the Foxy Pirates, including Foxy himself.
Furthermore, Luffy humiliates Foxy by dismissing him along with Porche and Hamburg. The Long Ring Island arc ends with Foxy swearing vengeance upon the Straw Hats. Foxy was a rather obnoxious and humorous character who reminds me a lot of Buggy the Pirate. Teaming those two up could prove to be an interesting tale… Plus, he looks a lot like Count Chocula!
With Foxy sent packing, Luffy dismisses the rest of the Foxy Pirates to their own devices. Nami’s Log Pose guides the crew to the next island which begins the Ocean’s Dream arc. This arc’s origins come from a Playstation game and will take up most of this collection’s library of episodes to view.
Upon arrival at their next destination, we discover that the crew has lost their memories. Everyone, except Robin, is affected and all memories pertaining to anything that has occurred across the 220 episodes appears to be all but forgotten. The circle of trust is broken and everyone is suspicious and untrusting of each other. Notably this affects Nami the most as she comes to grips with the fact that she is stuck with a bunch of pirates. In similar ways, Chopper struggles with this, but learns to trust Robin’s reassurance. The affliction experience for Luffy and Usopp seem to be less cerebral and more focused on their personalities. Luffy’s happy-go-lucky sense of adventure is presented and Usopp’s subconscious aspirations are all about being Captain Usopp! Zoro and Sanji naturally want to go back to the way things used to be, of course with fighting included.
Predictably, the solution to the amnesia lies within the mysterious seahorse and the boy named Dream. What is not so predictable is how this story ends with the Straw Hats having to hurriedly leave the island. Unexpectedly, we see the Straw Hats cross paths with Foxy, Hamburg, and Porche as we get with one last laugh with Luffy donning the afro again. I am sure this is not the last we will see of Foxy. Maybe his next appearance should be a spoof of the famous cereal count.
Hastily moving onward, the crew arrives at an island that they believe to be uninhabited. Coincidentally, they cross paths with Navy Admiral Aokiji who seems to know Robin rather well and is very familiar with the bounty on the Straw Hats. This dude is bad news. Anyone who can ride a bike on water and freeze it at the same time is one bad dude!
Aokiji believes it is his duty to eliminate Robin by freeing her. In attempt to save Robin and the crew, Luffy challenges Aokiji to a fight. Luffy is no match and is also frozen. Sanji and Zoro manage to rescue both of them while Chopper works on unthawing them. Chivalrously minded, Aokiji respects Luffy’s challenge and chooses to not pursue them. I am sure this is not the last we have seen of this dude. He has vendetta to make Luffy pay for what the Marines incurred from Crocodile’s defeat. It’s no doubt, He’ll be back!
Closing up this collection, we get one teaser episode for the Water 7 saga for which I can’t wait. The anticipation of this story arc is high on my list and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the Straw Hat crew.
The second collection of season four encompasses four story arcs. The Long Ring Long Land Arc wraps up within the first two episodes while the Ocean’s Dream Arc eats up most of the collection. A brief encounter with Foxy’s Return Arc brings back the power of the afro once more, while the last episode teases us with the highly regarded and anticipated Water 7 Arc. The Straw Hats have had quite a few adventures since Alabasta and I have a feeling that they may be soon dealing with the consequences of their decisions. This is evident with Amdiral Aokiji making his debut. It looks like the Straw Hats may be in for some rough waters.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Samsung UN46B6000VF 120Hz LED HDTV, Samsung HT-WS1R/XAA 2.1 Channel Soundbar Speaker System with Wireless Subwoofer, and Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p