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One Piece Season 4 Part 3 Anime DVD Review

7 min read

One Piece Season 4 Voyage 3
One Piece Season 4 Voyage 3
How dark will the water in Water 7 become?

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 230-241.

Audio:
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.

Video:
Originally airing in 2005, the Water 7 Arc 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.

Packaging:
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 features Luffy and Usopp in their epic showdown while Franky looks onward, hiding behind his mask. 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.

Menu:
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.

Extras:
There are two commentary tracks in this collection. Episodes 233 features ADR director Mike McFarland, Brina Palencia, and Philip Weber. Episode 236 features Mike McFarland, Colleen Clinkenbeard, and Sonny Strait

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
Water 7 is here! If you have been around One Piece for a while, you’ve probably heard about Water 7 and how it is a fan favorite. The Straw Hats are in for some very troublesome and dark waters ahead as all sorts of evil is lurking around the corner.

The introduction to the floating city of Water 7 almost feels a bit like Skypeia in all of its wonders. It feels like a normal town with a friendly populace. It is quite a unique city with all of its curiously designed architecture. The waterways are the most unique feature that crisscross the city. I like to think of it as a huge log ride at a theme park. Luffy has the most fun with this as sea-horses are used as the primary source of transportation. And, in typical One Piece fashion, Luffy has some wild antics with the sea-horse he and Nami use. You’ll find plenty of humor in the earlier episodes as the crew attempt to sell some of their loot to repair the Going Merry. Food gags are also going to be present as the Straw Hats love to eat when they explore any new city.

Things start to take a more serious tone when Robin suddently disappears with a mysteriously masked figure. Next, Usopp is kidnapped by the Franky Family along with their money. Thus, begins a highstakes plot that will pull the very fabric that holds this unlikely crew together and it will pull on your heartstrings as you follow along. At about halfway through this collection, things really start to get way serious.

Usopp always seems to have that chip on his shoulder and is always trying to prove himself worthy to the others. This is especially true as he has worked so hard at trying to keep The Going Merry shipshape. Even his antics as Captain Usopp have some repressed meaning behind them. This time around, Usopp tries to stand up for himself after having been robbed by the Franky Family. This leaves him battered and humiliatingly defeated. In his heart, you know Usopp has very good intentions but ends up falling short. You can’t help but feel his pain when he apologizes to Nami for being too weak and pathetic to protect their money.

Usopp’s hurt pride and Luffy’s inability to help his crewmate deal with the fact that The Going Merry will never sail again culminates in a fight that is one of the most tragically emotional fights this reviewer has seen. This is a fight that makes you want to turn off the TV or skip the episode(s) as it does not have a good ending. The battle that ensues is as action packed as it is emotionally charged. No matter the outcome, it’s not going to end with either Usopp or Luffy winning. Luffy’s final words to Usopp are tough to hear as much as it is tough to see Usopp lying motionless and beaten to a pulp again. There are no real winners in this fight.

Things make another turn for the worst when Iceberg, the mayor of Water 7, is shot and left for dead. A showdown with Franky is the last thing the Straw Hats need as they try to sort through the mess that they are now in. Franky is as bombastic as he is devious. A cyborg who runs on drinking cola, wears shades, and a speedo with two chicks that accompany him is the epitome of all things that are cool. Franky has a score to settle with Luffy and the Straw Hats over the stolen money and the destruction of his family home.

A new revelation in Iceberg’s shooting comes to light as he clearly remembers Robin and the mysteriously masked man being there before he was shot. This new revelation along with the mass destruction from Luffy’s fights with Franky charge the townspeople to hunt down the Straw Hats. Now on the run, the Straw Hats have the entire Water 7 population looking for them. Thank goodness Aqua Laguna is coming! Did I forget to mention that Aqua Laguna is a hurricane!

This collection of episodes sets up a highly emotional plot that seems to turn darker with each and every turn. There are lots of questions to be answered and scores to settle. We know that Usopp is left to his own demise and with The Going Merry which is unable to sail. How will he ride out the storm? Chopper and Sanji manage to track down Robin and can’t believe what she has revealed.

Summary
Be prepared for troubled times as the waters are not quite so blue in Water 7. The anticipation for this story arcs does everything but disappoint. High stakes action, heart wrenching tragedy, and mysteries aplenty can be found in this collection of One Piece episodes. You will find a firm foundation of One Piece goodness that culminates in humor, action, and wild characterizations. Within a few episodes of this collection, you will find a much darker tone in plot than any One Piece story arc so far. It is a welcome change that will refresh the investment that you have made with this unlikely crew and will re-engage your eager anticipation for more episodes to come soon!

Features:
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Content: B
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-

Review Equipment
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

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