How dark will the water in Water 7 become?
What They Say:
Things have never looked bleaker in the world of One Piece. The Going Merry is no longer seaworthy, Robin and Usopp have left the crew, and the rest of the gang stands accused of a cold-hearted assassination attempt! Luffy and his remaining mates have a plan to prove their innocence, but a mysterious gang of cutthroat killers are one step ahead of their every move. Dark secrets and tragic pasts are revealed while a monstrous storm threatens to sink the city!
Contains episodes 242-252.
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.
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.
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 Robin and the CP9 gang. 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 for this release include a few commentaries as well as a new feature called “On the Boat”. This is a welcome addition and allows the viewer to peek further into the world of the English voice cast.
The next collection of Water 7 goodness does not disappoint as this collection delves into a lot of content that runs as deep as it is wide. There is a lot of content to absorb as we learn about Robin and her involvement in CP9 and Franky’s back story. While this is all well and good, I just couldn’t help but wonder about Usopp as his story left a heavy feeling at the end of the last collection.
Usopp ends up with Franky again, but it is on more familiar, yet friendly terms. It seems as if they have both developed a bond by the time the collection draws to a close. This of course, centers around Usopp’s obsession for repairing the Going Merry when it is absolutely impossible to do so.
The mystery around Robin is one that comes from left field and throws you for a loop. It appears that Robin is in cahoots with Iceberg’s entire circle of trust at Galley-La. However, Iceberg has no idea that they have been plotting against him all along. They are all assassins that work for the World Government and are after something very important. It just happens that Iceberg has a very important blueprint that the World Government must obtain. This device is known as Pluton and has immense destructive power.
The Straw Hats seem to be caught in the middle of everything while trying to piece together what is going on. The crew’s plight in this collection takes a bit of a back seat while the actions of CP9 and Franky unfold. There are some decent moments with the crew, but nothing substantial as most of their time is spent trying to figure out what is up with Robin. There are a few laughs along the way with the most memorable being with Luffy and Zoro as they tend to get stuck between a rock and a hard place a little too often.
As the CP9 plot is revealed, we learn a great deal about CP9 and their involvement with the World Government. It involves Iceberg, Franky, and the blueprints for a weapon of mass destruction. As young apprentices, Iceberg and Franky are taken under wing by Tom, one of the most famous shipwrights in all of Water 7. Here we learn how the two became perfectionists in their craft and how their personalities took form, especially they polarizing stances on how things should be done.
Tom was not only a famous shipwright, but also became a criminal under the eyes of the World Government. His development of the Sea Train and protecting the Pluton blueprint are bound to play out in an interesting way as this subplot continues to unfold. It is no doubt, that strained relationship between Franky and Iceberg will play a pivotal role as the Water 7 saga marches onward.
The fourth voyage of season four begins to unravel the mystery behind Robin’s actions and the attempted murder of Iceberg. A mysterious weapon of immense power is at play and the World Government is pulling all the strings. Icerberg and Franky’s past has a role to play in all of it and the Straw Hats are caught up in the middle. There is a lot to like in this collection as there are lots of mysteries revealed. The big question remains, what will happen with Usopp and can the CP9 gang be stopped. The next collection can’t come soon enough!
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: A-
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