Here come the flashback episodes!
What They Say:
The tragic secrets of Robin’s past are revealed in series of heartbreaking flashbacks! Bullied because of her unique powers, young Robin’s only friends were the kindly scientists who nurtured her genius intellect while her mother searched for the answers to life’s greatest mysteries. Lonely and afraid, Robin took comfort in the company of books until the day the World Government arrived.
Commanded by men who feared the might of science, an army of warships launched a brutal attack on the peaceful island of Ohara – an attack that threatened to separate mother and daughter forever! Robin’s dark past left her with a lifetime of scars, but Luffy and the Straw Hats never give up on family! Even if it means a deadly showdown with the assassins of CP9!
Contains episodes 276-287.
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 5 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 the entire crew, with Robin being the focus of attention. 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 focus on the English voice cast. The “On the Boat” segments with the cast of the show are fun and allow us to experience the cast as they share their experiences in recording the dub.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
The events about to unfold a Enies Lobby will have a profound impact on the Straw Hat crew as they take on CP9 in order to free their beloved Robin. This collection contains huge amount of flashbacks that string across many episodes. This tends to make marathoning the episodes a bit tiresome if not boring. I can’t remember how many times I watched Luffy and the gang make that jump of the edge of the building!
The backstory for Robin fills in a lot of blanks that have been shrouded in mystery ever since we were first introduced to her back with good ole Crocodile. We learn about her days living on Ohara and her quest to find her mother. The story is a bit tragic and tugs at the heartstrings as we learn about her mother’s research and the criminality of the whole thing.
As suspected the knowledge contained in the Pongeglyphs are harbingers of bad news. The power contained in them and the history brings about a whole new spin on the One Piece saga that I am sure will prove to be a very interesting ride for sure. As young girl, Robin is oblivious to the wheels that are in motion. But, that doesn’t stop her from trying to figure out what they are and why everything is shrouded in such secrecy.
The curious young girl makes a name for herself as she begins secretly discovering the truth about the Pnoeglyphs, but that is short lived as the World Government makes its move on the island as a Buster Call to wipe out the whole island is ordered. In effort to stop the Ohara scientists from uncovering the real history of the world, the World Government doesn’t want the history that they have written to be rewritten. The old adage of those who win wars gets to write history is very much apparent. Unfortunately, Robin is in the middle of it all and stands to lose the most. Now, we know why Robin is the woman that she has become! Her motive for archeology and her unquenchable thirst for the uncovering world’s true history all make sense now.
Thankfully, this collection does move us to the beginning of the real CP9 fight with the Straw Hats, including good ole Cutty Flam. Ultimately, Frankie and Robin are going to have to work together to break free of Spandam the Madman while the rest of the crew work in small teams to bring down the rest of theCP9 gang. Just when it starts to get good, the collection ends! And just as a side note, Soge King is still just as awesome as he ever was!
One Piece continues to be one of my favorite series, but this collection is the epitome of using old footage and flashbacks to fill a big span of episodes. Also known as filler! However, if you can see past that, there is a good amount of material to absorb as Robin is a very complex character and her history speaks very well for that. I can appreciate the direction for how this was put together but I think there are more creative ways to accomplish it. Nevertheless, once you get past Robins’ history, the pace picks back up just so you can get ready to buy the next collection, which I am sure many of you will have by the time you read this review.
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-
Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: September 3rd, 2013
Running Time: 320 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
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