Say hello to Thousand Sunny!
What They Say:
Luffy and his mates emerged victorious from the battle at Enies Lobby, but after bidding a fiery farewell to the Going Merry, these pirates won’t be going anywhere! There’s a hefty new bounty on each of their heads, and their only hope for escape rests on the cyborg shoulders of Franky. The blue-haired, speedo-sporting shipwright offers to build the Straw Hats a new vessel, but time is of the essence. Some very familiar marines are breathing down their necks, and the crew can’t set sail without a boat – or their stubborn sniper.
A bombastic barrage of cannonballs inches closer and closer as the Straw Hats wait to see whether Franky will join the family, Usopp can swallow his pride, and if an angry face from Luffy’s past will sink their new ship!
Contains episodes 313-324.
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 2007, the Enies Lobby 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 Franky in a pose only Franky can pull off with the Thousand Sunny in the background. 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. The DVD labels now use an image of the Thousand Sunny.
Nothing has really changed with the menu system for this collection. 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 Thousand Sunny 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 menus are easy to access and transition smoothly without any problem.
The extras for this release focus on the English voice cast. The “In the Booth” 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. Colleen Clinkenbeard is featured in this segment as she shares some insight about her role.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Enies Lobby arc really ended with a bang given that there was a lot going on with the main cast and the supporting characters. In typical One Piece fashion, it all wrapped rather nicely. The Going Merry was the heart breaker as it was the rock that the crew always depended on. Her departure from the series was well done with a great tribute to her amazing journey. This makes for a great segue in which we see Franky become more than just a supporting cast member for the story arc.
Between major story arcs a lot can take place with One Piece, which usually throws a lot at you and then leaves you hanging. There is quite a bit of single character stories scattered throughout this collection which is a nice change of pace. This, of course, is building things up to the eventual reveal of the Thousand Sunny and Franky becoming the newest Straw Hate pirate. Of course, the Water 7 townspeople love the Straw Hats and are diligently working behind the scenes with guidance from Franky and Iceberg to construct the new ship. Franky finally gets to build the ship of his dreams, but not without a lot of bickering with Iceberg. Some rivalries never die out even when the Navy is about to occupy the island!
Of course, the Straw Hats are recouping from the battle while Luffy eats and sleeps, which is his usual routine. New bounties for each of the crew bring about a new sense of pride and accomplishment as they are becoming rather renowned. There is plenty of comical nonsense in the side stories, but they are largely skipable. The episode story involving a young girl and Luffy was my favorite. We all know Luffy has a soft heart for those who are brokenhearted, beaten down, or lost. He comes to the aid her in searching for her lost Yasdra who disappeared during Aqua Laguna. The story wraps of rather nicely and some definite feel-good moments.
You will find two other sides stories that feature Zoro and Sanji respectively. For the most part, they are rather forgettable with exception to Zoro’s story and his encounter with Mama. It is quite comical as the master swordsman gets caught up in domestic house work.
Most importantly, this collection intends to solve the events surrounding Usopp. The Sogeking gig is up and its time that Straw Hats settle Usopp’s desertion and what he has done. It’s time for him to apologize and fess up to Luffy. This doesn’t come easily for Usopp as the crew tries many different tactics for getting him to say he’s sorry. The apology does come in its due time, but not in a manner that one would expect. In the end, it is a fitting apology that best fits the relationship that Usopp has with Luffy. It’s nice to see that the hatchet is buried!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Navy and Vice Admiral Garp in this review as I am sure he will play a pivotal role in things to come as Luffy continues his journey to be come King of the Pirates. Garp shows up to spend a little time visiting his grandson, Luffy. Their relationship, which has never been revealed before, is quite hilarious especially when you see how the rest of the crew reacts to the news. Obviously, Garp is there in the best interests of protecting his grandson before he has to follow orders.
This quickly accelerates the slow pace of the collection as the Straw Hats need to flee the Navy as Admiral Garp cannot ignore his duty. What ensues makes for a great ending to the collection as we see Franky joining the crew along with the new ship he, the townspeople of Water 7, and Iceberg have built. Thousand Sunny is a mighty ship and is a welcome upgrade as I can see all kinds of potential for she can do. This is definitely a great way to end the collection.
With Water 7 and Enis Lobby behind us, it is time for the Straw Hats to move on to the next big adventure. I can definitely appreciate the fan appreciation for this story arc as it had some grand and epic moments. The resolve of the crew is greater than it has ever been and the addition of Franky and the Thousand Sunny just makes it all the more fun. It was nice to see that Usopp was finally able to resolve things in his own way. Vice Admiral Garp being Luffy’s grandfather was an interesting reveal that will be interesting to follow in the future. As with One Piece, it is all fun even though there are some episodes that won’t be that memorable. All in all, this was a solid release that definitely leaves you wanting more as the our favorite band of pirates sets out on another adventure.
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: December 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