Without little surprise, One Piece has managed to captivate me once again, with Season Five: Voyage Two, an outing that contains just about everything that one would need to feel at home with a long running shonen series. Need a great backstory for one of the characters, check. How about some recap episodes, check. How about some fantastic action, silly hijinks and some interesting powers to boot? This boxed set of One Piece just about has everything that a fan could ask for, as well as someone that would think about dipping their toes in the water, just to see what all of the hoopla is about!
After spending plenty of time with her as a Straw Hat, we finally get to see the tear jerking backstory of Nico Nico Robin and the tragic fate of her home island, Ohara. From the use of the first Buster Call, to the trials and tribulations of Robin, we finally get to understand how she came about obtaining a bounty at such a young age and the true agendas of the World Government. This certainly makes for some intense drama, as well as highlighting the fearful power that the military has been somewhat hiding, until now. This batch of episodes also shows just how dedicated the Straw Hats have become, no matter what dangers they face. With their backs against the wall, Luffy still decides to go to war with the World Government, under the circumstances that his friends life is in danger. The stakes have always been high, when it comes to each of the Straw Hats facing something, but these episodes show just how far they’re willing to go, when each of their lives are on the line. As simplistic as it may be, there’s something about the honesty and earnest approach that Luffy takes, that makes for the show being engaging. I mean think about it, you’re in trouble and your best friend goes to war with the entire world, just to make sure that you’re okay.
There are a few episodes that are lengthy flashback episodes, that one would think are a waste of time. If you look at it in context, it really calculates the growth of these characters to one another, as well as measures how the stakes have been raised entirely by the episodes that surround the bulk of the Enies Lobby story. With this in mind, its one of the few times that I’ve been patient and willing to sit through flashback episodes, but then again, I’m a sucker for anything One Piece related.
The DVD set comes with some pretty solid extras as well. With there being episode commentaries, two behind the scenes featurettes, three different textless openings and one textless outro, it has to be one of the most packed Voyage boxed sets ever put out by Funimation. While I don’t usually don’t watch the Funimation dub, the behind the scenes videos are pretty fun and they show how much care is placed into both the acting and the production of the English translation, that certainly make it worth watching.
While I’m certainly biased, there’s so much going on in this boxed set of One Piece that its possible to have both existing fans and people that want to get their toes wet to check it out. Highly Recommended!