After a year reprinting the previous collections, Funimation has begun to unleash One Piece Season 4 for fans and it is something to be extremely excited about. For one, its new material finally making its way stateside and two, the series is now presented in widescreen, beginning with episode 207. In Season 4: Voyage One, we see the Straw Hats visit a strange island called Long Ring Long Land. Everything that they encounter, whether it be a piece of fruit or an animal, everything that resides there is extremely long in length. Things get shaken up a bit when a group of pirates, being led by Captain Foxy, begin to upset the natives and the Straw Hat gang. The Foxy Pirates decide that they’ll leave the island and the Straw Hats alone if they participate in a Davy Back Fight, a game in which a series of challenges are presented and the winners of each of the challenges gets to take a member of the losers crew. With crew members on the line, its up to each of the Straw Hats to use their wits and abilities to everyone intact and from becoming a member of the Foxy Pirates. Presenting episodes 206-217, this latest collection continues to show how One Piece manages to invigorate and remain innovative, even after exceeding 200 episodes.
This set wraps up the G-8 filler arc and proceeds right into the beginnings of the CP9 Saga. While presenting many stakes for the group, the nature and ambience of the Davy Back Fight and the Foxy Pirates make for a whole lot of fun in this set. Everything from the goofy character designs to the funny dialog when it comes time for Luffy to steal one of the Foxy crew, had me bursting at the seams with laughter and continued to show how well One Piece can manage its humor. With the jump to the broadcast being in widescreen now, the series feels much more grander in scope, due to the backgrounds being able to convey more or the compositions being given the chance to set up something much more elaborate.
I’ve been used to the recent collections that Funimation has been putting out for the last year and was a bit bummed to see that they’ve returned to the initial Voyage format. While its nearly not enough One Piece to go around, I’m sure that the license from Toei was expensive and had demands for them to release it this way. As far as extras go, there are two English dub commentary tracks for episodes 211 and 215, textless intros and outros and some trailers for upcoming Funimation products. No matter what though, any One Piece is a great reason to celebrate and the fact that its new material after a year of waiting is very much welcome.