In the past year, I’ve managed to get through over 200 episodes of the phenomena that is One Piece. I’ve loved every single moment of it and regret not watching it sooner when many of my friends told me to. Funimation has recently begun to release the fourth season, in the same vein as their previous Voyage sets. In Season Four:Voyage Two, we are shown the conclusion of the Davy Back fight with the Foxy Pirates, an encounter with a memory thief and an introduced to the wonderful city of Water 7. The gang quickly goes from one adventure to the other in this set of 11 episodes and while it remains to be great, this set presents some issues in its presentation.
The problem is that a majority of the episodes in this set are filler, that are right in between the end of one story arc and the beginning of another. It clearly stands out as being filler, with its position in the set and immediately pulls you out of the story. That’s not to say that the Ocean’s Dream arc is terrible at all, it certainly showcases Nico Nico Robin’s dedication to the crew. This plot element developed in the filler helps when her allegiances come into question by the new major threat from the marines, Admiral Aokiji in the last few episodes. The issue arises when you realize that they story that you’re watching bears no real consequences to the characters or the main storyline, it makes one waver as a viewer and removes some of the investment of a long form show like One Piece.
Besides the filler episodes, the actual episodes that are in Voyage Two showcase more of One Piece’s ability to give a sense of wonder. A giant frog doing the front crawl stroke, a railroad on the ocean and water horse taxi’s are just some of the things to get one enticed of what’s to come in the Water 7 arc and I couldn’t be more excited.
This set repeats the same extras as the previous One Piece Collections and Voyages. There are both textless intro and outro songs, two commentary episodes and trailers for other shows. These extras are pretty much the standard for anime releases nowadays, its to be be expected, especially with a long running series such as this.
As much as I love this show, One Piece Season Four:Voyage Two is certainly something that would have benefitted from being bunched with a lot more episodes. As it stands on its own, its very much a middle of the road release, for a really great show.