Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 320 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
Some voyages might not be as epic but it still manages to be an adventure worth taking.
The second season of One Piece has certainly been a thrilling adventure that – so far – has certainly topped the amazing first season of this series. A lot has happened to the unusual crew of the Going Merry as the Straw Hats began their journey as pirates and ended up the heroes of a kingdom in peril. In the Seventh Voyage of Season Two, One Piece takes a little side voyage before it jumps back into the main story of the next season.
Filler episodes might give fans something to groan about but, in the case of One Piece, the episodes are actually really good. Taking place directly after the Straw Hats make their escape from the kingdom of Alabasta that they just helped save, the Going Merry still finds themselves a target of the Marines despite the fact that Captain Smoker isn’t the one doing the chasing. While Vivi has stayed behind to take her place as Princess of Alabasta, the Straw Hats have a new crewmate in the form of Robin Nico (an ex-member of Baroque Works).
In the first episode, we finds that not everyone finds Robin’s presence a welcome one as we find out the Zoro isn’t alone in distrusting her. Having found an island filled with delicious fruit, Tony Tony Chopper stays behind with Robin who suddenly takes an interest in his skills in medicine. Little by little, Chopper begins to open up to Robin … enough to tell her a story about a particular case involving his mentor, Doctor Kureha.
Meanwhile, the crew picks up an odd vessel with a salesman who has a number of cool items, one of which interests Nami. As she uses the item in question, Nami begins to remember her past and the promise she made herself growing up. In another episode, another member of the crew reminisces when a young chef-in-training for the Marines falls aboard the Going Merry. This time it is Sanji who offers the kid some cooking tips based on his childhood training.
In yet another episode, we catch a glimpse of Zoro in his pirate bounty hunter days as he meets two young bounty hunters who decide to take on a dangerous pirate outlaw terrorizing a small town. Usopp gets a moment in the spotlight, meanwhile, when the crew docks in an island town that is going to hold a festival. Looking for gunpowder, Usopp comes across a little girl and her grandfather who happen to make fireworks. It is Usopp who inspires the little girl and tries to talk her out of igniting one of the biggest fireworks ever created.
The Seventh Voyage also has two full story arcs that are both actually quite good, although the final one is the best. In the first story, the Straw Hats hide from the Marines in an island where they meet an old man who is living among a wild goats. It turns out that the old man has a secret and Chopper also finds out something about him. Meanwhile, the true intentions of the Marines’ chief officer who has come to the island for another reason besides taking the Straw Hats into custody.
In the final story, the Straw Hats come to a town that is being held captive by a dictator who imposes taxes for just about everything including docking to drinking liquor. Luffy and the others meet an old man who happens to be an inventor of the greedy Mayor Wetton. He is on a mission to reach the famed Rainbow Mist that is said to hold a great mystery as well as a shipyard filled with treasures. However, the crew discovers the reason the old man named Henzo is so eager to enter the Rainbow Mist.
Things get more interesting when Luffy, Zoro and Usopp enter the Rainbow Mist and discover a group of children living in the shipyard of lost vessels. In the meantime, Sanji, Nami and Chopper must deal with Mayor Wetton, his son and grandson. Both sides discover the truth about the Mayor and the children in the Rainbow Mist who the old man knows well. The outcome of the story is surprising and the finale handled beautifully.
One Piece’s Seventh Voyage is a fun and fitting ending to Season Two before the series gets back to business. There are a few anime series that do filler episodes right but One Piece nails it right and keeps the action and stories lively enough that you won’t mind this kind of filler at all. One Piece fans will certainly find a lot to enjoy here and since it sets up Season Three you really should add this one to your collection.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Traveling away from Alabasta, the Straw Hats find themselves fleeing from the Marines that continue to pursue them. Locating various islands along the way, we get to learn a bit more about some members of the crew. In the final episodes of Season Two, the Straw Hats help an old man enter the mysterious Rainbow Mist that contains a most unusual treasure … the old man’s lost friends.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
I said this before and I’ll say it again: the animation for this series does Eiichiro Oda-sensei’s artwork justice and it looks even better on DVD.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
The voice acting is still handled well when it comes to the English dub voices and Vic Mignogna’s performance as three different characters is excellent. Even so the Japanese voice actors are at the top of their game.
We can expect the usual assortment of extras in this package including clean opening and closing theme songs, a few trailers and – most importantly – an audio commentary track. The commentary is for Episode 140 with ADR Director Jason Grundy and voice actors Colleen Clinkenbeard (the voice of Luffy) and Vic Mignogna (who voices two characters the final story arc)
The seventh and final voyage for Season Two of One Piece might be made up of filler episodes but what is featured here won’t disappoint in the very least. It’s good to see a long-running series like this bring us quality filler that adds to the main story rather than just try too hard to capture the feel the series and nothing else. This is but another reason why we love One Piece so much.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment