Review by: Faith McAdams
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 325 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
The revolution begins now but this time the enemy is a God.
Leave it to Luffy D. Monkey and the rest of the Straw Hat pirates to get involved in something as major as a coup to overthrow a villainous dictator that is regarded as a God in the sky island known as Skypiea. The first part of Season Three began excitedly enough but the Second Voyage of One Piece’s third season is the voyage that shouldn’t be missed, One Piece fans.
It was quite a journey to get to the island in the sky but once in Skypiea the Straw Hats already find themselves in trouble, and, as we can see from the first episode of the Second Voyage, the trouble comes in the form of Skypiea’s law enforcement officials called the White Berets. Accused of entering Skypiea illegally, the Straw Hats confront the police and, as a result, are now classified as second degree criminals. Then, while Nami, Robin, Chopper and Zoro are aboard the Going Merry, a giant lobster takes the ship and the four aboard to the Upper Yard’s sacrificial alter.
So begins the Luffy, Sanji and Usopp’s quest to find their friends and travel into the forbidden forest of the Upper Yard. With Conis leading them to a boat, it becomes clear that the person who had called the authorities that took the Going Merry and their friends was right there with them. Worst yet, the confession of said person brings down a destructive blast that seems to have come from the Heavens itself. Could this be the God Eneru’s power?
Not afraid, Luffy, Sanji and Usopp take the boat down the milky river to the Upper Yard where they discover that to go farther into the forbidden forest they must accept pick one of four challenges set up by the God Eneru’s “priests” who are powerful vassals who dish out Eneru’s punishments. They pick the Ball Challenge because Luffy thinks it sounds fun but what they encounter is a priest name Satori who uses balls filled with various dangerous objects. As it turns out, Satori’s demented attacks prove to be too much for the trio but together the manage to give Satori a real challenge.
Meanwhile, the others find the Upper Yard a most unusual place as they leave Chopper alone aboard the Going Merry. It is Nami, Robin and Zoro that make a most interesting discovery about the Upper Yard while Chopper – in one of his finest moments – takes on a priest named Shura who damages the Going Merry and then calls the Sky Knight who locks lances with Shura in the skies. However, the battle doesn’t end in Chopper and Sky Knight’s favor.
Meanwhile, we finally get to meet the guerillas that showed up when the Straw Hats finally reached the island in the sky. They are the Shandians, a people who have once lived peacefully in the Upper Yard when the God Eneru took over the area from the previous God who was removed from power. Having heard of what happened to Satori as well as the Sky Knight, the Shandians – led by a warrior named Wyper – decide to stage a coup.
A battle between the Shandians and God Eneru’s priests and Heavenly warriors breaks out and we finally get to meet Eneru himself as the self-proclaimed deity sees this revolution as a game. Meanwhile, the Straw Hats are reunited and take what they learned about the Upper Yard to look for the legendary gold Noland the Liar had wrote about in his journal. However, with two forces at war it will be difficult to simply stroll deeper into the forest to find the gold. With Shura and two other powerful priests, the Straw Hats will have their hands full but there’s also Wyper and the Shandians who find the Straw Hats’ presence a nuisance as all three forces clash. Oh yeah, this is going to be a huge conflict.
The revolution is in full swing and the Straw Hats are once again in the middle of it in the Second Voyage of Season Three of One Piece. While we’ve found Luffy and his crew in situations like this before but Skypiea is an interesting place and now the situation has gotten a lot more action-packed as the revolution begins. Anime action shows like this just don’t get any better than One Piece.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Now declared dangerous outlaws by the Skypiea authorities, the Straw Hats are forced to go to the sky island’s Upper Yard where a vicious “God” figure and his powerful “priests” reside. Separated from each another, the Straw Hats not only face off against the priests but also make a startling discovery about the Upper Yard. Meanwhile, the Shandian people see the Straw Hat’s presence in the area as a good chance to stage a coup against the God called Eneru.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
The battles are more stylized in this story arc thanks to the unique appearance of the Shandians and the Kami’s strange “priests.” Skypiea’s Upper Yard is also a very strange place visually, which makes the episodes fun to watch.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
The voice acting is still excellent for a series like this whether you like the Japanese voices of the English dub with great voice acting all around. The music is still great as well and the new opening and closing theme songs are even better then last season’s themes.
The usual assortment of trailers and the clean opening and closing theme songs are present and Marathon Play is a wonderful option to have but the best extra is the audio commentary track for Episode 166 with ADR Director Mike McFarland and voice actors Stephanie Young (Robin) and Luci Christian (Nami).
As it was with the Alabasta story arc, the Second Voyage of Season Three of One Piece reminds us of what made us One Piece fans in the first place. Filled with massive battles, interesting foes and yet another impressive storyline that places the Straw Hats in the middle of another conflict, Season Three is off to a really good start.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment