Review by: Faith McAdams
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 325 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
Eneru’s wrath lights the fire but will the Straw Hats be able to put it out before this heaven burns?
Leave it to manga-ka Eiichiro Oda to begin a story arc with wide-eyed wonder, build it up in a genuinely exciting way and then reach an explosive conclusion that leaves the viewer satisfied with the results. We’ve seen it happen in story arcs like the Alabasta story and now the Skypiea story arc. The Fourth Voyage of Season Three of One Piece finally reaches the end of this particular adventure and it ends it in an epic way that is what One Piece fans would expect from this series.
In the end of the Third Voyage, Eneru (who has long been God to the people of Skypiea) has made his intentions known and revealed his massive arc he created to take him to his secret paradise. Having taken Nami with him, all she can really do is listen in horror as he explains how he will destroy all of Skypiea and the land the Shandian people have been protecting for so long.
What Eneru wasn’t expecting, however, was for a certain rubbery young pirate named Monkey D. Luffy to not only show up but also hurt the man who – so far – nobody has been able to even touch. The reason is obvious … rubber is unaffected by lightning and Luffy is all rubber. For the first time, we see punches actually connect with Eneru. It’s an impressive battle but Eneru finally finds a way to hurt Luffy and tosses him off the flying arc with a giant golden ball stuck to his arm.
As Eneru introduces his ultimate weapon capable of destroying Skypiea (called Deathpiea), he tests it out and the damage as catastrophic to the point that both Skypieans and Shandians have no choice but to start evacuating. Meanwhile, the other Straw Hats and Wyper finally recover from their injures from their unfortunate confrontation with Eneru. As Sanji and Usopp make their attempt to reach Eneru, Nami summons her courage to fight Eneru only ending up to delaying the powerful fiend.
With Nami freed from Eneru’s company, Luffy tries to make his way to the arc once again as does the other Straw Hats who are now being aided by Wyper himself who recalls something the Elder had told him about his own ancestor. Through Wyper’s memories we witness the truth behind what happened to the island of Jaya as well as the Shandian people’s greatest hero named Calgara and the one Luffy and the others know as Noland the Liar.
You see, Commodore Noland discovered the island inhabited by the indigenous Shandians who Noland sees is about to make a human sacrifice to the giant serpents of the island. Seeing this as a barbaric ritual, Noland stops the sacrifice and offends the Shandians … particularly the Great Warrior known as Calgara. The Shandians are suffering from a plague that Noland (as a botanist) can cure using the plant life in the island. He is given a deadline to produce a cure despite Calgara’s insistence to keep tradition alive.
When Noland is successful, a friendship is formed between the outsider and his crew and Calgara to the point that even Calgara would like Noland to stay with them forever. Unfortunately, a misunderstanding places their friendship in jeopardy and Noland and his crew decide to sail back home before Calgara realizes his mistake. If you’ve been following the story since the beginning, we all know what happened to Noland when he tried to get back to the island or what the Knock Up stream did to the section of the island containing the Shandians and their city of gold.
Back in Skypiea, Luffy pushes straight to Eneru who is heading straight for the same bell that Noland and the people of Skypiea so admired. Along with the help of Wyper, the final confrontation is memorable and the result finds the Straw Hats as the new heroes of the island of the sky as well as a change for all the people including the Shandians. I won’t give anything else away but before the Straw Hats make their comical exit from Skypiea, Nico Robin makes a discovery similar to the one she made in Alabasta.
An epic finale to a fantastic story arc, the Fourth Voyage of Season Three of One Piece delivers what we expect from this series. Whether it’s the final battle against Eneru or a look into the past with Noland and Calgara, these episodes do not disappoint in the very least and will remind you why you became of a One Piece fan in the first place. We seriously cannot wait for the next voyage that looks really promising.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Aboard his flying arc, Eneru unleashes his greatest power that is aimed at all of Skypiea and the sacred land the Shandian people have fought to protect. As Luffy reaches Eneru to save Nami, he makes an obvious discovery that makes him the one who can bring Eneru down. As the rest of the Straw Hats recover, we learn the truth about the land and of the one the people of Jaya know as Noland the Liar.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
The visual effects in this particular set of episodes are actually quite impressive and Eneru and Luffy’s battle is yet another highlight for this series.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
Ah, don’t you love it when great voice acting and a good score come together well enough to make the viewing experience even better? One Piece certainly accomplishes that with a great cast for both sides and a wonderful original score.
There’s an audio commentary track for Episode 193 that features ADR Director Mike McFarland plus Colleen Clinkenbeard (Luffy) and J. Michael Tatum (Eneru) that’s lively thanks to the energy of Clinkenbeard and Tatum. Plus, there’s Marathon Play, the textless opening and closing animation and a few trailers as well.
One Piece certainly knows how to end their story arcs and the Fourth Voyage of Season Three is no different but there’s just something even more amazing about this one that makes the Skypiea arc a truly enjoyable one. If you’ve been following this story arc from the beginning, they definitely saved the best for last.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment