A review copy was provided by FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation’s latest release of their acclaimed One Piece dub is the DVD set known as “Season Four: Voyage Four.” Set towards the end of the Water Seven arc, this 2 DVD set details events starting with the attack on Iceberg’s mansion and ends with the Strawhat Pirates chasing after the elite government spies known as CP9, who have left for their headquarters, the famed Enies Lobby. I’d read the manga of this particular plotline before, but never saw the anime. How did these episodes compare to my expectations, and what was their overall quality?
FUNimation’s voice casts are usually great, and this DVD set is no exception. I was particularly impressed by the performances of Christopher Corey Smith as the wicked Spandam and Philip Weber as Water Seven’s mayor Iceberg. The rest of the cast all performed well, though I will admit I find Luffy’s voice annoying (albeit this does fit his character and original voice portrayal, so nothing against Colleen Clinkenbeard who’s a great voice actor). The Japanese voice work is also fairly good, but I honestly prefer to dub cast since their portrayal of complex emotion sits better with me.
The animation is a definite improvement from earlier installments of the franchise, while still maintaining the series’s signature art-style. There were very few scenes of recycled animation, and despite a few glaring still shots the majority of the action sequences were animated well.
The episodes themselves were quite enjoyable. I especially liked the series of three flashback episodes focusing on Franky and Iceberg’s mentor, Tom the shipwright. All of the episodes on this DVD were relevant to the plot, and I was glad that there were almost no moments that felt like filler. My only gripe would be that this DVD set ends with a terrible cliffhanger, and makes me wish I had the next set on-hand to watch it (especially as this was my favorite arc of the manga).
Overall, “One Piece Season Four Voyage Four” is a must have for any One Piece fan’s DVD library. Funimation continues their tradition of high quality anime releases. Obviously, this isn’t a good place to start for those without any knowledge of One Piece, but even if you’ve seen these episodes before or read the associated manga chapters, now’s the perfect time to revisit these powerful, excellent episodes.
-excellent voice acting, especially for the characters of Spandam and Iceberg
-exciting arc with very few moments of filler
-notable number of still scenes with recorded dialogue
-Luffy’s voice is somewhat grating
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