Review: One Piece Season Five Voyage Four

I thoroughly enjoy Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece, a creative series that never fails to astound me with the wealth of ideas its creator possesses. Of the entire series, the CP9 arc is arguably the best. I’ve recently looked at the earlier parts of the storyline, but today I’m checking out the climax and conclusion of the story. The final battle has arrived: can the Straw Hat Pirates make it out alive from the World Government’s naval forces?

A review copy was provided by FUNimation Entertainment.

One Piece Season Five Voyage Four

One Piece Season Five Voyage Four contains episodes 300 through 312 of the series, focusing on the final battle at Enies Lobby. CP9 Chief Spandam has almost brought Nico Robin through the Gates of Justice, while the remainder of her crew rush madly to save their friend. Monkey D. Luffy engages in a wild brawl with CP9’s strongest member, Rob Lucci, and neither of these men will walk away from the fight without a few scars. Can Luffy’s crew manage to save Robin and, if so, can they even hope to escape as a Buster Call and thousands of Marines seek to halt their adventure?

As the climax of the arc, this DVD set is amazing to watch. The animation team went all out, making sure the battles are exciting and powerful; watching Luffy and Lucci battle is perhaps the highlight of the series thus far, and the sheer determination visible in Luffy’s eyes can be felt by the viewer. Furthermore, there’s a funeral in these episodes that’s just beautiful to watch for the way the animators play with the scene’s lighting.

Luffy vs. Lucci

Luffy struggles to hang on against a transformed Rob Lucci.

This is a series beset by emotion, and this arc brings even more feeling to the fore. We see the determination of all the pirates, especially Robin, Luffy, and Usopp; these three grow as characters through these episodes, and emerge as even deeper, more well-rounded heroes. The voice actors’ performances further strengthen the depth of characterization, with both the English and Japanese VAs informing their characters excellently. In the past, I’ve stated that I’m not fond of Colleen Clinkenbeard’s portrayal of Luffy, but I feel her voice work was so stellar in these episodes that my opinion has changed; Luffy is a difficult role, after all, and it may have merely taken time to find the right footing.

Ultimately, if I had to lobby a complaint about these episodes, it’s that there’s a decent amount of recycled animation in the last few episodes on the set. It’s a minor issue at best, but something I did notice during the final battle sequence between the Marines and the Straw Hat Pirates.

Overall, One Piece Season Five Voyage Four contains everything a fan of the series, or fan of any shonen anime for that matter, will enjoy. For anyone following the series, or who simply wishes to relive this exciting story arc, pick up these episodes, sit back, and be amazed.

Pros:

-exciting climax of the series’ best story arc

-great voice acting

-amazing battle between Luffy and Lucci

Cons:

-some recycled animation in the later episodes

Rating: 5/5

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