When we last left the Straw Hat Pirates, they had just successfully rescued Nico Robin and evaded government capture. Now they’ve returned to Water 7, but without a ship how can their adventure continue? Also, after the pirates’ attack on Enies Lobby, all of them gain bounties and draw the eye of a Marine Vice-Admiral with very special ties to Luffy. How does this latest installment, containing episodes 313 through 324, shape up?
A review copy was provided by FUNimation Entertainment.
After the excitement of the battles against CP9 and the Buster Call, One Piece Season Five Voyage Five is decidedly low-key. The Straw Hat Pirates are recovering from their wounds and planning for the future, and as a result these episodes are much calmer than the earlier portions of the arc. As a result, some of the episodes are clearly filler, and a decent portion of them are rather dull and seem meaningless. Still, some of these quieter moments do provide for some great character development from the likes of Usopp and Franky.
The animation for these episodes is somewhat of a mixed bag as well. There are amazing, beautiful scenes in the earlier and later episodes on the DVD set, which makes sense as these scenes are key to the overall progression of the One Piece story line. Watching the Thousand Sunny sail off in the final episodes is gorgeous, and it’s clear the animation team lavished special attention on this new ship. Conversely, the filler episodes have artwork and animation that’s of a noticeably poorer quality, and there’s a decent amount of recycled animation.
The voice acting for this series continues to impress, and Funimation’s cast gives it their all even in the filler episodes. Sonny Strait, the voice of Usopp, really shines in these episodes, giving greater depth to a character who has often been overlooked by fans of the series but is one of my personal favorites. Furthermore, Colleen Clinkenbeard’s Luffy has finally grown on me; her voice acting has definitely grown into a role, which is a rather difficult one, and helped round out the cast.
One Piece Season Five Voyage Five is an enjoyable set of episodes overall. I’d like to give it higher marks, but the inclusion of a few dull filler episodes brings my rating down somewhat. Still, fans of the series should check it out, since there are some great moments, especially with the unveiling of the Thousand Sunny.
-amazing voice acting, especially on the part of Sonny Strait
-great character development for Usopp and Franky
-beautiful animation surrounding the unveiling of the Thousand Sunny
-several uninteresting filler episodes
-poor animation and artwork in several episodes
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