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One Piece Season Five Voyage Five Review

Posted on the 13 March 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

One Piece Season Five Voyage FiveTitle: One Piece Season 5 Voyage 5
Genre: Shounen, Action, Comedy
Publisher: Toei Animation, Funimation
Original Creator: Eiichiro Oda
Director: Konosuke Uda
Producer: Suzuki Yoshihiro
Series Composition: Hirohiko Uesaka, Junki Takegami
Music Composer: Kouhei Tanaka

A definite step down from the last couple of Voyages, Voyage 5 is essentially a group of cool down episodes in which the Straw Hats wrap up any remaining business they have in Water Seven and finally head out to sea once again. Although they are an altogether boring group of episodes, there are a few key events and info drops that make Voyage 5 worth a watch.

Immediately following the emotional conclusion of Voyage 4 with the burning of Merry, Voyage 5 starts off with the Straw Hats taking time to simply recover from the events of Enies Lobby, a peace that is soon broken by re-appearance of Garp, Luffy’s grandfather and a Vice Admiral in the Marines, who gives us a bit more insight into Luff’s background, specifically in relation to his father. Coby and Helmeppo also make brief reappearances, with Coby and Luffy rekindling their fast friendship and reminding each other of their respective goals.

Following a brief party episode, we then get an entire episode devoted to a meet-up between Shanks and White Beard in regards to Ace’s quest of vengeance against Blackbeard/ Teach. After a bit of filler, we then see the completion of the Straw Hats’ new ship (Thousand Sunny) and the acquisition of Franky as the  official shipwright. The Voyage finally concludes with Usopp’s return to the crew and a sweet look at how everyone’s friends and family react to their newly acquired bounties.

One Piece Season Five Voyage Five
One Piece Season Five Voyage Five

I want to start by saying that, though I think most will agree this episodes aren’t too great overall, a lot of my boredom regarding Voyage Five stems from the fact that I’m watching these episodes a second time, meaning that a lot of the “new” information isn’t as new or exciting as it was the first time around. With that in mind, as it usually turns out, there were a few moments in the Voyage that I enjoyed a lot and that definitely made the Voyage more fun to watch.

The first of these is the final meeting between Robin and Aokiji. Though Aokiji makes it clear he’s not Robin’s biggest advocate, he acknowledges that he doesn’t have to necessarily “watch over” her anymore since she has finally found the place where she belongs. I also really liked how his parting words to her were that Ohara’s history continued to live on through her, which I liked because it implied that, unlike the majority of people up to this point, he saw good in Robin’s existence.  The interaction was, overall, enjoyable to watch because of the unexpected…sentimentality to it which proved a nice way to wrap up Robin’s character arc.

The meet-up between Shanks and Whitebeard was another highlight simply because it reminded us about other, mildly important events going on at the same time as the Straw Hats’ adventures, specifically Ace’s quest for revenge against Blackbeard/Teach. The most interesting part of the conversation between the two was how the differing opinions of both men in relation to the issue tied into the idea of the future of Pirate Age.

Whereas Shanks emphasizes a need for caution now in order to keep Ace around for the future, Whitebeard is adamant about focusing on seeking an immediate retribution in order to show that he is not one to simply ignore the murder of one of his “sons”. Though I appreciated the bit of irony in Whitebeard’s bit regarding the necessity of a moral code for pirates, Shanks’s emphasis on the idea of the future was pretty neat because of the focus on Luffy’s generation of pirate and how pirates like he and potentially Ace could influence the coming age if given the chance.

One Piece Season Five Voyage Five
One Piece Season Five Voyage Five

Although the humor got a bit old about half way through the ordeal, Franky’s eventual decision to accept the Straw Hat’s invitation to join as their official shipwright was another pretty good bit because of how it tied back to Franky’s past. Iceberg’s speech about how Franky needed to finally forgive himself for what happened was pretty touching in how it, again, emphasized that underneath all the silliness Franky is still deeply influenced by the guilt he feels over Tom’s death. Seeing how Franky gradually created the Franky House also added a bittersweet touch to his decision as we got a greater feeling for the close bond that existed between Franky and the underlings he took under his wing.

The last real stand out moment for me was Usopp finally getting around to rejoining the crew.  After the events of Enies Lobby and having realized that his real home is among his friends, the majority of Usopp’s screen time in Voyage 5 focuses on how he wants to rejoin his former crew-mates, with the emphasis being on “wants” rather than “should”. Zoro makes a good point when he stops Luffy from going to prematurely welcome Usopp back into the crew and notes that Usopp needs to acknowledge he has made a mistake and properly apologize first because the nature of Usopp’s break from the crew isn’t one that can be forgiven with a simple joke. In this sense, Zoro’s outrage and his demand that Luffy, as captain, command the respect of one in order to keep his crew together were sentiments that  I agreed with and thought were wholly justified.

Throughout the whole Usopp debacle, Zoro has really acted as a voice of logic and proven his status as first mate by being hard on Luffy when need be in order to remind everyone there’s a lot more at stake than friendship when it comes to how the crew acts in regards to each other.  Though Usopp’s arrogance in regards to how he wants to rejoin the crew was relatively frustrating to watch, it only made the moment when he finally realizes that he’s made a mistake and yells his apology all the more satisfying because his genuine feelings of regret and desire to once again have a place with his friends come across as much more heartfelt. It was good to see how these events, especially the threat of not being able to make things right,  knocked Usopp down a notch or two and showed that the Straw Hats are capable of acting like a “proper” pirate crew when they need to.

One Piece Season Five Voyage Five
One Piece Season Five Voyage Five

This time around I actually watched the filler episodes and they, unsurprisingly, turned out to be relatively average at best. Each episode primarily focused on one or two of the Straw Hat’s adventures around Water City, specifically those of Luffy and Choppy, Zoro, and Sanji, and, as the story usually goes with filler, your mileage with each episode will vary depending on much you like the premise. As usual, I would say that these are relatively passable, although I’d recommend checking out the Sanji one which is actually kind of fun and has a lead in back to the main storyline.

In terms of how Voyage 5 looks, I think there was a bit of a drop in animation quality as characters seemed to move a bit stiffly and the character designs were a bit off a times. Though I’m sure that one day One Piece  will manage to semi-successfully make the Thousand Sunny and the water it’s on look okay, this Voyage is not that time, and the CGI that pops up is generally pretty ugly. That said, I really liked the simplistic animation style of Sanji’s filler episode, despite a large simplification of the character designs, because of the greater fluidity in terms of movement that the characters seemed to have.

One Piece Season Five Voyage Five
One Piece Season 5 Voyage 5

Though Voyage 5 wasn’t particularly outstanding in any way, with not much going on action-wise and humor that tended to fall a bit flat after a while, it managed to end on a relatively okay note that, in the end, left me pretty satisfied. I’ll admit, I didn’t enjoy Voyage Five nearly as much as I have others, but it’s not an entirely terribly Voyage either with moments that I genuinely liked, and in the end, what more can I ask for? For those going into the Voyage, I’d recommend lowering your expectations some so you won’t be too disappointed by the lack of most of what has made the last couple of voyages such a joy to watch.

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