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One Piece Season Five Voyage Two DVD Review

Posted on the 13 November 2013 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2

Title: One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2
Genre: 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
Original Release Date: September 3, 2013

Ah, good ol’ One Piece. In this voyage, we finally start getting into the individual battles which, as every One Piece fan should know, means  the arc is finally getting underway. This chunk of episodes (276-287) is pretty enjoyable, save for the filler which I’ll get into later, and ends with a great hook into Voyage Three where all the fights really start chugging along.

One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2
One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2

Though I didn’t re-watch the 10 episodes that would make up Voyage 1 prior to sitting down for Voyage 2, unless I’m horribly wrong, the only two noteworthy occurrences are Luffy using Gear Second and Gear Third for the first time in a fight, and the start of Robin’s backstory. Admittedly, both are relatively important to the storyline, considering the importance of Luffy’s Gear moves in his fight with Lucci and the info that’s revealed in Robin’s backstory, but we do get to see more of both later on so I’m not too bothered missing them. Moving onto the subject of this post, Voyage 2 starts at the end of Robin’s backstory with the government crushing Ohara, kicking off Robin’s subsequent life on the run. Then comes the famous Marine flag burning and Robin’s impassioned cry about wanting to live, followed by Franky’s decision to take a chance on the Straw Hat’s victory and destroy the Pluton blueprints. The Voyage eventually wraps up with the Straw Hats (plus Franky, minus Luffy) starting their fights against the various CP9 members in a race against time to find the right key to Robin’s Seastone handcuffs and take her back for good before she reaches the Gates of Justice. 

Even though a ton of super noteworthy stuff isn’t going on, I enjoyed this group of episodes nonetheless. Getting to see the end to Robin’s backstory again, especially, is one of the major highlights for me because it’s one of my favorite One Piece backstories with its tragic end and reveals about both Robin and the the World Government. Though the World Government has always managed to toe the line between being okay and downright terrible, this arc really does a lot to cast it into a more negative light, especially with the implications that, in order to even come to power, they wiped out the major civilization before them, the creators of the Poneglyphs. The interesting part about this lies in how desperately the government wants to cover the story up. After all, you don’t simply wipe out an entire population of bright archaeologists and scholars for no reason. Unfortunately, the way One Piece works, this piece of information probably won’t matter much until it’s forgotten about it [insert number of episodes/chapters] later. I’m definitely interested in seeing how it eventually plays into the story later, though, since the the World Government is one of the more interesting groups in the series.

One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2
One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2

As for Robin, we finally see why she was so traumatized by the Buster Call, which admittedly, is pretty easy considering she essentially witnessed the death of everyone who had ever cared for her or who she could rely on. For me, Robin’s backstory made her more…understandable. Now I could understand why she always seemed slightly aloof; she didn’t want to open herself up again to the potential of being hurt by those around her anymore. Her speech after the flashback where she basically says she would rather die, memories of the one crew that she had felt happy with intact, than be abandoned again as result of the Marines, is really powerful because now we can sympathize with her and understand why she doesn’t want to experience any more major losses. The follow up with Luffy ordering the burning of the World Government flag, an outright show of defiance against the government, is equally powerful in how simply it deals with Robin’s fears, prompting her declaration “I WANT TO LIVE!” To be honest, these two of my all time favorite One Piece moments because they really drive home the whole ~friendship~ thing and how the Straw Hats will fight any enemy, no matter how strong, all for the sake of one person, which is something I’ve always been a sucker for.

Everything after the Straw Hats crash into the Tower of Justice is pretty much standard set-up for the fights that will follow and is significantly less emotionally engaging, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. I was actually kind of surprised by how rationally everyone (minus Luffy) thought about their game plan which just goes to show how serious they are about getting their friend back. Though Fukuro and Kumadori are annoying as hell, the other CP9 fights shape up relatively nicely. What I like most about the set-up is that the rest of the Straw Hats, save for Franky and Zoro, end up switching opponents which is a nice change-up since it highlights, again, how they each has different combative strengths, with some being more helpful in certain fights than others. The start and end of Sanji’s fight especially showcases this since we see how his policy of not kicking women, regardless of whether they are friend or foe, is a weakness that means he has to rely on others to take care of female opponents, even if he is capable of defeating them on his own. The only person who doesn’t see a ton of useful action this Voyage is Luffy who spends most of his time running around Enies Lobby, trying to figure out where Robin is. Aside from him, everyone else sees a decent amount of action and the starts to the various fights show nice amounts of promise in terms of entertainment.

One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2
One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2

Now, about the filler. To be honest, this isn’t the worst filler One Piece has ever dished out,  most of that comes in the form of anything involving Foxy and the arc after Enies Lobby. One Piece filler is actually pretty decent most of the time, occasionally churning out some great stuff, though the filler in Voyage 2 falls on the duller side of the spectrum since it’s basically five episodes of rehashed animation and story that everyone already seen with the only new stuff being a few lines at the end of every episode. If it’s been a while since you watched each character’s backstory and you want to relive some “feels,” then I’d say go ahead and sit through this batch of filler. I’ll admit that even though I intended to only half-watch each episode, I actually got caught up in and ended up enjoying the episodes more than I did when I originally sat through this arc and everything was fresh in my mind. If, on the other hand, you’d rather get right to the story, then skip episodes 279-283 by all means; you won’t be missing much. In general, I’d also recommend skipping over the crappy segments that come at the end of a good chunk of this Voyage since they’re pretty useless and somewhat irritating, at least for me.

In this Voyage, Robin is pretty much the only character that has any noticeable development. Since I already rambled about why I liked her backstory, I’ll wrap up my thoughts on her by saying that the Water Seven arc and Enies Lobby arc, especially, really helped push Robin near the top of my favorites list because of how her vulnerabilities made her more sympathetic and relatable, in a way. As for everyone else? The rest of the Straw Hats are pretty much the same from the last Voyage with no major character development, besides, perhaps a greater showing of that magical ~friendship~ bond. A surprising amount of attention is given to following Chimney and Gonbe around which I thought was a bit…annoying since I don’t particularly care for either character, though I’ll admit I think it’s interesting that Lucci let them observe how to get to the Gates of Justice. Other side characters of relative importance are the various CP9 members, who are a bit of mixed bag with Fukuro, Kumadori, and Jabra being the ones I care the least the about. Spandam, in all his glory, mainly spends the Voyage doing what he does best: throwing insults and threats around, pretending he’sin control and has nothing to worry about.

One Piece Season 5 Voyage 2

On the animation side of things, this Voyage pretty much maintains the same quality it has had for a while now, with some of it being pretty okay and other parts not so much. I will admit, though, that the filler episodes really help you appreciate how far the animation has come since the show’s start.

All in all, Voyage 2 isn’t too shabby, with it’s share of powerful moments and nice set-up for fights to come. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, even picking up on bits and pieces of information that I missed the first time around. Though I can’t really recommend the show to people who haven’t already sat through first 275 episodes (go watch them!), for those who have, all I can say is: keep going!

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