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One Piece Season Six Voyage Two (anime review)

One Piece Season Six Voyage TwoTitle: One Piece Season Six Voyage Two

Director: Hiroaki Miyamoto

Original Creator: Eiichiro Oda

U. S. Distributor: FUNimation

U. S. Release Dates: Nov. 18th, 2014

Format: DVD / 12 Episodes / 300 minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Action,  Adventure, Shonen

Age Rating: TV14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

Luffy’s impulsive attack on Gecko Moria ends up costing the rubber-man something he can’t live without – his shadow! When Zoro and Sanji find themselves in the same boat, the three fierce fighters must find a way to recapture what was lost, or face the possibility of death by sunlight. Luckily, their skeleton friend, Brook, knows the trick to defeating Moria’s zombie army, and he’ll gladly share the secret in exchange for a little help defeating a sinister zombie samurai!

Meanwhile, Nami is kidnapped by an undead scoundrel who wants to make her his wife, and Usopp must rely on his natural state of negativity if he hopes to survive his encounter with a gothic Lolita and her ghostly minions. Hair-raising thrills are the story of the hour as the Straw Hats attempt to escape Thriller Bark with their shadows – and souls – intact!

Commentary:

Hey everyone here’s Brook! For a series as long as One Piece there is rarely introductions of recurring characters and this one little grouping provides maybe the best thing that has happened in the series in a long time and that is Brook. He is a funny strange character that provides even more humor to this silly show.

As with the rest of the One Piece series I can’t say that this is a standout or anything special. The story feels like an endless string of filler arcs that really don’t go anywhere. The humor is still the main focus of the series and with the introduction of Brook there is a brief improvement of the quality of comedic relief, but all in all it is a silly series that just keeps going.

Overall Grade: B

One Piece is one of the longest running series and it has a simple formula and sticks to it. The artistry of the series doesn’t stand out. The depth of the subject matter doesn’t even exists. The warmth and loving personas of the characters has never developed. There really isn’t much that this iconic series has to offer other than it is just silly. So, if looking at Season 6 voyage 2 I have to say that it does a decent job of providing humor and even a little stranger and sillier than usual. My only real question is how long can it go? Personally I would like to see it go the way of Dragon Ball Z and just focus on the movies because I find them much more entertaining.

One Piece volume 70 (manga review)

One Piece 70Title: One Piece volume 70

Writer/Artist: Eiichiro Oda

U. S. Distributor: Viz Media

U. S. Release Date: March 4th, 2014

Format: manga paperback / 192 pages

Genre: shonen, adventure, comedy, action

Overall Personal Rating: B

Publisher Age Rating: T for teen

Synopsis:

The battle on Punk Hazard heats up as Luffy faces off against the diabolical Caesar Clown. Meanwhile, can the rest of the Straw Hat crew escape the deadly gas that is spreading all over the island?! The goal of capturing Caesar may be realized but the real goal of bringing Doflamngo to his knees might be even a bigger deal.

While trying to make it all work the crew manages to save some kids and at the same time give some Marines a reason to question how much they hate Pirates. Now with the battles winding down will things get even more interesting? Will Luffy finally get that great meal he’s been waiting for or will dinner be interrupted? What is going on in the New World and how does this effect the plan to bring down all four Emperors? I guess you will just have to read volume 70 to get back on the path of understanding.

Commentary:

Eiichiro Oda has one of the most active imagination I have ever come across and proves that there are very few people that can pull off this absurd of a story with the simplistic comedic touches that make it so popular. Personally, I have never been a great fan of One Piece, but as I get further into this story I can say that I respect Oda’s talent. He sure can weave a story together and at the same time come up with some of the craziest ideas. I know that his creativity and story telling is what keeps all the fans coming back, but what amazes me is that he just keeps pulling it out of nowhere. No matter how tiresome I find some of the characters I have to recognize Oda for being very talented.

Now as for the characters and their tiresome ways, I must be very clear that Luffy is by far the worst of the bunch. I get the fact that he comes cross as a simpleton who just might be a lot smarter than everyone else, but it would be great to see him take on an air of awareness that makes him look a lot less stupid. Most of the others have good and bad moments except for maybe Usopp who is the second least favorite character. I don’t mind it when some of the secondary characters are simpletons but when they reach the main group it is nice to see them have something other that naive or dumb written on their foreheads.

Overall Personal Grade: B

Volume 70 of One Piece sells the story well and keeps the action moving. It is a show case of Oda’s creativity and at the same time gets off the island. It also helps take this arc to the next level and sets up some rather interesting premisses. Of course there is no clear end to this arc in sight which could honestly become a real detriment to its development. I am hopping to see more in volume 71, but because of the way Oda typically move through these arcs, I don’t have much hope for any real enlightenment.

Anyway, One Piece 70 is a very fun read and plenty of great stuff happens to give this one a solid grade. I am looking forward to volume 71 and can only hope we learn even more once it is delivered. All you crazy One Piece fans enjoy it is worth it this time.

One Piece Season Five Voyage Two and Three (anime review)

One Piece season 5 part 2Title: One Piece Season Five Voyage Two and Three

Director: Hiroaki Miyamoto

Original Creator: Eiichiro Oda

U. S. Distributor: FUNimation

U. S. Release Dates: Part Sept. 3rd, 2013; Part 3 Oct. 15th, 2013

Format: DVD / 24 Episodes / 600 minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Action / Adventure, Shonen

Age Rating: TV14

Overall Personal Rating: C

 

Synopsis:

Voyage 2

The tragic secrets of Robin’s past are revealed in series of heartbreaking flashbacks! Bullied because of her unique powers, young Robin’s only friends were the kindly scientists who nurtured her genius intellect while her mother searched for the answers to life’s greatest mysteries. Lonely and afraid, Robin took comfort in the company of books until the day the World Government arrived.

Commanded by men who feared the might of science, an army of warships launched a brutal attack on the peaceful island of Ohara – an attack that threatened to separate mother and daughter forever! Robin’s dark past left her with a lifetime of scars, but Luffy and the Straw Hats never give up on family! Even if it means a deadly showdown with the assassins of CP9!

Voyage 3

While Luffy races to save Robin from the cowardly clutches of Spandam the madman, the rest of his mates fight for their lives against the heinous henchmen of CP9! Nami steps into save Sanji from taking a beating at the hands of a lethal bathing beauty, and Chopper goes on a rampage after eating one too many Rumble Balls during his showdown with a samurai lion!

Meanwhile, Franky teaches a zipper-mouthed freak a thing or two about the punching power of cola, Zoro’s swordplay is hampered by being handcuffed to Usopp, and Sanji reappears just in time to introduce his wolfish opponent to the burning power of the devil’s leg!

Commentary:

In the world of Anime there are very few series that have the longevity that One Piece has enjoyed. It has been on the air in Japan since 1999. That is a insane amount of time when you conceder that most series last anywhere from 13 to 52 episodes. There are a few that have been long lived shows, but One Piece just might be the one that carries with it the most devised fandom. The fact that One Piece is so huge in Japan is enough to show off its fandom and it garners a large fan community in the US and around the world and even with that said there are still some anime fans out there that just don’t see the draw to the series. Now I am one of the group that understands that there are a lot of people that think its great, but all I see when I watch it is how it appeals to the lowest common denominator which can be a good thing or bad. For me I just think it makes it all too silly and some what boring.

In these two box sets I find myself being even more bored than usual. On Voyage two there were all of the flash back episodes for the crew that left me wondering why it was even made. At least Voyage 3 followed through with some real action and moved the plot along.

The one real strength of One Piece are the characters and they are a full rich group. I’m not just talking about the crew I am also including the rest of the antagonist in that statement. Each of them have their quirks and strengths that make the confrontations both fun but lively. In may of the great shonen series out there the battles end up being both fights and somehow teaching moments, whereas in One Piece they are battles but at the same time explorations in the strange world of the series and an imaginative grouping of abilities and powers. I guess that is why so many people like the series and at the same time the only thing that drives it along.

 

Overall Grade: C

For these two box sets I was somewhat disappointed with the amount of waisted time and filler that is thrown at us. I did enjoy the some of the humor that come from the fights and how things were resolved. I guess that if all you need is a series about fighting and battles then One Piece is a reasonable option, but if you are looking for something that has some substance to offer then be sure to look elsewhere.

 One Piece season 5 part 3