Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Piece Season 1 & 2 Uncut Impression

One Piece Season 1 parts 1 & 2 from FUNimation, the best thing to happen to One Piece since its debut in Shonen Jump. Meet Monkey D. Luffy, a young pirate looking to assemble his crew and become the King of the Pirates and find Gold Rodgers treasure One Piece on the Grand Line. As a child Luffy ate one of the fabled Devil Fruit, fruit which grants its consumer powers but robs them of the ability to swim, kind an issue for a pirate.

Season 1, Part 1 introduces viewers to Luffy from the beginning, shows his first encounters with Naval officer Axe-Hand Morgan and pirate Buggy the Clown as well as his first meetings with Zoro and Nami. Through his encounter with Buggy we learn more about how Luffy gained his signature straw hat and gum-gum powers. The first volume ends with a new fight about to begin, this one introducing the cowardly Usopp.

Season 1, Part 2. The encounter with captain Kuro picks up steam as his plot as Miss Kaya’s butler is revealed. Usopp shows a hidden resolve to protect those he cares for and as the battle rages more of Luffy’s abilities are revealed. As the fight ends Luffy has another crew member in Usopp and a ship, The Going Merry, a gift from Miss Kaya. Nami is not fully signed on as navigator yet, she’s just along for the ride. Next up, a cook, and the Sanji story-arc in which the armored Don Krieg is encountered, past of Red Foot Zeff and Sanji is revealed along with their dream of finding the deep blue and Zoro’s past with departed friend Kuina and his first encounter with Hawk-eye Mihawk, a true beast from the Grand Line. Krieg also reveals how his fleet was destroyed and how tough the Grand Line is. As Sanji goes toe-to-to with the Invincible Pearl it’s time to Luffy to step in on behalf of his new chef … to be continued.

There is sooooooooo much more than these very quick summaries. There is a side-trip with an interesting fellow in a box, Gaimon, and a fight with a fat lady pirate. Over these two volumes Luffy, Zoro, Sanji and Usopp all reveal back stories. Nami is the only one who does not, which we shall see later. There is not censorship as in the previous version of One Piece, this is pure, as it should have been seen and is in the manga, One Piece action with blood, smoking, drinking and cussing. Not to extremes, but also not kiddied down to ridiculous levels.

This is what it comes down to. By now One Piece has a solid fan-base thanks to the manga. That base should not hesitate to pick up these volumes as they do true justice to the manga with great pacing, voice work and animation. This is how manga to anime should be done with enough parallels and differences to truly enjoy. One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Buso Renkin … just the beginning of affordable box sets of uncut anime that will and is changing the way anime is done.

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