Do you know the most famous reindeer of all? Tony Tony Chopper
What They Say
With Nami on the verge of death, Luffy's crew abandons its voyage to Alabasta and goes looking for help. Their search leads them to frosty Drum Island, where the locals don't roll out the red carpet for pirates, and the only doctor in town lives atop a treacherous, snow-covered mountain.
In order to save their friend, Luffy and Sanji must survive an avalanche, duke it out with a man-eating herd of abominable rabbits, and defeat a foe who devours anything he can get his mouth on. Danger lurks around every corner on this treacherous mission, but the Straw Hats have more at stake than ever before.
Contains episodes 79-91.
For this viewing session, we listened to English dub. The audio was crisp and clear. We did not experience any distortions or dropouts. Again, the English cast continues to impress as the saga continues. The addition of Brina Palencia as Tony Tony Chopper is brilliant as she masterfully captures the extreme vocal ranges of this very diverse and interesting character. As stated in my previous reviews, this diverse cast keeps delivering top-notch voice acting.
Originally airing in 1999, the transfer for One Piece does not disappoint in its original full frame aspect ratio. One Piece’s transfer is consistently clean and pleasing to watch. All of the colors appear very solid and exhibit great vibrancy. Cross coloration is absent and aliasing is at a minimum. On rare occasions there is just a small bit of noticeable background noise, but nothing to be concerned about. Nearly 10 years old, the animation quality is not quite up to par with today’s new anime style. However, One Piece’s bizarre character designs will keep your attention as they can be very random and often memorable. Not the prettiest, but it will definitely capture your attention. This especially holds true for the new characters inserted in this collection. The cursed fruits make for some of the wackiest of characters. Chopper is especially interesting as he has three different modes of transformation.
The box for this One Piece collection continues to follow the path set by the previous second voyage collection. As with the other collections, this set features two thinpack DVD cases. The cardboard box that houses them is arranged in a rustic looking wood design with the One Piece logo prominently displayed on each side. The front of this collection features Luffy, Nami, and Sanji running from a giant-sized Chopper who is sporting the Heavy Point transformation. The back side provides a brief description of the series along with the technical specifications and a few screen shots. The front side of the first DVD thinpack features Luffy and Cjopper while the other features Sanji and Nami. The thinpack images are nothing more than cropped images from the collection case. The inside jackets for each of the DVD cases reveal a map background with the Going Merry in the middle. The DVD artwork depicts the four cardinal directions, like a compass, but looks more like pieces of rigging and sail fabric.
The menu system for One Piece is rather simple, but effective. The menu background uses the same design that is used for the DVD cases and box. The main menu features a portion of the artwork found on the thinpacks/box front. The right side of the main menu features a vertical menu selection. The menu appears on an old piece of parchment. Your standard episode and setup menus are all found here as well as a great looping musical score for each menu. The music loops appropriately and does not abruptly end, which is a nice touch. The menus are easy to access and transition smoothly without any problem.
As with other the collections preceding this one, the marathon mode feature allows you to view all the episodes without having to watch the episode introduction, preview for the next episode, and the closing credits. This is a nice touch that is great for marathoning, but I’m sure many true One Piece fans will want to watch the intro and closing. Of course, you can play each episode in its entirety by selecting play all or going into the individual episode list.
Again the staff commentary for this collection is a bit tricky to find as it is not placed in an obvious location on the main. To find the staff commentary, you must go to the individual episode listing where you will find it placed under episode 90.
The extras included in the collection are found on the second disc. The extras include the textless songs for the series and a handful if the latest FUNimation trailers.
Of course, the staff commentary is also featured in this collection. It was focused primarily on Chopper and Brina Palencia. Sonny Strait is also in attendance which makes for some amusing commentary as he and Brina share their screaming experiences voicing Chopper and Usopp respectively. Overall, it makes for a humorous addition and gives you get a great perspective on the challenges that these two voice actors must endure in all of those screaming and crying scenes.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
In the last piece of One Piece, we left the Straw Hats in dire straits as they are desperately seeking medical attention for Nami who has succumbed to a strange illness. Their only hope lies within the confines of a kingless island known as Drum Island.
The crew arrives at Drum Island having escaped the clutches of a pirate by the name of Wapol. Wapol happens to be the former king of Drum Island. So, when the Straw Hats make port, they are met by the militia who are not all happy to see them. Dalton, the leader of the militia, hears out the plight of the crew and decides to help them. He takes them to the town of Big Horn where they hope to find a doctor for Nami. We soon learn that there is shortage of doctors as the former king banished them. As luck would have it, there is one doctor on the island, Dr. Kureha, who is often called a witch by the townspeople. She comes into towns at her own whim to check for patients. She lives in Drum Castle, which is on top of the highest of the "Drum Rockies", a chain of drum shaped mountains. Thus, begins the crux of the Drum Island arc.
In traditional One Piece fashion, the gang splits up again. Luffy and Sanji attempt to climb the Drum Rockies, with Nami, to find Dr. Kureha. Zoro stays with The Going Merry while Usopp and Vivi end up helping Dalton and the militia defend Drum Island from Wapol. The trek to Drum Castle is treacherous as Luffy and Sanji are attacked by dozens of Lapahns, giant ferocious rabbits with “big vicious teeth”. Fending off the Lapahns leaves Sanji seriously injured, so Luffy must climb up the mountain while carrying both Nami and Sanji. The climb is grueling, but it reveals that “never say die” devotion that Luffy has for his friends. At the brink of death, Luffy reaches the top where he collapses in front of Dr. Kureha and her assistant, Tonny Tony Chopper, a reindeer that ate the fruit known as the Human-Human Fruit.
The last half of this collection focuses on Chopper and his back-story. If you thought that the back-story on Nami was a tear-jerker, wait till you see this one. Chopper experiences the immense forms of rejection from his fellow reindeer and from the humans on Drum Island. The only person who will accept him is a quack doctor, who has also been an outcast for much of his life. Their meeting comes at a point where Chopper is mortally wounded by humans on Drum Island. By curing Chopper, the doctor gains Chopper's trust and inspires Chopper to become a doctor. The entire Chopper back-story doesn’t reveal itself all at once as there are several other events that are taking place. Warpol is trying to regain control of Drum Island by retaking his former palace, Drum Castle while Sanji and Luffy chase after Chopper for food. They aren’t just trying to get food; they are trying to eat Chopper.
Wapol’s attempt to seize Drum Castle is a minor distraction, but reveals a little more about the mysterious world government and his involvement. Wapol’s demise is met when Luffy finally stops trying to eat Chopper and sends him blasting off into the sea. At the conclusion of this collection, we see Luffy becoming obstinately serious about making Chopper a part of the crew. Chopper, remembering how his old mentor, Dr. Hiruluk, wanted him to go out to sea and see the world, decides to join the Straw Hats. Dr. Kureha is against this idea, but you soon realize that this is just for show as she wants him to go. She gives Chopper her blessing by using the cannons at Drum Castle to reveal a dying wish of Dr. Hiruluk’s. The cannon fire produces falling cherry-blossoms on the snow, which was Dr. Hiruluk’s "cure for the country's cold heart".
With the crew heading for Arabasta, a mysterious character named Ace leaves a message for Luffy. The message reveals that he will be waiting in Arabasta for Luffy for ten days. Also, Kureha realizes that Luffy has a bounty on his head. She makes the connection with Luffy’s full name, Monkey D. Luffy, and Gold Roger’s actual name, Gol D. Roger.
The third voyage of the second season is a real gem! A very fast paced collection of episodes presents the Drum Island Arc where we are introduced to Tonny Tony Chopper. The subplots are some of the craziest, funniest, most heart touching yet. The flow of the episodes works out to a very satisfying end as we see Chopper emerge from being a timid doctor’s assistant to a member of the Straw Hat crew. While watching the initial episodes, I sometimes wish that One Piece would stay with one theme and finish it before going on to the next. But, if you hold on tight and stay vigilant, you will discover a miraculous method of storytelling that will keep the most attention deficit person and the most detail oriented person coming back for more. Highly recommended!
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Staff Commentary (Episode 90), Textless Songs
Hitachi 62VS69 62" UltraVision LCD Projection HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080i