One Piece Season Four Voyage One is a two-disc set that contains episodes 206-217 of the One Piece anime series. The first disc has six episodes and a commentary on Episode 211, while the second disc includes six episodes, commentary on Episode 215, and the set’s bonus features. You can watch the episodes with either the English dub or the original Japanese audio with English subtitles. It should also be noted that in addition to watching episodes or using the “Play All” option, there is also a marathon feature, which allows you to watch all the episodes on a disc back-to-back without interruption. In the marathon feature, the opening credits only plays once, there are no next episode previews, and the ending credits are not included.
There are also a couple of interesting things to note on this release. Starting with Episode 207, the episodes in the set are in a widescreen format, because this was the first episode of the series to be formatted in 16:9 widescreen.
The first episode in this set sees Luffy and the Straw Hats making their escape from the marine fortress after Johnathan believes he has them in “checkmate.” But after they escape, Jonathan gives them praise because their arrival helped to boost the morale of his men.
A new story arc begins with Episode 207, when they reach Long Ring Long Land and find that it’s inhabited by elongated of versions of regular animals. Here, they meet a man named Tonjit and his horse, Shelly. But the fun times they have on the island are short lived due to the arrival of the Foxy Pirates. Foxy, the captain of the pirates, challenges Luffy to a Davy Back Fight; this is a contest of pirates where the stakes are the members of the crew. As you’d expect, Luffy is stupid enough to not only accept the challenge, he also agrees to do the maximum amount of contests.
Over the next six episodes, the Straw Hats and the Foxy Pirates compete in some rather ridiculous contests which Foxy tries to rig with his Devil Fruit powers or by having his men as referees that overlook the Foxy Pirates’ blatant cheating. The Straw Hats manage to overcome the cheating and win two of the contests, and it looks like everything will be fine. But when Foxy challenges Luffy to another three contests, Luffy stupidly accepts. The final three episodes in the set begin the second set of three challenges; the first two are completed in this set, but the third one is just getting started at the end of the set.
The Davy Back Fight arc includes the humor and “over the top” feel that viewers have come to associate with the One Piece franchise. The best moment in this arc during this set is seeing Luffy putting on an afro wig for his boxing match against Foxy. It’s a visual that’s going to stick with me for an incredibly long time because it’s going to be so memorable.
As a viewer, though, I was getting a little frustrated after a while with all the cheating that Foxy and his crew were doing. Obviously they would need to do this in order to create tension and to have a conflict in the storyline, but it was still frustrating nonetheless. But how things look at this point, even if Luffy wins this final contest, he can only win back one of his crew members and would have to choose between Chopper and Robin. There’s got to be a way for Luffy to find some kind of loophole in the Davy Back Fight in order to avoid this, but I have no idea what it would be. And I can’t forget to mention that I, like Nami and the other members of Luffy’s crew, wanted to throttle him for accepting the Davy Back Fight not just once, but twice.
And I felt so bad for Chopper, because he was taken by the Foxy Pirates not once, but twice, during this arc. Whenever I saw him crying because he was taken away from the Straw Hats, I wanted to reach through my television screen and give him a hug.
As for the DVD set itself, there are six bonus features on the second disc in addition to the episode commentary. There are textless versions for both opening songs that appear in this set (“BON VOYAGE” and “Kokoro no Chizu”), as well as textless versions for both ending songs in this set (“Dreamship” and “Eternal Pose”). There’s also a “U.S. Trailer,” which is a trailer that was made to promote One Piece Season Four Voyage One, as well as trailers for other properties that FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.
If you’re a One Piece fan and are trying to collect the episodes on DVD, you can purchase this set for episodes 206-217. More recent DVD collections are packaging 24-25 episodes per set, and those releases would also be worth considering if you want to add One Piece to your home video library.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of One Piece Season Four Voyage One that I checked out through the King County Library System.