Review: FUNimation's One Piece Stream Site

Topic started by Guest_Author on March 1, 2010. Last post by Airesofwar 4 years, 8 months ago.
Post by Guest_Author (0 posts) See mini bio Level 7
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 Well, I thought I would get around to writing my first review on Anime Vice. It is sort of a different approach to a review of an anime. The topic at hand will be reviewing FUNimation's airing of subtitled One Piece episodes on their website.  

 FUNImation's One Piece
 FUNImation's One Piece

My very first experience with One Piece, sadly enough to say, was actually when it first aired on Cartoon Network and was being dubbed by 4Kids. I had heard things about One Piece in the past, but never looked into it much. Watching on TV I thought the series was 'cute', but there were just so many plot holes and everything seemed so weak and childish. Something really didn't seem right. It was maybe a year later that I finally looked online to find out more. I discovered some sites that had pirated Japanese episodes for fan subtitles. 
 
I was astounded at what I was seeing. The changes were so dramatic it was as if I was watching a completely different show. What4Kids did to that series could only be considered an anime equivalent of a war crime. Why even bother with the series if you were just going to change everything? From that point on fan sub websites were the only source I could find that had the real One Piece episodes. 
A few years ago 4Kids lost the rights on the dub and the FUNimation company stepped in to redub the series from square one. It was exciting, but from what I had seen. FUNimation was keeping some edits to the series. Just no where near as extreme as their predecessor. I really wanted to give this series a chance, but Cartoon Network took it off before it could go through a single story arc. 
 

New Era 

It wasn't too long ago that FUNimation started something that was like a blessing to US One Piece fans. On their websites they were streaming brand new episodes directly out of Japan with subtitles. They were also uploading the early seasons offering both dub and subtitles. I was unsure about the site at first, but thought I should give it a fair shot if it could mean properly supporting the anime. This is my review. 
 
Episode Selection 
It can not be denied how impressive it is that FUNimation is airing brand new episodes, subtitled, an hour after airing in Japan. This tells me that they really want to get people to stop pirating episodes online by giving the audience what they are looking for. You can sort episodes by Most Popular, Most Recent, and Show Order. Further, you can select to show only the Sub or Dub episodes. 

Where things fall apart are in the huge gaps that are present on the site. The list of missing episodes stretches from Episodes 14-53 and 104-390. That makes a gap of 325 episodes total missing. They do seem to be adding three episodes to the gap between 104-390 each week, but for some reason don't seem to be touching the14-53 gap. At this rate, just to fill that later gap at a rate of three episodes a week will take about 96 weeks. These gaps take up some of the most epic and enjoyable story arcs in the series. 
 
Missing Story Arcs
Don Krieg Arc / Arlong Park Arc / Loguetown Arc / Jaya Arc / Skypiea Arc / Davy Back Fight Arc / Water 7 Arc / Enies Lobby Arc / Thriller Bark Arc 
 
Most of my favorite episodes are in these missing story arcs. It's difficult to give up on fan subtitle sites when there are these massive gaps that wont be filled for almost two years.
 
Dub/Subtitle Quality 
I haven't focused too much on watching the new Dub work, but in the few episodes I have watched. It seems pretty solid. For some odd reason though. On all the Dubbed episodes. The title songs have been redone with English lyrics that match the rhythm of the original Japanese openings. Even in the English dubs of Narutoand Bleach the Japanese songs were untouched. It seems like a pointless alteration. Either way, my interest has more been viewing this site from the perspective of someone who used to only get these episodes from fan subtitle sites for years. 
 
To get to the point, the subtitles are not that bad. In fact, it can be pretty good. For the more exuberant Japanese fans. They even keep the Japanese Honorifics (san, chan, sama, ect.). I have noticed some minor grammatical mistakes at times and there are some inconsistencies. One example would be the name of the military force in One Piece. The subtitles always refer to them as "Navy', but their ship sails, uniforms, and hats all say in capital letters, "MARINE". The word "NAVY" never actually appears in the series. In defense of the subtitles. In the Japanese version everyone is saying "kaigun" which translates as "Navy". Just from the perspective of an English speaker, it's confusing for the subtitles to say one thing and the uniforms say something completely different.
 
There is also an odd inconsistency that I only found in the more recent episodes so far. The character Bon Clay has been playing a major role in the series recently. His personal combat style has always been known as Okama Way Kenpo. It's something he repeats before using an attack. Much in the same way Luffy says "Gum Gum-" or Zoro's "Santouryu". "Okama" is the Japanese term for male homosexual or male transvestite. Whenever Bon Clay uses the term, the subtitles replaces it with "Oh Come My Way Kenpo". At first I thought this was some sort of over sensitivity issue, but it must not be. The series is not shy at all about the frequent use of the words "queer", "gay", or "fairy" when the word "okama" is used to describing someone. In some cases the term is literally used as "Kama" when describing a location, such as the "Kamabakka Kingdom" or "New Kama Land". (Gia might like Kamabakka Kingdom. It's an island of all men in drag. Including the animals. lol) 
 
It makes me wonder why when they are talking about Bon Clay's move set, why not just call it "Okama Way Kenpo" rather then just make up something that he's not even saying? 

Edits
I'd like to talk about any edits, but in an odd way I can't. That's because the episodes that would look to have the most heavy edits are missing from the site. I can say that they aren't cutting out the smoking and drinking. They don't appear to be making any real dramatic edits in blood or fan service scenes either from what I have been able to see. So, that's a big plus. 

Video Player
The video player is a bit cumbersome at times. There are scenes i just enjoy and I want to watch it over again. I try to go back, but it freezes as it tries to rebuffer that moment. Other players from sites start right up. 
 
Image quality is really good. In the later episodes it's much better. Far better then the quality you can find on most fan sub sites, where image quality is sacrificed over expediency. It's nice to watch old episodes just a little clearer and easy to read subtitles.
 
What is surprising is the lack of commercials. I can watch several episodes without a commercial ever appearing. In all honesty, since I am watching these for free. I wouldn't mind commercials in each episode. This could be a blessing, because the when commercials have appeared. They can tend to pop on screen abruptly and occasionally cut off dialog. The commercials aren't long, and if FUNimation could incorporate them into the episodes better that would help. 
 

Final Verdict: 3/5

I know I'm going to sound harsh in the rating, but I give FUNimation's One Piece site a 3 out of 5. They put in a superb effort, but it's those gaps in the story that really hurt matters. I would love to cast away fan subs sites completely and watch One Piece on this official site exclusively. It makes it hard to recommend to a new watcher, because there is so much missing; and it makes it difficult to convince another fan sub watcher who can get those episodes elsewhere. *If they could fill in those gaps faster. The site would get a 4 or even 4.5 out of 5, and there would be no excuse to watch the series on any other site.
 
Closing comment: IFUNImation would start airing the Detective Conan anime series subtitled and with the proper names the way they are with One Piece. I would write them a love letter. 

-Kristoffer Remmell (FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.
Post by FLStyle (423 posts) See mini bio Level 12
Nice review and well put together. Image quality is always an important factor for me so that doubles the chances of me giving it a go.
Post by GodLen (877 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Staff
My thoughts...  
 
*Oooh guest author*  
*Look its One Piece* 
 *Must be FoxxFireArt*  
*Scroll down, yes should of put money on this* 
 

Nice review! I use this service every so often and have no real problems with it. 
Post by crusader8463 (739 posts) See mini bio Level 9
IDK if it is the same song in japan, but one thing i will say is i LOVE the English intro. The song is just so dam catchy, i want to dance every time i hear it. I have wanted to watch one piece but i knew about them neutering the show while it was being made, and i just cant get into watching a series as long as one piece is with only sub titles. 

 Closing comment: IFUNImation would start airing the Detective Conan anime series subtitled and with the proper names the way they are with One Piece. I would write them a love letter. 

 
Good to see your personal war on that show continues! Gotta get your jab in on them every chance you can. lol
Post by Renk (19 posts) See mini bio Level 3

 Closing comment: IFUNImation would start airing the Detective Conan anime series subtitled and with the proper names the way they are with One Piece. I would write them a love letter. 

God yes! to a certain degree I consider the name problems with Detective Conan to be even worse then some things 4kids has done. I've just given up hope of ever watching the anime at this point. Even if I did find a site with fansubs, the download would be a nightmare in of its self =P.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,649 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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@GodLen:
So, the length of it also wasn't a clue? I'm not sure why yet, but some images were replaced.
 
My only problem with the site is the massive gaps in the story.
 
@crusader8463 said:

"  Good to see your personal war on that show continues! Gotta get your jab in on them every chance you can. lol "

You have no idea how much it pisses me off what they did to that series.
Post by metalsnakezero (680 posts) See mini bio Level 16
Nice review. I don't mind the large gap in the story because I'm up to date with the show (Thank you anime bloggers) and happy to watch something that is legal.
Post by Baru (5 posts) See mini bio Level 1
@Renk said:

"

 Closing comment: IFUNImation would start airing the Detective Conan anime series subtitled and with the proper names the way they are with One Piece. I would write them a love letter. 

God yes! to a certain degree I consider the name problems with Detective Conan to be even worse then some things 4kids has done. I've just given up hope of ever watching the anime at this point. Even if I did find a site with fansubs, the download would be a nightmare in of its self =P. "
 Really?!  Something the Japanese Company made them do is worse than 4kids? 
Post by crusader8463 (739 posts) See mini bio Level 9
@FoxxFireArt said:
@crusader8463 said:

"  Good to see your personal war on that show continues! Gotta get your jab in on them every chance you can. lol "

You have no idea how much it pisses me off what they did to that series. "
I know man, i just noticed awhile back that no matter what the conversation is about you always put a little jab about it if you can fit it in some how. If i liked a show and they neutered it as badly as they did to your show i would feel the same way. Thankfuly i cant recall them ever doing it to a show i really cared about, so i never had to. My biggest personal war is with Ubisoft, and their new ridiculous DRM that they are putting on every PC release of their games. I had been following two games development for over three years now, and literally weeks before they release they announce their repugnant plans for a new kind of DRM that requires you to be on the internet at all times in order to play their games. Even if they are single player only games you need to be connected, and should you lose your connection the game will lock up and close unless you reconnect. Now I'm gonna have to miss out on these games that i had been following the development of, and wanting to play, for years.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,649 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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@Baru said:

" Really?!  Something the Japanese Company made them do is worse than 4kids?  "

That's part of the problem right there. There has never been any confirmation that Shogakukan 'made' VIZ alter the names of anything. The story behind this is filled with rumors and inaccuracies. One person even tried to claim that Gosho Aoyama, the author, demanded these changes be made.  I call BS on that. Why would he demand changes that would contradict events that he was writing about?
 
The Shogakukan publisher licenses the series to VIZ allowing them to be the publisher in the US. They don't give them the translations. It's VIZ that hires translators and it's VIZ that made the changes.

The best information that I have heard to date was when Gia mentioned talking to someone from VIZ at a party and said that they changed the names, because they were following the lead of FUNimation doing the anime. That strikes me as a half truth, because in the dubbed anime, FUNimation changes everyone's names, but VIZ only changes the reappearing character's names.
 
When people try and claim that a "Japanese Company" made them make the changes without any evidence. That is just a way to try and get people not to blame VIZ for what is ultimately their fault. This isn't the first time the company has altered series. They had to republish the original Dragon Ball series to remove the edits they made to the artwork.
Post by Renk (19 posts) See mini bio Level 3
@Baru said:
Really?!  Something the Japanese Company made them do is worse than 4kids?  "
Note that I said "to a certain degree". Even so, I know of all the reasons folks put out there as to the cause of the name changes and that doesn't change my opinion on the matter. I've never really baught that they were forced to make the name changes, but in the end I don't care for the reason. All I know is that i die a little bit on the inside every time I'm at a con or a club meeting and people use the English names when discussing the series =P.
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@FoxxFireArt said:
@crusader8463 said:

"  Good to see your personal war on that show continues! Gotta get your jab in on them every chance you can. lol "

You have no idea how much it pisses me off what they did to that series. "
In all jest I'll postulate that many of us do have an idea how much it pisses you off. ^_^
 
Grats on the front page. It was an enjoyable read on your blog, and hopefully you'll get some more readers this way.
Post by Baru (5 posts) See mini bio Level 1
Well personally I find Case Closed to be a perfectly acceptable adaption of Detective Conan, despite the name changes, because they really aren't that big of deal to me (at least when they are consistant, unlike Haibara's case... having a different name in the manga and anime, poor girl).
Other than that though, it's really pretty good.
 
I can understand being a bit frustrated at the name changes, but really it's nothing to get angry about, and certainly isn't something worth "dieing a little bit on the inside" about.
 
But meh, here goes my obligatory stamp for conversations like these:  lolopinions
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,649 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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@John_Martone: 
Probably true, but I'm not sure that everyone understands just how frustrating it is that the one series that I would love to collect above all others. Just also happens to be the one that I can't get in this country. That it was that ONE that they felt the need to alter while series like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece are hardly touched. VIZ seems to have this twisted idea that since the lead character Conan looks like an eight year old. That should be the target market. By that same rationalization, South Park should be for grade schoolers.
 
In one Detective Conan case a woman slashes her ex boyfriends neck with a straight razor. The motive was because she didn't like the idea of anyone else ever cutting his hair. Another case had a teacher murder the father of one of his students because he blamed the father the death of the man's son. Turns out he wasn't at fault. The teacher murdered an innocent man.
This is what they are targeting toward children. Might as well sit the kids around the TV to watch an episode of Black Lagoon.
 
Thanks. I actually have quite a few idea of things to write about.
Post by Baru (5 posts) See mini bio Level 1
Viz only decided to change the names because FUNimation did, so fans of the anime could have consistency when they picked up the manga. (though this backfired in Haibara's case)
 
Anyway, despite whatever you think or not, Detective Conan is a childrens show/manga targeted towards kids in Japan.
Post by Airesofwar (3 posts) See mini bio Level 1
 
FUNimation made me remove anime from my site  geerrrrr  I had to turn around and post them to forum instead. I don't see how they hod the right to do that. They should of  got onto myspace over it not me. 
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