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A ONE PIECE Noob Jumps into the Season 5, Yoyage 3 Box Set - - Review

Who put this guy in charge!? The ONE PIECE n00b takes his first whack!!

As Tom and I recently discussed in the Vice Pit, I am a ONE PIECE n00b. Before now, I had only partial knowledge of the show that I'd absorbed from friends, and had never seen an episode in its entirety (well, I had also seen the amazi-bad US rap theme song but we're not counting that, right?).

So you can imagine my surprise when I fired up this DVD and got thrown into the mix of three epic battles, a kidnapping and a foot chase. When it's moving, ONE PIECE is a helluva ride. I'm going to give you the straight dope on this collection but, since I am new to the show, there's going to be some (hopefully) hilarious gaps in knowledge....

HERE WE GO, HERE WE GO, HERE WE GO!!!

It seems that a mysterious organization called CP9 has captured Nico Robin and disabled her powers. Their leader (who is totally the WWE wrestler, Mankind) drags Robin through a series of undersea tunnels while his black-suited minions deal with the Straw Hat Pirates. And by minions, I mean people with random and ludicrous powers, such as the ability to infinitely lather yourself... or being a giraffe.

This man is a giraffe. Your argument is invalid.
This man is a giraffe. Your argument is invalid.

There are some amazingly epic fights in this collection. I surmise that this is one of the cyborg Franky's big debut battles, and he squares off against a zipper-mouthed, martial arts Humpty Dumpty. Tony Tony Chopper, meanwhile, has to contend with a Kabuki performer with a giant mop of pink hair he can control. Zoro and Usopp the mysterious Sniper King are running around elsewhere, handcuffed together and pursued by a werewolf and a weregiraffe. Sanji, unfortunately, has been turned into some kind of Fisher-Price weeble and it's up to Nami to fight off Mankind's secretary, who has power over bubbles.

Or at least, that's what starts to happen. Episodes tend to focus on one fight at a time, and when it reaches a crucial cliffhanger focus will jump to another one, or perhaps collide with another fight.

This set also contains a pair of holiday specials, which I think are recaps (or retellings?) of long-past storylines, recast in feudal Japan. I only think they're recaps because they feature Buggy the Clown as the villain, who is the only other ONE PIECE villain I really know of. They might also be my favorite part.

For a cop he's really not big on the uniform thing.
For a cop he's really not big on the uniform thing.

Now, there were a lot of things that make this a bit inaccessible to a new viewer like myself...

I found the categories of superpowers very confusing to be thrown into, and I also needed to be reminded of several other rules - - like how Devil Fruit powered people are incapable of swimming. But at the same time, it doesn't matter! The show blows through plot points at such a blistering pace, you barely have time to wonder about the deeper intricacies and/or inconsistencies of the world. You just accept it and are wowed by the next spectacle of gooftacular violence.

Unfortunately, it's not all awesome fights and silly jokes. It's pretty evident that ONE PIECE has the weekly shonen show problem of "catching up to the manga too quickly," so things can get pretty drawn out (mostly thanks to elongated stare downs). This includes the opener which - - while a miniature story with a charm all it's own - - does get old fast, particularly when they repeat Gold Roger's death speech at the end. There're a lot of overlap between episodes, as well, but thankfully the discs come with a marathon mode that helps mitigate some of these problems.

And honestly? I was having a ton of fun even while noticing these things. That's how awesome this show is.

There's just so much to enjoy. The sense of humor is omnipresent, even during fights of life and death. There are things that just constantly crack me up - -stuff like a pigeon that always wears a necktie. Or the fact that Zoro uses Sniper King as a sword and yet is also too dumb to know that he's Usopp. Or that in the feudal Japan holiday special, Chopper isn't around because he's helping Santa's reindeer.

Oh, and I want to hug every one of Chopper's forms. This includes the 30 foot tall monster man which does, in fact, make an appearance in this set.

So if you're thinking about getting into this show... this might actually be the way to jump in.

The water's just fine! YA YO YA YOOOOOOOO! YO HO!

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter @Murphix.

Kino88on Oct. 21, 2013 at 4:36 p.m.

and all of it is MAD! MAD! MAD! MADNESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KVH UHFNBGNFYBGFAFABVXADXSBVFSBDFXXSAFGSKBFXBJGFVVRNCIXDSDGFGDDHYDGDDOGIE DHJJKSAHJXXSHBJJSBXHBSXHKJ BOX FGGDFHGSDAGFDGFYHEGYGDY CHERRYS DKJHKJHASKJHHGCXJHGJHGD ONE PIECE MADNESSS!!! DJHFUHUDSHFUDSHFUHDSUHSUHGHYG

Petiewon Oct. 22, 2013 at 4:03 a.m.

It must be really really bizarre to jump into One Piece mid series. The weirdness amps up gradually every arc so you kind of get used to some of the crazy stuff over time.

It's a shame you didn't start with the previous box set, there are a bunch of character recap episodes before they storm into the Enies Lobby tower.

DREAMING! DON'T GIVE IT UP LUFFY!

Baal_Raamon Oct. 23, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.

Pose 2 watch Op

RealJpoeon Nov. 11, 2013 at 10:25 p.m.

Hearing someone describe the plot of One Piece always sounds like the kind of nonsense bananas that I'm into.

I've contemplated just jumping into a random point like this set or perhaps the new Toonami run since unlike most anime this (& other Shonen Jump stories) seem more in line with my time into American comic books where you pick up at the current arch and later go back to some of the better stories as you hear about them. Unfortunately my nature as a completionist who never drops an anime no matter how bad has me starting at the beginning. Wish me luck I guess.

Dig Deeper into One Piece

One Piece is an anime adaptation of Eiichiro Oda's manga. Following the adventures of Luffy and his mischievous friends out to find One Piece, and in their adventure they will find many enemies and friends that will help them in their journey.

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