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ONE PIECE #2 - - Special Review

So does Zoro sound better in the dub or not?

You know, it’s been a too long since I’ve listened to a good “Sabat vs. Sabat” dialog in one of these dubs…

Like I’ve always made clear, I don’t have any strong allegiances in the Sub vs. Dub war. Honestly, I think a lot of it comes down to whichever “channel” you’re more used to; and hearing this show in English definitely puts the whole thing in a completely different context for me.

The theme song, in particular, sounds so much like a jingle for a Mom & Pop water park I grew up going to that it’s prompting all sorts of visions of rusty (likely-unlicensed) ONE PIECE-themed amusement park rides in my mind’s eye. Suddenly, this seems less like some exotic, contemporary anime juggernaut and more like some old American toon like… say… ROCKY & BULLWINKLE or POPEYE.

Obviously, a lot of this pop culture synesthesia has to do with how significantly the show has evolved over the years. While it’s kind of… novel to be seeing a one-man Straw Hat crew while Nami and Zoro are the only other crew members in view, it is still amusing to see how ONE PIECE has been able to collect sympathy points from the beginning as it were a science.

See, it’s not enough that Luffy and Zoro are fun characters; or that they’re appealing designed, or that they do cool super-moves. No, the plot’s gone out of its way - - and twice in so many episodes - - to show these two heroes making legitimate sacrifices to stand up for the weak. Granted, this is something the show continues all the way up into the recent episodes (Nami coming back for the giant kids being the most recent example, of course) but, given the continued success of the show, it does really go to show that there’s some sense to having “Save the Cat” moments right away.

Watch this episode, "Enter the Great Swordsman! Pirate Hunter Roronoa Zoro!” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Kino88on March 26, 2013 at 5:32 p.m.

ONE PIECE MADNESSS!!!!!!!!!!! still in only starting out but......STILL, ONE PIECE MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE CATS'!!!

Petiewon March 26, 2013 at 5:57 p.m.
The whole East Blue arc is made up of a bunch of smaller arcs basically showing off how different the Strawhats are to most other pirates. It's a little slow but I think it's good in showing off everyone's morals, dreams, outtlook on being a pirate and so on.

Nami going back for the kids is actually kind of a throwback to her own backstory, that you find about near the end of the East Blue arc.
Donwunon March 26, 2013 at 7:33 p.m.

I definitely see where your coming from with the Opening sounding so obvious and even campy but as things progress it sticks with you and really does become somewhat of an anthem (I know it's hard to believe). The first time i heard TMNT opening as a kid i remember thinking even then this is too much but now its pretty much a classic pop anthem for the franchise.

I don't really have anything against english dubs with anime in general because the standard has drastically improved throughout the years. However with One Piece i feel they have never got it right or even to 75%. I won't even bother mention the 4Kids dub. Funimations attempt was an improvement for sure but still some of the core characters just don't sound like the right fit with Luffy & Zoro being my major gripes and it makes the earlier episode that much harder to enjoy

To be blunt i wouldn't recommend OP in eng dub at all, the original Jap performance adds a helluva lot to the execution between the character interactions and you only realize this once you've seen most of the show with subs.

I mean think about it, a pirate story / movie has to have the spoken dialogue down pat if your going to be immersed in the setting properly, if not the whole thing just looks and feels like a very bad campy play. I would usually say everything is subjective but from what i've seen / heard from fans/non-fans its pretty much a given the dub is sub-par at best in comparison to the original jap performance. The Naruto (by a slitther) & Bleach dubs where much better and are pretty easy to watch (bleach in particular)

Also you will be glad to hear OP mixes things up alot with various opening themes....more than most shows tbh

and lastly yeah, its pretty clear (and maybe even annoying) the One Piece Cru are more or less "Hero Pirates" (oxymoron?) something alot of people have always condemned the series about

FoxxFireArt moderator on March 26, 2013 at 8:31 p.m.

I've never been particularly happy with FUNimation dubbing over the theme songs. Often the first opening of older anime series is incredibly corny. Though, the team that made the first ONE PIECE opening "We Are" is the very same people who made the current opening "We Go".

You should go on You Tube and check out the history of OP opening songs. There have been fifteen. They've had a lot of good ones.

I don't watch the English dub of this series very often. I've checked it out from time to time, and I think they do an alright job. I respect they kept a female actress for Luffy. I just enjoy the Japanese cast more. Partly becasue of the variety in the voice actors.

The East Blue Saga is a collection of smaller arcs that are mainly focused on Luffy building his initial crew. The real meat doesn't really start until the Arlong Park Arc (Ep. 31-45), That's when Luffy and his crew become known to the World Government.

I would like to add that Nami's inclusion this early in the story is non-canon. For unknown reasons, Nami was added into the anime far earlier than she ever appeared in the story. She shouldn't appear in the series until what is Episode 5. In the manga, it was the end of the first volume.

Top8caton March 26, 2013 at 9:17 p.m.

I can rewatch InuYasa, Naruto, Bleach, Rurouni Kenshin, Berserker in either dub or sub. However, as Donwun put it......this sub is on a whole new level in how the VO's take the scrip and just run with it. The energy, the flow, the commitment to the act, everything seems to just....fit. It's weird, but towards the end of the East Blue arc and especially by the start of the Alabasta arc, they bare their claws into the lore and their roles and never let up.

One of the few shows I literally can't imagine watching another way......and I'm a big advocate of good, high quality dubs

jj_jacksonon March 27, 2013 at 3:44 a.m.

I would say the funimation dub team did an excellent job except for the most recent voices. Franky and aoikiji voices in the newly dubbed water 7 arc are..just ones i cant agree with.franky has a unique voice to i'd have to say the japenese actor takes the cake on that one and also aoikiji's voice actor is passablebut i think they could have done a better job.

The first one piece opening was kinda lame to me until i got used to it and started to sing along lol the dubb team did a good job. Actually as dubb goes zoros voice i would say is about perfect contrary to what everyone is saying on here. the english luffy is pretty good but for some reason can get annoying. I think the english voice actors nailed ussop,nami,chopper,and robin. i dont think they will have much luck with brook.

ShadowKnight508 moderator on March 27, 2013 at 9:10 p.m.

I have always been an advocate for subbed versions of anime series, mainly because the dubbed voice acting just never captures the character's true essence. Want proof? See the video below (the disastrous and infamous 4Kids dub and the FUNimation dub put side by side for comparison).

See my point? It just does not do the characters justice like the original subbed version does. That is why I stick with the Japanese version of the shows that I have watched.

Petiewon March 28, 2013 at 8:17 a.m.
@ShadowKnight508: I never understood why people hated the 4kids voices, but loved the funimation voices so much. I always thought in boths version Luffy sounded very similar. I'm not a huge fan of either to be honest.
ShadowKnight508 moderator on March 31, 2013 at 8:24 p.m.

@Petiew: One reason, for the most part...when 4Kids does this voice-wise:

Makes me shudder every time I hear that voice they used for Bon Clay

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