Plot: Coby is a young aspiring Marine being held against his will by the pirate captain Alvida. When they discover the odd boy named Luffy hiding in a barrel, he turns Coby’s and Alvida’s lives upside down with his determination and courage…..and his ability to stretch his body like a rubber band.
Preface: Oh yes, people. We are going there. Unlike Sailor Moon and Tokyo Mew Mew, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode by episode comparison for One Piece, so yay. And if there is….well, I’ll do this for fun anyway. 😛
This is one of the biggest most tragic disasters in all of English dubbed anime. It is still infamous in its awfulness, and the fact that this went on for over 100 episodes before 4Kids finally lost the rights is baffling. Well, light your lollipops and load your hammer guns while we tackle 4Kids’ dub of One Piece.
Of course, the theme songs have been changed for this series, especially considering how infamous this particular dub song is. Yes, yes, everyone. It’s the One Piece rap. I really enjoy the original OP, but nope. 4Kids knows rap is where it’s at, yo. While it is painful to sit through, I’ll admit, it’s really catchy. 4Kids is once again a master of ear worms. No matter how much fans may hate the song, I can bet nearly everyone who has heard it once remember how it goes.
Shockingly, they kept the OP’s graphics almost completely intact. That might be the only time outside of Pokemon that they’ve ever done that.
Later on, when we get more characters, the theme song is changed to adjust to them instead of going through the trouble of making a new theme song, which is weird. They had no qualms about making new theme songs for Pokemon every season – why just edit One Piece’s instead of changing it? Many fans are glad that 4Kids lost their license when they did because they were worried about how the song would sound with even more characters added seeing as how just adding Sanji and Chopper to the song made it incredibly sloppy.
Entire Series Edit: 4Kids being 4Kids, a lot of music is changed and added where there is silence.
They edit out where the guy who says “Can’t a guy get some shut eye?” (He really says “You guys suck” in the original) turns and looks above the mast. Why? I dunno. Also, for a guy who is pissed that people disturbed his nap, he sure does have a big grin on his face.
Title Change: Most of the titles aren’t changed very much, but others are, so I’ll be noting them all. I’m Luffy! The Man Who’s Gonna be King of the Pirates! is changed to I’m Gonna Be King of the Pirates!
This isn’t really important, but they edit out the freeze frame of the pirates running towards the camera before Coby’s about the swing across.
After Nami reveals her pirate clothes, Coby enters a room where the barrel we’ve been following is. After he mentions that he’s found a big barrel, that’s when Nami rides the zipline to Alvida’s ship. 4Kids changed this to having her do the zipline right after she shows her clothes and editing out the scene with Coby.
They edit about a second of showing Nami’s foot when she kicked that pirate. But we all know where it was. Ouch.
In the original, Coby believes he’s found a barrel of wine. The other pirates say they’ll help lighten his load by drinking it. Coby says Alvida will kill them if she finds out, and one of the pirates tells him she won’t if he doesn’t blab and he agrees. In the dub, it essentially goes like this “I found some water, it’s really heavy” “We’ll help you out.” “Okay” Also, the wind up to break the barrel before Luffy shows up is more drawn out in the original.
They do some friggin’ weird editing to Luffy’s mouth when he says he had a great nap. I guess this was because Luffy’s mouth wasn’t moving in that scene….????????? And instead of drawing out his yelling, they shorten the scene again. Notice the cheeks. Forgive the slightly iffy gif editing, I thought the end was cut off enough.
They edit out a white flash before showing Coby quivering on the floor after Luffy breaks the pirates’ swords.
They edit out Luffy explaining that his ship was caught up in the whirlpool.
They edit out Alvida’s iron mace hitting the first pirate in the face and then falling on the remaining pirate’s heads after the other guy gets sent overboard.
The eyecatches for the commercial breaks are edited out, which is disappointing. This week we only get Luffy’s Wanted poster, but other characters will be added in future episodes.
In the original, Coby explains why getting ‘One Piece’ is impossible. In the dub, he berates Luffy for wanting to be king of the pirates or even a pirate at all because they’re terrible.
They edit out Luffy’s punch and him holding his fist above Coby’s head afterwards. They change it to Coby freaking out because he thought Luffy was going to hit him, when he claims he wasn’t going to. This is a perfect example as to why 4Kids never should’ve gotten this show to begin with. If you’re even too afraid to show somebody getting a quick (comedic) smack to the head because they’re flipping out, you cannot dub this show properly. Period.
Instead of Luffy giving an inspirational speech about following your dreams, the original Luffy just said he does what he does because it’s what he wants to do. He wants to become a Pirate King, and he’ll die for his dream.
Entire Series Edit: For reasons beyond my human understanding, they change any instance of “Marines” to “Navy.” It’s not just a simple dubbing error, either. The Marines have hats that clearly say “Marines” and 4Kids edits them to say “Navy” I can’t even say that maybe 4Kids is confusing Marines for Navy, because it’s obvious that they’re making a conscious effort to change it, even when it’s in English. I guess 4Kids hates the Marines…Or the Navy….I can’t figure out which this is offensive towards…
Name Change: Zoro is now Zolo. I know this one is controversial, but I think we can give 4Kids a pass here. Many people believe Zoro’s name was changed due to copyright issues with the creators of Zorro. However, in Japan, L and R are interchangeable. Like how Rupan Sansei is known to us as Lupin the Third. Or how Kirara from Inuyasha is spelled Kirara, but it’s okay to call her Kilala. But, for all I know, maybe they did do it because of Zorro. I’m just trying to cut 4Kids a break for a change.
In the original, Luffy calls Alvida a fat lady, and they show the pirate crew and Alvida frozen in shock that he said that. In the dub, Luffy responds to Coby saying that she was the prettiest by asking when his last eye exam was, and they edit out the frozen in shock scene to when the pirates start talking.
Instead of actually showing the flashback, Coby just hears Luffy’s words from before repeat in his head as the shot switches back and forth between him and Luffy.
Attack Name Change: Gomu Gomu no Pistol is changed to Gum Gum Blast, because even mentioning guns is terrible…
Before the Pistol hits Alvida, there’s a bunch of snapshots that show the Pistol about to hit her, complete with shutter sound. In the dub, they jump straight to impact.
They edit out Luffy hitting Coby again, even though it’s completely offscreen.
This is a great introduction to Luffy and I pretty much like Coby. Alvida’s a bit too much of a joke for me to feel any sort of tension here, but the episode’s fun and a nice start to the series.
Next episode, Luffy and Coby team up to free the legendary pirate hunter, Zoro from the clutches of the spoiled twat Helmeppo and his father, a captain in the Navy, Captain Morgan.
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