One Piece (4Kids) | Episode 6: Desperate Situation! Beast Tamer Mohji vs. Luffy Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Zoro and Luffy manage to get away from Buggy with the help of Nami and the mayor of the town, but they’re not out of danger yet. They meet a small dog named Chouchou who seems to be guarding a local pet store fiercely. The mayor tells them that the dog’s owner recently passed away and he’s been feeding Chouchou in his place since his passing, but he won’t leave the store no matter what. When Buggy sends one of his goons, Mohji the Beast Tamer, to defeat Zoro and Luffy, they find that Chouchou’s both bark AND bite, but will that be enough to protect his pet shop?

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Entire Show Edit: The recaps are always different and for some reason they are always presented in letterbox form in the dub.

The mention of Zoro being injured is kept the same, but it makes little sense in the dub. In the original, we constantly see blood spraying from Zoro’s wound and the blood stain on his clothes getting bigger. In the dub, there is no visible wound and he looks fine otherwise, so you’re left confused as to why they’re freaking out about an invisible wound.

Subbed: 

Dubbed:

In the next line, dub!Zoro says he’s fine besides his knee, which I guess we’re supposed to take as having gotten hurt when the Buggy Ball went off, despite having no damage to his pants. They even kinda point this out by having Luffy say his knee looks fine and then Nami saying it sounds awful. Because sounds are much easier to edit than visuals. Also, I guess they’re ignoring that he totally got stabbed earlier? Even if they didn’t show it outright, that’s what was implied.

They omit the part where Luffy introduces Nami to Zoro as their new navigator.

The line being said here, which is Nami asking why they’re so determined even though they’re pirates, is essentially the same, but the delivery loses the focus of the line. In the original, the line is said like Nami’s getting a whole new view on people who are pirates – like some of them have strength and determination to live on and fight for what’s right despite being pirates. In the dub, she’s all “They’re pretty determined, for pirates anyway.” which is really no change from how she’s been acting towards pirates this whole time.

Title Cards:

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Title Change: Desperate Situation! Beast Tamer Mohji vs. Luffy is changed to The Beast Breaker.

Originally, Luffy wonders if the unmoving dog is dead. Dub!Luffy wonders if he’s real.

They edit out a shot of the dog biting Luffy’s face. We can’t show that either? There’s not even any blood. It’s almost cartoony.

A shot of Luffy’s hand on the ground is edited out.

A shot of Nami talking to Luffy and another shot of Zoro smiling at the two of them is edited out.

After Chouchou eats the key, we get photo overlays of each of them looking in shock at what just happened. Then we see Luffy cartoonishly strangling the dog because he ate the key. This is all edited out.

They edit out:

  • A shot of Luffy holding the dog
  • Zoro asking who The Mayor is.
  • The Mayor explaining who he is.
  • The Mayor seeing the wound that Zoro has (the one that apparently it doesn’t exist in the dub)
  • A shot of the ‘closed’ sign on the side of the building.

They cut straight to Chouchou and Luffy staring at each other and then we get to the building.

The Mayor assumes the three are bullying Chouchou. In the dub, he’s telling Chouchou to not attack them.

In the original, The Mayor says that he offered Zoro medical attention, but he refused and said he just needed rest, so he’s sleeping at his house. In the dub, the same message is given, but it’s more like The Mayor thought the best medical attention was a nap instead of getting him a doctor….and I’m not lying, the dialogue says it, “I have the best medical equipment in the world – a bed.” Yeah, that’ll patch up a gaping gut wou—uh broken knee.

They edit out a shot of Nami petting Chouchou despite us seeing her petting him a few seconds later because…petting dogs is bad?……sometimes? They also edit out a shot of Luffy talking.

Urgh, 4Kids, I am amazed at how you have the innate ability to piss me off and impress me somewhat at the same time. Shockingly, the story about Chouchou’s owner dying and him guarding his owner’s store as his precious treasure is left in, but the music ruins it. It’s a very tragic story, 4Kids. The tone you’re looking for is ‘sad.’

They also shorten the scene of stillness and silence that is reflective upon the sad story because we wouldn’t want to have a moment of emotion, would we?

Also edited out:

  • Chouchou returning the dog bowl to The Mayor and going back to sit down.
  • Luffy sitting back with his face covered by his hat and looking up into the sky.
  • The ground shaking.
  • An extended shot of Luffy laying back.

The Mayor doesn’t speak baby talk to Chouchou originally.

How can Luffy not get out of that cage? I have a hard time believing a cage, especially one with fairly large gaps between the bars, can hold a rubber man. I mean, it may be painful, maybe, but he could easily squeeze through those gaps.

Name change: Mohji the Beast Tamer is changed to Mohji the Beast Breaker…Beast Breaker? That sounds awful. I have no clue why 4Kids sometimes makes things sound worse than they actually are. Sounds like he emotionally and physically tortures animals until they break and obey him.

They shortened the scene of the mayor flailing and running off with Nami.

They edit out a weird falling pane transition along with some dialogue from Mohji and a response from Luffy.

Dub!Nami: “Don’t you think it’s weird that you crashed through all those houses and you don’t have a mark on you?” He crashed through one house, Nami. Singular.

Blood is edited away from when Chouchou is hit and rolls away. Too fast for me to screencap. Plus it leaves the screen quickly, so you can just imagine a blood spray flashing around him in the dubbed version.

I’m actually not entirely bothered by the choice of song for the flashback scenes because, well, 4Kids sucks at sad songs and that’s really all the effort they’ll put into that. My expectations shall lower for you, 4Kids. Though the original song, that music box song….damn man, just damn.

Chouchou’s minor wounds are edited away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Originally, in the flashback, the pet shop owner tells Chouchou that he’s getting old (though he really had an illness) and he needed to go to the hospital for a while and to watch the shop while he was gone. In the dub, it basically sounds like he’s dying right then and there and leaving the pet shop to Chouchou.

His wounds reappear during a zoom out. It’s like they didn’t digitally paint enough frames so it fades in for a second or two.

Originally, Chouchou gets hit off-screen and we see blood spatter on the pet store sign as Chouchou yelps. In the dub, we just see Chouchou lunge and cut to the next scene.

Original!Mohji shows us his bleeding bite wound, 4Kids shows us a band-aid. Because that tiny band-aid would cover a whole bite wound, right?

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Mohji yells out that the lion thing’s name is Richie when Luffy hits him with the Gomu Gomu no Tsuchi. In the dub, Mohji just screams.

I guess 4Kids had to paint away the embers in this next scene because they ‘had’ to paint away the wounds on the dog.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nami originally wanted to kill Luffy before he started terrorizing people with a crew like Mohji. This is changed to just wanting to stop him. Also, Luffy originally stated that Nami would never be able to kill him. Nami then challenges Luffy to a fight, but Luffy stays silent. All of this scene is silent in the dub.

A still screen made in a hand drawn-style is edited out of the dub.

The sound mixing in the dub is really awful sometimes. The music can be deafening and can make it really hard to hear the dialogue.

Nami smiling at Luffy giving Chouchou the dog treats is edited out.

Mohji’s ‘wounds’ are painted off.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nami originally points out that the mayor was crying before he ran off. Dub!Nami just says he’s not using his head.

Original!Zoro says that that things are getting pretty interesting and Luffy agrees. In the dub, Luffy responds to what Nami said about using his head by saying he’s using his heart. Zolo then follows it up and says ‘tough choice. Headache or heartache.’ Ha…hah.

I hate Dub!Luffy’s laugh, I really do. He’s always going hoohoohohoy! He has a more clown-ish laugh than damn Buggy.

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I really like this little mini-arc, even if it’s very sad. As and animal lover who has never lived without a dog, it breaks my heart. Poor Chouchou.

The enemy here is a severe threat, even if he looks ridiculous, and there’s plenty of tension to be had. Dub-wise, the episode loses a lot of its emotional impact, but I guess 4Kids could’ve done a lot worse.

Next episode, it’s a wounded Zoro vs. an acrobatic sword master named Cabaji, and a battle of devil fruits with Luffy vs. Buggy.

….Previous Episode


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An Absurdly Deep Dive into the History of 4Kids | Part 10: One Piece in Pieces (2004 cont.)

June 8, 2004 is a day that will live in infamy. It is the day that 4Kids got the license to the anime superstar, One Piece, and created what has been hailed throughout time as the worst English dubbed anime ever.

Just the most ridiculous edits 4Kids has ever done. Cigarettes changed to lollipops, guns changed to super soakers and hammer guns, poison darts changed to poison suction cup darts, editing Luffy’s not-moving mouth to move as he’s yelling so they can have him speak dialogue, a black guy painted into a white guy, pretty much any instance of violence, alcohol etc. completely removed, the soundtrack completely changed, the Marines were changed to the Navy, the voices were grating and overly loud, and yes, the cous de gras, the One Piece rap, which, oddly, they opted to use when they already recorded and publicly screened an English translated version of the first theme song, ‘We Are!’ And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.

One Piece also suffered the most episode skips of any other 4Kids dub. They reached episode 143 but, out of those episodes, only 104 were dubbed, leaving 39 episodes in the wind. This situation was particularly odd in that there technically wasn’t 39 episodes missing. Only 20 full episodes were removed. It’s just that the episodes were frequently edited so badly that their runtimes would be too short for airing as a full episode, causing them to use footage from the next episode to make up the slack. As a result, the next episode would be short by default and would be made shorter due to content cuts, which means they’d have to take scenes from the next episode to pick up the slack and so on and so forth. This circle of mutilation resulted in enough edits to equal 19 more episodes technically being cut. To make matters worse, only 78 of those episodes ever aired on the Fox Box/4Kids TV, although the remaining episodes did air on Toonami in the US before they shifted to the Funimation dub. (Edit: Thanks to Bluebaron on Twitter for the info regarding Toonami.)

While 4Kids’ dub of One Piece was mostly lost media for many years, there were at least 11 volumes of DVD releases of the dub, reaching episode 52 before they stopped. Despite Al Kahn teasing they’d have an uncut One Piece release, this never happened. Sometime in 2006, 4Kids would reach a new DVD distribution agreement with Viz Media to release their cut DVDs, One Piece included, but, reportedly, Viz wouldn’t participate in an uncut DVD release because they weren’t involved in the dubbing process. I don’t really see why that’s a factor, but that’s what was reported.

The remaining 52 episodes were entirely lost for several years until TV rips were uploaded and posted to the Lost Media Wiki page.

One Piece, despite being a shounen show, was still very much not in the demographic that 4Kids aimed towards. It was loaded with violence, blood, death, fanservice, drinking and much more. Japan has a much different set of views on what is appropriate for children to watch compared to America. So 4Kids choosing to dub the show was a baffling turn of events to say the least. It was either a huge oversight or they didn’t care and just wanted the super popular property in their lap.

4Kids did okay in the merchandising department with One Piece, all things considered. They had several toys, four video games and even a trading card game released with Mattel.

The word around town in regards to the blame for this situation was that Toei tricked or forced them into taking the show. In a much-referenced interview with ANN, Mark Kirk, then-Senior Vice President of Digital Media for 4Kids, claimed that One Piece was part of a bundle of shows that 4Kids was purchasing from Toei. At the time of purchase, they had not screened the show or looked up much information about it and just accepted it as part of the bulk purchase. Poor little 4Kids didn’t know that One Piece wasn’t appropriate at all for their age demographic, so we shouldn’t judge poor little 4Kids for mutilating it as much as they did. They had to. It was out of their hands.

I want to know how many people actually listened to the interview instead of just cited what was quoted on Wikis, because there’s an important note about Mark Kirk’s interview. Before he goes into details about One Piece, he specifically says that the One Piece stuff happened “before (his) time.” Meaning he wasn’t even there when One Piece was being bought and dubbed. He was hired in 2007, which was after 4Kids canceled One Piece and Funimation purchased it. One Piece was obtained by 4Kids in 2004. Meanwhile, this interview is from 2010. What he was conveying was his account based on what he had heard and that was his, directly quoting here, “Non-official take on how (he) think(s) that came to be.” He doesn’t even say that this is based on what he heard around the office or what anyone specifically told him – it’s all just his theory on what happened.

The interviewer asks him what they look for in anime they acquire. He responds that they look for shows where the license is available, they can do marketing and merchandise for the property and that, specifically, it is suitable for their demographic.

The marketing thing is supported by Al Kahn in this quote from an interview with ANN in 2005.

“We look at things such as popularity, but also if it has a merchandising component; can we license it, can we license products for it? That’s really the main issue for us… the playing pattern, if it’s popular and how it merchandises. If we can’t merchandise it, it really doesn’t have a lot of interest for us.”

Something else from that interview that’s interesting:

Because it’s not financially viable?

“That’s correct, because it’s too expensive to do the dubbing and the acquisitions because we rewrite, we re-script, we re-score. So it’s very difficult to do that if you don’t have any other revenue streams and we have to make sure we get that.”

Kirk went on to say that, since Shaman King and One Piece are both Shounen Jump titles owned by Shueisha, that the shows were, directly quoting “probably some sort of package deal.” I don’t know why he’s just assuming that. If their announcements are anything to go by, Shaman King was acquired on May 15, 2003 and One Piece was acquired on June 8, 2004. Even on the official financial reports by 4Kids themselves, Shaman King is on the 2003 report as an owned title, but not One Piece, which would later be added on the 2004 report. They also premiered a year apart with Shaman King premiering on August 30, 2003 and One Piece being aired on September 18, 2004.

In addition, while their manga were both produced and owned by Shueisha, their anime weren’t. Shaman King’s anime was controlled and produced by TV Tokyo, and One Piece’s anime was controlled and produced by Toei. The acquisition and ownership information in 4Kids’ own official documents list Toei Animation, but not Shueisha. Same thing with Shaman King – it lists TV Tokyo but not Shueisha.

The way the actual rights work is confusing, but it basically boils down to this, to my understanding. Shueisha (and Eiichiro Oda, to a degree) own One Piece‘s manga. The anime is an adaptation of the manga, meaning Shueisha sold the anime rights of One Piece to Toei. As far as I can tell, when anime/animation rights are given to a production company, no other company can be given the anime/animation rights unless the first company gives them up or the contract runs out. The animation/production company in question controls the anime side of things with little input from the manga owner besides the ability to pull the rights if the contract allows or not renew them when the contract expires.

It’s basically the same thing as a dubbing company. When a Japanese anime studio sells the rights of an anime to a dubbing company, the dubbing company has control over how they adapt and present their adaptation. In some circumstances, as we’ve gone over with Ghibli, there are restrictions baked into the contract to have certain changes approved by the original company, but that was a particularly unique circumstance and typically isn’t the norm.

As another comparison, take when someone writes a book or a graphic novel and they sell the movie rights. It’s quite common for the book/graphic novel writer to have little to no input on the movie’s production and for the movie to wind up being insanely different from the source material, in some circumstances being an ‘in name only’ adaptation. The original author still probably gets a chunk of change from the movie and any merchandise the company gets as a result of the film, but the author still can’t do much, if anything, about any decisions involving what the production company does with the movie rights outside of selling the rights to someone else. For example, that author cannot force the production company to do something like sell the foreign dubbing rights to the movie to a particular company because they don’t control the movie – they only control the book.

Toei sold the international rights to the anime to 4Kids to dub. Shueisha likely didn’t have anything to do with it because the anime technically doesn’t belong to them. They have some degree of ownership, of course, and the anime would be under their ownership if the anime production company went under or decided to not renew the license, but they don’t have nearly as much control as Mark Kirk seems to imply they have, at least to my understanding. They deal with a multitude of animation studios and production companies who make anime based on their properties, but they don’t control them, at the very least not in regards to how they sell their localization/adaptation/international rights. If it worked the way Mark Kirk is acting as if it worked, Shueisha would have to somehow force TV Tokyo to sell the international rights to Shaman King’s anime to 4Kids at the same time this deal was going on, and not only does that not make sense, but that also doesn’t seem legally plausible or ethical unless Shueisha has some very specific clauses written into their contracts, and even then the timeline still doesn’t mesh.

For another comparison, when the Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit was going down, only TV Tokyo, NAS and ADK were listed as the entities pursuing legal action. Shueisha also owns Yu-Gi-Oh!, but since the anime version is not technically theirs, and anti-manga 4Kids didn’t have anything to do with the manga, it wasn’t their legal battle to fight.

There are a lot of additional and strange rumors about this whole ‘bundle’ situation. People have speculated that they bundled One Piece with Winx Club, but Toei doesn’t own that, it’s not even Japanese, or Ultimate Muscle, which is from Toei but was acquired long before One Piece was on the table and was only still going purely because of 4Kids. Some people also threw out Ojamajo Doremi, Tokyo Mew Mew and Futari wa Pretty Cure, because 4Kids really wanted those properties for the sake of hooking in female viewers and took One Piece as part of the deal because Toei was desperate to get the property out, which is probably the most laughable accusation.

First of all, 4Kids would never be so desperate for female-centric shows that they’d need to enter into negotiations to also take a show they have little to no idea about. Outside of branching out a bit, they never gave much of a crap about their female audience. They were always trying to lure in young boys……That sounds terrible out of context.

If they were really desperate for more girl-oriented shows, there were tons of popular girly shows out there that 4Kids could have acquired, either in Japan or otherwise. They didn’t need to roll over to Toei just to get titles like Ojamajo Doremi, Tokyo Mew Mew or Precure. In addition, Doremi wouldn’t be licensed until November 2004 while One Piece had been licensed in June (It’s true that they had been interested in the show since late 2003, but the license dates and announcements don’t match up at all, so the bundle theory still doesn’t make sense to me.), Tokyo Mew Mew isn’t owned by Toei, so that doesn’t hold water, and they didn’t even acquire the license for Precure until 2006.

Second of all, they allegedly desperately wanted Precure, but wound up never dubbing it?

Third and most of all, acting as if Toei was desperate to get One Piece off their hands and had no other offers or choices is ridiculous. In fact, Funimation, in 2003, said they were one of the “top companies still in negotiations” for One Piece, and they reportedly even bought the rights to a domain for the sake of making a website for One Piece. And of course there was intense competition for One Piece – it’s frickin’ One Piece!

It’s suggested that, despite all of the offers on the table, they went with 4Kids because they had massive powerhouses like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, despite both faltering in popularity in the west around that time. They wanted to ensure One Piece would also be a western powerhouse, so they went with 4Kids’ offer. Funimation did have Dragon Ball Z, but at that point it couldn’t touch the popularity that Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! once had, especially in regards to merchandising, so 4Kids probably seemed more appealing in that regard.

To be fair, 4Kids reportedly did want the dub to be more loyal than usual, which is why most everyone retains their names and they were going to use an English version of the Japanese theme song and keep the score. It’s also why Al Kahn seemed to be adamant in telling everyone that two versions of the show (the TV cut and the non-released uncut versions) would be two completely separate entities that needed to exist alongside each other.

Reportedly, the intense localization changes were mostly done on Toei’s behest because they thought that was what American audiences wanted, which is weird to insist upon 4Kids of all people, but I really don’t know if I believe that. Then you have the whole supposed ordeal with 4Kids being put off by how their less-edited version of Shaman King was received to take the same risk with One Piece. Again, hardly any of this is substantiated to any degree. It’s mostly rumors and accounts from people who say they know people in the know who paraphrase from other people who might be in the know.

For example, according to someone named ‘Sam’ in the music department at Toei, which is someone this random banned person on a forum supposedly knows, they were shocked fans liked the original Japanese music and thought they’d like 4Kids’ score and theme song more, implying that either Toei made them use a new soundtrack or 4Kids greatly convinced them that kids liked the dub version better. Considering Al Kahn said he liked the rap better and thought it would be more popular, and I can’t imagine they can be legally forced by Toei to make a new soundtrack, unless it was some weird insanely specific part of their contract, I’m going to assume it was the latter.

Kirk then went on to say that 4Kids, at the time, probably overlooked the content issues because they believed that no anime could really be successful unless it was a kids’ anime because merchandising, toys etc. No company in America, at the time, would even consider making toys or other merchandise for anime unless it was aimed towards kids. They saw that Japan had toy lines for One Piece and just made the assumption that it was suitable for their audience before even looking at a frame of the anime. They didn’t take into account that Japan, is, shockingly, a different place with a different culture and different standards of content for various age groups where anime has been popular for decades.

The interviewer talks about how there’s beer and guns in episode two, but you don’t even have to watch that far. For god’s sake, the opening narration of every episode is Gol D. Roger’s last words before he’s skewered to death in his public execution. Granted, they don’t show the execution, but that should at least be a hint for them.

Did they seriously sign a contract to dub five seasons of One Piece without understanding anything of what it was? In any other show that they’ve acquired, they never had any problems dropping them. They dropped Fighting Foodons, Ultraman Tiga, they’ll go on to drop Mew Mew Power, Yu-Gi-Oh GX, Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds and F-Zero GP Legends all without a single issue. If Precure is any indication, you can license a show and just not dub or air it at all. Why is One Piece different? Why would 4Kids make that big of a commitment, allegedly, for a show they didn’t screen? It just screams incompetence, if this is true.

In my opinion, I think 4Kids paid a ton of money for that license, took way too long to realize they screwed up, and they simply wanted to try and make back as much money as possible before they ultimately decided to pass the baton and get out of that sinking ship. The way I see it, they were more trapped by a desire to not lose their massive investment than they were by Toei and their contract of doom. Remember, once that license money is out, it’s out, it’s gone. That is Toei’s money now. If 4Kids really did quickly realize the mess they got into and wanted out immediately, they’d lose all that money. And this was the license for One Piece, of all things, and they were competing against Funimation, who obviously really wanted it. I can only imagine how much money they put down for that. That’s the only theory that makes sense to me given everything I’ve learned.

If you don’t take my word for it, take Al Kahn’s.

In that same interview with ANN in 2005, he said that, because Japanese titles are so expensive to acquire, they have to be “extremely selective” about the shows that they buy. This was after they had bought One Piece, which comes off to me like they weren’t careful in their selection beforehand and had already learned that lesson the hard way.

They also had options that would have allowed them to be more free in regards to editing. For example, a good argument was made by Theron Martin of ANN where they talked about how Naruto, which was airing around the same time as One Piece on Cartoon Network, wasn’t nearly as changed or censored as One Piece. They just slapped the Fox Box complete cut version of One Piece on Cartoon Network when you can get away with a lot more on Cartoon Network.

Of course, there were obviously still gore/blood removals, painting over Naruto’s Sexy no Jutsu boobs and stuff like that, but for the most part, pretty much everything else was left alone like the dialogue, the story, the soundtrack, the personalities, the names (which, admittedly, were also kept in One Piece, barring the fact that people like to complain about the Zoro/Zolo thing, which is pointless because Japanese doesn’t differentiate between L and R sounds) the text on screen, the Japanese voices and vocals in their theme songs etc. Naruto became a massive success in the west despite not doing all of the localization stuff 4Kids claimed was necessary to earn success in the west. And they had roughly the same demographic.

I would argue even further for Yu Yu Hakusho. That could be a pretty brutal anime at points. It has legit made me cringe at some of the graphic things they’ve put in the show. That also aired on Cartoon Network on Toonami, and while it was very obviously edited for certain things, again, it was largely left alone otherwise. Yu Yu Hakusho became a very popular title on Cartoon Network, and it ran in reruns for years, even rerunning again, uncut, on Adult Swim numerous times,

One Piece aired in syndication on Cartoon Network just months after it premiered on the Fox Box, which just makes me wonder why 4Kids didn’t opt to make a deal with Cartoon Network to have it premiere on Cartoon Network. If they knew that Fox’s standards and practices were too constricting for a show like Shaman King, and they knew One Piece was a similar situation by that point, why would they opt to cut the show to ribbons in an effort to adhere to policies more firmly than just find a different network to air it on? It’s not as if having a commitment of any sort to the Fox Box was a big deal….they OWNED the Fox Box. Toonami was insanely popular at the time, and they were always looking for new hit shows to have on their block. They probably would have loved to boast that they had the national premieres of One Piece.

The only reason I can think of as to why they didn’t choose to do that is none else but money. 4Kids would get more money if they premiered the show on their block first, theoretically. And they weren’t going to bother spending more money to have a lessened cut for Cartoon Network syndication, so One Piece basically had to be mutilated on all airings.

Some people may argue that Toei was probably a part of that, like they were somehow controlling what network they could premiere it on too, but I don’t buy that. I additionally doubt that they knew enough about American television networks to make an informed decision about that anyway. And if they did, they probably would have been fine with premiering it on Cartoon Network since their ratings numbers for 2003 and 2004 were breaking records. That’s not to say Kids WB and the Fox Box weren’t also doing well, because they were, but there’s absolutely no reason why Toei would care about what network the show premiered on.

Kirk also believes that when it came down to it, after everything was said and done, after the backlash had gotten really heated, there was supposedly two camps in 4Kids – one that basically couldn’t care less about the people complaining because those people weren’t kids, they weren’t their demographic, so who cares? The other “cared” so-to-speak in regards to the reputation of the company because those complaining people were loud, they had platforms in which they could reach thousands or millions of people, and they could easily damage the company’s reputation if this went on for too long. Eventually it just came down to which camp was really right. And, in the end, the camp that “cared” won out, so they decided to just wade through the rest of their contract, which was set to expire in August 2009, until they could shift the rights elsewhere.

That’s not what happened, though. 4Kids announced they were canceling One Piece in December of 2006 and Funimation picked it up in April of 2007, meaning 4Kids must have wiggled out of their contract early somehow, which would be unlikely if this truly was a case of them being trapped….Weird how he doesn’t mention that 4Kids had the option to cancel it, and didn’t, in fact, wait out the contract expiring. It’s almost like he doesn’t know much about what he’s talking about. Not as a sleight to him, because he admitted this is just his own theory about something that happened when he wasn’t there and has no given sources of any information regarding this.

If you want a little extra proof that he doesn’t really know much of what he’s talking about – in that interview with ANN, someone on Twitter asked about what happened to Tokyo Mew Mew/Mew Mew Power. He said that was also “before (his) time” (It was one year after One Piece had been picked up) so he had no idea. He said he’d have to ask someone and get back to them later, which never happened. I’m not saying he knows nothing, he obviously knows some stuff because he works there, but I’m saying his knowledge on literally anything that preceded his hiring doesn’t seem like something he’s actually asked about within the company or researched much himself, so I’m not sure how much of it you can really accept as an adequate or accurate explanation.

I’m also not saying I know more than he does as I also wasn’t in the board room of 4Kids when they acquired the One Piece license nor have I ever worked for the company or in the industry. Admittedly, I could be totally wrong about all this. I’m just also making my own theories based on the facts that I have, but those facts contradict Kirk’s claims very substantially.

Plus, I understand he’s obviously been pressured to talk about this. Apparently, the interviewers avoided numerous tweets in their Twitter Q&A for him because they were hostile, most likely about the One Piece stuff, and the one One Piece-related question they did let through was asking if Al Kahn/4Kids would ever offer a former apology for what happened with One Piece (He skirted around that question more or less). However, it probably would have been better for him to not say anything, because now I just feel like 4Kids was trying to cover their ass and put everything on other people.

According to Mark Kirk, he believes the One Piece fiasco was the main reason why 4Kids’ reputation was ruined, and that, if you took One Piece out of the equation, people would have been much more understanding to 4Kids and what they seemingly had to do in regards adapting everything else. Obviously, this is more than a bit optimistic, as the interviewer points out. 4Kids’ reputation had been terrible way before One Piece, and more shows after One Piece would ruin it more.

He didn’t really change his stance after that, but he did mention that the situation with One Piece most likely would never happen now (IE: 2010) because, in his personal experience with 4Kids and the way they licensed properties after the One Piece ‘incident’ was very professional. They vetted stuff more thoroughly, they did more research, and they were just overall more careful after that.

Kirk denies that 4Kids was being really sloppy and poorly researched what they were purchasing, which sounds really contradictory to what he was saying before. He basically just puts the blame on the fact that they were new to licensing anime, which they certainly weren’t by that point. They had around six years of experience licensing anime and decades of experience licensing tons of other properties, so I don’t believe that for a second. According to him, they were “stuck” with One Piece, so they decided to “do the best they could” until their contact was up and they could drop the show, which I already explained doesn’t line up with what actually happened.

The interviewer then asks if the people at 4Kids feel regret for what happened with One Piece. Mark Kirk starts saying that there’s “been so much turnover here” before stopping himself. Probably because saying “Oh there’s such a high turnover rate at 4Kids that hardly anyone who was there when the One Piece fiasco started is there anymore to show any regret.” is a little bit of a bad idea. I can’t be sure that’s what he was about to say, but it sounded like it. He added that he didn’t ask Al Kahn or any other higher ups about it or anything, and they’re always looking forward to what’s next instead of back at things like One Piece.

That comment also adds a little more validity to him not really knowing much about this situation because, if there’s so much turnover and hardly anyone who was there when the One Piece incident was going on was still there in 2010 or even briefly after the show got canceled, and he stated he didn’t ask Al Kahn or any other executive, then even if he did ask someone lower on the food chain about it, chances are they either didn’t know much about it or they weren’t there either and all they know about it is public word of mouth or rumors around the watercooler. And if they always look forward and don’t like talking about the past, then it probably hardly ever comes up in the first place.

Then Kirk brings up the fact that there were other offers on the table for One Piece since it was clearly a hot commodity. 4Kids basically thought they had to act immediately in order to beat out other companies, so rushing was also a factor in this mistake.

Yup. He pointed the very obvious that I talked about earlier. Something that directly contradicts his ‘bundle’ theory. They weren’t desperate to find dubbers and needed to negotiate with 4Kids to force them into taking One Piece. Toei just made a crappy decision most likely based on ‘Ooh One Piece could be the next Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh!’ As for Toei controlling how they dealt with the dub, there’s a reason I don’t buy that much. If Toei really wanted 4Kids specifically because they were the holy gods who made Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! western hits, why would they insist on micro-managing everything as some people claim?

From the best I can tell, Toei took the leap with 4Kids, hoping it would be this larger-than-life massive franchise in the west, while 4Kids took a chance with either a show they knew wasn’t in their demo and didn’t care or they didn’t know and didn’t care because ‘Ooh look at how popular and merchandisable it is in Japan’ and then gave it the ol’ college try afterwards to save their bank account as much as possible and maybe even profit a bit. After a while, I can imagine Toei regretting giving 4Kids the license just as 4Kids probably regretted taking it while they were in a panic trying to make it work, which was like trying to stop a dam from bursting by putting Silly Putty over the cracks. And after a while I can see Funimation laughing in the background while they put on sexy lingerie ready to seduce Toei the second the licensing agreement was cut short.

In the end, 4Kids is certainly most at fault, but there are also other factors here, most notably Toei, that share the responsibility for the disaster of One Piece’s first dub. It was a dumpster fire, let’s not mince words, but everyone learned from it, even if 4Kids kinda learned too late and should’ve have learned long before they even got the license. One Piece certainly didn’t suffer for it, when you think about it (If anything, a greater appreciation for the original series and desire to see it done justice in the west developed quite quickly. One Piece is doing amazingly now. 4Kids was just a battle scar.) and we can all still make jokes about it.

Phew, we’re finally through that shit storm. Thank god 4Kids didn’t have another big embarrassment in 2004…..

Next – Part 11: Playing Their Cards Wrong

Previous – Part 9: Be Careful What You Wish For


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One Piece (4Kids) | Episode 5: Terror and a Mysterious Power! Pirate Captain Buggy the Clown! Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Nami runs into Luffy while running away from Buggy’s pirates and pretends that he’s her boss so that she can get away while they’re distracted by him. However, much to Nami’s surprise, Luffy easily defeats the pirates. While Nami treats him to some food, Luffy asks her to be his navigator, but she refuses when she finds out that he’s a pirate. However, she seemingly changes her mind and agrees to be his navigator if he agrees to meet with Buggy first. Luffy agrees, but she betrays him and pretends that she’s handing over her boss and the map to the Grand Line to be on Buggy’s team as a ruse to get both the map and Buggy’s treasure. However, when she’s told to kill Luffy as a sign of loyalty to Buggy, she finds herself trapped in a moral dilemma.

—————————-

Title Change: Terror and a Mysterious Power! Pirate Captain Buggy the Clown! is changed to The Circus Comes to Town.

Title Card:

Subbed:

Dubbed:

I love how the 4Kids version really does act like it’s possible that Luffy died from that fall. Right. That’d certainly be a funny way to end the series. “I’m gonna be King of the Pirates! -SPLAT- The end!”

Luffy’s punch to one of the pirates is edited out.

They edit out Luffy’s Gum Gum Pistol hitting the other two pirates in the face.

The words ‘Drinker Pub’ are edited off of a sign.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

In the original, there’s a bit of pun where Buggy’s pirate tells him that they left the key in the lock. Tsukeppanshi means “left in” but Buggy mistakes it for tsukeppana which means “Fake nose.” In the dub, the pirate says “Only the robber knows…” and Buggy mistakes that for “Rubber nose.” I don’t know what the pirate was going to say there. Only the robber knows….where the map she stole is? But you gotta give 4Kids credit for trying to put that pun in there.

However, they kinda screw it up later in the scene. Buggy flips out and yells at the pirate insinuating that his nose is big and red and looks fake. The pirate in the dub says “It’s a mistake!” in regards to hearing him incorrectly, but Buggy says “So now it looks like a steak?!” Well, steaks ARE red, but they’re not usually round and ball-like. I’ll leave your points where they are but that was kinda weak, 4Kids.

The original has Buggy ask the pirate what he does to traitors, and the pirate says he flashily kills them. In the dub, this is replaced by the pirate begging for his life.

In the original, Nami likes money and mikan, which are Japanese citrus fruit. In the dub, she likes money and tangerines…..They’re different. It counts.

And nooooooowwwwwwwww….the moment some of you have probably been waiting for maybe….Yet another of the most infamous One Piece edits! One of Captain Buggy’s pirates, the one who announces that Nami has arrived, was originally black. 4Kids, sensing that this may cause some racial backlash, decided to solidify that this would cause racial backlash by digitally painting the black guy into a white guy.

No….no, I am not kidding. I wish I was, but I’m not. I think a rep for 4Kids said that having a black pirate lackey could somehow be construed as racist so they turned him white (Don’t quote me on that, but I distinctly remember being told that). This in turn made them actually seem racist when they more than likely wouldn’t have had they left it alone. If they had left it alone and gotten criticism for it, which is unlikely, but still, they could have just blamed the original show creators. But this is 4Kids. The day they leave something alone is the day riceballs aren’t donuts.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Originally, Luffy asks why he’s in a cage. In the dub, he tells Nami to forget about being on his crew.

A scene of one of the pirates chugging a barrel of booze is edited out as is most of the scene with the party which includes some guy with like eight small casks of booze in his mouth. Also, a bottle on Nami’s table is edited away. What little scene remains is edited to make the beer look like orange juice, but I was too busy looking at that one pirate near Nami. Originally, he had a sword in his mouth and was balancing a bottle on it. In the dub, he’s got a balloon animal balloon in his mouth. Why? I dunno.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Extras:

Yup yup. The drink they have is grapefruit punch in the dub…..Guh, I hate grapefruit juice. Whoever named grapefruits should be jailed for besmirching the good name of the delicious grape.

Dub!Nami: “At this rate, they’ll all pass out from acid indigestion and then their treasure will be mine.”…This….I can’t even…..First of all, who passes out from acid indigestion? You’d need immediate medical attention if that was true. Second, who the hell thinks that? Third, this line is made even more stupid because the original says nothing about waiting for them to pass out. You’d think the original was waiting for them to get so drunk that they all pass out so that she can get the map, but nope. She just thinks she’ll bide her time until she can swipe the map again and get Buggy’s treasure while she’s at it.

Oops, 4Kids didn’t notice that the black/white guy from before was in this shot. Whoopsiediddledaisydoo.

They replay that scene with the guy chugging those small casks and 4Kids doesn’t edit out this one….*shrug*

At this point I should mention that there are tons of occasions where Buggy has this weird Yami-Marik type filter on his voice in the dub. No type of filter is used in the original.

Buggy’s Buggy Bombs got changed to Buggy Balls. -giggle-innuendo-giggle-

And the black guy’s changed back to white again.

A bottle on the floor gets edited away after Buggy launches his Buggy Bomb.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The panning shot of the pirates is shortened.

The scene where Nami’s deciding whether or not to light the cannon has also been shortened.

Originally, the sound cuts out all but Nami and Luffy speaking to each other. This is shown as we see the pirates cheering, but don’t hear them. Luffy tells Nami that she shouldn’t go up against pirates if she doesn’t have the determination. Nami says “What? Determination to kill people without hesitation?” And Luffy says “No. The determination to put your life on the line.”

In the dub, the sound is unaffected, and Luffy tells Nami that, because she’s shaking while considering attacking him, she really doesn’t hate pirates as much as she says. Nami responds by saying “I don’t hate pirates because I’m not willing to blast one like it’s no big deal?” Luffy responds by saying if she feels so strongly that she has to put everything on the line.

The scene where the pirate is about the light the fuse is sped up.

After Nami hits the pirate with her staff, we see him pop up in a goofy manner with a pink mark on his face. This is edited out of the dub, which is weird because you’d think they’d be glad to leave in a shot where it shows that the pirate is relatively okay.

The scene where Nami uses her hands to extinguish the fuse is shortened.

In the dub, Zolo, who just showed up literally a few seconds ago, says, “Nami, are you hurt?” How do you know her name? You never met her.

A shot of Buggy twirling his knives and him licking his knife are edited out.

Even though the silhouette of Buggy getting cut up was left in (Was floored by that), any shot showing Buggy cut up is edited out, until after we hear Nami and Luffy talk, then they put it back in….I dunno what’s going on there.

When Zoro gets stabbed, we see the blade protruding from his abdomen, blood seeping through his sash, a backshot of his wound and the blade being removed. All of this is edited out/painted away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Extras:

Originally, Nami says she didn’t believe devil fruits were real. In the dub, Nami asks what kind of cursed fruit he ate, even though he just outright said the name directly before she asked that.

For more awkwardness, originally Luffy said “A splitting man?! He’s some kind of monster!” Then we comically see a text box with an arrow pointing to Luffy saying “Rubberman” In the dub, the dialogue is kept basically the same, but the text box is edited away. Also, they keep the length of that scene exactly the same, so we’re left awkwardly waiting for the next shot when there was supposed to be a joke there. Really, 4Kids? Was it too difficult to merely white out the text in the box and replace it with “Rubberman”? Or at the very least trim the shot so we’re not sitting there awkwardly like some laugh track is missing?

Subbed:

Dubbed:

In the original, we see Luffy caught the knife Buggy shot at him with his teeth. He then says while laughing and breaking the blade with his teeth “I’m gonna kick your ass!” In the dub, they just reverse the scene of Luffy getting hit with the blade so it looks like the blade bounced off of him or he somehow shot it from his body, I dunno. Were they worried kids were going to try and catch knives with their mouths?

……Mmmmm……Errrr…..well….yeah, okay, I guess I can see some kids doing that. You get a pass there, 4Kids.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

And, I know they can’t say ‘ass’, but Luffy saying “I’m gonna clobber you!” just seems lame. Reminds me of the swear edits in the Cartoon Network airing of Yu Yu Hakusho

They add in a shot of Nami and Zoro and the pirates after Luffy shoots the knife back so he can have his dialogue.

The scene where Luffy just smiles in response to Nami asking how he’s gonna escape is shortened.

Any subsequent shot of the blood stain on Zolo’s shirt is edited away in the dub. So we’re supposed to think he’s wounded when there’s no blood, rip or….wound….well, okay.

———————————–

This episode was a good introduction to Buggy. It definitely establishes that while he may be a clown with silly quirks, he is a bastard who will do the most terrible things as long as it benefits him. Luffy and Zolo got some great kick-ass moments and we end on a pretty good cliffhanger too.

Dub-wise, it’s certainly not getting any better. I mean, we don’t have hammer guns in this episode, and the knife-catching scene edit was understandable, though annoying due to loss of kickassery, but man, the whitewashing. That’s another league for them.

Next episode, Luffy has to find some way to escape certain death.

….Previous Episode


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One Piece Episode 4 Sub/Dub Comparison: Luffy’s Past – Enter Red-Haired Shanks

One Piece Ep 4 SDC Screen 36

Plot: After Luffy almost loses his precious straw hat, we’re told the story of how he obtained it. As a child, Luffy befriended a great band of pirates lead by the legendary Shanks. After being saved from a sea monster by Shanks, causing Shanks to lose his arm in the process, Shanks gives Luffy his straw hat with the promise that he’ll return the hat to him on the day that he indeed becomes a great pirate.

——————————-

In the original, you hear the pirates who were sunk by Nami yelling at her that they’ll get her for what she did to them before the title screen. In the dub, it’s silence and the title screen immediately comes up…..If they didn’t return later in the episode, I’d think 4Kids killed them off right there.

Title Screen:

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Also, I shouldn’t have to tell you that all that pirate talk (Especially about swag and….whatever swigger means) plus the pirate puns when they get into her boat are dub-only.

They edit out some shots of the pirates drinking.

A bottle on the bar is painted away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They erased the word “Anchor” from Luffy’s shirt…..*sigh* 4Kids, that is a word that you would literally find in a book aimed at toddlers learning how to read. In addition, there’s a picture of an anchor right behind the word.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They edit out a shot of Benn Beckman after Luffy asks Shanks to take him with him next time he goes on a journey. This is likely because he’s smoking.

They edit out the word ‘Yassopp’ (No idea why it’s misspelled) on Yasopp’s headband and later erase a bottle from his table.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They edit out a shot of Makino, the woman who owns the bar, watching the pirates talk to Luffy as she dries a glass.

Also, in the original the pirates are laughing at Luffy after taking the glass of juice because a real adult/pirate wouldn’t drink juice, he’d drink alcohol like the rest of them. In the dub, they make it out like the real reason that this proves he isn’t an adult/pirate is because it’s APPLE juice and a real pirate/adult wouldn’t drink APPLE juice. Yeah! Real adults drink grape juice!

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Another shot of Benn is edited out probably due to his cigar (Is that a cigar, technically?)

In the original, the bandits want ten gallons of beer. In the dub, 4Kids actually decides to play around mentioning beer instead of saying it’s juice or something. They say they want “strong stuff.”

I give 4Kids semi-points for that, but in typical 4Kids fashion, they lose it immediately in the next scene. The color of the bottle that Shanks gives the bandit leader is changed from purple to orange…Why? I have no clue. If anything, it just makes it look like the beer they were so careful to avoid mentioning instead of whatever it was supposed to be. (Maybe wine? I can’t think of any other bottled drink that would be in a purple bottle, and the label’s blank in both versions.)

Subbed:

Dubbed:

In the original, the leader of the bandits destroys the bar top with his sword and says that since they love cleaning up so much that they’ll enjoy what he did. He then says that, since there’s no beer there, that they’re wasting their time and they leave while calling Shanks and the others cowards. In the dub, well, if that bandit had stats like a trading card, he’d be listing them off. I’d say he’s bragging, but he really just seems like he’s listing off all of the stuff he’s done like he’s reading it from an info card.

They edit out another shot of Makino after Luffy eats the Gum Gum fruit.

They edit out a shot of the outside of the bar after Luffy eats the Gum Gum fruit.

More Bottles removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

After we see Makino getting the mayor, there’s a series of stillscreens explaining what had happened with Luffy and the bandits. (Flashback within a flashback) It basically shows the bandits making fun of Shanks and his crew for not fighting back earlier in the bar. In the dub, they cut out the stills and go straight to Luffy yelling at them to stop making fun of Shanks.

In the original, the mayor gets on his hands and knees and begs for Luffy’s life. In the dub, while the dialogue is kept mostly the same, they don’t show the mayor getting on his hands and knees.

Okay, this is just sad. We have another instance of a gun, this time being pointed at Shanks’ head. So what do they do? Erase it? Make it some water gun?

Nope.

Even better.

They make it a CORK GUN! Yeah, you know, one of those old toy guns that has a cork in the end of the barrel and when you pull the trigger or push the stick thing the cork pops out and makes a POP noise? And the cork has a string on it to ensure that you don’t lose it when you use it? How could that possibly hurt him, 4Kids? HOW? It’d be slightly annoying to be hit by that. The end. It’s almost comical that 4Kids actually believes this is intimidating.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

In the original, the cork gun thing is made even funnier because Shanks says that pistols aren’t toys before one of his crew shoots the bandit in the head. Speaking of which, OH MY! Shooting someone in the head?! How will 4Kids tackle this?!

Well, Shanks tells the bandit that the weapon, whatever it’s supposed to be, misfires at such close range….uhh, how? Weapons don’t really misfire because they’re close, they misfire due to mechanical issues or stuff plugging up the barrel. Considering the edit makes it out to be a cork gun, I guess he’s not wrong. If you press a cork gun to something and try to pull the trigger, the cork might still come out due to the pressure, but it wouldn’t do as much because it doesn’t have the room to eject with full force.

Now about that head shooting. Well, first off, the gun that Shanks’ crew member had is changed to a bright orange color to indicate that it’s not real, I suppose. But the bandit still falls over. How to tackle that? Well, Shanks says that when he wakes up (from his mortal head wound) to tell him that it was a cap gun……..

A….cap gun….

A.

Cap.

Gun.

ALL CAP GUNS DO IS MAKE NOISE AND SMOKE! They don’t even produce any reasonable burst of air! The cork gun is a more legitimate weapon than a cap gun because at least it has a projectile! I can’t even say maybe they’re making off like the smoke is knock-out gas or something because the gun doesn’t really produce any smoke. Just BLAM and the bandit falls over.

Maybe, considering Shanks said that those weapons deliver quite a scare, we’re meant to believe that the bandit was so scared from the noise that he passed out? That’s quite the pill to swallow, 4Kids.

Also, 4Kids, are you friggin’ high!? You just told kids that it’s okay to shoot each other in the head because they’ll just get knocked out! If anything, yes, I’m gonna say it, the original version is actually more kid-friendly than what 4Kids just showed. At least it says that guns aren’t toys and they can result in death. 4Kids basically said that all guns are toys and they just knock you out. What the hell is wrong with you people?! 4Kids makes some pretty stupid moves, but this one actually pisses me off.

Subbed:

Dubbed: 

Oh and, cherry on top, in the dub, after the guy gets ‘knocked out’, one of the bandits says that he was their ride home. Hurr hurr.

After one of Shanks’ crew beats the bandits with his rifle, he points it at the leader. In the dub, despite the fact that the rifle is left unedited in the previous scenes, the rifle is painted away when he points it at the leader which results in his left arm being mysteriously missing.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

So….guns….bad.…

Alcohol….bad…

Cleavage lines….bad.…

Japan in any way, shape or form……bad……

Shot of Shanks after he just got his arm bitten off: A-OKAY!

Granted it’s not like it’s pouring blood, which it honestly should be, and you can’t see the stump, but they still acknowledged and showed that he did indeed get his arm ripped off by a sea monster and didn’t change the shot at all. They didn’t even paint away the blood-ish tint on the ripped sleeve. I’m so confused.

Also, can I just point out that dub!Luffy’s crying is nowhere near as emotional as original!Luffy crying? Original!Luffy is bawling and I mean bawling after he sees Shanks in the water. Dub!Luffy’s crying like he dropped his ice cream.

Dub!Buggy Pirate: “Or you’ll be getting’ a knock-knock on the head you won’t soon forget!”

Hey 4Kids, knock-knock!

4Kids – Who’s there?

Bad dialogue!

4Kids – Bad dialogue who?

Go to hell! 😀

In the dub, the episode cuts off before the smoke from Luffy’s landing clears…like it’s some cliffhanger. We know who it is…Heck, if the previous scenes weren’t a big enough clue, the episode shows closeups of him falling from the sky.

What, are we wondering if Luffy’s still alive after that? He’s a rubber man! I’m pretty sure he can survive any fall. In the original, we see Luffy in the clearing dust, see him standing up and saying “Where’d that cannonball come from? Well, you don’t see that every day!” and we close in on Nami’s face before we see the TO BE CONTINUED screen which is also edited away.

————————–

This episode was great. I loved the backstory on Luffy, Shanks is a fantastic character that I really love, there was plenty of action and emotional moments to keep things interesting, and I actually like the fact that Luffy eating the Gum Gum fruit isn’t a bigger event. He just mistook it for regular food and ate it. That’s definitely a ‘Luffy’ thing to do.

Dub-wise, holy crap, this is a nightmare. I will give them props for leaving in Shanks’ de-arming, but that’s about it. Everything else is either ruined at best and demolished at worst.

Next episode, it’s the debut of Buggy. Luffy tries to get Nami to be the navigator for his ship, but Nami’s got enough on her plate trying to trick Buggy into letting her be part of his crew for the sake of getting a map to the Grand Line.

…Previous Episode


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One Piece (4Kids) Episode 3 Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Zoro’s still in danger of getting executed, but Luffy’s not giving up yet. He’s retrieved Zoro’s swords, and now it’s time to take down Helmeppo and Morgan!

——————————–

In the original, the title screen was held on Luffy’s face after the end of the recap where he says that he’ll be King of the Pirates. In the dub, the title screen is after Zolo reacts to this and Luffy answers him. We also have to include a closeup of Luffy’s face that came from I don’t know where to give the title screen more standing.

Title Screens:

They edit out Coby explaining to Zoro that Luffy’s serious about being King of the Pirates and that he believes that he can find One Piece.

With all of the editing out of anything Japanese, I’m surprised that they actually left in the name of Zoro’s three sword style – Santoryu.

In the original, the fruit that gives special powers is commonly called the devil fruit. In the dub, it’s almost always called the forbidden fruit or the cursed fruit.

One of Morgan’s sailors asks if Morgan means Adam and Eve when he mentions the cursed fruit.

4Kids took the scene of Coby talking that I mentioned was removed before to give Coby a throwaway line after Morgan’s explanation of the cursed fruit. In the original, we cut straight to the scene that follows, which is Luffy trying desperately to untie Zoro.

In the original there’s a shot of Coby cringing in fright at the impending attack. The shot then turns into a negative and we get some silence before cutting to Zoro’s scene of him rescuing them all. In the dub, the cringing, negative shot and the silence is all gone. They cut so quickly that it’s jarring.

In the original, Zoro says that if Luffy ever gets in the way of his goal of being the world’s greatest swordsman that he’ll have him commit seppuku as a punishment. In the dub, he just says it will be the end of his days. To be fair, kids likely wouldn’t know what seppuku is, and explaining it might even make the matter worse if we’re aiming this show towards kids (even though it’s not meant to be.) Seppuku is a form of suicide that was used by samurai where the swordsman takes his blade and disembowels himself with it. 4Kids kept in the implication of death as punishment, so I’ll give them a pass for a change.

Originally, Morgan told his men to take their guns and shoot themselves in the head if they don’t have the guts to fight for him. In the dub, Morgan says that anyone who doesn’t have the guts to go out and fight will have to deal with him and his axe hand.

Zolo: “Your axe doesn’t scare me, but your face does.” Wow. A ‘your face’ zinger. Watch out guys, we might start getting ‘yo mama’ jokes next. By the way, in the original, Zoro just mentions that the sailors are in disarray due to being treated badly by Morgan, so he sees it as an opening.

When Luffy is spinning in the air from Morgan’s second attack, he says “you wish!” In the dub, he’s not only quiet during this shot but it actually looks like they sped up the footage of him spinning, which makes it seems nauseating.

Ah, hey, here’s one of the moments that everyone’s been waiting for! The hammer gun! In the original, Helmeppo pops back up again and puts a gun to Coby’s head to make Luffy stop beating up his father. In the dub…..they change it to a hammer gun.

It’s not even really a ‘hammer gun’ per se, it’s more of a hammer on a spring with a separate handle. I don’t really understand how that would even work on a point of physics. The spring is loaded straight down. If the trigger merely releases the spring then all that the hammer would do is jolt upwards, leaving Coby unharmed. Yes, it’s as ridiculous as you think, and this isn’t even the stupidest weapon that they edit in.

Also in the original, Helmeppo says that he’ll blow Coby’s head off. In the dub, he says he’ll smash his head flat.

It’s HAMMER TIME!:

They don’t bother editing the gun correctly in the further shot even though it’d be easy as hell. They do something….I can’t even tell what they did. It looks like they added a bow saw to the end of the gun. Or like some vice thing that would crush Coby’s head? It’s certainly no hammer. I think that might be what they changed it to before they settled on a hammer gun, but I can’t tell what it actually is.

It’s NOT hammer time!:

Serious, what the hell is that?

In the original, the note that Buggy leaves behind in place of the map says “I’ve flashily taken the map! Buggy” In the dub, they actually translate it by putting “I took the chart. Sorry.” They omit the ‘flashily’ part and the, what I assume is sarcastic, apology.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The tone in the original scene after Nami finds the note is drastically changed. In the original, she sounds very frightened by Buggy and the scene is accompanied by creepy organ music. In the dub, she sounds more like an annoyed teenager than frightened. “Oh, it’s Captain Buggy. They call him the Pirate Clown.” I’m surprised she didn’t say “ugh” and roll her eyes in that scene.

Since this is the first that we hear of Buggy, it’s supposed to make him seem frightening and be similar to an impending doom like Morgan. Here, he’s treated like a big joke. In fact, given later episodes, it really seems like the dub doesn’t want you to take Buggy seriously.

Also, the original has Nami state that Buggy’s called The Untouchable, not The Pirate Clown. That’s a big scary nickname. Don’t get in my way or I’ll make you a balloon animal and squirt seltzer in your face!

They edit out a shot of Nami looking out the window with her reflection staring back at us before the commercial.

Eyecatch:

A further shot of the town is cut out before we see Zoro done with his meal.

A shot of the girl asking Coby about the Grand Line and Coby looking down before we cut to the shot of the map is edited out.

The map is changed in the dub. The dubbed version has more color to it, and the arrow that says “Red line” is painted away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

In the original, Coby spends much more time on the floor contemplating what Luffy did for him. We keep cutting back and forth between Luffy walking away and Coby on the floor as he thinks about him needing Luffy’s help to the very end and feels like he’s worthless. In the dub, he spends only about 1/10 of that time on the floor and the constant cutbacks to Luffy are cut out.

In the original, the punishment for saluting Luffy’s ship was loss of rations for three days. In the dub it’s one week…..♪ It’s been…ONE WEEK since you ate rations. Turned your head to the side and said “I’m hungry.”

———————————-

This episode was pretty good. It was a solid conclusion to this arc, and we finally got the almighty Zoro. I’m fine with Coby leaving the group as he wouldn’t have had anything to contribute to the crew at this point, and his dream lies with the Marines. He does come back much later in the series, so that’s awesome. Dub-wise, the hammergun eclipses all. I don’t know how people only following the dub didn’t also laugh at that.

Next episode, Luffy’s backstory! How did Luffy get his trademark straw hat and why is he so determined to be King of the Pirates?

…Previous Episode


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One Piece (4Kids) Episode 2 Sub/Dub Comparison

OPEP2TITLE

Plot: Luffy and Coby are on their way to see the deadly pirate hunter, Zoro, so that Luffy can recruit him for his crew and bring Coby to the Marines’ base at the same time. However, Zoro is currently being held prisoner by Captain Morgan and is set for death. Can Luffy and Coby save Zoro before it’s too late?

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Pretty minor, but 4Kids cuts out a quick shot of a silhouette falling down after Zoro slashes as Coby’s making his explanation before the title card.

Title Change: *pokes above screencap* *pokes below screencap*OPEP2TITLE2

Since the Marines are changed to the Navy in the dub, the big sign on the side of the Marine base that says ‘Marine’ is changed to ‘Navy.’

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN2

The same Marines logo on the gate is changed to Navy. For the sake of simplicity, just assume that any and all instances of visible and audible mentions of the Marines are changed to the Navy.

After Luffy climbs on the wall to see Zoro, he spots him and then jumps off of the wall to a different spot to get a better look. Then we see a closeup of Zoro. 4Kids edited this out and jumped straight from him climbing on the wall to begin with to Coby joining him. I guess….jumping off walls is bad?

Here’s something interesting, yet expected. Zoro was originally tied to a cross. Not a religious cross, mind you, just two poles connected together. In the dub, the top is hacked off so it loses its cross shape.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN4

4Kids adds a closeup shot of Zoro’s upper body when Coby says he recognizes his black bandana. Because we just wouldn’t have known what they were talking about by seeing it from slightly further away.

In the original, there’s this kickass guitar lick when Zoro finally speaks. Sounds a little like the commercial break sound bite from Trigun. This is missing from the dub.

In the original, the little girl brings Zoro some onigiri (riceballs) that she made for him. In the dub, this is changed to cookies both dialogue-wise and visually. The digital paint here, like many of their non-text paint edits, is awful. The cookies jump when they’re first uncovered, and they obviously don’t belong in this scene. It’s not nearly as bad as that Pokemon episode where the sub sandwich bounced down the hill, but still.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN6

In the original, the problem with the onigiri was that the little girl used sugar instead of salt when making them. In the dub, no explanation as to why the cookies tasted bad, if they truly did, is given. He asks her if she put rotten fish heads in the cookies, and she says she added some sugar and trails off. This could’ve actually worked by simply reversing the original dialogue. Say she put a lot of salt in the cookies instead of sugar. Problem solved.

Also, 4Kids got pretty lazy. They simply colored the mushed up riceball into a brown color instead of putting in some broken cookie pieces. Makes the cookies look like they were made of mush.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN8

Helmeppo (Captain Morgan’s Son) (Dub): “(At the mushy brown mess) There! Now it looks like it tastes!” 4Kids….did….you just make a poop joke?….Seriously?…..Go to the corner. Now.

They edit out a shot of the proclamation that anyone who helps Zoro will be executed because I guess they were too lazy to erase all of the (EVIL) Japanese text and leave a blank page like they I know they would because they make no sense. Also, in the dub, they just say that it’s a criminal offense to help Zolo.

Dub Mari—Navy….Sailor dude: (As he’s about to throw the girl over the fence) “I’m real sorry about this. Cover your head with your arms.” Right, that’ll save her neck from getting broken as she’s flung over 30 feet through the air.

The first conversation between Luffy and Zoro is relatively kept the same, but they omit Luffy saying that he’s not sure Zoro is strong because he’d have escaped in less than three days. They also omit Zoro saying that he’s staying there to basically prove to them that he can survive.

4KIDS IS MAGIC! They changed the smushed pile of slop into a cookie again. Amazing!…..Really, was it easier to draw the cookie and animate it than just color the damn slop like you did before?

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN11.png

Slight nitpick, but Zolo sounds….like a psychopath….in this episode anyway. In the original, Zoro seems intimidating and imposing, in a sane way. In the dub, he’s all “IMMA EAT IT! WANNA KNOW WHY!? CUZ IMMA SURVIVOR!! OMNOMNOMNOM!!”

They edit out a shot of Zoro punching Helmeppo.

In the original, Zoro’s sword is a lot closer to Helmeppo’s face than it is in the dub. I guess they sprinkled some digital paint on it to make it….less threatening? …..What? How is that less threatening? Oh forget it…

Subbed:

Dubbed:

SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN14
They cleaned up his face, too. How nice.

The last part of the flashback is sped up or something. In the original, his decision to go to prison in place of the little girl and her mother is much slower than it is in the dub. In the dub, Helmetto (he hasn’t been named in the dub yet for some reason) basically says “I won’t make them go to prison if you go there for a month!” and Zolo’s all “Onemonth?Pieceofcake! *drops sword*” What is wrong with him?

In the original, Helmeppo asks for alcohol. In the dub, this is changed dialogue-wise and visually to juice…because villains are bad-ass muthas who drink JUICE! FULL OF VITAMIN A FOR AWESOME, B FOR BITCHIN’ AND C FOR CUT THE CRAP AND BRING ME MORE JUICE!

That edited juice looks almost radioactive it’s so bright. The glass is also changed slightly to be wider….

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN16

The impact shot of Luffy punching Helmeppo is edited….I can’t make heads or tails of it. You have a look.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN18

Hmm….I guess this is ‘important’. A little while ago, the Marines logo on the back of the sailors’ shirts was simply erased instead of changed to Navy like it has been. However, now it’s actually changed instead.

In the original, Captain Morgan is always smoking a cigar. Das a no-no. Edited out.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN20

I should also mention that in frontal shots in the dub he looks like he’s always got his mouth open slightly because that’s where the cigar is supposed to be. Makes him look like he has lockjaw…

As Zoro has a flashback, 4Kids edits out a scanning shot of Zoro’s childhood friend and the flower petals flowing past her.

They edit out a shot of Luffy’s shadow before Zoro notices him.

They edit out a shot of Helmeppo yelling that he’ll tell Luffy what he wants to know as long as he stops dragging him on the floor. Even dragging a guy on the floor is too violent to show.…

The guns in this shot, even though it’s a little hard to tell, are edited into what look like maroon super soakers. What’s odd is that they still say “Stop or we’ll shoot ya!” 1) Shooting’s a no-no 4Kids. Couldn’t have changed that to “hurt ya!”? 2) Shoot him with what? Water? Cranberry juice? A gentle red wine? Oh wait, alcohol’s no good. Guess it’s juice.

Subbed:

Dubbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPEP2SCREEN22

They edit out the zoom in on Zoro’s swords…However, they don’t edit out the “My Room” text on the flower wreath on Helmeppo’s door.

I really don’t get this. They can say ‘execute’ ‘shoot you’ and ‘firing squad’ but they can’t just show the damn guns?

In the original, Morgan accuses Zoro of siding with the pirates and starting a revolution. Zoro denies this and says he works alone, but Morgan is a coward who always hides behind his sailors.

In the dub, Morgan says that they’ve always fought on the same side to rid the world of pirate scum and thus he’ll grant Zolo one wish. Zolo says he’s never fought on his side, but if he gets one wish, he wishes that he’d use that oversized ass on the end of his arm to—what?…..He said ass. I heard it…..Axe? I guess that makes more sense, but I know I heard ‘ass’….oh whatever. Oversized axe to cut off that giant barnacle growing out of his neck. (His head. Haha.)

I’m still not getting it. We can hear gunshots, see the bullets, see the firing, see the smoke coming from the barrels, see Luffy getting hit by bullets, but NO THEY’RE NOT GUNS! HONEST!

——————————————–

This episode was pretty damn good. It was an awesome intro to Zoro, and Helmeppo and Captain Morgan are way better enemies than Alvida. Dub-wise, it’s a bit laughable given the changes, but I guess it could be a lot worse…..yeah, it can definitely be worse, right, episode three?

Next episode, it’s a race to stop Zoro from getting executed. Can Luffy get his swords back and get to Zoro in time?

…Previous Episode


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One Piece (4Kids) Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison

OPEP1TITLE

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.

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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.

OPEP1SCREEN1

OPEP1SCREEN2

They edit about a second of showing Nami’s foot when she kicked that pirate. But we all know where it was. Ouch.

OPEP1SCREEN3

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.

Luffy mouth fixed

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.

OPEP1SCREEN5OPEP1SCREEN4

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.

Eyecatch: OPEP1SCREEN6

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.

Subbed: SUBDUBCOMPAREOPSCREEN7OPEP1SCREEN7

Dubbed:SUBDUBCOMPAREOPSCREEN9

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.

OPEP1SCREEN8

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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Shounen Step-By-Step: One Piece Arc 1 (Romance Dawn/Captain Morgan)

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Plot: Coby wants nothing more than to be in the Marines (or Navy if you follow the 4Kids dub, but why do you like suffering?) However, he’s been held captive and forced to work for the awful pirate, Alvida.

A strange pirate boy named Monkey D. Luffy decides to help him out. His desire is to find the legendary treasure, One Piece, and become king of the pirates – a dream that many people find to be suicidal and impossible. He has a bittersweet ability in being able to make his body structure like rubber after eating the devil fruit, Gomu Gomu no Mi (The Gum Gum Fruit), but it comes with the price of being unable to swim.

Meanwhile, we get the backstory of Luffy and the first addition to Luffy’s crew in the legendary pirate hunter Zoro.

Breakdown: Let’s set sail on the One Piece review! Yes that line was awful, but I don’t care.

Ah One Piece…Holy crap. What an insanely huge franchise you are. As of this writing, it has 771 episodes and counting as well as 83 volumes for the manga. The only two shows I can think of that have longer runs are Detective Conan and Pokemon, and it stands as the last of the ‘Big Three’ shounen shows since both Bleach and Naruto ended their runs (Though the new Boruto series is keeping Naruto technically afloat).

I’m not sure how close One Piece is to ending, since I have insane amounts of trouble keeping updated with long shows such as these. Part of the reason I wanted to do these long episode by episode and arc by arc reviews was to keep me motivated to actually get updated on these series.

Despite the fact that I haven’t kept up with this show in many years, I still really enjoy it. I love shows about pirates and the added ‘magic’ abilities make for some fantastic battles. The characters are also pretty memorable and fun, even if a few tend to fall of into cliché-land.

This arc serves as a backstory to Luffy, an intro to the series as a whole, shows off some of Luffy’s abilities and style and finally gets him a boat and at least one crew member.

The relationship between Luffy and Zoro starts off pretty strong. Zoro is definitely an interesting, likable and awesome character, and his introduction was certainly badass and even touching. His chemistry with Luffy is also really good, and they tend to have good banter.

Luffy’s backstory was cool but mostly just in regards to Shanks. Luffy eating the Gum Gum Fruit is pretty much how you’d expect he’d eat it, and him getting into trouble with those pirates again was also pretty much par for the course.

His rescue as well as the departure of Shanks’ crew was the most memorable part in that regard. I wish we could’ve seen more of how much Shanks and Luffy meant to each other considering they seem to know each other pretty well in this backstory, but I assume we’ll explore that further as we go on.

Even though Nami didn’t join the crew quite yet, this is also her introduction as she is seen following their adventures while trying to score some treasure as well as the map to the Grand Line, the area where One Piece supposedly is. I’m usually somewhat annoyed when we get character introductions with no interactions with the main characters, but her roles were pretty okay.

Coby’s side-plot was fairly memorable, and it did serve as a cool introduction to Luffy. I kinda wish Coby had stuck around for a while, but, considering his goals, it really wouldn’t make sense for him to be a bigger part of the plot unless they made some sort of ‘friends with the enemy’ type of deal.

Alvida’s not that great of a villain and Helmeppo’s a parody of himself, though he’s meant to be more of a jackass over a legit villain. Captain Morgan is more imposing and is the main centerpiece of this arc, enemy-wise, but he’s also not terribly interesting.

Bottom Line: These first few episodes do a great job of introducing the characters, the world they live in and the backstory of our main character and the main story as a whole. It also has some entertaining battles, good attacks, funny jokes and it’s just a lot of fun at times.

The art and animation fit this show perfectly, even if some of the mugging shots can be a little too goofy. The music is great, even if the ED is a little forgettable to me, and the voice actors (Japanese) do a great job here as well. I especially love Zoro and Luffy’s voices.

Welcome aboard! Now let’s find One Piece!

Recommended Audience: One Piece can get pretty bloody at times. The worst that happens in this arc is Shanks getting his arm torn off, but the actual removal isn’t shown, and there’s, oddly, not a lot of blood there.. There’s obviously a lot of violence and some minor swearing. No sex or nudity or anything, even if there is some minor fanservice with Nami. 10+


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