By Amanda L. Kondolojy
It is important to note that if you are used to the 4-Kids produced version of One Piece that was syndicated on Cartoon Network, you may be surprised by the changes Funimation has made. The first thing you will notice is, of course, that the English voices are all different. However, this is not a bad thing, considering the 4-Kids dub was considered by most fans to be one of the worst anime dubs ever. But aside from that, you will notice that there is a lot more sexually-based humor and violence than you may be used to. This is because the movie has not been edited for content as intensely as the 4-Kids produced episodes, which were targeted towards children. One Piece: The Desert Princess and the Pirates' uncut nature may make it more palatable for the adult audience. Despite the kiddie nature of previous One Piece episodes, this one is definitely not for kids.
Although the movie and the presentation are both spectacular, one area where this disc is sorely lacking is in the special features department. As a Blu-ray veteran, I have come to expect a certain level of extra content from my Blu-ray purchases, and One Piece: The Desert Princess and the Pirates is the first Blu-ray I have come across with absolutely no bonus content. Even though I wasn't exactly expecting a lengthy commentary or behind-the scenes feature (as nice as either would have been) it would have been at least considerate if the folks at Funimation could have thrown in an art gallery or textless closing video. This is a real missed opportunity for this DVD, and I am very sad that a movie that shines so well on the Blu-ray format has so little to offer for the fans, who are undoubtedly plunking down the cash for it.
One Piece: The Desert Princess and the Pirates is definitely a solid movie in the One Piece franchise, and the Blu-ray disc is well worth its purchase price. The upgraded visuals and crisp sound add a lot to the experience, and, as a fan, I relished the chance to enjoy one of my favorite anime in high-definition. However, the lack of any special features really brought the entire experience down and was a real point of contention for me; it dampened the whole experience. If you are a big fan of One Piece, then this movie is definitely worth looking into, but if you are just getting into the series or don't care too much for the high-definition resolution the Blu-ray format has to offer, then you may want to sail on past this one.
Movie Score: 4 out of 5 Stars
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor