*Minor spoilers ahead*
A nice if uninspired update of a classic One Piece Arc.
As most One Piece fans will attest, the Arlong/Nami back story arc was when the show first entered the world of greatness.
I was very excited to see an update with new Animation. The original was comprised of year 2000 tv animation, so while it still had a sumptuous art style its more basic animation could have really used a modern update. In addition the arc itself was not long, so a edited down definitive version was def possible.
So was this update a success? Unfortunately not really
First good points.
The story retains its power, what Nami had to suffer was monstrous and to see all that suffering come to boil and then to a head with Arlong still feels transient.There is a story change that improves the story slightly, dropping the contrived method to keep Luffy incapacitated used in the show to drag out the fight a bit. The characters are the usual top notch cast you have come to expect.
However there are some significant down sides compared to the original arc.
While the animation is technically improved, it loses a lot of its sumptuous art style, become bland to look at. For that reason the animation is far more enjoyable in the original.
The editing severely damages certain parts of the story. Trying to rush through and not having time to dwell on all the emotional and epic upheaval going on, it feels like watching a summary of the original arc rather then a definitive version. As soon as an important event occurs we are rushed onto the next one.
The flaw wouldn't be so bad if not for its biggest critical flaw. The voice acting.
In the modern day part of the story it is not as bad. While not as well acted as the original (possibly because they are rushing through it) it stands up to anime's high standard ok.
However the voice acting in flashback parts is quite bad. The children are voiced by their adult versions putting on kid voices and their mother says her lines without much feeling. This is in contrast to the original in which they had diff actors for the kids and performed their horror and sorrow beautifully. The mother had feeling in the original and the pivotal scene was well better directed in the original. This version in essence destroys the pivotal scenes of the arc.
Ultimately, while an enjoyable throwback to old school One Piece, this is a shadow of the real Nami arc. People new to One Piece should not watch this version they should watch the proper version in the tv show.
Bottom line the Nami arc is one of the best One piece arcs but this version of it does NOT do it justice.