Hey everyone, I am back after a self proclaimed hiatus and am excited to give you the next installment in the One Piece Arc Review saga.
The manga just released the first episode of the Wano arc, and so I thought it was a good time to give another arc review, and it’s one of my favourite ones.
We get to see the original Straw Hats at their best in this arc, and some of the most unforgettable moments in the entire series too.
Arlong, the leader of a Fishman pirate crew, has been ruling over Nami’s home town and has been nothing short of a dictator the entire time.
When he first came to Nami’s village, he basically made everyone pay money in order to be able to live in the village. This led to Nami’s adoptive mother being killed and Nami joining Arlong’s crew, stealing money from other pirates to buy the village from Arlong’s crew.
Luffy of course comes in with his crew, and decides to help Nami and the villagers defeat Arlong. Nami, wanting to defuse the situation herself because she has always relied on herself, tells Luffy to go away…until Arlong and a marine captian steal her gold, that she had been saving since she was a child.
This devestates Nami and finally, in a fit of weakness and tears, asks Luffy for help in defeating Arlong and his crew.
This is where one of the best moments happens. Luffy puts his iconic Straw Hat, the item that nobody has ever been able to wear, on Nami’s head, and vows to defeat the Arlong Pirates.
Behind Luffy; Sanji, Zoro and Usopp are in their heroic poses and are ready to take the fight to Arlong.
Now of course Luffy et. al. win the day and they bring Nami along with them as they start to enter the Grand Line, but a lot happens in this arc that tells you a lot about Luffy, and the other Straw Hat members.
This is the biggest moment where we see Zoro in his classic “fighting against the enemy with a handicap” situation. He rarely has a fight against an enemy where he has some sort of handicap against him. We’ve seen it before, but this is one of the worst moments of it in the series.
Zoro is known to be of the toughest Straw Hats, physically and endurance wise, and surviving the cut from Mihawk, and then taking down most of Arlong’s crew is the epitome of Zoro’s physical capabilities. (Potential spoiler theory: I think he is some sort of demon)
Luffy kind of just does Luffy stuff. He fights for the weak, and defends them and the dreams they hope to achieve one day. This arc sort of just solidifies it and gives us a few more examples of his intelligence for battle, that isn’t highlighted ever in the show.
Arlong Park is also where we get to see Sanji in full swing. We see how tough he actually is and how quick thinking too. We see his capabilities as a fighter but we also discover his personality and everything too.
Usopp shows typical Usopp characteristics at first–running from danger and getting others to save him, but eventually he pulls through. He knows he is needed to stop an enemy, and he steps up to the plate, defeating one of the pirates and showing he might turn out to be a brave warrior of the sea after all.
We’ve seen Nami’s fighting abilities to a degree before this arc, but we get to see that she isn’t the cold, manipulative, trickster thief that we thought she was. We get to see that she is so much more than that.
Overall, this is probably in my Top 3 favourite Arcs. It was in a simpler time of One Piece, but it told a great story that had connections much later on after the time skip, and there were some very good fanboy moments that I love.