One of the most captivating attraction of One Piece is its deep storyline of both the overall plot as well as for its individual characters. The plot itself can be split into two, the bigger Saga and its “sub-saga”, the story arcs. Let’s take a look for now which arcs are ranked amongst the most exciting and significant to the story plot.
Alabasta Saga – Alabasta Arc
Why it is important -> Luffy taking down the first Shichibukai and giving us a lesson in never having fear and never giving up!
The Shichibukai have always played a very important role in the world of One Piece. In the eyes of the World Government they provided the “balance” between the four-emperors yonko as well as the Marines. At any one time there can only be 7 of these warlords and along the way there had been changes (no thanks to Luffy for knocking down 3 of them).
Crocodile was the “first” official warlord that Luffy and his crew needed to beat. A logia fruit user of the Suna suna no Mi (sand-sand) capability, Crocodile was extremely powerful and had beaten Luffy twice, with both occassions forcing Luffy to the brink of death. With a kingdom at stake and a never-give-up attitude, Luffy and his Straw Hat pirates comrades were able to defeat Crocodile and his crime organization Baroque Works.
Although the Marines claimed credit for it, the Straw Hat pirates became well-known within the World Government and Marines, and greatly increase their status and bounties.
Water 7 Saga – Enies Lobby Arc
Why it is important -> The comradeship of the Straw Hat Pirates at its best + The infamous Buster Call + Goodbye to Going Merry!
Nico Robin was first introduced as Miss All Sunday within the Baroque Works and worked under Crocodile the Shichibukai. Known as the “Devil Child”, Robin joined Luffy’s crew after Crocodile was defeated. As the story plays out, it was then realised that Robin had a very sad and difficult past which involved Cipher Pol (aka CP), a “secret” organization of powerful assassins under the World Government.
During the Enies Lobby arc, Robin, in her effort to save the Straw Hat Pirates, voluntarily gave herself up to the CP9. Little did she know, the bond and comradeship of the crew she joined, was willing to pit themselves against the world government just to save their comrade. Each member of the Straw Hat Crew took on another from the powerful CP9 and won all their fights, with Luffy demonstrating for the first time his second and third gear fighting techniques.
The legendary Buster Call was also activated to stop the Straw hats, which involves summoning five Vice Admirals leading a fleet of warships to lay waste on the designated target. The Buster Call had the power to wipe out a nation, as was revealed when Robin’s homeland of Ohara was destroyed in the past.
The arc concluded with the emotional burial of Going Merry, Straw Hat crew’s first ship, which had developed a will of its own due to the love and care given by it’s crew. The strain and damage it had sustained during it’s journey and the effort it self-sailed to save the crew at Enies lobby was so great that master shipwright and Mayor of Water 7 Iceburg advised Luffy to “rest” Going Merry.
Summit War Saga – Sabaody Archipelago Arc
Why it is important -> Dark King + the next generations of pirates superstars are here + the first defeat of the Straw Hats pirates
One of the most amazing skill of writer Eiichiro Oda is the way he plans for parts of the story to be started, interlink and played out along the way. And this introduction of the character cast for the future story arcs deserves a thumbs up. This story arc also introduced the aging but still powerful Silvers Rayleigh, aka Dark King, and the Right hand man of the Pirate King Roger.
In Sabaody Archipelago gathers eleven of the next generation of superstars, named as the Super Rookies, who everyone of them have a bounty of over 100 million berries. They are also denoted as the Eleven Supernovas and will eventually be dubbed the “worst generation” as the actions they did caused terrible impacts to the world.
However, despite all the super rookies have achieved, when Admiral Kizaru was summoned after Luffy attacked a world noble, these supernovas crumbled before his might. Only through the intervention of Rayleigh was Zoro saved from being killed by Kizaru. But when Shichibukai Bartholomew Kuma appeared, he alone was able to “wipe out” the whole of Luffy’s crew. This was a turning point where Luffy also realised from Rayleigh’s advise that they needed to train even more to prepare themselves for the true test in the New World, where the four emperors reside.
Summit War Saga – Marineford Arc
Why it is important -> The most epic of battles + Luffy’s Conqueror’s Haki + The Death of the great White Beard and everyone’s favourite brother FireFist Ace
The first deaths in the entire One Piece series and also the most emotional and tragical. When Firefist Ace, also Luffy’s sworn brother, son of Pirate King Roger and also White Beard Pirates’ second division commander, was captured after his defeat by Blackbeard, Luffy mounted his own one-man rescue and in the mist displayed his potential to be the King of Pirates with his subconscious demonstration of the almighty conqueror’s haki.
This battle is tremendously epic and almost equivalent to a conclusion for One Piece itself, when the current strongest pirate Whitebeard and his crew cum grand fleet took on the entire Marines as well as the Seven Royal Warlords (Shichibukai) in an attempt to save Ace at Marineford.
This was also a display of the might of a Yonko, where individual division commanders were able to individually stand against an admiral. Whitebeard himself was also able to show a glimpse of his monsterous strength when he caused a tsunami with his quake-quake fruit ability as well as his consecutively wins against Admiral Akainu and Blackbeard despite of his current age and health.
The final and most heartbreaking twist came just when it was thought Ace was saved, only to find himself killed by Akainu when he tried to save Luffy. In addition, White Beard met his end as well when the whole Blackbeard’s crew attacked him.
Pirate Alliance Saga – Dressrosa Arc
Why it is important -> Luffy’s Other Sworn Brother + Formation of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet + Luffy’s Gear Fourth
From the higher plot saga to the sub-plot, this may be one of the best, up there with the Marineford Arc. This is where the first sign of Luffy’s ascension to the top of the pirate world has started to take shape in the formation of his Straw Hat Grand Fleet (and that was against his own will).
From the start we see the Worst Generation of pirates teaming up with their own plans to take down their targeted Yonko. Luffy (Straw Hat Pirates) & Trafalgar Law (Heart Pirates) vs Kaido. Eustass Kid (Kid Pirates) & Scratchmen Apoo (On Air Pirates) & Basil Hawkins (Hawkins Pirates) vs Red-Hair Shanks.
When plans went awry, Law and Luffy took on Shichibukai Donquixote Doflamingo to save the Dressrosa nation. Luffy’s other sworn brother, Sabo, who was thought dead and is currently the General Officer of the Revolutionary Army, made his dramatic entrance with the consumption of Ace’s Mera Mera Devil Fruit and became the “new” Firefist.
Together with a portion of his crew and other pirates who they had saved, namely those who also participated in the Colosseum tournament with Luffy, fought against the Donquixote family and its executives. Luffy in his attempt to defeat the leader Doflamingo, who also possess the conqueror’s haki, uses his newly mastered Gear Fourth.
The climax of the story plot came when those pirates who fought alongside Luffy sworn allegiance to him and thus formed the Straw Hat Grand Fleet which consist of seven commanders and a total of 5640 people.