One Piece. The Shounen Jump flagship series that has been going since December of 1997 is approaching it’s 1000th chapter. For a single person’s idea to be able to span for such an insanely long period of time, maintain its popularity the entire way through, and still attract new fans to this very day is an unbelievable achievement that very few can claim.
So, with this insane milestone in mind, I want to go over 6 of my favourite and most impactful moments in One Piece. Lets celebrate the hard word of Eiichiro Oda and the incredible work that he has poured his life into!
Luffy Declare War on the World Government
This scene is absolutely incredible and blows me away every single time. The Enies Lobby arc of One Piece is one of the most loved in the entire series for the insane number of incredible moments, breakthrough developments of characters and outstanding fights.
The catalyst for all of this being Luffy’s devotion to a single friend who believed she didn’t deserve to live. The culmination of the emotions Robin goes through during this scene, the flashbacks to being told that “The Sea is large and someday you’ll find friends that will fight for you”. Then all the emotion bubbling up and exploding through Robin admitting she wants to live.
Talk about a hard hitting death of a major character. Not only that, but a character that had numerous arcs with Ace’s rescue as the motivation. Boa Hancock risks her status as a shichibukai to break Luffy into Impel Down, the most well guarded prison in One Piece. Luffy then nearly dies in a fight with Magellan, still doesn’t make it to Ace, and then he makes his way to Marineford to fight in a Pirate vs Government war.
The entire Marineford arc was absolutely insane. Tons of awesome fights between huge names you had only heard about, seeing the powers of Whitebeard’s men and the powers of the Admirals. Luffy’s entrance and firm belief of his goal even in the presence of WhiteBeard, Whitebeard’s final words spurring on a new age of pirates. Finally the end of Portgas D. Ace as he dies in Luffy’s arms thanking him for loving him. Has me crying every time.
Zoro Takes Luffy’s Pain
After an absolutely insane battle that pushed all of the Straw Hats, but especially Luffy, to their limits fighting Gecko Moria. Bartholomew Kuma arrives on the scene under orders to capture the crew and make sure that word of a Schichibukai’s defeat does not get out into the public. Zoro, already extremely worn out, prepares himself to fight even saying that he is willing to fight to the death should he have to.
Kuma offers everyone a compromise saying that he will allow everyone to leave safely, in return he will take Luffy’s life. Everyone refuses and Kuma blows everyone away with a huge blast, but then Zoro strikes once more. Realising he can’t win, Zoro begs for Kuma to take his life instead. Kuma gives another offer. After extracting all the pain and fatigue from Luffy’s body, he gives a small amount to Zoro. We see his entire body distort in pain after which, Kuma says that taking on all of this pain would certainly kill Zoro. Without a second thought, Zoro dives in. After the crew wakes up, Sanji rushes to Zoro who is standing in a huge puddle of blood asking what on earth happened? Zoro answers “Nothing happened”.
Farewell To Going Merry
The Going Merry was the faithful little ship that the Straw Hats first attained after Kaya, a close friend of Usopp’s, gifted it to them. This ship held a lot of significance to the crew, but more so than anyone to Usopp. Without a shipwright amongst the Straw Hats, all the damage that the Going Merry would sustain throughout their journeys would never be properly addressed.
Once the crew reached Water 7 and discovered the ship was beyond repair, friction began to form between Luffy and Usopp, resulting in a fight between the two and Usopp’s brief departure from the crew. This left the other crew members in pain, but they knew they had to press on. Fast forward to the end of the Enies Lobby arc and it’s the Going Merry that saves them as the Straw Hats are surrounded by Marines. After Merry’s heroic final act, the crew bid the ship farewell and never did I ever think I could cry so much over a boat.
Luffy’s Climbs Drum Mountain
Usually when I go looking at different top 10’s or top 5’s, sometimes this scene is missing and I have no idea why. Luffy climbs a mountain, carrying both an injured Sanji and sick Nami, while in a blizzard. While climbing you can see just how cold Luffy is getting, he almost slips and digs in his nails to recompose himself. This scene is one of the most insane moments of pure determination and friendship that I have ever seen from Luffy.
He is constantly putting his life at risk for his friends, but watching this felt like I was watching my main protagonist go off on a literal suicide mission. It’s the moments like this where Luffy shines through as something special when it comes to other Shounen protagonists. Oda really made something special in Luffy.
Help Me… Of Course I Will!
I’ve left this one until the end because I feel that it’s during the Arlong arc that most people’s interest in One Piece, evolves into something more. This arc has some absolutely incredible moments that I re-watch to this day, specifically the scenes towards the end.
This arc revolves around Nami and her backstory and reasoning behind swindling and double-crossing so many people up to this point. The reason being that Arlong made a deal with Nami, saying that if she can pay him 100,000,000 berries, he will leave the island. When she has finally made all the money, Arlong breaks his promise and continues his rule over the people of Nami’s hometown.
Luffy appears in front of a completely broken down Nami, despite the fact she betrayed his trust. After repeatedly telling him to go away, she finally lets out the words “Luffy… Help me”. As soon as Luffy placed his hat on her head, you just got this incredible feeling of friendship between these characters. Luffy doesn’t judge his friends on their past, he looks at the person as they are now. Then that hugely emotional climax of Luffy finding the source of Nami’s pain, destroying it, and yelling out that she is his friend. One Piece is so damn good.
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