The Zou Arc is the twenty-eighth story arc in the series and the third in the Pirate Alliance Saga of One Piece, continuing from the Dressrosa Arc. After defeating Doflamingo, the Straw Hats, Trafalgar Law, Kin’emon, and Kanjuro continue to Zou in order to reunite with Sanji and the others. Zou is the third island the Straw Hats encounter in the New World.
5. Alabasta/Baroque Works
The Alabasta Arc is the eleventh story arc in the manga and anime, One Piece. It is also the fifth and final arc in the Alabasta Saga. The Straw Hats finally reach the desert kingdom of Alabasta and begin their race across the land to reach Alubarna before a massive war breaks out between the kingdom’s royal guards and the rebels. However, the true perpetrator of the war, Mr. 0 and the remaining Baroque Works officer agents stand in the way of reaching their goal. The kingdom of Alabasta is on Sandy Island, the fourth island the Straw Hat Pirates encounter in the Grand Line. It is a large desert kingdom ruled by king Nefertari Cobra.
Crew: Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Nami, Ussop and Chopper
Allies: Princess Vivi, Carue, Ace and Eyelashes
Epic Moment: The departure felt on the feels of all One Piece fans.
What’s at stake:
The lives of all the people in Alabasta fighting in a civil war created by Crocodile so he could take over the country.
Badass of the Arc: Luffy and Ace share a moment of brotherly BADASSERY.
In this arc, Luffy meets his older brother Ace for the first time in three years in Nanohana, who then tells him about his former subordinate, Blackbeard. The Straw Hats and Bon Kurei’s crew leave in the morning, but they get engaged in a battle with Marine Captain Hina the Black Cage. Bon Kurei and his crew disguise themselves as the Straw Hats to draw their attention, giving them the opportunity to flee though Luffy yells he will never forget them. In the end, Vivi chose not come with them, but came to wave them goodbye, holding her speech over a Den Den Mushi. The Straw Hats respond back by showing her their friendship marks on their arms before sailing off. However, no sooner then the Straw Hat leave Alabasta, Nico Robin a.k.a. Miss All-Sunday makes herself known having hid herself on board of the Going Merry before their departure from Alabasta. She claims she wants to join the crew for Luffy saved her, even though she lost her will to live, making her their problem. Luffy accepts her offer to join the crew, but the rest (excluding Sanji) are suspicious of her. However, she manages to quickly win everyone’s favor, though Zoro remains wary of her. With an unexpected seventh member of the crew, the Straw Hats continue onward with their voyage of the Grand Line for their next adventure.
4. Thriller Bark
The Thriller Bark Arc is the eighteenth story arc in the series, and the first and only in the Thriller Bark Saga. The Straw Hats, during their journey into the Florian Triangle arrive at a haunted island/ship called Thriller Bark, in which their shadows are stolen by the Shichibukai Gekko Moriah and must hurry to get them back before the sun rises. After defeating Moriah, another Shichibukai shows up to make the Straw Hats’ situation worse. The Straw Hats also gain a new crewmate, a living skeleton named Brook who becomes their musician.
Crew: Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Nami, Ussop, Chopper, Robin and Franky
Allies: Brook and other shadowless pirates
2 words. Nightmare Luffy.
Strawhats team up to take down giant foes.
What’s at stake:
Moriah ate the Kage Kage no Mi, a Paramecia-type Devil Fruit that allows him to manifest and control shadows as physical beings. It is this fruit that allowed him to build his zombie army by depriving living beings of their shadows and implanting them in dead bodies. Moriah can have his own shadow, which he calls Doppelman, fight for him; in addition to being mostly solid and easily changing its form into things like tiny bats, Doppelman cannot be destroyed and will continue to reform. Moriah can switch locations with his shadow instantaneously, which he uses to dodge attacks. The Kage Kage no Mi allows Moriah to steal the shadows of others. The theft of another person’s shadow causes them to be vaporized if they come in contact with direct sunlight. Moriah can create a zombie by implanting a stolen shadow into a lifeless corpse. People who have their shadow stolen are left in a coma for two days and do not have reflections. If they die, the zombie with their shadow loses the shadow. Moriah can place someone’s shadow inside of someone’s living body, increasing physical power and possibly granting them a fighting technique. Moriah can also grab multiple shadows and insert them into his own body for a power and size increase; the culmination of this is his last resort technique Shadow’s Asgard, where Moriah absorbs the shadows from all of his zombies at once. On Thriller Bark, Moriah absorbed 1000 shadows at once, giving him a monstrous increase in both size and strength that allowed him to split his ship in half with one punch.
Badass of the Arc:
Zoro gets the title after putting his life in the hands of Kuma to save Luffy and walking away alive.
Outcome: The Straw Hats (minus Luffy) begin to realize that they need to become stronger. Moriah also notes that Luffy with his current strength would lose his crew on upcoming seas.Zoro is severely wounded when Kuma uses his powers to remove all of Luffy’s pain from his battles and give it to Zoro. Zoro is not shown with the wounds healed until after the timeskip. Brook still has the pride of a pirate and resolves to meet Laboon from the “front” as promised. Brook decides to seal the tone dial away inside his skull and joins Luffy’s crew.
3. Summit War
The Marineford Arc (known as the Paramount War in the Viz Manga translation and the War of the Best in the FUNimation sub) is the twenty-second story arc in the series, and the fourth in the Summit War Saga of the One Piece series, continuing on from Impel Down Arc. Having failed to reach Ace before he was transferred to Marineford, Luffy and the other escapees from Impel Down (which include Jinbe, Emporio Ivankov, Crocodile, Mr. 1, Mr. 3, Buggy and Inazuma), instead follow his brother to Marineford, the base of Marine Headquarters. With the odds stacked high against him, the coming threat of Whitebeard, and the ulterior motives of pirates that wish to overthrow the Yonko, Luffy struggles to hold his own in this titanic clash of powers.
Allies: Jinbe, Emporio Ivankov, Crocodile, Mr. 1, Mr. 3, Buggy, Inazuma, Whitebeard Pirates, Boa Hancock, RedHaired Pirates and Heart Pirates
Epic Moment: Luffy flies solo from his crew this arc but that doesn’t mean he didn’t bring along a little back up. Boy do they know how to make an entrance.
Luffy faces off against 3 Admirals in only the flashy way he knows how.
Luffy and Ace make their escape attempt.
What’s at stake: John Giant rallies his forces as a staggering one hundred thousand elite troops prepare for battle. Fifty marine ships are stationed around the island with cannons lining the coastline. And at the front line of it all are none other than the remaining Shichibukai (Kuma, Moriah, Doflamingo, Mihawk and Boa Hancock). At the rear of the island, Ace is located atop the execution stand. Watching over him are the three Marine admirals: Kizaru, Akainu, and Aokiji. With this, nearly every justice force imaginable is gathered waiting for Whitebeard to make his move.
Badass of the Arc: This arc’s BADASS isn’t a member of the Strawhat crew but a captain of a different crew, Shanks. The way he ends the fighting without fighting himself is EPIC.
Secondary BADASS goes to Crocodile for showing up for a war he didn’t care about and being one of the biggest threats.
Ace is killed by Admiral Akainu, the third admiral to be introduced, which causes Luffy to fall into a coma until he recovers in Post-War Arc.
The Marineford Arc is probably by far the biggest turn of events in One Piece history as it features the first two on-screen deaths in the current story line. In particular, the death of Yonko Whitebeard, along with the resignation of two Shichibukai (Jinbe, and Teach) and one revoked (Moriah), causes the loss of the balance of the Three Powers
2. Arlong Park
The Arlong Park Arc, also called the Arlong Arc, is the fifth story arc of the East Blue Saga. After Nami steals the Going Merry, Roronoa Zoro, Usopp, and later Monkey D. Luffy and Sanji (along with Johnny and Yosaku) set after her and wind up in Cocoyasi Village, Nami’s hometown ruled by the tyrannical Fishman Arlong. It is here that Nami’s past and true motives come to light.
Crew: Luffy, Zoro, Sanji and Ussop
Allies: Johnny and Yosaku
Epic Moment: The walk to Arlong Park can only be described as EPIC. Seeing the whole crew (only 4 members at the time) walk into battle together was so awesome.
What’s at stake:
The crew wants to help Nami’s village Cocoyasi escape from under the thumb of the Arlong Pirates.
Badass of the Arc: Luffy takes the title this arc after destroying Arlong Park and defeating Arlong all in one final Gomu Gomu Battle Axe.
Outcome: Nami permanently joins the Straw Hat crew as navigator, making them ready to reach the Grand Line. It also explains her unusual behavior in the previous arcs (her hatred of pirates in the Orange Town Arc, and one of her warnings to Zoro at the Baratie when she manipulates Sanji). Nezumi’s report, as well as Luffy’s defeat of Buggy and Don Krieg, would later give Luffy his first bounty. In addition to mentioning Jinbe, Yosaku also reveals the existence of a group of seven pirates hired by the government: the Shichibukai. Also, because of Yosaku’s information, Sanji is able to tell who Jinbe is from the newspaper coverage after the Battle of Marineford, and is able to recognize him two years later during the Fishman Island arc.
1. Enies Lobby
The Enies Lobby Arc is the sixteenth story arc in the manga and anime series One Piece, and the third in the Water 7 Saga. Enies Lobby is the eighth island that the Straw Hat Pirates encounter on the Grand Line. This arc also serves as a point of advancement for each of the Straw Hats, as almost all of them become stronger in some way. In this arc, the Straw Hats also say farewell to their beloved ship, the Going Merry.
Crew: Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Nami and Chopper
Allies: Sogeking (Ussop in disguise), Franky,Kokoro, Chimney, Gonbe, Franky Family and Galley-La Company
Epic Moment: This arc was filled with great moments and great battles but these moments take the cake.
The finishing blow to Rob Lucci from Luffy can only be described as EPIC.
Another EPIC moment and highlight of this Arc is the declaration of war against the world to save their crew mate. This can easily be a contender for a series defining moment.
What’s at stake:
The “Buster Call” is the strongest military action possible, performed only under special circumstances. The target of a Buster Call is usually to destroy anything from a criminal or group of criminals to an entire island that has proven to be extremely dangerous to the World Government. The reasons for the known uses of the Buster Call are: 20 years before the invasion of Enies Lobby, Ohara was attacked because its scholars were able to read the Poneglyphs and decipher information about the Void Century. Near the end of the Enies Lobby Arc, Enies Lobby was attacked in order to prevent Nico Robin, the only survivor of the previous Buster Call, from escaping. This Buster Call was originally started by mistake by CP9 leader Spandam.
Badass of the Arc: This arc’s BADASS is the Sniper King himself Sogeking with this awesome display of sniping.
Each of the Straw Hats developed/revealed new special abilities in this arc, marking an exponential increase in power for each of them. Luffy introduces both Gear Second and Gear Third; Zoro develops Kyutoryu; Sanji unleashes Diable Jambe; Chopper utilizes Monster Point (on screen/panel) for the first time whilst showing other effects from excess Rumble Ball consumption; Nami displays Usopp’s latest creation, the Perfect Clima-Tact; and Sogeking demonstrates his new slingshot – Kabuto. The remainder of the Franky Schematics are revealed, especially and comically his dependency on cola. The development of Nami and Sogeking in particular are significant as they become serious fighters in their own right: Nami being able to defeat a member of CP9 and help hold off an onrush of Buster Call Marines, Sogeking demonstrating sniping skills so extraordinary Marines admit their inability to fight back. The entire Straw Hat crew are now considered a threat to the World Government due to their declaration of war, and everyone now has bounties. Zoro joins Luffy as a Supernova as his bounty is doubled, and Luffy’s bounty is tripled, placing his in the realm of the former bounties of the Shichibukai. Robin’s bounty is raised minimally mainly as a means to get her picture updated, Usopp’s poster has him listed under his alias Sogeking. Even Chopper gets a bounty, although it is tiny as he is mistaken for a pet. This consistency continues even when Franky joins the crew; he also earned a bounty for his actions. At the end of this arc, the Going Merry finally reaches her absolute limit, and is given a viking funeral. This forced the Straw Hat Pirates to get a new ship, which turned out to be the Thousand Sunny, made by Franky.