In celebration of Netflix's live-action adaptation of the anime, I will be ranking most of the many story arcs (fillers included). These are just based on my personal opinion. So, here are arcs 15-11.
15. Drum Island
This is the arc that introduces fan-favorite ship doctor Tony-Tony Chopper, the crew's loveable reindeer with human powers and who is definitely not a raccoon. The first half of this arc was fantastic, with the danger of Nami dying from a mysterious sickness hanging over the crew, forcing them to take a detour from their destination to Drum Island, a winter land in the midst of political turmoil. Luffy really shines here as it's shown just how far he'll go to help his crewmates, nearly dying several times to save Nami. The second half of the arc has a much less interesting antagonist as Wapol comes in, a spoiled, loud-mouthed king with some impressive abilities but far outlasts his welcome. Still, Chopper's tragic backstory elevates this story by a mile as its shown how he was an outcast from everything and everyone until he met two certain doctors, both quirkier than the other. And Hiriluk's speech is truly one of the greatest and saddest moments in One Piece history. The only problem with this arc was Wapol. Everything else was superb, making it one of the best.
14. Whiskey Peak
This arc officially brings the crew into the Grand Line and gives them their first true threat on the island of Whiskey Peak. This also lets Zoro flex in one of his best fight scenes as he literally takes on 100 foes and utterly dominates them all. But then, of course, in true Oda fashion things take a twist with new character Princess Vivi appearing all of a sudden and assassins attacking. This arc is very short, only four episodes long, but it is non-stop fun and then has some of the most suspenseful scenes ever as it sets up the overarching Alabasta Saga and new villain Crocodile. This arc was used to show what the Straw Hats would be up against and it is truly terrifying, more dangerous than anything they've faced before and Oda nails that perfectly. And, as a final touch, Nico Robin is also introduced in another scary fashion, bringing the first arc of the Alabasta Saga to a dramatic close.
13. Fish-Man Island
This arc is a bit controversial as most viewers consider it a disappointment. Coming as the first major arc after the time-skip, many were looking foerward to seeing the skills the Straw Hats developed. And they do in spades as the Straw Hats, especially Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji dominate every foe in front of them. And that's the problem. The New Fish-Man Pirates, led by Hordy Jones, are actually pretty interesting, all victims of the growing hatred the Fish-Men have towards the surface dwellers that has festered for years. Unfortunately, none of them are really a threat to the new OP crew, making the fight scenes lackluster. Hordy does prove a challenge to Luffy in the water given his Devil Fruit weakness, but even that doesn't last long. Still, the story as a whole makes up for the fight scenes and helps rank this arc so highly with Fish-Man Island being one of the most imaginative places Oda created, a whole island beneath the ocean with mermaids and Fish-Men alike. It also has major ramifications on the future with the superweapon Poseidon revealed, Joyboy teased, and the introduction of the Noah, an ancient ship said to play an important role soon. The flashback of Fisher Tiger and Queen Otohime highlighted the abject prejudice against Fish-Men, the core theme of this arc, and Tiger's storyline in particular was one of the saddest in One Piece. The fights were still cool, even if they were never that challenging and they did allow each crewmate to show their new skills, all of them getting a cool moment, especially Luffy in using his new Conqueror's Haki against thousands of enemies. Plus, what their foes represented was a much greater foe and that came across well. Luffy's friendship with Princess Shirahoshi was also well-developed and Sanji's relationship with the mermaids was always a laugh. And Jimbei makes his triumphant return, shining some light on Nami's own tragic past. All that and more makes this arc one of the best.
12. Little Garden
This arc serves two major purposes in setting up the ongoing Alabasta conflict even more by bringing in Baroque Assassin Mr. 3 as well as fleshing out the world of One Piece with the introduction to the race of giants with dueling kings Dorry and Brogy. Apparently stranded on an island filled with prehistoric plants and animals, the crew gets separated early on which is bad news as Baroque Agents appear to take them all out. Whiskey Peak gave a hint to the danger the Straw Hats were up against. Here, the threat becomes real as they face off against Mr. 3 and his cronies with most of the crew rendered helpless early on. Plus the tale of the giants was both funny and moving in a way. Luffy's fight against Mr. 3 was truly awesome and Usopp is also given a chance to shine. Little Garden helped flesh out the world of One Piece with giants and make the overarching threat of Crocodile even more menacing. That and more makes this one of the best.
11. Thriller Bark
It's hard to top the previous arc that is Enies Lobby and this one didn't even come close. Still, it did have some truly standout moments as well as introducing Brook, the strangely still-living skeleton. Here, Oda decided to explore the gothic-horror route by bringing the crew to the massive ship Thriller Bark, owned by a cluster of classic horror movie villains. Gecko Moria, the main antagonist, was never really that menacing, but he did prove to be the formidable opponent with his shadow abilities. And the Shadow Luffy form was top notch as well as all the Straw Hats fighting against the massive giant Oars (and Robin's blatant refusal to 'dock') was one of the best parts. Zoro's fight against Ryuma was non-stop epic and Usopp gets another chance to shine against the seeminly unbeatable Perona (his line about negativity gets me every time). This arc may not be as great as some of the others but it had plenty of great moments that helped elevate it. And Brook's backstory with his long-lost friend will always be one of the best and saddest stories in One Piece. But Oda once again proves to be a master storyteller by bringing back a character from so long ago in a truly amazing way. It also holds Zoro's most badass scene of his faceoff against Kuma, taking all of Luffy's pain to spare his captain, showing off the kind of friend and first mate he truly is.
And there's the next batch. Thanks for reading and check back soon for 10-6.