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  • Writer's pictureShadowNinja77

One Piece Arcs Ranked: 20-16

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

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 20-16. Also, like with my Fairy Tail rankings, if there are any secondary paragraphs, those will be more spoiler-filled.

20. Syrup Village

The arc that introduces the crew's resident sniper and expert liar Usopp. This is also the arc that really started to test the crew's skills, especially Luffy and Zoro as they are given their first proper fights against the Black Cat pirates and their murderous captain, Kuro. This arc takes a little bit to get going, first bringing in Usopp and revealing the main characters of the arc like Kaya and the young Usopp Pirates. But once it gets going, it starts hitting all the bars with everyone getting a chance to shine from Usopp finding his courage to fight back, Zoro fighting to protect his friends, Nami learning to rely on these new friends of hers, and Luffy meeting Kuro who represents everything wrong with pirate life. While Usopp's backstory isn't as well fleshed out as the others, it still makes him a distinctive and unique character. All in all, while this wasn't the best arc, it did keep the momentum going for the overall story and continued to flesh out this world of pirates. Also, every scene Jango is in is a delight as his hypnosis is never not funny or ridiculous.

19. Romance Dawn

The arc that started it all. A story as grand as this needed a good beginning and Luffy literally breaks into it in a fantastic way, instantly proving to be likeable and charismatic. And right after that, he meets his soon-to-be first mate, Pirate Hunter Roronoa Zoro, a definite fan-favorite of the series who is too good for two swords and somehow makes wielding a sword in his mouth look cool. Oda managed to convey in this short arc that the bonds of friendship were key to his storytelling as Luffy helps free Koby from pirates and become a Marine, even if they must be enemies afterwards. While there aren't any real fights here, the takedowns of both Alvida and Axe-Hand Morgan showcased both Luffy and Zoro's skills well and set up their power sets. For an opening arc, One Piece nailed it in terms of bringing the audience in and enthralling them with the grand new world.

18. G-8

This arc is a filler arc and completely skippable. However, it is widely considered to be one of the best filler arcs of any anime series and with good reason as it has a great story, placing the Straw Hats smack-dab in the middle of a Marine base, forcing them to run and hide while they attempt to escape with both their ship and treasure, all the while dealing with one of the most likeable antagonists in the whole series: Vice-Admiral Jonathan. Each crew member is given their own small story arc, Sanji's and Chopper's being stand outs, and there are many laugh-out-loud moments as well. There are also plenty of good fight scenes as the crew constantly tries to find their way out of Jonathan's ever-tightening web and yet his charismatic and kind personality make it very hard to hate him, the audience often secretly rooting for him to succeed at moments. While this can be skipped, it shouldn't be as this short arc has so many great moments that shouldn't be missed and shows how good some Marines can be. I can only imagine how much more Oda would have done with it if he had created it.

17. Zou

This arc is yet another showcase for Oda's natural world-building ability as he creates the society of the Minks (humanoid animals) and their home: the back of a giant elephant that wanders across the Grand Line. Everything about this place is awesome with great new lore, locations, and characters. This arc is one that sort of allows some breathing room from the previous big arc and sets up what's to come. In this instance, the two big Emperor arcs Whole Cake and Wano. Here we learn what happened to Sanji and half the Straw Hats during their absence of Dressrosa. The story of Kin'emon and Momonusuke also comes to light as well as more details on the One Piece in general. Bringing in new fan favorites Pedro, Carrot, Dogstorm, and Cat Viper to name a few, this arc is really meant to build out the world more but it still works well with stand out scenes being the elephant Zunesha fighting Jack the Drought and the formation of the new alliance between the different groups against future enemy Kaido (which also gives Luffy one of his best growth moments as he talks to Momonosuke). And of course, the Raizo scene will always remain one of the biggest revelations in anime history.

16. Post-War

Audiences thought Luffy's history had already been told way back in the beginning with Shanks giving him his hat. But here, we learn what came after as Luffy meets his brother Ace for the first time and the story of how they and newcomer Sabo became brothers. It's a story of childhood adventure and exploration until it isn't as Sabo's backstory is revealed. From there, things fall apart as classism rears its ugly head and it all ends in tragedy. This arc comes right after the infamous Marineford arc, making the bonds of brotherhood shown here all the more painful. We also get some great moments of Luffy dealing with the aftermath of the war as he recovers and his decision on how to proceed with his dream. This marks the halfway point in the series and what a way to go out.

And there's the next batch. Thanks for reading and check back soon for 15-11.

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