One Piece is about a boy called Monkey.D.Luffy who sets off on a journey to become the King of the Pirates. The One Piece manga started in 1997 and it’s still carrying on 23 years later and because it is been going on for so long it is the best-selling manga in Japan, selling over 470 million copies to date. It even got so popular that it has an anime series as well that has been going on for 21 years. AT this point in time as well they are getting ready to celebrate the manga hitting 1000 chapters, as this will be such a milestone for the series and one way they are celebrating is by letting people read certain chapters for free every week on the Viz media Shonen Jump website. The author Eiichiro Oda is the most proud of his work as before he made One Piece, he created a short manga called Romance Dawn but it was rejected twice before it was accepted and fun fact, Romance Dawn would eventually become One Piece, he just had to make a few changes to it. As a homage to Romance Dawn, he titled the first chapter in One Piece Romance Dawn. Now in this article, I will be going over in my opinion, the 10 best moments in One Piece over its 23-year span.
10: Zoro Cuts Pica in half.
Pica is a shape-shifter that can turn an entire country into a part of his body that gives the Strawhats immeasurable trouble in the Dressrosa arc, they may laugh at his squeaky voice, but they know better than to make light of one of the top three officers of the Donquixote Family. So to see Zoro who spent a lot of his time in Dressrosa wandering around and getting lost, cut the stone monster in half is immensely satisfying. Zoro then proceeds to slice and dice Pica forcing him to reveal himself in his true form. Pica’s defeat is proof of Zoro’s growing strength and skill, it also takes him much closer to his goal of becoming the world’s greatest swordsman. Also, Zoro’s belief that there is nothing that he can’t cut, makes this one of those moments you can’t help but cheer loudly for.
9: Luffy Knocks out 50,000 Fishmen.
Next up is a hockey fight Luffy knocking out 50,000 Fishmen in the Fishman Island arc. When Hody Jones begins to boast to Luffy that he and his crew number just 10 was weak compared to the hundred thousand men at his disposal. This even made some of the Strawhats feel overwhelmed by the threat until Luffy reduces that threat by half in an instant. Talk about evening the odds. It’s a proud moment for the Strawhats who realize their captain has mastered Conquerors Haki. For fans it’s the payoff we get to see after the two years Luffy spent training with Rayleigh. What also contributes to making this moment special, Is the fact that one piece uses it’s Haki sparingly, unlike a lot of other anime that overexpose their power-ups, Haki is a rare commodity that is mastered by a chosen few and used only in big moments. For Luffy, the incident at Fishman Island is one of his early uses of Haki after the time skip but remains an unforgettable memory.
8: Law Cuts an Island in Half.
Here at number 8, we have Law cutting Punk Hazard in half. For all of his lectures to Luffy about the virtues of lying low and fighting cautiously, the captain of the Heart Pirates is known to make some big and bold moves every now and then. Challenging Doflamingo to a fight for purely personal is one, plotting the fall of Kaido is another, but as for his flashiest moment in battle, it’s without a doubt his dismantling of Virgo and the island of Punk Hazard, showing that he’s got one of the most imaginative devil fruit powers around. Law just needs one swing of his blade to cut Virgo in half despite the latter’s body being entirely armored in Haki, In the process the facility which produces the main ingredient for Dolflamingo’s fake devil fruits and the mountain it’s built on, also get carved beyond repair. This is a moment where you can’t help but be impressed by the surgeon of death.
7:Luffy Facing the Admirals.
After taking the aerial route into the fortress-like marine headquarters, Luffy gets airborne once again but this time using a pillar of water and a ship’s mask to propel himself towards the execution platform and Ace. However, standing in his way are the three Admirals. Now talking purely from the visual standpoint the image of the young upstart standing up to the navy’s three strongest warriors and directly challenging their authority makes for a great poster, however, Luffy recklessly facing off against Aokiji, Kizaru and Akainu is important not only for the visuals and the events taking place, but it also seems in all likelihood to be a foreshadowing of the final confrontation between the man who will be the pirate king and the authorities standing in his way. We can’t wait for when the anime eventually winds down to such a finale.
6: Challenging the World Government.
Now we have a similar scene from the Enies Lobby arc, but this time we have the Strawhats challenging not the Navy but the World Government, and this time too the reason is personal. Robin’s been captured by the CP9, the world Government’s top-secret group of assassins. Luffy and gang break into Enies Lobby, the notoriously fortified judicial island that serves as the organization’s headquarters. Rarely do we see the Strawhats stand as a single team in one frame, most of the time they’re off doing their own thing but here seeing them all together on the roof of the courthouse and standing shoulder to shoulder as they challenge the CP9 and its leader Spandam, it’s impossible not to feel the rush of excitement. The detestable Spandam points to the futility of their challenge, bragging that the small crews no match for the Government’s might. In response Luffy has Seogeking shooting a flaming arrow at the Government flag, it’s a declaration of war that shows Luffy has no problem picking a fight with someone bigger and stronger than him.
5: Walk to Arlong Park.
The Strawhats walk to Arlong Park to challenge Arlong takes the halfway point. This was at the time when the crew only had four members and it comes right after that unforgettable scene where the usually ballsy Nami breaks down in tears and asks for Luffy to help her save her village from the tyranny of the Arlong Pirates. Handing his hat to his future navigator for safekeeping, Luffy gathers his troops which comprises of Zoro, Sanji and Usopp, and the four march to Arlong Park. It’s an iconic moment reminiscent of many a memorable walking scene from the movies. When sidekicks Jonny and Yosako tell the villages these four men are worth betting their lives on, you might find yourself nodding in agreement. Again in terms of imagery, this moment makes the same impact as the previously discussed challenge to the World Government to Enies Lobby and the Strawhats farewell to Vivi in the Alabasta arc. It just goes to show that putting the Strawhats together in one frame is a thing of magic. I think for a lot of fans this was a turning point in the series where they went from liking the series to loving it and I can see exactly why.
4: Shank’s Entrance.
The Marineford Arc is the one arc in One Piece in my opinion that is guaranteed to make the viewer an emotional wreck, thanks to its numerous acts of courage, betrayals and god-awful tragedy. It also has one of the most powerful conclusions as Shanks appears during the final assault and puts an end to what’s now just senseless fighting. Due to this intervention Luffy gets away safely, Akaniu is stopped, thousands of lives are saved and the fallen get the dignity they deserve in death. It’s a moment that reveals the true strength of this yonko, (who has remained a mystery to us all these years, despite being a central figure in Luffy’s life,) that fleet admiral Sengoku is willing to listen to him. An adversary and a Pirate raises our expectations for what Shanks is capable of in the future, this is also one of the few times we see Shanks as the powerful Pirate that he is, with his ship and crew by his side. Cameo appearances don’t get any more powerful than this.
3: “I am Whitebeard.”
Whitebeards entrance at Marineford is anime legend by now, his death even more epic but there’s a moment in between that really says a lot about the kind of person he is. There is no honor in ganging up on an opponent even one as fearsome as the towering Whitebeard, yet the Marines singled him out throwing everything they’ve got at him. It’s a good strategy but hardly heroic, what’s heroic is Whitebeard’s response as he stops his crew from rushing to his aid, “I am Whitebeard,” he roars. Even when his body is bearing hundreds of battle wounds and cannonball smoke rising from his face, with just these words he makes the Marines, who pride themselves as upholders of justice look dirty and dishonorable and those aren’t empty words. Whitebeard goes on to show the Marines just who they’re messing with and we can’t help but be proud.
2: Luffy Punches a Celestial Dragon.
In One Piece there are these people who are known as the Celestial Dragons, and they are practically godlike. Even the carefree Luffy understands that they’re not to be trifled with no matter what atrocities they commit, well he gets it in theory at least anyway, but when the idiotic saint Charlos shoots Hachi at the slave auction and Luffy gets that glint in his eye, you know it’s not going to end well for the high-handed noble. Hachi’s entreaties to let the matter slide even going to the extent of that he deserves to be shot, makes no difference to Luffy who marches up to Charlos and socks him in the face. One punch and Charlos is out for the count, apparently, that fishbowl like headgear the Celestial Dragons wear isn’t exactly much protection. What Luffy does is audacious even for someone who’s in the habit of doing the exact opposite of what he’s told, but seeing a bully get what he deserves is immensely satisfying.
1: “Nothing Happened.”
And finally, this brings us to number one and it’s Zoro’s finest hour yet in the service of his captain. Having realized that Luffy and the rest of the crew are too exhausted from their battle with Gecko Moria and his Zombie army to have any real chance at survival against Bartholomew Kumar, Zoro makes the ultimate sacrifice. Unknown to them the proud swordsmen gets down on his knees and asks the warlord to spare Luffy and the others offering himself up for punishment on their behalf due to the nature of Kumar’s powers. That means taking all of Luffy’s pain and fatigue into his own body, “I’ll show you hell,” Kumar promises. As Kumar says this Zoro is reminded that he might not survive this ordeal, however, Zoro does survive it somehow and when Sanji later finds him covered in blood but still standing he asks what happened, “Nothing Happened,” a typical answer from a man of few words and yet it’s so telling. It’s just one of the many things that make this strong and loyal pirate such a badass. The fact that Luffy doesn’t know about this little incident to this day, makes this moment even more special.