Short SummaryA filler arc that takes place after Return to Water 7 Arc. The arc sees the crew having to navigate through a treacherous frozen region named the Hyokaido (lit: Ice Highway) which turns out to be home of the infamous bounty hunting group, the Accino Family, who have set their sight on the Straw Hats. Along the way the crew meet the Phoenix Pirates, a crew in servitude to the Accino's whose captain is in need of medical attention.
Ice Hunter Arc has the following tropes:
- Big Bad: Don Accino
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Nami and Usopp imagine that Luffy will flick a booger at them if he finds out they weren't able to retrieve their stolen pirate flag.
- Continuity Nod: As the group see the Phoenix Pirates sail-less ship. Franky makes a mention of pirates that like to play games for such things. The crew flatly state they know.
- The Family That Slays Together: Pretty much the Accino Family in general
- Foreshadowing: Possibly, the final scuffle between Luffy and Don Accino see the former go up against the super heated villain in a final clash with Luffy using his bare hands. Luffy convinces himself the heat isn't affecting him and he manages to hit Don with the full force of his attack and send him flying. After what happened later in the story, many have taken this to meaning that Luffy's Haki subtlety surfaced and helped him gain victory.
- Also, the idea that the New World is just too terrifying for pirates to handle and they'll lose their will, their crew and their dreams. That's something that very much becomes a plot point in the Paramount War arc. And considering that the vessel that destroyed the Phoenix Pirates looked like a Marine Warship, and it was shooting chunks of magma at them? It looks like Admiral Akainu's murder of Ace isn't the first time he's destroyed a potential Pirate King's hopes and dreams.
- Heroic BSOD: Puzzle after Vigaro's sacrifice.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Vigaro in Puzzle's flashback.
- Mugging the Monster: The Phoenix Pirates attempted to drug the Straw Hats and bring them to the Accino Family. Of course, they didn't count on many Straw Hats easily figuring out their deception.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The last scene of the Phoenix Pirates as they go up against the remainder of the Accino Family's forces. It's pretty clear, as stated by Luffy, that the Phoenix Pirates will win.
- Oh, Crap: This was some of the Straw Hats' reaction when they imagined what would happen to them if Luffy found out their flag was stolen. Of course, they're more upset that they'll be scolded by him because he's an idiot.