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Recap / One Piece Arlong Arc

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Short Summary
Nami has suddenly taken the Going Merry in the midst of the battle with Krieg and sailed back to her hometown, Cocoyashi Village, which is ruled by a tyrannical fishman pirate, Arlong the Saw. Luffy and his crew arrive to both reclaim the ship as well as their navigator. Along the way learning of Nami's past and getting involved in the island's struggle for freedom from the fishmen pirates.

Main Summary

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After leaving the Baratie, Sanji, Yosaku and Luffy take the time to relax. The three strike up a conversation about the Seven Warlords of the Seas ("Shichibukai" in the Japanese version) who are Government Sponsored Pirates that had their bounties canceled in exchange for servitude to the Marines. Yosaku also mentions the island he was talking about from earlier and how it was connected to an infamous fishman pirate. Yosaku deduces there's a connection between Nami and him as when they were on Merry earlier, some of Johnny and Yosaku's bounties had fallen from their pile and, seeing Arlong's, Nami attitude had suddenly changed before tricking the duo and pushing them overboard.

Meanwhile Nami managed to make it to an island called Cocoyashi Village and to the main base of the island called Arlong Park. She meets up with a boy whose father had been killed by the fishmen and he wishes to take revenge. Nami just slaps him aside and throws some Berries at him to make him go away before meeting up with Arlong and his crew inside, revealing her allegiance to them. As that goes on, Zoro, Usopp and Johnny reach the island but the latter two take note of the fishmen that reside on it. Zoro hopes to fight them but is knocked out and tied by the two to avoid any trouble. However a fishman manages to see their boat and swims to them. Usopp and Johnny abandon ship leaving Zoro to be captured. Their luck on land doesn't last either as they wind up in a village where all the houses have been upturned. Another fishman spots them and the two run for it. Johnny manages to hide himself while Usopp is attacked by the boy from earlier mistaking him for a fishman.

He in turn is stopped by a purple haired woman who clears up the misunderstanding. With the real fishman getting close, Usopp readies to fight him but is knocked out by the woman to avoid any trouble. Back out at sea, Luffy's group run into a sea king sea cow who was attracted by the lunch they were having. Both Luffy and Sanji subdue it and use it to carry them to the island. Usopp meanwhile wakes up in the woman's home who introduces herself as Nojiko. She convinces the boy to give up on his quest for revenge before talking with Usopp who discovers that she is Nami's adopted sister and Cocoyashi is Nami's hometown. As well as the fact that Nami is part of Arlong's crew. It soon dawns on Usopp that he put Zoro in grave danger. At that moment Zoro is dragged before Arlong and likewise finds out about Nami's status. However, after hearing Arlong gloat how Nami will betray one of her own for money and the disturbed reaction from Nami. Zoro throws himself into the pool to test if she's truly is as cold-blooded as Arlong says. Nami's conscience gets the better of her and she dives in to save him. However to save face with Arlong, she beats Zoro up to assure she's still part of his crew and orders Zoro thrown into the dungeon.

Later that day in Cocoyashi, Arlong visits the village and confront the town's sheriff, Genzo, over collecting some weaponry which he sees as rebellion though Genzo denies it as just simple hobby collecting. Usopp and Nojiko watch from nearby as the latter tells Usopp about the monthly fee the village is forced to pay Arlong to avoid being killed. Arlong prepares to kill Genzo to make an example of him but is stopped by Usopp who fires a explosive star on him. He runs as the fishman chase after him while Arlong's crew is forced to drag him away before he goes berserk and destroys the town.

Nami arrives in town shortly afterward but the villagers give her the cold shoulder save for Genzo and Nojiko. They visit a grave belonging to someone named Belle-mere where Nami reveals she almost has the money to buy back Cocoyashi from Arlong. Meanwhile Zoro, who was freed by Nami, has beaten up all the fishmen until he meets Hatchan, another of Arlong's subordinates, who, thinking Zoro is part of the marines that Arlong pays off, offers him a ride back into town. However once Zoro makes it to the village he overhears about the Fishmen capturing Usopp and tries to rush back to the park. However Usopp is presented in front of Arlong and Nami, the latter of which who offers to kill him. Usopp attempts to escape but is caught, stabbed and thrown into the pool. Which is enough to convince Arlong that she is on his side.

Luffy's group finally arrives at the island and instantly (and almost literally) run into Zoro. As they regroup, they meet up with Johnny who explains what happened to Usopp (he was watching from a distance when it happened). Nami manages to find them and tell the group to take their ship and leave. Luffy refuses however to Nami's anger. As the bunch are figuring what to do next, Usopp appears alive and well. He explains that Nami actually saved him by stabbing her arm and he merely fainted when she "killed" him. Nojiko arrives and, seeing that the group are determined to regain Nami, explains her backstory.

Her foster mother, Belle-mere, was in the Marines and had fought in a battle on a unnamed island that saw many of the residents dead. She was near-death when Nojiko, then a small child, had found her carrying a baby Nami. Belle-mere willed herself back to life and took the two girls back to Cocoyashi Village in a raging storm. Once all three were cured Belle-mere decided to adopt the two girls and retire from the Marines. Years passed and Nami and Nojiko grew into young girls, while the three girls weren't financially sound, they lived happily together as any family. On one faithful day, Nami got into a fight with Belle-mere and fled into town. Genzo had found her and explained Belle-mere's past to Nami who went back home hoping to make amends. However shortly after, Arlong's crew also landed. Arlong instantly took over the island, instating the "pay or die" system. They had found about Belle-mere's house and went to collect the money. Belle-mere tried fending them off but was no match.

She agreed to pay the sum, but only for her two daughters, sacrificing herself for them. Arlong agreed and after a tearful goodbye to her daughters, Belle-mere was murdered by Arlong right in front of their eyes. Hatchan then took note of the maps that Nami had drawn which impressed Arlong. He kidnapped Nami and took her to his headquarters. When Nami returned to the village, she had shown that she had joined Arlong's crew to the villagers' disbelief. However when Nojiko and she were alone, Nami revealed the deal she made with Arlong to buy back Cocoyashi's freedom, never truly being on Arlong's side. And so as the years passed, Nami would venture out and steal as much as she could to pay off the sum.

Back in the present, the group are astonished at such a story and indeed realize how much Nami sacrificed for her home island. Meanwhile a few Marines come to the island, having gotten the villagers S.O.S to help them. They make the mistake of attacking Arlong before hand, prompting his crew to retaliate and sink the ship with the Marines on board. As this goes on, another set of Marines, lead by a captain named Nezumi, head to Nami's house accusing her of harboring illegal money. Nami at first denies this claim, but when the Marines get dangerously close to finding her hoard she snaps and attacks them. Genzo reveals the money is for Cocoyashi and explains to a startled Nami that they always knew after forcing Nojiko to tell them. But they had kept quiet so as not to worry Nami.

The Marines begin to dig up the money and Nami goes to attack again. A Marine sets his gun-sights on her, in which Nojiko jumps in the line of fire getting hit in the arm. Angered at this, Nami rushes to Arlong Park and confronts him about sending the Marines to search her house. He of course denies it and mocks her, claiming if she lost the money she'll just have to start again. Nami rushes back to the village where Genzo is rallying the villagers to fight Arlong. Nami tries to dissuade them but fails as they head for Arlong Park. Distressed and angered, Nami stabs her arm with the Arlong tattoo until stopped by Luffy. She tries to tell him to go away but eventually breaks down and asks for his help. Luffy gives her his Straw Hat and yells skyward that he will. He regroups with Zoro, Usopp and Sanji and the four head to Arlong Park where luckily Johnny and Yosaku, having overheard Nami's story and tried and failed to take on Arlong, have stalled the villagers telling them to wait for the Straw Hats to arrive.

Luffy breaks his way into the compound, identifies Arlong, and punches him without delay. This prompts the rest of the fishmen to attack along with Mohmoo, the sea cow from earlier. Luffy takes them all out easily by grabbing Mohmoo and using him to knock out the majority of the pirates. Leaving only Along and the Fishmen Pirates Officers (Hatchan, Kuroobi and Chu). However the last attack leaves Luffy's legs stuck in the ground to which Arlong picks up the concrete around his feet and throws him into the pool to drown. Proclaiming its a game and that the Straw Hats must beat them to save Luffy. After a very rough start (Usopp runs away with Chu chasing him, Sanji is seemingly knocked out by Kuroobi and Zoro suffering a fever from his wound), the crew start to gain ground.

Despite his wounds and taking some hits, Zoro manages to beat Hatchan in a sword fight. Sanji dives into the water to help Luffy and is at first left at a disadvantage in the water where Kuroobi starts pummeling him. However seeing that Nojiko and Genzo are helping Luffy, manages to force Kuroobi to the surface and returns the favor. Far outside Arlong Park, Usopp nearly chickens out of his battle with Chu, but remembering the others are fighting for Nami's sake, gains the courage to face the fishman, winning by being intuitive with the tools he has.

Arlong remains the only one left and a battle worn Zoro and Sanji are no match for him. Nami soon arrives in which, when given the choice to join Arlong and spare the villagers, she sides with the villagers to fight against him. Zoro buys Sanji some time to go into the water and help Luffy. Despite a scare from Hatchan, Sanji manages to break the rock around his legs and Luffy re-enters the fight. Engaging in a final brawl against Arlong. Both trade blows around the park with Arlong going on and on about how superior fishmen are. But even so Luffy stays on even ground with him. Eventually the battle moves into the top floor of the building which happens to be where Nami made her maps for Arlong.

Arlong gloats that he makes good use of Nami's talents and that he'll be her "friend". This only serves to anger Luffy who starts wreaking the room, feeling Nami's despair within it and reasoning that its the best way to help her. As Nami watches furniture get tossed from the room, she silently thanks him for it. Arlong decides to finish the fight with a spinning shark bite, but Luffy brings down his Gum Gum Ax move on him at the last second, slamming Arlong through several floors of the building and finally knocking him out. However the building destabilizes and collapses with Luffy still inside. Everyone looks on stunned, wondering who won until Luffy rises from the rubble, yelling out the iconic line...

Nami tearfully agrees and the villagers celebrate their liberation. However Nezumi arrives claiming all the money from the island as his own. But the Straw Hat beat him up for trying to spoil the proceedings with Nami getting the last blow for his earlier actions. After being forced to give back the money and help rebuild the island, Nezumi runs off, vowing revenge. He instantly reports about Luffy to Marine HQ and demands a bounty be put on his head.

Meanwhile, the island parties which lasts for three days. Zoro gets his wounds bandaged as does Nami though she requests a new tattoo of her own design. Sanji flirts with the females of the island while Usopp tells his tall tales to a captive audience. Luffy, while wandering around trying to find food, stumbles upon the grave of Belle-mere with Genzo visiting. He makes Luffy promise that he won't ever make Nami cry or else, which Luffy agrees too. Soon it becomes time for the Straw Hats to leave. Johnny and Yosaku bid the crew farewell and take their leave and Merry starts to shove off. Though oddly Nami isn't on board. She suddenly rushes for the port, running by all the confused villagers who try to say their goodbyes to her before she jumps to Merry.

She then pulls up her shirt to reveal she had pick-pocketed all of their wallets much to the anger and disbelief of the villagers. Despite that, they all wish Nami well as she and the Straw Hats leave Cocoyashi. As Nojiko and Genzo watch the crew go, the former realizes he doesn't have his pinwheel on his hat. We get a brief flashback of when he Nami was a baby and that Genzo would unintentionally scare her with his rough appearance. So he put a pinwheel on his head to make Nami happy and did so through her childhood. In the present, Genzo states he doesn't need it anymore and we see that he has put it on Belle-mere's grave as Merry sails off into the distance.

Arlong Arc has the following tropes

  • A Father to His Men: A nice change from his villain predecessors, as Arlong considers his crewmates his "brothers". However, only on this instance is he better, and is generally considered to be one of the most monstrous villains in the series.
  • All for Nothing: The eight years of suffering Cocoyashi Village endured without fighting back while waiting for Nami to collect the 100 Million Berries becomes this when Nezumi confiscates her money, driving the villagers to finally decide to fight back against the fishmen.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Given the hell Arlong put the island through, it's natural this is their reaction to Luffy finally defeating Arlong.
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  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Kuroobi. The guy's name means "black belt".
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Slimy, corrupt Captain Nezumi of the Marines looks like a humanoid rat.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Mohmoo, Arlong's pet sea cow.
  • Badass Crew: This was arguably the event that turned the Straw Hats from a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits into the tight-knit True Companions that they are today.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: One of Hachi's techniques does this with all three pairs of arms. When he tries it on Zoro, he misses all three times.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: After throwing Luffy into the water, Arlong claims its a game to beat his crew and get him back. With him fully expecting his crew to beat the Straw Hats. The Straw Hats wind up proving him wrong.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted, as Nami's response to hearing the villagers take up their arms against Arlong is to stab the tattoo of the Arlong Pirates on her right arm furiously, temporarily leaving a nasty scar there. Said scar gets covered by her new tattoo afterwards.
  • Berserk Button: Hilariously averted when Zoro cuts Hatchan's hair and he decides to forgive Zoro because it's just hair.
    • Played straight with Luffy. Don't make his navigator cry.
  • Big Bad: Arlong.
  • Blow You Away/Razor Wind: This is first time Zoro uses his 'Three Swords Style: Tatsumaki' technique. And Hatchan becomes the unlucky test subject.
  • Blown Across the Room: Kuroobi gets kicked by Sanji through one end of Arlong Park and out the other end. Arlong gets slammed though several floors of the building by Luffy which ultimately defeats him.
  • Broken Bird: The audience realises that Nami has been this all along for eight years.
  • BFS: Arlong's 'Kiribachi' sword, which he uses against Luffy.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Arlong kills Bellemere in the manga.
    • Bowdlerise: Changed to getting shot in the chest in the anime, not that that lessened the impact any. In the 4Kids version, this was changed to her simply being thrown into a dungeon and supposedly starving to death.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: What Nami tries to do with Luffy as she both doesn't want to see him and the crew get hurt and that she's close to paying off the debt to pay back Cocoyashi. It doesn't work.
  • Break the Cutie: Nami really gets put through the emotional ringer in this arc. It's powerful because it's the first time she's seen as vulnerable.
  • Breaking Speech: Arlong loves this, he does many times to Nami: Firstly Arlong says Nami can betray anyone even her parents in front of her (Mind you, he did it), later threaten Nami that he can kill everyone in her village if she escape. Even in battle, he do this to show her how pointless it is to fight him:
    "In the eight years you've been with many times did you try to kill me? Assassins...poisons...ambushes... And the result!? I'm still here, ain't I?! You, of all people, should know that no mere human can kill me! Now listen. I'm not going to kill you... But I won't let you go! You're going to be my little cartographer forever. But I'm a reasonable fish-man! I don't want to hold a young girl against her will. I'd prefer that you keep working for me of your own free will. Now, I'm about to kill every human here...except for you. However...if you're willing to rejoin my crew...and agree to be an officer and draw ocean charts...I'm willing to spare the people of Coco Village. ( Kicks at Zoro and Sanji) But these two die, of course. They've caused me too much trouble. So what's it gonna be? Come back to me now and save your beloved villagers...or stick with these weaklings and try to fight me together!! But if you look at the shape these two are can see what a tragic mistake that would be!! Well, Nami!!? Are you my shipmate...or theirs?
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: The earliest instance series. Nami ditches the Straw Hats and claims she was working for Arlong the whole time. While this might have been true at first, she had begun to genuinely enjoy her time with them, and underneath her cruel facade, she was actually heartbroken after betraying them. Luffy later sees Nami totally heartbroken because her hatred of Arlong gang, he unite his crew to fight them. After Straw Hats win, Nami finally admits that she's one of them.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: After enduring eight years under Arlong's rule during which none of the Marines could aid them, due in part to the Arlong Pirates' blockade and the Marines being more focused on the Grand Line, a Marine ship finally reaches Cocoyashi Village. However, instead of arresting Arlong, the Marines go after Nami and confiscate her money, which makes the village's situation even worse.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Easily the darkest and most serious arc in the series up till now.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Initially played straight with Nami's greed and distrust of pirates. In this arc, we find out her hometown was taken over by pirates and she struck a deal with the leader to buy back the town from him if she gathered enough money. Ultimately subverted, when this arc was over, Nami is still obsessed with money and treasure.
    • Even in the flashback to Nami's past, she was stealing things before Arlong showed up. It likely has more to do with her poor background.
  • Cement Shoes: Luffy unintentionally gives himself one during the battle which Arlong uses to try and drown him.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Johnny and Yosaku talk about the Seven Warlords of the Sea; a group which Mihawk is a part of, and mentions Arlong's old boss, Jimbei, who's formally introduced in the Impel Down Arc
    • Hatchan mentions that he's the second strongest swordsman in all of Fishman Island. We see the No. 1 strongest all the way in the Fishman Island Arc
  • Comically Missing the Point: While taking a walk through Cocoyashi Village, Luffy witnesses Genzo talking with group of Marines about Nami. Luffy...wonders why Genzo has a pinwheel on his hat.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Arlong is responsible for, essentially, making Nami into the exceptional thief she is today (she's always been somewhat of a pickpocket when she was younger though). There's also that tattoo he put on her. Though she had it changed afterwards...
  • Covered with Scars: Genzo, ever since Kuroobi chopped him up for getting in Arlong's way eight years ago.
  • Cowardly Lion: Usopp has his first real fight during this arc, and he almost gives in to his cowardice and plays dead before standing back up to challenge Choo.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Nojiko and Genzo have to take turns doing CPR on Luffy underwater, while his head is stretched out of the pool. The 'clean and pretty' part is likely justified due to Luffy having rubber for ribs and lungs.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Zoro vs Arlong's Fishmen. Result, the Fishmen don't stand a chance. Also Luffy vs. Mohmoo twice, the second time Luffy sends Mohmoo flying away from the park.
  • Destroy the Abusive Home: Luffy does this for Nami in the arc's end.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Luffy's pinwheel attack that, while taking out a majority of Arlong's forces, leaves him stuck in the ground and vulnerable against Arlong.
  • Dirty Cop: One of Arlong's first scenes is him paying off a Marine Captain. This is later implied to be a regular occurrence.
  • Drop the Hammer: Usopp achieves his first victory by doing this repeatedly to Choo.
  • Exact Words: Arlong told Nami that if she can pay off their agreed sum, he'd free the village. While he doesn't lie per se, he uses some underhanded means to ensure that the money Nami gain will be taken from her, leaving her stuck in his employ.
  • Face of a Thug: Cocoyashi Village's sheriff/mayor Genzo has a built-in Kubrick Stare, and would scare the infant Nami whenever he so much as looked at her. So he put his iconic pinwheel in his hat to cheer her up.
  • Face Palm: Zoro has multiple, but the most notable is his reaction to Luffy's feet being stuck in the concrete.
  • Fantastic Racism: Arlong and many (if not all) members of his crew towards humans. Though later we learn why...
  • Faux Affably Evil: Arlong seems like a nice guy... if not for his short temper, violent rampages, casual racism, and the fact he effectively enslaved a girl to draw maps for him until her hands bled.
  • Fish People: The Arlong Pirates.
  • Flat "What": Sanji's reaction to the revelation that Luffy is stuck in concrete and can't move.
  • Foreshadowing: The fact that Arlong has habit of paying off Marines is the first major sign of the corruption in the organization and the World Government as a whole.
  • Furry Reminder: The Fishmen, with their super-strength and ability to breath underwater, are terribly difficult foes, especially if you take them on underwater. But Fishmen don't use lungs underwater, they use their gills. And what happens to a fish when you force oxygen through its gills?
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Arlong. The guy nearly wrecks Arlong Park over Usopp firing gunpowder.
  • Happily Adopted: Bellemere takes in Nami and Nojiko.
  • Holding Out for a Hero: The people of Cocoyashi Village chose to do this instead of fighting back once Arlong set up base, partly out of concern for Nami. Once Arlong goes back on his word with Nami, they decide they've got nothing to lose and decide to fight and die with dignity, but Johnny and Yosaku convince them to hold true to this a little longer so the Straw Hats can come in and beat the fishmen.
  • Hope Spot: The islanders manage to get a distress call out to the Marines to save them. But Arlong and his crew easily sink them.
    • Nami, meanwhile, thinks she's only one heist from raising the money to buy the village. Before she can leave, corrupt sailors on Arlong's payroll show up to take her stash!
  • Fishman Shield: Luffy uses one to defend himself from Arlong. Arlong doesn't take this well...
  • I Can't Do This by Myself: In response of Arlong's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Luffy admit that he can't even live without his True Companions because he has no skills the other crewmates has. Arlong laugh at this, ask if Luffy, the captain without any pride, can do anything. Luffy just simply answer that he can kick his ass.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: A non-verbal one in which Zoro throws himself into the pool to see if Nami is as cold-blooded as Arlong says.
  • Jerkass Realization: Usopp's fight with Choo sees him realise how badly his Dirty Coward behaviour looks in comparison to the struggles of everyone else, and resolves to fight.
  • La Résistance: A low key one that Genzo had been keeping at bay for the sake of Nami. However when Arlong betrays her, all bets are off.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Some people of Gosa Village (The last town Arlong destroyed) managed to send a distress call to the Government for a rescue. However, Commodore Purinpurin decided that instead of evacuating the people, his time would be better spent fighting Arlong. The first cannonball he fired at Arlong Park was chewed to bits by Arlong himself, while Hatchan, Choo, and Kuroobi personally sank his ship with a man-made maelstrom.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Arlong. Especially underwater. Choo and Kuroobi are likewise pretty fast.
  • Loan Shark: Arlong is a literal example.
  • Loophole Abuse: Arlong does this to ensure that Nami will be his navigator forever.
  • Loyalty Mission: The whole arc is Nami-centered, which provides her backstory and problems of her hometown. After Straw Hats free her hometown from Arlong, she truly becomes one of the True Companions.
  • Making a Splash: Arlong and Choo come to mind.
  • Mama Bear: Bellemere would give up her life for her children than rather deny their existence.
    • That said, she also had a pragmatic reason for doing it; she knew that any attempts to smuggle Nami and Nojiko off the island were pointless, since the fishmen must have sank every ship on the island already.
  • Merciful Minion: Nami pretends to stab Usopp, while really stabbing her own hand, to save him from Arlong.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Hachi teeters on this. Perhaps due to being the spaciest of Arlong's three officers, he's the most pleasant toward humans and only lost it when he saw that Zoro had beaten up all the other fishmen. But he's also a terror in battle, and didn't exactly have any qualms about Arlong's enslavement of Cocoyashi village.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Just harming a fishman in any way will get Arlong angry enough to level an entire village. When Usopp snipes Arlong at one point, the shark brings a building down and has to be dragged back to Arlong Park by his crew so he doesn't destroy Cocoyashi in his rage.
  • Moral Myopia: Arlong is a racist who crossed the Moral Event Horizon by killing Nami's mother and treating Nami horribly for years. But he treats his own men like his family and called Luffy a coward when the latter used Arlong's True Companions as a shield.
  • Mr. Exposition: Unlike later side-characters who usually have at least one defining quirk, Johnny and Yosaku pretty much exist solely to explain things to the Straw Hats (and by extension, the audience) and later hype them for their showdown with Arlong's crew.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Hatchan. The sextuple-wielding Octopus Fishman swordsman.
  • Now, That's Using Your Teeth!: Arlong, a shark-type fishman, has teeth and jaws that can bite through cannonballs with no issue. And they immediately grow back whenever they break.
    • Luffy actually tries biting Arlong back a few times, but since his teeth and jaws aren't nearly as tough, all it does is annoy Arlong.
  • Oh, Crap!: Arlong has a minor one when he realizes Zoro beat Hachi and caused him so much trouble...all the while suffering from a wound that would kill a normal person.
  • Power Walk: One of the most iconic moments of the series, when the Straw Hats walk towards Arlong Park (see Badass Crew)
  • Rage Breaking Point: Two are reached in quick succession:
    • For the villagers, Nojiko being shot in the shoulder by Nezumi. This makes the villagers too angry with Arlong and his rule to stand for it anymore, and they decide to fight back and liberate their island or die trying.
    • For Nami, the aforementioned rebellion, as she knows the villagers would stand no chance against Arlong. This causes her to snap and stab her tattoo repeatedly while screaming Arlong's name, until Luffy stops her and she breaks down in tears.
  • Red Baron: Arlong "The Saw". The world starts to hear about "Straw Hat Luffy" too, when he receives his first bounty.
  • Rescue Arc: The earliest one of series. The Straw Hats fight Arlong for freedom of Nami and her hometown.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In the anime adaptation, when Arlong makes his We Can Rule Together speech to Nami, the episode repeatedly cuts to a shot of butterfly stuck in a spider web. At the exact moment that Nami tells Arlong to screw off, the butterfly pulls itself free, right before the spider can grab it. And just to really hammer it home, that same butterfly later lands on Nami's head.
  • Shouldn't You Stop Stealing?: So Arlong, the guy responsible for Nami's terrible childhood, and forced her to steal to free her village and survive, has finally been toppled! The village is free! And now Nami wants to travel alongside her saviours: The Straw Hat Pirates! Hoora- Wait! Where's my wallet?! That little-! No, Nami hasn't changed in the slightest...
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Even using the most charitable interpretation, Sanji was holding his breath in Arlong Park's harbor for at least four or five minutes, and most of that time was spent getting the tar kicked out of him by Kuroobi. By the end of it all, he still has enough air left to blow into Kuroobi's gills, forcing Kuroobi to surface.
    • Even Luffy, whose status as a Devil Fruit user means he should have Super Drowning Skills, was able to stay alive an awful long time underwater (albeit unconscious) before Nojiko and Genzo tugged his head above-surface.
  • Super Spit: The specialty of Choo, the Arlong Park officer who faces Usopp. How fitting for an archerfish-type fishman...
  • Tattooed Crook: All of the Arlong Pirates. Even Nami. Many of them have another sun-shaped tattoo which later becomes a plot point in the Sabaody Archipelago Arc which has its history fleshed out even more in the Amazon Lily and Fishman Island Arcs.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Arlong plays it straight by giving them to humans, but Luffy inverts it by explaining why he sucks, and why he needs his crewmates to help him become Pirate King.
  • Token Good Teammate: Hatchan is the least cruel out of Arlong's pirates.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Luffy and Arlong's fight moved to the cartography room, Luffy realized just how much Nami had suffered, and entered this mode. The exact moment can even be pinned, as Luffy's hand noticeably twitched when Arlong said no one could use Nami as well as he does.
  • True Companions: Luffy's value in this trope is mirrored by Arlong's. The difference lies in how they treat Nami: Luffy respects her as a person, and without question, went to stop whatever it was that upset her; however, Arlong, while he highly values her and calls her this, actually considers her a something akin to a Team Pet, or worse, a tool. And because of his Fantastic Racism, he never really respected her as a person, and thought appealing to her materialism would keep her happy and loyal. So Arlong's belief is limited by his bigotry.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Arlong's temper is the stuff of legend, having almost flipped over his own 'Arlong Park' base, and later doing severe damage to it with a BFS in the climax of his fight with Luffy. Sanji compared him to a enraged Sea King.
  • War Is Hell: Alluded to in Nami's backstory.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss/Knight of Cerebus: Arlong was the greatest villain that Luffy had faced in the East Blue, and was the first that was a physical challenge to him. Luffy came close to death (or being seriously maimed) several times while fighting Arlong.
    • This is also the arc that gives Luffy his first bounty of 30,000,000 Beri.
  • We Can Rule Together: Arlong isn't quite this generous, but his "surrender to me and rejoin my crew" speech to Nami has shades of this.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Defied. Zoro fights Hatchan with the former still suffering from the wound Mihawk gave him (it even re-opens as Arlong finds out) and he runs a fever. He manages to win regardless. This trope is played straight with Zoro vs. Arlong fight. Arlong has a minor Oh, Crap! when he realizes this was the case and that Zoro gave his men so much trouble with injuries that would've likely killed any normal person.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: A much darker variation, as Arlong goes into one of his racist tirades against humans, Nami tells him she's heard it before and Arlong apologizes, making an exception for her saying she couldn't help what species she was. He also continuously stated that Nami's navigation skills made her a genius, and said she's the one human he values most.

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