It's time for the Straw Hat to enter the Grand Line. But before they do, they decide to make one last stop to re-supply. The town they stop at is called Loguetown and is also known as the town of the beginning and the end, for it is here where the Pirate King Gold Roger was born and where he was executed. The Straw Hats split up, each with their own agenda; Nami is going clothes shopping, Zoro is looking for new swords, having borrowed money from Nami (At a 300% interest rate, according to her), Usopp is looking for new tools, and Sanji needs to buy more food. Luffy wants to go see the execution grounds where Roger's life ended, and where the Great Pirate Era began.
Zoro is looking for a shop when he sees a pair of toughs accost a young lady. The lady turns out to be skilled at swordplay and defeats them both. Even more shocking is that, without her glasses, this girl looks like Kuina! At a store run by a Ippon-Matsu, Zoro tries finding a pair of swords. Matsu, though happy to have a customer, is disappointed to learn that Zoro only has 100 thousand berries to his name. Seeing Zoro's remaining sword, though, Ippon-Matsu goes into a cold sweat. Examining the sword with Zoro's permission, Ippon-Matsu struggles to keep calm as he makes an offer; If Zoro trades his sword to Matsu, Matsu will supply three quailty blades to the Pirate Hunter. Zoro refuses, and as Matsu frantically tries to barter, that lady from before bursts in, excited; Zoro's sword is the Wado Ichimonji, one of the 21 O Wazamono grade swords, and worth 20 million berries! Angry that his scam was exposed, Matsu returns the sword the lady had come to pick up from a polish job. The young lady, named Tashigi, revealed her hopes to take the swords being used by pirates and bounty hunters, unaware that Zoro was once the latter and now the former. She spots a sword and offers it to Zoro, but Matsu refuses to sell it. Zoro knows why; the sword is cursed. Matsu reveals that the sword is the Sandai Kitetsu, and all swords with the Kitetsu name have caused their wielders horrible deaths. Intrigued, Zoro decides to test his luck against the sword's curse; he tosses the blade in the air, but it doesn't strike him coming down. Shocked by this, Matsu quickly gives his store's prize, the Yubashiri, as an apology for trying to cheat him, and allows Zoro to take both swords for free; it's been years since he's met swordsman of Zoro's caliber. With both the Kitetsu and Yubashiri at his side, Zoro departs.
While Nami goes clothes shopping, she notices that a storm is approaching. Sanji buys a giant fish, and notices a beautiful woman walking by. On the execution platform, Luffy marvels at what Roger saw before he died. Just then, the beautiful woman calls out to Luffy, glad to see him again. But Luffy's never seen that woman before. She claims she has, and that he struck her. After asking gathering crowd who is the most beautiful is, the fountain explodes. However, the shrapnel just slides off of the woman's body. A group of cloaked figures appears, calling the woman 'Alvida'. That's right, it's the first pirate Luffy met after leaving his village. After her defeat at Luffy's hands, she ate the Slip-Slip Fruit, and became a woman with super-smoothed out skin—it even changed her appearance. Now she wants Luffy to be 'her man', but first he'll have to defeat someone else first... the cloaked figures reveal themselves to be Buggy and his crew! Cabaji leaps out of nowhere and put Luffy in a stockade. Meanwhile, Mohji and Richie are on their way to burn the Straw Hats' ship. Buggy declares that Luffy's going to have an execution, Grand-Style!
Both Luffy's friends and the CO of the local Marines, Captain Smoker, get wind of what's going on. After meeting up with his sergeant, Tashigi, he decides to surround the execution grounds but not move in until the pirates are tired out from fighting each other. He also has another detachment go out to take down the pirates' ships.
As the clouds darken, the rest of the Straw Hats make their move; while Zoro and Sanji go to rescue Luffy, Nami and Usopp head back to the Merry. As Buggy prepares to chop off Luffy's head, the Straw Hat Pirate makes one bold statement; HE WILL BECOME THE PIRATE KING!! But as the blade closes down on his neck, Luffy can only grin and apologize to his friends for dying.
Then the platform is struck by lightning.
No one is more shocked by this circumstance than Smoker. Not just by Luffy's stroke of luck, but by the fact that he smiled when he thought he was about to die. Another 'dying man' smiled on that platform 20 years ago...Gold Roger! Smoker than realizes that with the storm, not only have his men returned to the base for dry gunpowder, but the wind is blowing so that the Straw Hats will be able to escape faster! It seems like the very fates are helping their voyage! The Marine Captain swears not to let Luffy escape.
- "These things cannot be stopped. An inherited strength of will. One's dreams. The ebb and flow of the ages. As long as people hunger for freedom...these things will exist." -Gold Roger, King of the Pirates
A mysterious, cloaked figure enters Logue Town, commenting on how being a pirate is not a bad idea...
As Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji make their getaway, Buggy recovers. But before he and Alvida can make chase, they and the Buggy Pirates are captured by the Smoke-Smoke Fruit powers of Smoker. At the Going Merry, the storm is preventing Mohji from setting the ship on fire. Usopp and Nami show up, and their appearance causes Mohji to slip and fall unconscious. After distracting Richie with a Fresh Egg Star, Usopp and Nami quickly prepare to set sail.
Elsewhere, the rest of the Straw Hats are confronted by Tashigi, who's furious to find out that the person she helped out sword-shopping is Roronoa Zoro, bounty-hunter-turned-pirate. While Luffy and Sanji escape, Zoro duels her. Disarming her easily, Zoro prepares to leave, but Tashigi demands to know why she wasn't killed. Angry at the assumption that she was spared for being a woman, Tashigi goes on to wish she was a man, which is when Zoro finally loses it. He admits that Tashigi is too similar to Kuina in both appearance and personality, and demands that the Marine sergeant stop being a copycat. This leads to the two of them arguing childishly.
Meanwhile, Luffy and Sanji are confronted by Smoker. Smoker's ability to turn into smoke allows him to avoid their powerful blows, and defeats the two pirates easily. Just before Smoker is about to finish Luffy off, the cloaked figure appears, stopping him. A blast of wind sweeps through the town, freeing the pirates. Smoker demands to know why this man, Dragon, is helping Luffy. Dragon's reply is basically, "Why not?" and leaves. Angry at allowing pirates to escape, Smoker and Tashigi decide to chase after the Straw Hat Pirates into the Grand Line. Meanwhile, Buggy is making a similar pledge, remarking how entering the Grand Line would be "Nostalgic."
Approaching a lighthouse through the storm, the Straw Hats re-pledge their dreams in a make-shift launching ceremony; Sanji's going to find the All Blue. Luffy's going to become the Pirate King. Zoro's going to become the world's strongest swordsman. Nami's going to make a map of the world. And Usopp is going to become a warrior of the sea. The Straw Hats are heading towards the Grand Line!
Logue Town has the following tropes
- A Day in the Limelight: Sanji, Usopp and Zoro get some episodes to themselves in the anime. Only Zoro's episode was in the original manga, Usopp's was cut (see What Could Have Been on the Trivia page).
- Adaptation Expansion: The anime version sees the crew milling around town before Buggy makes his revenge attempt. The race back to the Going Merry was also altered such as Luffy fighting against Smoker alone (in the manga Sanji was with him) and Nami, Usopp and Sanji defending the Going Merry against the Marines.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Initially, Luffy actually does try to talk his way out of being killed by Buggy, though he does it so nonchalantly that you have to wonder whether he's serious:"Sorry. Now please let me go."
- Bait-and-Switch: Smoker is initially framed as if he'll be another villainous Marine, only for his reaction to getting a girls ice-cream on him to instead reveal that he's just a gruff but noble Hero Antagonist.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Smoker, Buggy, and Alvida are all the primary antagonists for this arc. Of those three, only Buggy and Alvida are working together, while Smoker just happens to be head the Marine Base at Logue Town, and makes it his mission to capture any pirate that sets foot on the island.
- Book-Ends: Gold Roger, the Pirate King, was born and executed in the titular city. It's for this reason that Loguetown is known as "The Town of the Beginning and the End".
- Breather Episode: Begins a tradition where, after a major chapter in the Straw Hats journey concludes, they get a more low-key trip that lacks a central villain and is more about Character Development and World Building. These arcs though tend to provide important set-up to later events, introduce characters who become important fixtures in the series and provide some pretty big revelations.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Dragon, who shows up to save Luffy but won't become important again till the Return to Water 7 Arc.
- Cooking Duel: Sanji faces a literal one in the anime adaptation, during his filler episode.
- Cool Bike: Smoker, again. The best part? It runs on him!
- Cowboy Cop: Smoker. We figure that much when in one of his early scenes he says being told what to do is one of his pet peeves.
- Curbstomp Battle: Zoro beats Tashigi quite easily, disarming her without even scratching her person (in the manga, the entire fight took place off-screen).
- Deus ex Machina: As far as we know,note this is how Luffy survived his execution (but not the lightning strike, as he's made of rubber), and escaped Smoker's grasp. On the other hand, both those scenes show the role fate plays in Luffy's journey. Smoker (who witnessed Roger's execution) decides to swear on his career to catch Luffy after seeing the former. Lampshaded by Sanji in the former who asks Zoro if he believes in a God, to which he replies that it's not the time to be asking such questions.
- Divine Intervention: Discussed by Sanji and Zoro when Luffy narrowly survives his execution.
- Establishing Character Moment: See Pet the Dog.
- Foreshadowing: During a cut to Fusha Village, the Chief ends up musing that Luffy becoming a famous pirate may be fate, hinting both towards his parentage, but also The Reveal regarding the Will of D.
- More minor, but also more immediately relevant - Smoker and his squadron are implied to have "special" measures for Devil fruit users, a whole saga before seastone is formally introduced in the Alabasta arc.
- Luffy survives an almost direct lightning strike without a single issue due his rubber body, long before it becomes relevant in the Skypiea arc.
- Gonk: In the anime version, Carmen's assistants Leo and Jose are quite ugly, in stark contrast to their gorgeous and fiery boss. Leo looks like a living chibi, with a stunted but proportional body and a massively disproportionate head (with small, normal-sized facial features that make his head look all the bigger), whilst Jose borders on Facial Horror — initially, he appears to be wearing sunglasses with pronounced forehead wrinkles, but in fact he's a case of Eyes Always Shut; those black circles are his nostrils, with tiny beady eyes sporadically opening directly above them between what look like wrinkles.
- Go Out with a Smile: Luffy cheerfully smiles just as Buggy was about to behead him. Fortunately he survives, but it did not take away from the moment where he and everyone else believed he was going to die.
- Smoker notes how that is the same way that Gold Roger, the previous Pirate King, died: with a smile on his face. That similarity is what sent Smoker chasing after Luffy, having been the first person to realize that if Luffy left Logue Town and gone off to the Grand Line, he would become a major threat - and most likely, the Pirate King.
- Graceful Loser: Carmen in the cooking contest against Sanji. She didn't even bother to wait for the results to be announced before conceding.
- Hero Antagonist: Smoker and Tashigi.
- Identical Stranger: Tashigi to Kuina, Zoro's deceased friend. Not just in appearance, but in her views as well. This understandably sets Zoro off when he defeats her, and lets his feelings towards this trope when he first met her in an emotional rant.
- Idiot Ball: Pretty bad even by Luffy standards, as he pretty much allowed himself to get caught by the Buggy Pirates, and he doesn't realize that he's about to get executed until five minutes after they've explained they've came for revenge.
- Implacable Man: Smoker. Hell, his (second in anime) fight scene with Luffy (and Sanji in the manga) is similar to the T-1000.
- Knight of Cerebus: Downplayed, but Captain Smoker is the first opponent in the series to this point that Luffy genuinely is unable to beat, and who almost manages to defeat Luffy — in the end, it's pure luck and a willingness to run that saves Luffy from being captured and executed. As a result, Smoker becomes the only foe that Luffy is shown genuinely fearing for a time, most notably in how he panics and immediately flees after accidentally running into Smoker in Alabasta.
- Lean and Mean: Alvida, who ate the Slip-Slip Fruit and lost a lot of weight as a side effect, going from a Small Name, Big Ego Fat Bastard to a Nigh Invulnerable World's Most Beautiful Woman.
- Love at First Punch: Alvida is now attracted to Luffy because of the way he defeated her in her first encounter.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Hundreds of chapters later, the story still hasn't confirmed whether the lightning strike that saved Luffy was Divine Intervention (as Sanji speculated), caused by Dragon or someone else, or just pure coincidence.
- Meaningful Name: Marine Captain Smoker. A certifiable badass with two cigars in his mouth, who turns out to have eaten the Plume-Plume Fruit (Moku-Moku no Mi), a Logia type Devil Fruit with the elemental power of Smoke.
- Nigh Invulnerable: The introduction of Logia Devil Fruits through Smoker's Moku Moku no Mi. Even though Luffy would later fight and defeat more powerful elements, he remains unable to lay a finger on Smoker up to the Time Skip because smoke doesn't have an exploitable weakness.
- Not Afraid to Die: Luffy's smile, just as Buggy was about to lop off his head, is the most overt example of his inability to fear death in the entire series. His attitude towards his incoming death was so similar to Gold Roger's final moments that it would be what would drive Smoker to chase after him into the Grand Line.
- Parents as People: In the anime, a filler episode features a flashback duel between two of these — Yasopp (Usopp's father) and the unsubtly-named Daddy "The Father" Masterson.
- Pet the Dog: Smoker's Establishing Character Moment is giving money to a little girl who accidentally spilled ice cream on his pants to buy more ice cream. Amusingly, everything involving Smoker prior to this moment seemed to be setting Smoker up as another selfish and arrogant Marine (like Axe Hand Morgan), as right before he offers the girl money for ice cream, the camera lingers on Smoker (who's framed ominously) long enough to make the audience think that he's going to Kick the Dog instead.
- Rule of Symbolism: Quite a number of these for such a small arc:
- Zoro shows interest in a sword that is believed to be cursed and killed all its previous owners. Zoro tests his luck against the sword's curse by throwing it in the air, and raising his arm to a 90 degree angle to see how it will land. It misses his arm and lands on the floor instead. He then decides to take it. This is another example of an ongoing theme that Zoro is some kind of immortal.
- It is revealed that it rained on Gold Roger's execution, with him smiling during his death, and likewise in Luffy's near execution, it rains while he smiles at his imminent death. And Dragon, the man who saves Luffy, was present for both of them.
- The Straw Hat Pirates begin their journey into the Grand Line by leaving Logue Town. The stories before they came together and their time there prologue their adventures in the Grand Line.
- Likewise, it is also revealed this is Gold Roger's hometown. The prologue and epilogue of the life of the Pirate King.
- Super Smoke: Who else?
- The Worf Effect: Two of Luffy's earlier foes, Buggy and Alvida; get owned by Smoker in the space of five minutes, and Luffy (along with Sanji in the manga) is also Worfed in a similar fashion by the Marine Captain. Yep, this opponent is definitely not like the others.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Smoker. The first Marine to hand Luffy his ass, he had effectively caught him. He's even far stronger than his rank implied, and was bored with the level of pirates that came his way and thought they were overrated. His level of strength got the Straw Hats (apart from Luffy) wary when they were facing a number of them with his rank in a future arc.
- Where It All Began: Loguetown is where it all began for the first Pirate King, and the place where the adventure began again, this time for a new Pirate King.