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Recap / One Piece Punk Hazard Arc

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The crew finally reach the New World, the second half of the Grand Line where they intercept a distress call that directs them to an island of fire. Meanwhile, Smoker and Tashigi, having both grown stronger in the New World, intercept the call and follow them. But it turns out there's more secrets to the island than let on.

Main Summary

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The straw hats intercept a distress call from Kin'emon, a samurai from Wano Country who lost his son Momonosuke on the island of Punk Hazard, which is half ice and half fire. Smoker and Tashigi follow, and Law is already there. The island is the base of Caesar Clown, a scientist who formerly worked with Dr. Vegapunk, but now works under Joker/Donquixote Doflamingo to produce a substance needed to make SMIL Es, which are artificial devil fruits.

Luffy finds Momonosuke, who ate an artificial devil fruit and turned into a miniature pink eastern dragon, and his crew finds a group of gigantic children, who Caesar has experimented on. The experiments have involved addicting them to drugs, and shortening their lifespans considerably. Needless to say, anyone who finds this out ain't happy.

Smoker is absolutely furious that Caesar is doing this with the tacit approval of the navy, and helps Law defeat Caesar's marine ally, Vice-Admiral Vergo. He and Tashigi assist in evacuating the facility when Caesar loses it and unleashes a poison gas that petrifies anyone caught in it. Caeser's breakdown gets even worse when Luffy finds him and embosses his fist on Caesar's face.

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Doflamingo and his allies show up to help out, but their efforts are ultimately in vain. Law and Luffy get away with Caesar kidnapped (Law's ultimate goal in being on the island), and the children freed.


Punk Hazard Arc has the following tropes

  • Adult Fear: Your children have mysteriously disappeared and the government is actually covering up their kidnapping.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Once all parties make it into the base, Caesar systematically either destroys the walls of the surrounding labs buildings or open the gates to let the killer gas in and forcing the groups to continue forward or be caught in it.
  • And Show It to You / Beat Still, My Heart: Law gained the position of Warlord when he delivered the hearts of 100 pirates to the marines. Smoker also winds up suffering from this power.
    • Ironically Law also suffers from this as he had made a deal with Caesar to pull out his own heart while holding Monet's in order to stay on the island.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Caesar's slime monster. It ate the Sara Sara no Mi: Model Axolotl, and then, after eating a candy provided by Caesar, it became a gas.
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  • Bad Boss / Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Caesar doesn't give two licks about the people under his command. While he acts all nice and concerned for their well-being, Caesar would sooner throw them to the the wolves the first opportunity he gets.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Momonosuke, who ate a SMILE (artificial Zoan-type Devil Fruit) without knowing what it was—which turned him into a small dragon—and now has trouble controlling his transformations between his human and dragon forms.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Caesar Clown and Vice-Admiral Vergo, together, act as the plot-shaking villains of this arc. Caesar is the more visible of the two, the one that largely got it all moving to begin with, and of course, the one that abducts and experiments on children. Vergo is the one that covers up Caesar's child abductions for his experiments and as Doflamingo's longest serving crew mate he's definitely higher in the pecking order than Caesar, not to mention being much more powerful.
    • The Man Behind the Man: Donquixote Doflamingo, who Vergo serves under and Caesar works with.
    • Big Bad Wannabe: It becomes increasingly clear that Caesar, despite being the Big Bad of the arc, is actually the weakest of the three antagonists (him, Monet, and Vergo). Then, when he realized that he didn't stand a chance against Luffy, he tried to play the small fish card. All of this serves to show that not only is Caesar weak, he's also out of touch — anyone who knows shit about Luffy these days knows he'd take on the entire WORLD if it came to that.
    • Greater-Scope Villain: Kaido, one of the Four Emperors, is only very vaguely alluded to as Doflamingo's business partner, and the ultimate goal for Law's plan and the pirate alliance.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Brook finds Luffy and Robin (both barely conscious thanks to being in water), Usopp (carrying both of them), and Zoro (being drowned by a shark) in time to save them from being shot/bombed to death by Brownbeard's men, tampering with their guns and cannons long enough for the other four to get out of the water.
    • Aokiji/Kuzan showing up to save Smoker from Doflamingo.
  • Call-Back: Half of the Straw Hats, Law, Smoker and Tashigi are captured behind a Seastone prison, just like back in the Alabasta arc. Robin even notices how nostalgic it was (even though previously she was on the other side of the cage).
  • Chekhov's Gun: The gigantic children that are part of Caesar's experiments later turn out to be this. In Totto Land Arc, Big Mom requested Caesar to make body-growing potions so she can enlarge her family's body sizes to be the same as her. Caesar notes (to himself) that said potions are faulty and comes with issues of the drinker going insane without drug candies, and their lifespan will become short.
  • The Chessmaster: Trafalgar Law. In spades.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once Luffy started taking Caesar seriously, the man stood no chance against him. Which makes sense, seeing as of the three main villains of the arc, Caesar, despite being the Big Bad, is actually the weakest of them.
    • Law handed a very satisfying one to Vergo in Chapter 690.
  • The Dragon: Vice-Admiral Vergo to Doflamingo and Monet to Caesar.
  • Elemental Powers: This arc introduces Snow (not ice; that's another guy) and Gas as Logia powers.
  • Enemy Mine: In order to stop Caesar and Vergo, Luffy, Smoker and Law decide to work together. Law released Smoker on the account that he forget about him and Joker, while Luffy had allied himself with Law earlier on to help take down one of the Four Emperors. Smoker was notably pissed off about having to ally with Luffy and Law.
    • Also, Kidd, Apoo and Hawkins are (somewhat) willing to discuss the possibilities of making an alliance. By the end of the arc, their alliance is official.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Law sent one hundred hearts to the World Government to become a Warlord of the Sea, is extremely cruel to his enemies, and has a pretty nasty reputation, even among pirates. Yet even he was disgusted when he found out that Caesar Clown had been drugging kids to keep them on the island, so much so that he quit working with him on the spot.
  • A Father to His Men: Brownbeard cares very much for his underlings. Thus, once it is revealed to him that Caesar is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, he immediately pulls a Heel–Face Turn and helps Nami (stuck in Sanji's body) and Usopp, and later on Zoro, Brook, Sanji (stuck in Nami's body), and Kin'emon get to the laboratory to stop Caesar and save his men.
    • Smoker. It's made even more obvious in this arc.
  • Forbidden Zone: Punk Hazard to both pirates and Marines. Getting on shore is tough enough as one has to transverse the lake of fire. Coming in through the ice side is no picnic either.
  • Foreshadowing: In Chapter 696, Momonosuke's introduction upon regaining his human form lacks the style of those of the other samurai. It wouldn't be until the Zou Arc where his true nature as the heir of the royal Kozuki family is revealed in Chapter 817, upon then he gets a second, more fitting introduction.
    • Law tells Luffy that the only way to survive in New World is to either ally oneself to an Emperor, or become one, noting as well that Luffy isn't one to serve others. After the Whole Cake Island Arc, Luffy becomes the fifth Emperor. And, since Law formed an alliance with Luffy, the statement turns out true for himself as well.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Law uses his powers to switch some of the Straw Hats around. Smoker and Tashigi also suffer from this.
  • Government Conspiracy: Kids being kidnapped off of ships to be used for Caesar's experiments and someone in the Marines is keeping it a secret.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • Trafalgar Law returns! And forms an alliance with the Straw Hats! Not only does he work together with them throughout much of the arc, he also leaves with them at the end as they prepare for the next step of his plan.
    • Also "Foxfire" Kin'emon and his son Momonosuke, whom the Straw Hats agree to return to their homeland of Wano Country.
  • Hail Fire Peaks: What was initially thought to be an island of fire turns out to be both fire AND ice due to the island being the spot where Akainu and Aokiji fought for the position of fleet admiral. Their powers wound up changing the whole climate of the island which is still in effect after two years.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Due to the fact that there anywhere from four to five swordsmen (including Tashigi) in this arc, plus Law, who is capable of this without killing the target, there was a lot of this going around. Victims include: Kin'emon (who was split into thirds), Tashigi, Scotch, Monet, and Vergo. Only Monet wasn't a victim of Law's devil fruit, and the only reason she survived was because she is a logia and Zoro didn't put any Haki into his attack. She is also the only vertical example of this.
    • Also Buffalo and Baby 5. Damn it, Law, calm the fuck down.
  • Harping on About Harpies: Monet.
  • I Let You Win: It's heavily implied that this was the case for Smoker in his duel with Vergo, in order for Smoker to return Law's heart to him and thus no longer be in his debt for saving him earlier.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: After getting his body back, Kin'emon first action is to cut an explosion after one of the slimes explode. Needless to say, both Zoro and Brook are impressed.
  • Jumping on a Grenade: Mocha, one of the giant sized kids Caesar experimented on but didn't lose her senses from withdrawal like the others, found out about the danger the candy was to herself and her friends and teamed up with Chopper. In order to keep the other kids from stealing it back from her and endangering their lives further she eats all of it herself.
  • Karma Houdini: Caesar tries to invoke this by saying that he's protected by Donflamingo and Kaido, but unfortunately for him he's trying to pull this on Luffy.
  • Killed Off for Real: Monet and Vergo. The latter in particular is later explicitly stated to have died.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Once he sees that Aokiji won't stand by and let him kill Smoker, Doflamingo wisely retreats.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: When Kin'emon thinks that the dragon he beat up earlier might have been Momonosuke, he charges back into the Deadly Gas to go find him, despite Brook pleading for him to stop. Needless to say, he ends up petrified, although luckily he gets better later.
  • Mad Scientist: Caesar Clown.
  • Mama Bear: Nami's maternal instincts come forth as she risks all to protect the children kidnapped by Caesar.
  • Man Behind the Man: "Joker" is really Doflamingo working under an alias.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Sanji when occupying Nami's body.
  • The Mole: Vergo is revealed to be a mole planted in G-5 by Doflamingo to divert attention from Caesar's kidnappings. Monet likewise was planted to keep an eye on Caesar.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Caesar unknowingly saves everyone on the island when he stabs what he thinks is Smoker's heart. Law had actually switched it with Monet's, meaning that he killed his own subordinate. And not only that, he did it just as she was about to press the island's self-destruct button on Doflamingo's orders.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Vergo to Law when the former still has the latter's heart. Vergo painfully squeezes the heart several times to incapacitate Law, then beats the shit out of him while he can't move. Thankfully, it doesn't last too long, since Smoker shows up to battle Vergo.
    • At the end of the arc, Doflamingo to Smoker. The battle itself is offscreen, but cuts back to Doflamingo pinning down a blood-covered and horribly injured Smoker and preparing to kill him. Luckily, Aokiji/Kuzan shows up in time to save him.
  • Power Incontinence: Momonosuke, as the consequence of eating one of Vegapunk's failed artificial Zoan fruits. He turns into a dragon, but an extremely small and goofy-looking one with absolutely no idea how to harness any of his powers (he makes clouds to walk on once, but he was unaware of what he was doing at the time). He didn't even know that Zoans could transform back to their human forms, or to a hybrid.
  • Power Perversion Potential: By Law, albeit unintentionally. Sanji was not particularly upset to be put into Nami's body.
  • The Reveal: "Joker" is actually Doflamingo working under an alias, and that Law used to be an underling of his.
    • Though it was somewhat foreshadowed, Law being a Warlord of the Sea was this for many.
    • Also, at the very end of the arc, the fact that Doflamingo has somehow acquired Ace's Flame-Flame Fruit.
  • Sadistic Choice: In one of the last chapters of the arc, Law gives one to Doflamingo, after taking Caesar hostage. Either resign from the Seven Warlords of the Sea and get Caesar back, or keep the position but lose Caesar in the process. If he takes the former, he'll get Caesar back but the Marines will have him hunted down by the Admirals. If he takes the latter, he'll be unable to provide SMILEs and in the process piss off his most important business partner: Kaido of the Four Emperors. No matter what option he takes, he's pretty much screwed.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Caesar's Breaking Speech to Luffy only serves as an indication of how much of a Small Name, Big Ego he is and that he is really out of touch. He claims that Luffy is a small fish and asks him if he was willing to take on the big names backing up his ego: one of the Four Emperors, and the Warlord of the Sea Donquixote Doflamingo. This is the same Luffy who punched out a World Noble and essentially declared war on the World Government for Robin. Anyone who knew anything about Luffy would know that he just doesn't care about silly things like connections or consequences when he thinks someone really needs a beatdown. And Caesar "does-ultimately-fatal-experiments-on-children" Clown is all the way at the top of that list.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Caesar. He's got a lot of big names backing up his ego, but the truth of the matter is that he's a weakling. Once Luffy bothered to take him seriously in a fight, he was getting tossed around like a chump and tried to play the small fish card. This ended about as well for him as it did for the other people who tried to threaten Luffy like that (in other words, he gets his ass kicked into next week).
  • Spanner in the Works: Luffy, as always. In fact, the three strongest of the protagonists of this arc (Luffy, Law, and Smoker), and their respective crews, allies, and subordinates are all this. Thanks to a timely distress call, Luffy and co. ended up going to Punk Hazard. Smoker, still obsessed with chasing after Luffy, orders the men and Tashigi to follow them. Then, at the island, thanks to Law hearing news of their arrival, decided to finally turn on Doflamingo. What was once a highly secret operation that involved producing faux-devil fruits and a major WMD for Doflamingo is now in complete ruins, with the scientist responsible half-way dead and two of his most reliable subordinates on the verge of or already dead. All just because some samurai ran off to the island to find his kid, which caused the aforementioned distress call.
    • And now, Doflamingo's given a Sadistic Choice of resigning his position as a Warlord and risking the wrath of the Admirals, or keeping the position and risking the wrath of Kaido, one of the Four Emperors. All just because one of the kids kidnapped just happened to be the son of a samurai from Wano Country that went apeshit trying to find him. That is one hell of a Spanner in the Works.
  • The Starscream: Law was under the service of Doflamingo, but betrayed him at some point, deciding to steal the SAD tankers from him, preventing him from creating more Smile Devil Fruits. Not to mention he plans to head to Dressrosa with the Straw Hats, to destroy the Smile factory located there.
  • Taken for Granite: Smiley causes this, after changing back into gas because of a bait Clown fed him.
  • Tranquil Fury: Luffy, when confronting Caesar. He's quiet and calm, but he introduces himself with a Gear 3 attack and it's obvious he's furious with Caesar for hurting children.
  • Undying Loyalty: Monet is totally willing to destroy the island for Doflamingo, even knowing that it will kill her too.
  • Unfriendly Fire: Monet dies when Caesar stabs her removed heart, thinking that it was Smoker's.
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: After finally getting her body back from Sanji, Nami quickly realizes that she's not wearing the same jacket as before (Kin'emon's clothing disappears once removed) and clobbers Sanji for presumably taking yet another opportunity to ogle her while they were apart. While Sanji had certainly given her plenty of precedent to come to that conclusion, he had actually discarded the previous jacket to salvage Kin'emon's torso from underwater.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Caesar loses it spectacularly when Luffy embeds his fist in Caesar's face. He stops even trying to look like a good boss and desperately keeps trying to play the 'I have allies' card even when it's clear that Luffy doesn't care.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Vice Admiral Vergo is someone with a high status and well-respected in their position. Not to mention the G-5 Marines adore him.
  • Warm-Up Bosses: Baby 5 and Buffalo. Together, they even give General Franky a bit of trouble, but Nami and Usopp take them down easily.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Caesar is said to specialize in this. Considering his powers deal in poison gases and his most major creation is a huge slime monster, it's pretty much confirmed at this point.
  • Wham Episode: Trafalgar Law returns having become a Warlord of the Sea, Punk Hazard is revealed to be the location of Akainu and Aokiji's fight, Law and Luffy form an unprecedented pirate alliance, Law is revealed to be a former subordinate of Doflamingo, The SAD Ceasar Clown produces happens to be used by Doflamingo to make SMILE artificial Zoan type Devil Fruits for one of the Four Emperors, Kaido is revealed to be the target of Luffy and Law's alliance, and Aokiji returns to save Smoker from Doflamingo. Truly a Wham Arc for the ages. Well, until later arcs inevitably surpass it, because this is One Piece.
  • Wham Line: "I'm coming there now." for Doflamingo.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Kin'emon has the devil fruit ability to... summon clothes. It doesn't actually slow him down any because he's a Badass Normal anyway, but it bears noting.
  • Wild Card: Law. Despite what happened at Marineford, he became a Warlord. Then he allied himself with Caesar. Then he's willing to ditch both in order to ally with Luffy to take down one of the Four Emperors. One can never predict what this guy is going to do next.
  • The Worf Effect: Smoker gets hit with it rather badly throughout the arc. First he was beaten by Law (which gets a pass because he's a Warlord of the Sea). Then it was Vergo (though it was heavily implied that he could've beaten him and lost only to get out of debt to Law). Then he suffered a severe No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at the hands of Doflamingo....
  • Worf Had the Flu: ...However, the above was after he had an extremely even fight with Vergo, so chances are Smoker wasn't at full strength when he had to deal with a very angry Doflamingo.
    • This was also the case for round one of Law vs. Vergo; Vergo easily defeated Law, but only because he still had Law's heart and was repeatedly squeezing it in order to immobilize him with pain. Once Smoker gets him his heart back, Law takes Vergo down in one move.
  • Worthy Opponent: Luffy and Smoker, finally meeting again after two years, prove they still see each other as this. Smoker willing enters a banned island for all government agents in the New World just to catch Luffy, while Luffy refuses to fight Smoker while he's stuck in Tashigi's body, desiring to have their rematch when he's at full strength.
  • Would Perform Experiments on a Child: Caesar, who's using the kidnapped children for his experiments which so far have caused them grow giant sized. What's more is that he's keeping them sedated by feeding them candy made from a highly addictive drug. If the kids go too long without it, they go into violent withdrawals which cause them to hallucinate and attack anyone on sight, too much at once or prolonged exposure is going be fatal.
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