Main SummaryAfter adding Brook to the crew, the Straw Hats continue on their journey to their next destination: Fishman Island, where they can cross over into the New World. They reach the Red Line, signifying that they've made it halfway around the Grand Line, but cannot find a way to get to the other side, nor to Fishman Island. Luffy, Robin, and Brook try to take the submarine down to see if they can find anything, but are forced to stop after reaching a 5000m depth to keep from being crushed by the pressure. As they return to the surface, they're attacked by a sea king; Luffy easily defeats it, but to everyone's surprise, it spits up a mermaid and a starfish who land on the deck of the Thousand Sunny. The mermaid introduces herself as Camie, and the starfish is her mentor and friend Pappagu. In gratitude for saving them, Camie wants to treat the Straw Hats to takoyaki (fried octopus) from the takoyaki stand where she works. However, when she tries to contact her boss (the owner), whom she calls "Hatchin" (since she adds a "-chin" to the end of everyone's names), she finds, to her dismay, that he has been captured by the Macro Gang, a trio of Fishmen who frequently kidnap Camie and Pappagu to try to sell them into slavery on the black market, where mermaids fetch a very high price. Pappagu explains that Hatchin always rescues them, and normally defeats the Macro gang easily. This time, though, Macro and his men recently teamed up with a much larger and more dangerous group of thugs called the Flying Fish Riders; furthermore, it's likely that Hatchin picked a fight with them under the belief that they had kidnapped Camie again (since they were gone for a while due to being eaten by the sea king), and was captured as a result.
The Straw Hats agree to help Camie and Pappagu rescue Hatchin, though Zoro, Nami, and Sanji are a bit wary of the fact that his name sounds a lot like that of Hatchan/Hachi, one of Arlong's old henchmen. Camie asks the fish in the nearby water to lead them in the direction of Sabaody Archipelago's Grove 44, the same direction as the Flying Fish Riders' hideout. Elsewhere, the leader of the Flying Fish Riders—"Iron Mask" Duval—orders a few of his men to attack the pirate ship that rescued Camie in an effort to retrieve her. However, when they do so and report to Duval that the ship she's on is that of the Straw Hats, Duval orders them to retreat, instead wanting to lure them to the hideout so that he can attack them personally, as he has a grudge against "that man" from the Straw Hat crew. It's then revealed that "Hatchin" is indeed the same Hachi who once fought the Straw Hats as part of Arlong's crew. He is horrified when he realizes that Camie is on board their ship, since he is sure they will want nothing to do with him once they realize who he is due to all of the horrible things he did to Nami.
Once the Thousand Sunny reaches the hideout, they find it seemingly empty, with only a caged-up Hatchin nearby (though they know that this is a trap). When the Straw Hats realize that Hatchin and Hachi are indeed one and the same, they almost decide to abandon him to his fate; however, as a result, Camie and Pappagu attempt to rescue Hachi on their own and are immediately captured by the Macro Gang as the Flying Fish Riders begin their attack. Nami then decides that, in addition to getting Camie and Pappagu back, the crew should keep their promise to them and rescue Hachi as well; with her permission, the Straw Hats jump into action, with Luffy rescuing Camie and Pappagu, Zoro freeing Hachi, and the rest of the Straw Hats successfully defending the ship from the attacking Fish Riders. Luffy eagerly tries to ride one of the Flying Fish, but almost drowns the first time thanks to the fish diving in the water. The second time, he accidentally crashes the fish through the roof of Duval's room, and gets a glimpse of his face without the mask on. Meanwhile, the rest of the Straw Hats fend off the Riders with relative ease, though Brook notices that Zoro is still suffering from his wounds from Thriller Bark. Luffy emerges from the hideout being chased by Duval, riding on the back of his giant bull Motobaro. Duval then reveals to everyone present that the Straw Hat he wants revenge on is Sanji, much to the latter's shock and confusion.
As Sanji tries to think of who might have a grudge against him, Duval fires poison spears at him and the others on the ship. Luffy then kicks Duval's mask off to reveal his face to everyone: he looks exactly like the ugly composite sketch from Sanji's Wanted poster! Duval explains that his life was ruined once Sanji earned his bounty, since he is now frequently mistaken for Sanji and unjustly arrested and beaten by the Marines, forcing him to flee to sea and become a criminal. As a result, Duval wants to kill him as well as the rest of the Straw Hats, since it's their fault that Sanji became a pirate in the first place. Sanji has no sympathy for Duval due to his hatred of the picture on the Wanted poster and angrily attacks him; however, a couple of the Fish Riders manage to trap Sanji in a steel net and drag him underwater to drown him. Camie dives in after them to rescue Sanji (since, as Pappagu reveals, mermaids are the world's fastest swimmers) while the rest of the Riders try to drop a giant anchor onto the Thousand Sunny to sink it. Luckily, Franky reveals more of Sunny's cool features by first putting the ship in reverse to dodge the anchor, then counterattacking by using its giant Gaon Cannon (to Luffy's absolute delight) to destroy the Riders' hideout. Duval tries to attack Luffy with Motobaro, but Luffy is able to intimidate the bull (using, unbeknownst to everyone, Conqueror's Haki as Shanks did in the beginning of the series) into quitting the attack. Sanji, who was successfully rescued by Camie, finishes the fight by rapid-kicking Duval in the face numerous times until he falls unconscious.
Later, the Straw Hats, Camie, Pappagu, and Hachi celebrate with the latter's takoyaki, with Nami making it clear that she hasn't completely forgiven Hachi for everything he did but nonetheless being civil to him. Duval and the Fish Riders (now calling themselves the Rosy Life Riders) stop by the ship to apologize and thank them again; it's revealed that Sanji kicking Duval in the face has rearranged the latter's bone structure and made him extremely handsome, causing Duval to completely give up his grudge against the Straw Hats. Wanting to repay them someday, Duval gives Sanji the number for his Transponder Snail so they can call him if needed before his group takes their leave. Hachi, Camie, and Pappagu tell the crew that the only way a group of criminals like them can reach the New World is by passing through Fishman Island, but to do so, they will need to get a special coating job for their ship that will allow it to travel underwater to the necessary depths, which can be done by a professional at Sabaody Archipelago. The crew heads there, and find that the archipelago is actually a group of 76 giant mangrove trees growing close together, forming a sort of island. Before the crew disembarks, Pappagu explains that the Straw Hats must be careful, since the archipelago is very close to both the holy land of Mariejois and Marine Headquarters, meaning that the island will be filled with both Marines and "World Nobles". Hachi then makes them promise not to defy the World Nobles under any circumstances.
Luffy, Nami, Chopper, Robin, Brook, Hachi, Camie, and Pappagu disembark to go find the coating craftsman, Hachi's friend Ray; shortly afterwards, Nami and Robin break off from the others to go shopping. Zoro later leaves the ship on his own to take a walk, while Usopp, Sanji, and Franky stay behind to (in Usopp's and Franky's case) do maintenance on the ship and (in Sanji's case) guard Nami's treasure. Nami notes to Robin that Camie has been on edge since they arrived on the island, and that she and Hachi are concealing the fact that they are a mermaid and Fishman. Robin replies that mermaids and Fishmen have been the subject of horrible discrimination in the past (having even been classified as "fish" up until 200 years ago), and it's likely that some of that racism still remains. Meanwhile, while walking through town, Luffy's party comes across a man begging for his metal collar to be taken off, only for the collar to explode shortly afterwards. Hachi reveals that the man was an escaped slave, and the collars are programmed to blow up if they try to run away. Soon after, the slave's owners—a man named Roswald and his his daughter Shalria—show up and shoot the already-badly-injured man. Luffy wants to attack them, but Hachi stops him, noting that the the pair are World Nobles and reminding him of his promise. Hachi and Pappagu later explain to the rest of the group that the World Nobles (also known as the "Celestial Dragons") are descended from the 20 kings who founded the World Government 800 years ago, and are thus treated as gods and consider themselves to be above humanity. They have become extremely entitled and cruel over the years as a result, with each generation worse than the previous, and are literally allowed to whatever they please. Furthermore, harming a Celestial Dragon in any way will result in the perpetrator being hunted down by a Marine Admiral.
Luffy's party arrives at "Shakky's Rip-Off Bar", where they meet Shakuyaku a.k.a. Shakky, Ray's business partner. Ray is not there, but Shakky is glad to see Hachi again and welcomes the group inside for some tea and drink. She is also glad to meet Luffy, whom she has read about frequently in the paper; as a former pirate herself, she is a fan of his. She tells them that Ray has been gone for around six months, but she isn't worried, since he frequently spends time drinking and gambling in some of the more lawless parts of the island. She gives the group recommendations for where they could find him, but warns them to be careful when wandering around town, since her information sources tell her that, including the Straw Hats, there are currently a large number of powerful rookie pirate crews on the island; a total of eleven of the pirates (Luffy and Zoro being two of them) from nine different crews carry bounties of over 100 million berries, earning them the title of "The Eleven Supernovas", and Luffy's 300 million bounty is only the second-highest among them. Elsewhere, the other nine Supernovas engage in various antics around the town. Capone "Gang" Bege (Firetank Pirates captain, bounty 138 million) tries to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, but is irritated and offended by the horrible table manners of the nearby "Big Eater" Jewelry Bonney (Bonney Pirates captain, 140 million). A waiter rushing to get more food for her accidentally spills spaghetti on a crewmate of "The Magician" Basil Hawkins (Hawkins Pirates captain, 249 million), who tells him to brush it off. Outside, "Roar of the Sea" Scratchmen Apoo (On Air Pirates captain, 198 million) and Eustass "Captain" Kid (Kid Pirates captain, 315 million) are squaring off. In a different part of town, Kid's crewmate "Massacre Soldier" Killer (Kid Pirates fighter, 162 million) fights with "Mad Monk" Urouge (Fallen Monk Pirates captain, 108 million) until their battle is broken up by "Red Flag" X Drake (Drake Pirates captain, 220 million), to the disappointment of the nearby observing "Surgeon of Death" Trafalgar Law (Heart Pirates captain, 200 million). Shakky also adds that Kid having the highest bounty is a result of him causing mass civilian casualties, so she's rooting for Luffy's crew instead. Luffy is minorly interested about his rivals, but decides to leave to go look for Ray. When Shakky tells them that Ray occasionally enjoys visiting Sabaody Park (the island's amusement park), Luffy and the others jump at the opportunity to go.
In a different part of town, another Celestial Dragon named Charloss (the son/brother of Roswald and Shalria from earlier) passes through an area where several of the Supernovas—Hawkins, Apoo, Bonney, Bege, and Urouge—are lounging with their crews. All present kneel before him as is custom, but when a group of doctors carry a badly injured patient past him to the emergency room without bowing, Charloss knocks the injured man off the stretcher onto the ground, claims the pretty female nurse treating him for his 13th wife, and shoots her fiance when he tries to protest. Suddenly, Zoro passes by on his walk, drinking his booze, and when everyone stares at him, Zoro—not realizing who Charloss is or why he's important—rudely asks him if he needs directions. Charloss immediately tries to shoot him, but he dodges the bullet and prepares to draw his sword; however, before he can attack, Bonney intervenes and uses her powers to trick Charloss into believing that he successfully shot and killed Zoro, which is enough to get him to leave. Afterwards, Bonney angrily scolds Zoro for almost attacking a World Noble and bringing an Admiral down on them, but Zoro indifferently brushes her off and leaves to take the nurse's injured fiance to the hospital, to Bonney's exasperation. The other observing Supernovas are both impressed with Zoro's high level of bloodlust and incredulous at how crazy the crew members of the Straw Hats really are. Back on the ship, Sanji, Usopp, and Franky receive a call from a frantic Chopper, telling them that Camie was kidnapped from the amusement park, but they have no idea who the culprits are or where they went. Sanji decides to turn to another group of people from that line of work for help in finding her—their new friends from earlier, the Flying Fish Riders. Meanwhile, Drake and Apoo both separately express shock at a huge piece of news from the paper: the Marines have sentenced Whitebeard's second division commander, Portgas D. Ace, to execution, which is certain to incite a war between Whitebeard and the Marines.
The Riders eventually find out which auction house Camie was sold to and pick up the various Straw Hat members around town to head over there. At the auction house, Camie struggles against her captors and defiantly tells the auction house's manager, Disco, that her friends will come for her; he starts to beat her, but doesn't get far before he is suddenly knocked out by (unbeknownst to most present) a blast of Conqueror's Haki from one of the other prisoners—an old man named "Dark King" Silvers Rayleigh, alias "Ray" (Hachi's friend). The auction starts, with Supernovas Kid (and Killer) and Law (as well as a few of their other men) and the Celestial Dragons from earlier (Roswald, Shalria, and Charloss) among those in attendance. Nami, Sanji, Chopper, Franky, Hachi, and Pappagu arrive outside the auction house thanks to the Fish Riders, but when they are unable to threaten the guards outside to give Camie back, Nami decides to try to play by their rules and buy Camie back legally using their treasure from Thriller Bark (which adds up to around 200 million Berries). Unfortunately, when Camie comes up for sale, Charloss immediately bids 500 million on her, which no one else can match. As the Straw Hat group is debating what to do, Luffy and his Fish Rider (as well as Zoro, whom they picked up on the way) literally crash down the door as they arrive. Luffy immediately tries to run to the stage to save Camie, but Hachi tries to stop him, since Camie is now wearing an exploding collar that will kill her unless they can find the keys to get it off. While trying to hold Luffy back, Hachi accidentally exposes himself as a Fishman, to the disgust of the snooty rich people present, and Charloss shoots him (to Luffy's absolute fury) with the intent of claiming him as a slave. Though Hachi tries to hold Luffy back—accepting his punishment as retribution for what he did to Nami in the past—Luffy ignores him and punches Charloss in the face, sending him flying across the room and knocking him out, to the delight of Law and Kid and the horror of the other auction attendees.
Luffy apologizes to his crew, knowing that an Admiral will now be called to the island, but they brush it off; the guards move to attack them on Roswald's orders, while the other auction attendees flee the building (though the two other pirate crews stay to watch). Chopper begins to treat Hachi and Franky goes to look for the keys to Camie's collar while the other four Straw Hats begin battling the guards. The final three crew members also arrive, with Robin and Brook jumping straight into action and Usopp accidentally landing on and knocking out Roswald. As Luffy notes that they have to leave quickly before the Marines arrive, Law speaks to him for the first time to tell him that Marines have had the building surrounded during the entire auction, and thanks the crew for the entertainment they provided. Robin identifies Law and Kid for Luffy, but before they can talk more, Shalria tries to shoot Camie to keep the Straw Hats from getting her back; however, before she can, Rayleigh (who easily freed himself backstage) appears and knocks her out with his Haki. He admits to another slave on the lineup that he was planning to steal from whoever bought him, and after appraising the situation, uses Haki again to knock out all the remaining enemies in the room, before identifying Luffy by his straw hat and telling him that he's been wanting to meet him. Seeing Hachi injured but alive, he thanks the Straw Hats for saving his friend and promises to talk more with them later after they've escaped the premises. Backstage, Disco desperately calls the auction house's owner, Warlord of the Sea Donquixote Doflamingo, begging him for help to remedy the situation, but Doflamingo is indifferent and abandons Disco and the auction house, though not before revealing that the Seven Warlords have been mobilized into active duty to help fight against Whitebeard in the upcoming war.
Kid notes that he's glad he got to see Luffy do something crazy, but plans to leave before the Admiral arrives, mockingly offering to help the others by taking down the Marines outside on his way out. This pisses off both Luffy and Law, who promptly follow Kid outside to participate in the fight as well. The three captains use their powers to easily fend off attacks from the Marines, and are soon joined by the rest of their crew members, who also join the fight. Luffy declares to Kid and Law that he will be the one to find the One Piece; though Kid seems irritated by this, he acknowledges his respect for Luffy's gutsiness and states that the three of them should meet up again in the New World. The three captains and their crews go their separate ways, battling the Marines as they go. The Straw Hats and their four friends (Hachi, Camie, Pappagu, and Rayleigh) escape with the help of the Flying Fish Riders, who take them back to Rayleigh's and Shakky's place. Meanwhile, Law frees Roswald's slave, Jean Bart, and offers him the chance to join his crew, to which Bart agrees. As the Heart Pirates attempt to leave, they catch up with the Kid Pirates, who were accosted by what appears to be Bartholomew Kuma of the Seven Warlords, but is actually one of the Pacifistas, a mindless human robot/weapon modeled after him. Kid and Law, wanting to escape before the Admiral comes, begrudgingly team up once more to fight their way past the Pacifista.
Back at Shakky's Ripoff Bar, Rayleigh formally introduces himself to the Straw Hats and reveals that he was the first mate on Pirate King Gold Roger's ship many years ago. He further reveals many more truths about the Roger Pirates to them: that, rather than being captured as much of the world believes, Roger actually gave himself up to the Marines, since he'd come down with a terminal illness four years prior and knew that his time was almost finished. Shortly after his diagnosis, Roger and his crew went on one last three-year-long journey together, during which they conquered the Grand Line and Roger came to be known as the Pirate King (which pleased him, since he enjoyed doing things in the flashiest possible way). Joining them on this expedition was Crocus, the current lighthouse-keeper from Twin Capes (whom the Straw Hats met along with Laboon), who served as the doctor of the crew in order to ease Roger's suffering. After they completed this journey, the Roger Pirates disbanded, and a year later, Roger turned himself in. Though his execution was supposed to serve as a warning to other pirates, Roger managed to instead use it to spark the Great Age of Piracy with his infamous last words encouraging others to seek out his treasure. Rayleigh also states that Red-Haired Shanks and Buggy the Clown were cabin boys on Roger's crew, and that Shanks is the one who told Rayleigh about Luffy, noting that Luffy reminded him of Roger. Robin asks Rayleigh how Roger was able to leave behind the message on the gold bell in Skypeia, wondering if his crew knows the truth of the Void Century. Rayleigh states that they do indeed know, though not because they could actually read the poneglyphs (rather, it was because Roger had the ability to hear the "Voice of All Things"), but he encourages Robin to discover the answer for herself by continuing her journey, to which she agrees. Usopp starts to ask Rayleigh where the treasure of One Piece is; however, Luffy interrupts, insisting that he wants to discover it himself and doesn't want to go on a boring journey where he already knows the destination, and further clarifying that he wants to be Pirate King not for wealth, fame, or power, but because that's the "freest man on the sea", which further endears him to Rayleigh and Shakky. Rayleigh agrees to coat the Straw Hats' ship for free, but since it's a three-day process, the crew decides to leave Shakky's bar, head to town, and split up in order to lay low as much as possible, each taking a piece of Rayleigh's vivre card so they can meet up more easily. Unfortunately, shortly after they leave and before they split up, they encounter another Pacifista, whom they too mistake for the real Kuma.
Elsewhere, Marine Admiral Kizaru (meaning "Yellow Monkey", real name Borsalino) arrives on the island, searching for his subordinate Sentomaru. Though Supernovas Bege and Bonney separately manage to use their powers to escape from the Marines without encountering Kizaru, others aren't so lucky: despite Hawkins, Urouge, Drake, and Apoo teaming up to fight Kizaru and a third Pacifista, he defeats all of them with relative ease using the incredible speed and power of his Glint-Glint Fruit, a light-based Logia type. Before he can capture or kill any of them, though, Sentomaru finally gets in touch with him and informs him that their main targets are the Straw Hats, so Kizaru leaves to confront them instead since they are his main priority. Meanwhile, the Straw Hats narrowly manage to defeat and deactivate their Pacifista opponent by working together and combining all of their skills, but are left extremely worn out from the experience—especially Zoro, whose injuries from Thriller Bark begin to act up again. Sadly, they get no time to rest, as they are shortly thereafter confronted by Sentomaru and yet another Pacifista. The Straw Hats try to split into three groups of three, but the group of Nami, Sanji, and Franky is cornered by the Pacifista; Luffy, Chopper, and Robin are kept at bay by Sentomaru, who manages to bypass Luffy's normal immunity to blunt force attacks and actually hurt him; and, worst of all, Kizaru arrives and attacks the group of Zoro, Usopp, and Brook, completely incapacitating the already-severely-injured Zoro with one of his light beams. Kizaru prepares to finish Zoro off with one more beam while the Straw Hats, who cannot harm Kizaru with his Logia intangibility, try in vain to stop him; however, just before Kizaru kills Zoro, Silvers Rayleigh shows up and diverts the blow, rescuing him.
Rayleigh proceeds to fight Kizaru himself in order to help the Straw Hats escape, but unfortunately, they still cannot get away from Sentomaru and the Pacifista, who repeatedly knock them down. Just as Zoro, Usopp, Sanji, and Brook are cornered by the Pacifista and Chopper enters Monster Point again, the real Bartholomew Kuma appears, and uses his Paw-Paw powers to "vanish" Zoro (as he did to Perona on Thriller Bark), much to the rest of the crew's horror. When Luffy demands to know what happened to him, Sentomaru informs him that Kuma's "push" powers are said to send the victim flying for three days and nights straight, and that Zoro is no longer anywhere near Sabaody Archipelago. The Pacifista prepares to attack Usopp, Sanji, and Brook again, but to everyone's surprise, Kuma uses his power to send away the Pacifista as well. Brook tries to protect Usopp and Sanji from Kuma, but he too is quickly vanished for his trouble. Luffy begs everyone else to flee, but Sanji attacks Kuma in fury and is knocked backwards by his paws, after which Kuma vanishes Usopp; when Sanji tries to attack him again, he is sent away as well. Kuma then "teleports" next to Rayleigh and whispers to him, asking Rayleigh to trust him, but when Kizaru demands to know what he's doing, Kuma replies that he's not obligated to answer. Luffy goes into Gear Second and tries to attack Kuma, but he teleports over to where Nami and Franky are, and despite Franky's and Luffy's efforts to stop him, Kuma sends Franky and then Nami away. He then teleports over to Robin, and when a mindless Monster Chopper tries to attack him, Kuma vanishes him; Robin tries to run away, but he catches her and sends her away too. Luffy collapses to the ground in tears at his failure to save any of his crewmates, and does not fight back when Kuma finally vanishes him as well, telling him as he does so that they will not meet again. The narration then states that, on this day, Monkey D. Luffy's Straw Hat pirate crew was utterly eradicated.
This arc contains examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Heroism: A minor example, but in the manga, Sanji, in one of his Played for Laughs perverted moments, wonders aloud if the Straw Hats could buy a beautiful slave girl, earning him a bop on the head from Nami. In the anime version, he instead expresses outrage at this same beautiful girl's mistreatment by being sold as a slave.
- Affably Evil: Trafalgar Law is rather polite.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Introduction of the World Nobles who are, by and far, the worst humans in the story. Examples: Blowing up a slave, riding a slave like a horse, shooting at a wounded man because they "dared" to get in their way. Grabbing a woman off the streets and proclaiming her to be a new wife, etc.
- Purchasing a mermaid for the SOLE purpose of putting her in a tank full of piranha in order to watch the chase, gunning down a fishman just to claim him as a free slave, kicking a wounded man off a stretcher as punishment because the people carrying him weren't bowing to the noble, yeah...
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Averted with the World Nobles. They are weak, but can summon a far more powerful Admiral to come on their behalf.
- Berserk Button: Harming one of his friends comes up again for Luffy, though in this example, the (literal) trigger was a douchebag who shot Hatchan and did a Happy Dance over it. His World Noble status (to the surprise of nearly everyone present) didn't save him from a punch to the face.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: One of the slaves bit his tongue and choked on his blood to avoid being sold.
- Big Bad: Saint Roswald. But just like Spandam before him, he has zero fighting prowess and relies on people like Admiral Kizaru to fight for him.
- Big Damn Heroes: Silvers Rayleigh does an epic one when he saves Zoro by deflecting Kizaru's light-kick.
- Big Entrance: Kizaru arrives on the Sabaody Archipelago by jumping on a cannonball fired from a warship, then hopping off as it explodes.
- Call-Back: To the Romance Dawn, Buggy and Arlong Arc:
- From the Arlong arc: Fishman supremacy and the sun tattoo the Arlong Pirates had are a result of discrimination experienced by Fishmen and Merfolk. Hacchan, who was an Elite Mook that Zoro fought from that arc, appears again, but has had a HeelFace Turn and befriends the Straw Hats.
- From the Buggy arc: Silvers Rayleigh (Gol D. Rogers's first mate) revealing that the ship on which Buggy and Shanks worked and became friends was that of Roger and Rayleigh.
- From Romance Dawn: Luffy stopping the riding bull Motobaro with a glare, like Shanks with the Sea King.
- Chekhov's Skill: Haki, which is finally named since its appearance back in the first chapter, used by Luffy and Silvers Rayleigh.
- Chekhov's Gunman:
- One from the past: Remember that pirate in Buggy's flashback who scolded Shanks and Buggy in the Buggy the Clown Arc? Yeah that's Rayleigh, Gold Roger's second in command.
- One for the future: Trafalgar Law, who's introduced here as simply one of the Eleven Supernovas alongside Luffy and Zoro, shows up out of nowhere in a Big Damn Heroes moment to save Luffy in the Marineford arc, and later becomes a very important character after the timeskip, to the point that he's pretty much the Deuteragonist of the Dressrosa arc.
- It's heavily implied that at least some, if not all, of the other eight Supernovas will eventually become this, as well, particularly Eustass Kid and his first mate Killer.
- Cool Old Guy: Silvers Rayleigh. Despite 20 years of inactivity, he held his own against Admiral Kizaru...WITHOUT Devil Fruit Powers!
- Crapsaccharine World: Sabaody may look like a friendly tourist spot with many a bubble related attraction and fun amusement parks. But it is also a lawless region where kidnappings and slavery are commonplace, and the home of many a World Noble, who can do whatever they want due to their lineage, and with the price of touching them being to summon an Admiral to their aid.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kizaru.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The SH get a three way one from Kizaru, Sentomaru, and ultimately, Kuma.
- Kizaru gives one to Hawkins, Apoo, Urouge, and Drake, despite all of them teaming up to fight him, since, like the Straw Hats, none of them yet have the ability to harm a Logia-type user.
- Oddly, Kuma does this to a Pacifista when it attempts to capture the Straw Hats, establishing the difference between a copy and the original.
- At the beginning of the arc, the Straw Hats deliver one to the Flying Fish Riders, taking them down without much difficulty (other than a few SHs almost drowning, though 3/4 of these cases is due to their own stupidity) and with no major injuries.
- Defeat Means Friendship: The Flying Fish Riders become the Straw Hats' allies after their leader Duval has his ugly face rearranged by Sanji.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: When they first meet, Law literally flips off Kid, who has the highest bounty out of the Supernovas.
- Scratchmen Apoo almost does this to Admiral Kizaru.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Crossing a World Noble's path without bowing to them can result in a bullet to the gut.
- Diving Save: Bonney did this to Zoro to save all of them from having an Admiral come after them. Zoro dodged the World Noble's bullet, but she stopped him from attacking the World Noble.
- Downer Ending: The arc ends with the Straw Hats losing in a Curbstomp Battle against Kizaru, Sentomaru and a Pacifista. They are then teleported to opposite sides of the world by Kuma.
- Dynamic Entry:
- Luffy and Zoro, courtesy of one of the Flying Fish Riders, literally crash through the door of the auction house just as Camie's purchase by Charloss is being finalized.
- Later, Usopp also gets involuntarily gets one when his Flying Fish Rider partner forcibly shoves him into the auction house building; Usopp lands on and knocks out Saint Roswald.
- Easily Forgiven: Subverted with Hachi. At first, when the Straw Hats realize that he (as in, one of Arlong's former underlings) is Camie's captured friend, they don't forgive him right away and are inclined to just abandon him there. However, Nami decides to keep their promise to Camie and save him; once she gives permission, the rest of the Straw Hats seem to let go of their grudge against him. By the arc's halfway point, he has already genuinely become their friend.
- Enemy Mine: A couple of examples with the Eleven Supernovas:
- Luffy, Kid, and Law versus the Marines outside the Human Auctioning House.
- Basil Hawkins, Urouge, X. Drake, and Scratchmen Apoo vs Admiral Kizaru.
- Kid and Law once more against a Pacifista.
- Establishing Character Moment: The World Nobles are introduced riding a slave, and shooting one of them when his collar explodes, before kicking his charred body.
- Exact Words: Kuma's parting words to Luffy - "You and I will never meet again" - will have a much bigger impact come the Marineford arc.
- Extra-ore-dinary: Eustass Kid's unnamed-devil fruit ability.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Kid is a sociopath with a huge body count, but he would never run a slavery ring. His reasoning is that At Least I Admit It, that he's a pirate and it's expected of him. But for the Marines and World Government, preaching "Justice" while operating slave rings to go unchecked makes them hypocrites.
- Failure Is the Only Option: There was absolutely zero way the Straw Hats were going to have a happy ending at the end of this arc. The absolute best case scenario of Kuma sending them all away to train is still bittersweet at best, but it's far better than their deaths or capture at the hands of Kizaru, which was the alternative.
Kuma (to Luffy): "We will not meet again. Farewell."
- Disco calls the actual owner of the Human Auctioning House which happens to be Donquixote Doflamingo after Luffy busts up the joint. Doflamingo tells him he can keep the shop, as "slaves" are out, but "smiles" are in. Also, the World Nobles visit the place because Doflamingo, the owner, is one himself.
- Out of all the Supernovas that the Straw Hats meet, Law is the friendliest towards Luffy and the others. Notably, he seems to like Luffy much more than he likes Kid, since he gets pissed off with Kid for merely ordering him around, but when Luffy pretty much puts all of them in huge danger by assaulting a World Noble, Law just responds with amusement. Luffy and Law later form an alliance after the timeskip, during the Pirate Alliance Saga.
- Furthermore, Law's enjoyment and fascination of Luffy's blatant disregard for those in higher positions of strength and/or authority (as well as his own similar attitude) hints towards the major reveal about Law's connection to the "Will of D" in the Dressrosa arc.
- This line from Kuma to Luffy:
- Four Is Death: Literally; Gold Roger's death came four years after he was diagnosed with a terminal illness (though, as everyone knows, his death was a result of being executed rather than dying from his sickness).
- Friendly Enemy: Luffy seems to form a relationship of this type with both Eustass Kid and Trafalgar Law, two fellow Supernovas. It's worth noting that, while the two of them are not very cordial towards each other, they're both pretty civil to Luffy (Law in particular), likely because of how clearly impressed they are by his sheer ballsiness.
- From Bad to Worse: Starting with Camie's kidnapping and goes downhill from there.
- HeelFace Turn:
- Hachi from the Arlong arc has made one prior to his appearance in this arc. He now owns a takoyaki stand and acts as a protector for Camie. Initially, the Straw Hats still hold their grudge against him, but let go of it pretty quickly once it's clear that Hachi is sincerely a good guy and is truly sorry for the things he did while working with Arlong. As a result, he forms a genuine friendship with them.
- Duval (and by extension, the rest of the Flying Fish Riders) after Sanji uses Magic Plastic Surgery with his feet to change Duval's face from very ugly to extremely handsome.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The Straw Hats try to do this for each other several times at the end of the arc during their fight with numerous foes. Sadly, it's all for naught:
- Zoro, who cannot move due to his previous injuries from Thriller Bark and must be carried from the battlefield, tries to tell Usopp to leave him behind so he can let the others escape. Usopp refuses, and Zoro is sent flying away a few minutes later anyway by Kuma.
- Brook tries to pull a You Shall Not Pass! twice, first for Zoro and Usopp against a Pacifista (which results in him getting hit by a laser) and then for Sanji and Usopp against the real Kuma (who sends him flying away).
- Sanji twice tries to protect Usopp to give him time to run away. The first time, they're both hit by lasers, and the second time, Kuma sends them both away. (Seeing a pattern here?)
- Franky tries to protect Nami from Kuma. Again, doesn't work, and he too is sent flying.
- To a lesser extent, Chopper, who takes three Rumble Balls simultaneously in order to go One-Winged Angel (which doesn't kill him but does rob him of his sanity and cause quite a bit of damage to his body) so he can protect his friends. He only manages to get in a couple of (mostly ineffectual) swings before Kuma sends him away.
- Hollywood Voodoo: Basil Hawkins' Straw-Straw Fruit abilities.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Arguably Sentomaru to Kizaru.
- Hypocritical Humor: When Luffy, Law, and Kid (all three of whom have rather bizarre abilities thanks to their Devil Fruits) are fighting the Marines, after all three of them demonstrate their powers to get rid of the cannonballs being shot at them, Rubber Man Luffy tells the other two, "You guys have some weird powers." Magnet Man Kid then replies, "Yours is surely the weirdest."
- I Can Still Fight!: Deconstructed with Zoro. His injuries from Thriller Bark take its toll on him, though he clearly ignores it. But during a critical battle, he collapses at the worst time and needs to be carried away from the fight, while still insisting he can fight.
- I Have a Family: What one of the World Nobles' slaves says as he attempts to escape the island.
- Identical Stranger: Well, kind of. The reason why Duval is so bitter at the Strawhats is that he happens to look exactly like the "artist's rendition" of Sanji's wanted posters.
- If I Can't Have You...: Saint Shalria attempts to shoot the captured Camie to take away the Straw Hats' prize, but was fortunately stopped by Rayleigh.
- Kick the Dog: What the World Nobles often do to their slaves and everyone else who isn't their slaves.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: No one was terribly upset when Luffy hit Saint Charloss. The only issue anyone had was the fact that it would send an admiral to the island, but after what happened to Hachi, no one really cared.
- Or when Saint Roswald was crushed by a falling Usopp, or when Saint Shalria is knocked out by Rayleigh
- Kick Them While They Are Down: The World Nobles gleefully do this whenever they get the chance.
- Knight Templar Parent/Moral Myopia: Saint Roswald demanded to have men of the Straw Hat crew worked until they starved and the women stuffed for what Luffy did to his son Saint Charloss. Saint Charloss, mind you, shot Luffy's friend just for being a Fishman, and shot at Luffy for just so much as confronting him.
- Know When To Fold Them: Luffy tells his crew to separate and run when confronted with Admiral Kizaru, Sentomaru and another Pacifista (which they previously exhausted themselves taking one down). It doesn't work.
- Light 'em Up: Admiral Kizaru has the power of the Glint-Glint Fruit (Pika Pika no Mi), a Logia Devil Fruit which makes him a "Light Man".
- Lightning Bruiser: Sentomaru was able to outrun Luffy (albeit exhausted from fighting a Pacifista), despite having the build of a sumo wrestler.
- Manchild: Saint Charloss really comes off as one, forcibly taking women as brides like child wanting to buy a new toy, and doing a happy dance after shooting Hatchan.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The entire auction house when Luffy punched Charloss in the face. Not because the man didn't deserve it, but because they all know what attacking the world nobility means.
- Mecha-Mooks: Pacifista.
- Meta Twist: Seemingly plays to the tradition of having a Breather Episode focused on Character Development and progression of the Myth Arc after a major arc, only for things to go to complete and utter hell when Luffy pisses off the World Nobles.
- Not So Different: Quite a few parallels are drawn between Luffy and the two rivals he meets, Law and Kid. All three of them are powerful pirate captains with Devil Fruits, high bounties, and nasty reputations, who would have been easily capable of taking the Marines out single-handedly, but they all fight because none of them want to let the others show them up. Other members of all three of their crews also comment on how destructive and reckless they all are after seeing the havoc they've wreaked outside the auction house.
- In Kid's case, he and Luffy explicitly share the same dream of finding the One Piece, and are clearly hotheaded and quick to anger, kept in check by calmer and more rational crewmates.
- In Law's case, he shares Luffy's lack of respect for those of higher strength/authority (shown when he flips Kid off), and he and Luffy are equally offended by Kid's implication that they need his help to get rid of the Marines.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Luffy's winning streak comes to a crashing halt.
- One-Man Army: A lot of examples, but Capone Bege provides a literal example.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Luffy ordering his crew to run away from Admiral Kizaru. For someone who would always stand his ground and fight to the end no matter the odds, this was significant.
- Punched Across the Room: Saint Charloss when he makes the mistake of pissing off Luffy. In the anime, Luffy hits him so hard it knocks the color off the screen for a moment.
- Rule of Symbolism: Shortly after the Straw Hats arrive in Sabaody, it's established that there are bubbles that rise from the ground there, which pop when they get too high above the trees. At the end of the arc in the anime, when Kuma starts sending the Straw Hats away from the island one by one, a bubble pops each time one of them disappears.
- Run the Gauntlet: It starts with the Straw Hats having to face a Pacifista, then Sentomaru arrives with another Pacifista in tow, and eventually Admiral Kizaru appearing, then Bartholomew Kuma.
- Running Gag: Camie (and Pappagu) getting captured. Turns a lot darker when they reach Sabaody Archipelago, and Camie is captured to be sold as a slave.
- Shout-Out: The head of a kidnapping gang wears a green vest and tights with a feathered hat and is called "Peterman"
- Stealth Pun: Luffy punches Charloss hard enough for the resin bubble to instantly pop, and is sent meters away, right after he joyfully danced at shooting Hatchan. He had to "burst his bubble".
- Stout Strength: Sentomaru.
- Stripperific: Justified with Jewelry Bonney's outfit. Her ability doesn't provide Magic Pants when she changes her age, so she needs something to fit her no matter what.
- Super Mode: Urouge has one which allows his muscle mass to expand resulting in him grow several feet.
- Superhuman Trafficking: While humans fetch a fair price, non-humans go higher.
- Superpowered Evil Side/One-Winged Angel: Chopper goes into Monster Point for the second time in the series in an attempt to save his friends from the Curb-Stomp Battle that they're all receiving. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
- The Don: Capone Bege, captain of the Firetank Pirates.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: The Pacifista (PX-4) for the Straw Hat Pirates. Arguably Sentomaru and Kizaru as well; had Kuma not sent the Straw Hats away, they would've gotten easily captured before even reaching the New World.
- Wham Line:X. Drake: The Second Division Commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, "Fire Fist" Ace, has been sentenced to a public execution...[The World Government] are asking for a war!!Doflamingo: Right now, I've...or should I say "we've" been called together by the Marines. Say, how do you like the sound of this for the future?...Whitebeard Pirates vs the Seven Warlords of Sea.
- Wham Episode: The crew utterly lose against (in reality, are saved by) Kuma and are sent to random islands across the sea.
- Worthy Opponent: Law and Kid both see Luffy this way (and he appears to return the sentiment). They may see each other like this as well, but they're less friendly to each other than they are to Luffy.