With a show like Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece that’s been running for about eleven years, there are bound to be a lot of episodes, and we mean a LOT. As in EIGHT HUNDRED SIXTY OF THEM. At least till now. (WE KNOW RIGHT?) Going on that One Piece marathon doesn’t seem as fun right about now, does it? Massive anime monsters such as this are filled with, well, fillers. It gets hard trying to sort out through all the episodes finding ones that actually contribute to the story. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on the best One Piece Arc episodes.
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Top 10 Best One Piece Arc Episodes
As professional anime watchers (and by this we mean people with a lot of time on their hands and a hearty internet connection), we’ve noticed a lot of debate within the One Piece community as to everyone’s must-watch arcs and compiled a list of the top ten One Piece story arcs we think everyone can agree are essential to start with.
Coming in at number 10, we have…
10) Whole Cake Island Arc
This is definitely one of the best One Piece Arc of the New World saga, and also probably one of the slower paced ones (can’t all be perfect). Though the arc was jam-packed with tons of characters, it definitely seemed to be one for the Sanji lovers. It was great seeing our blond haired smooth talker finally getting some affection, and the backstory was sure to jerk some tears (not that we cried or anything).
Though a lot of the time seems to be spent running away from Big Mom, there were definitely some epic fights, most notably Katakuri vs Luffy (which was probably one of the best parts of the arc apart from Sanji), and maybe even Cracker vs Luffy too.
9) Baratie Arc
This easily places the top ten on this list of best One Piece Arc and is one of the best East Blue arcs in the series. Don Krieg is a fantastic villain and really brought on the heat to make his fight with Luffy all the more intense. It does get a little bloody if you’re into that and were looking for more incentive to watch.
Bonus points for the Zoro and Mihawk fight, which was an inspiring display of respect and skill between two great swordsmen. And just like the Whole Cake Island arc, we have another Sanji flashback!
8) Thriller Bark Arc
Okay, admittedly not the most epic arc in the series, but one of the funniest for sure! Just watching the first episode of this storyline gets you hooked. I mean, the Strawhats get stranded on a zombie island, what could be more entertaining than that?
Apart from being one of the funnier set of episodes, what makes this a must watch is the debut and introduction of some very important characters that you shouldn’t miss. And of course, what would a good arc be without some equally good battles thrown in as well? (Namely Zombie Luffy vs the Strawhats.)
7) Punk Hazard Arc
Opinions on this arc are mixed, with some people wanting to skip it altogether. But should you? The answer is a big, resounding no. Despite a slow start, the story does get better as it goes on, with very significant moments for Luffy, such as his reunion with Smoker, and his alliance with Law.
Though what makes this arc so important to watch is our first proper tour of the New World and just how dangerous it can be.
6) Impel Down Arc
When you can’t move on from the past and focus on the present, we say merge them both! One of the coolest things about this arc is the reintroduction of some familiar faces such as Crocodile, Buggy and Bon Clay and seeing them team up with the Luffy gang. Magellan, the former Walden of Impel Down, was an incredibly powerful enemy and his fight with Luffy is bound to bring you to the edge of your seat.
Apart from these, this arc has great story progression and is pretty funny sometimes too. With characters like Buggy, Ivankov and Mr. 3 on the scene, what do you expect?
5) Zou Arc
The Zou Arc is tied with Impel Down in terms of story progression with the introduction of more new characters and the reunion of the Straw Pirates. In such a short arc, they managed to pack in a lot of punch, though not the literal type as the story seemed to hold back on the fighting this time.
Instead, it focused on giving a lot of valuable information, mostly about the Road Poneglyphs. And let’s not forget about the jaw-dropping “Raizou is safe!”
4) Arlong Arc
The climax of the East Blue Saga, this arc held the weight of the series up till that point on its shoulders. Before this point, the stakes weren’t set too high, and we were mainly concerned with getting Luffy to the Grand Line.
But here we have the introduction to one of the greatest villains in the series, Arlong. The guy is unlike any villain encountered till then and the novelty of his ruthlessness makes it all the more epic. We also give points for the extra Nami love. Though she was introduced a lot earlier on, it’s nice to get some background.
3) Alabasta Arc
What makes Alabasta so great is the build-up leading to it, and suspense is a mistress we have come to love. It makes the fight between Luffy and Crocodile all the greater.
This one definitely took Luffy to the edge. And can we talk about Zoro picking up a building? How much cooler can you get?
2) Marineford Arc
This was a very close second in the list of best one piece arc episodes, and a fantastic arc for character development, intense fight scenes, and the emotions definitely run high on this one. If you say you didn’t spend ten minutes bawling your eyes out, you’re lying.
This arc is monumental for Luffy’s development as he resolves to be stronger, and his battle with the Strongest Man in the World allows him to see just how much work he needs to do.
1) Enies Lobby Arc
Even if you don’t agree with this being number one, there’s no doubt it’s at least on your top three. This is probably the most iconic, dramatic arc in the entire series. Unlike all the previous arcs, this wasn’t based on an adventure or saving a kingdom, it’s a rescue mission. And what a rescue mission it was.
There is a LOT of character development, especially for Robin who had her big shining moment in this arc, and a lot of emotional investment for the characters, and the audience. It also marks a huge turning point in the series that practically defines the course of later episodes. Enies Lobby is the most important One Piece arc you could watch, no contest.
What is your opinion on the above list of best One piece Arc Episodes? Have we missed any must-watch episode? Do let us know your feedback…