One Piece 30 Day Challenge
Day 28: What got you into One Piece?
This asshole named Ricky a.k.a scrambledmeta. I’d been aware of it for years and knew he liked it, but I wasn’t interested because of 4Kids. He eventually made a deal that I’d make it at least through Arlong Park and he fucking KNEW that was the place he’d hook me. He did and I’ve been in board ever since.
I really believe Arlong Park is the point-of-no-return for One Piece. I like the Kuro and Baratie arcs a lot but Arlong Park was the first point in the story that made me stop and go, “Wow, this is really something special.”
There’s so much going on in it. Obviously Nami’s heart-breaking backstory is the core of it all, and I think the saddest backstory up to that point. But on top of all that we get Usopp’s first victory, outwitting and defeating his opponent all by himself. We get an even better showcase of Sanji’s strength and cunning than we did in the previous arc. We get to see Zoro with his greatest handicap yet, on death’s door and forced to use swords that aren’t his. We get to see Luffy entrust his treasured hat to another person for the first time, a symbol of how much he’s come to trust and care for his friends. Luffy doesn’t even care about Nami’s past. He just cares about her present and her future. We get the amazing symbolic victory of Luffy not just crushing Arlong, but his entire base of operations - particularly Nami’s “cell.”
And we get one of my favorite moments in the whole series: Johnny and Yosaku’s speech to the villagers about the four men who are coming to change the future. The walk to Arlong Park gets my blood pumping every single time.
It’s also a significant turning point in the series; during Arlong Park, Zoro is more famous than Luffy, to the point that Arlong and his goons make the mistake of underestimating Luffy. It’s defeating Arlong that nets Luffy his first bounty, and his first slice of fame in the One Piece world.
Kyle’s right. I told him, “At least stick with it through the end of Arlong Park.” I knew that was all it would take. Because that was all it took for me. I really think if Arlong Park doesn’t convince you to stick with One Piece, then One Piece just isn’t for you.