One Piece comprises over 30 arcs which made making this list quite the task. I really didn’t think it would be so difficult choosing my favourite arcs. And since I’ve been following this anime for over a decade, doing this just flooded my head with memories. This is a list of the top ten best One Piece arcs… One arc at a time. And don’t forget to follow our Instagram Page for more content.
When you have an anime as long as One Piece, you are definitely going to get a lot of iconic moments and quotes. We can learn a great deal from these characters, so do check out our list of Best One Piece Quotes and Life Lessons. Or maybe you want to read a review of the Cult Classic anime Serial Experiments Lain, do check it out as it’s one of my all-time favourite show. And finally, who do you think is the Number 1 villain in One Piece? Check our picks for Top One Piece Villains, you’ll be surprised who got the 5th place.
So let’s get into the best Arcs in One Piece from the bottom first:
- Jaya Arc
- Fish Man Island Arc
- Sabaody Archipelago Arc
- Post War Arc
- Baratie Arc
- Dressrosa Arc
- Enies Lobby and Post Enies Lobby
- Arlong Park Arc
- Arabasta Arc
- Marineford Arc
Also, SPOILERS AHEAD ME MATEYS!!
This arc is where we got the iconic Nakama pose to tell Vivi they’re always a team. Even if they’re not together. I think this is edged into the minds of every One Piece fan and has definitely done this pose at least once. The feeling we as the viewer get as we see Vivi crying for a response is enough to turn our heads twice over. And finally the pose, oh what a sight to behold.
Not only this, but this is also the first introduction of Marshal D. Teach. Little did we know how much we’ll actually hate this man, oh we were so young…so foolish.
This is also when we are first introduced to Nico Robin as she invites herself into the Strawhat crew. The way she introduced herself to the crew was beyond funny. It perfectly encapsulates Luffy and his journey through the grand line. How he relies completely on his gut rather than on any conventional means of logic or reason.
And the most satisfying punch Luffy gave to Bellamy… just oof.
Not to mention, One piece also introduces us to other really important characters like Whitebeard, Bartholomew Kuma, Donquixote Doflamingo and the Five Elders of the World Government.
9. Fish Man Island
This is where the ark is present in the arc, which is the ark like no other. Anyway, here is where the most iconic usage of haki apart from when Shank uses it on white beard’s ship. The moment when we see Luffy’s conquerors haki at its fullest potential yet. Though there is advance Haki, but let’s be honest… it isn’t as epic as when he used it here.
Oda also introduces us to Poseidon, the ancient weapon, which happened to be Shirahoshi. But I think the reason this arc is so memorable is how it encapsulates racism in such a deep and well-thought out way, which is really really reaaaaaally difficult. It’s funny that an anime which is meant to be for kids is able to take this subject and really dive into it. I’m pretty sure most people who saw and loved this arc came out a better person. Someone who can empathize on a much deeper level.
One can write a whole Article based on just this arc and its portrayal on racism, but this is a top ten list… so that’s about as far as we’ll go. Speaking of which, you can check out the best quotes from the show on our Memorable quotes from One Piece.
8. Sabaody Archipelago
This is the arc where Luffy, who till this point could overcome anything in front of him. But here, reality hits him with the realization that he has seen nothing yet. But before we get into that, this is also the moment One Piece introduces us to the 11 supernovas who will be playing a critical role later in the story. Some of the people on this list of supernovas became very close to Luffy and the crew as a whole. But that won’t happen until later, but we can already see little hints about who it is if you look closely enough.
We also have the very first instance of Luffy showing his Conqueror’s haki. But then, he nor his crew has any idea about Haki and how to use it. Even the viewers didn’t really think too much about this until the arrival of Rayleigh who showed how to do it properly.
Finally, it was here where Luffy faced his first ever total defeat. It was so devastating that he almost thought twice about going further in his journey and whether he can actually protect his friends that he cares so much about.
7. Post War
Although there isn’t much content on this arc but I still feel it’s the turning point for Luffy and his crew. They finally understood their weaknesses and how they need to address this in order for them to be of any use to their nakamas and to achieve their dreams.
This is also the part Luffy finally accepts the death of his brother and made the choice to move on. He also saw how important the crew was to him and how far he’d go for each and everyone of them.
After this, Luffy made the choice to take a pause from being a pirate and concentrate on getting stronger to better equip himself to protect his crew. He also got the rest of the crew to do the same by going to the location where his brother died and posing for a photo showing the code to the newspaper. This also got the rest of the crew to get a piece of that determination. This got them to decide on trying harder to become the crew member deserving of sailing along with the Pirate King.
Also, let’s not forget how One Piece finally introduces Sabo to us again. I mean, I thought I cried enough tears until I saw Sabo realising what had happened and how he failed as a brother to both Luffy and Ace.
Well, first we got ourselves, God Usopp himself, to join the crew as the sniper of the straw hats. And they then set out to search for a cook who can feed the crew with the best cooking possible. Luffy’s nose led them to the famous sea restaurant known as Baratie where they met the cooks there. One of the cooks there just happened to be someone by the name of Sanji.
They also learnt about how difficult life in the grandline was through the head cook who was a captain and sailed the grandline and Don Krieg who was attacking the ship, to take it to the grandline with him.
We also come across Dracule Mihawk, a person known to be the best swordsman in the whole of One Piece universe. It was also here that Zoro received his easily recognizable scar across his body from Mihawk. He also promised Luffy that he shall never lose another duel ever again. And with Dracule Mihawk, Oda introduces us to the 7 warlords of the sea. These are pirates who recieves funding directly from the Government. But more on that later… or on another article, who knows?
Now we are getting to the top five. Please know that any of these arcs can take the first place. I really don’t think they deserve a number placed beside them, but alas, Top Ten List works well. Anyway, let’s get to the top 5 best One Piece Arcs… according to me. Comment your angry statements below :D.
I mean, I had to add this in the top 5 firstly because this is when we finally see God Usopp in action. No, but seriously, Usopp played such a major role in this arc, it’s amazing. I’m personally a big fan of Usopp because I think I have the same concept of “Being Brave” as he does. And it’s always nice to see someone who you can relate to on screen.
This is also the arc where we see the crew split up temporarily until they meet up again in the Wano Arc. One Piece finally introduces us to the Marine Admiral Fujitora. He is probably the most lovable Marine Admiral we have got yet. The way he wishes he didn’t blind himself to see Luffy was such a magical moment.
Also, Sabo got Ace’s devil fruit and took it for himself… AFTER HE MET LUFFY!
Oh what a moment that was, seeing Luffy finding his long lost brother whom he thought was already dead. The feeling he must’ve had knowing he didn’t lose both his brothers.
This arc introduces us to the 4th gear, even though it looked better during Luffy’s fight with Katakuri. Let’s hope we’ll get a bigger treat in this fight against Kaido.
And let’s not forget the formation of the Strawhat Grand Fleet! I remember I was giggling and feeling all giddy at the scene of everything coming together to form the Fleet.
4. Enies Lobby and Post Enies Lobby
“I WANT TO LIVE!”– Nico Robin
Need I say more?
Yes, this is the arc Robin tried to act strong and sacrificed herself to save her crewmates. She was just going to join the Strawhat crew temporarily and abandon them as she did to countless other crews and people she’s been with. But this is different. She genuinely felt they were her family, the family Saul promised when he saved her the very first time.
But Luffy showed his resolve to always be there for his nakamas by even challenging the world government itself. This is done with the iconic scene where of Sogeking shooting down the flag of the world government.
The fight between Usopp and Luffy was also such a beautiful scene though. But Zoro got the MVP of this part of the story when he absolutely refused to let Usopp rejoin the crew until he acknowledges his mistake and apologises properly.
And finally, the sinking of Going Merry… I think Going Merry became one of the most popular side characters in existence, even though it appeared only a few times in a humanoid version. Oh, I cry.
3. Arlong Park
Although for a lot of people, this doesn’t belong anywhere near the top three… but this is my list and I just had to include this here.
It is the only reason I actually watched the anime. If it wasn’t for that moment when Nami was stabbing herself on the tattoo while telling Luffy to go away. And finally gave in and asked for Luffy’s help. That moment was simply gold and probably a scene that is edged inside my brain permanently.
Just because of that one scene, it’s forever in the top 3 of best arcs in one piece for me.
Also, we are introduced to Fishmen who will be a race that’s so important later on. Especially when it comes to Nami’s growth and maturity.
This arc is what One Piece is, and where Oda really showed his skills in foreshadowing events, concepts, characters, etc etc.
Firstly, we see Vivi, who was supposed to be an enemy, slowly becoming a member of the crew and even joined the straw hats. And her story finally converges to a single point at the end of this arc, which is masterful to say the least about how it was done and scripted. I don’t want to bore you with the details as this is not really a review but sort of opinion into what I think makes an awesome story.
We also got the entry of Nico Robin into the crew, as mentioned before. So relaxed and asked Luffy to “take responsibility” and accept her as a nakama. I wonder how many people started shipping the two immediately after that line. I’m a Nami guy but Robin is definitely up there as one of the best characters around. We also met Portgas D. Ace, who is Luffy’s and Sabo’s brother, and also the main reason the next arc in this list even happened. His life actually turned the whole world of piracy upside down.
Other things we were introduced there which are still relevant even till now are things like Vivre Cards, the Poneglyphs and ancient weapons. The ancient weapon here being Pluton, which could destroy countries at any moment.
And finally, we have the most epic war in anime history. At least to me, it is… pretty sure someone in the corner of the room will start talking about the scale and how it’s nowhere near so and so anime. Gurren Lagann or something… which is also one of my all-time favourite anime by the way.
But anyway, getting back to the list, this arc is also when the death of the two famous pirates, namely Ace and Whitebeard, happened. It is something that changed the anime and its story forever. Other than that, Whitebeard also confirmed to the world of the existence of the One Piece, which to this moment was always shrouded in mystery. Many people do not even believe in the existence of such a treasure, or at the very least, started doubting the existence of such a thing.
Some would say this declaration had as much impact on the pirate world as much as when Gold D. Roger himself told about the existence of the One Piece.
This is also when Ace died in the arms of Luffy. Luffy just went through the pain of losing his friends and this only made it worst. He was depressed and was at an all-time low. Especially for Luffy who was known for always being the happy-go-lucky kinda person, this part showed a totally different side to him. We as the audience also suddenly feel that this isn’t the fun anime we always knew and love but was something deeper now. Finally, we felt like Luffy is human and like every human, he also had limits which needs to be overcome.
As a disclaimer, this is just my list of the Top Ten Best One Piece Arcs. I’d love to discuss with anyone regarding whether I’ve rated something too high or too low. Or even missed a few arcs which you think should definitely be on the list. Let me know down below, email me, or do anything you please. Also, I will not include the Wano Arc even though it should definitely be here, simply because it Oda is yet to complete it.
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