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One Piece: East Blue Saga | Summary, Recap & Review

Join the legendary Pirate King's journey as he leaves behind a treasure and sparks the Great Age of Piracy in tis East Blue Saga Summary, Recap & Review!

One Piece East Blue Saga Arc List Map Chart One Piece East Blue Saga Arc List Map Chart

Wealth. Fame. Power. The man who had achieved everything in life, like none before him, was the Pirate King, Gold Roger. The few words he spoke at his execution drove people the world over to take to the seas:


"My treasure? If you want it, you can have it. Seek it out! I left everything in my life at that place!"

- Gol D. Roger


Men, bound for the Grand Line, will chase after their dreams. The world is about to witness the Great Age of Piracy…

Those were the last words of the world's greatest pirate, renowned worldwide as the King of The Pirates. It’s these words that would mark not only the beginning of The Great Pirate Era but also the beginning of our beloved series.

The first saga in the series is the East Blue Saga, and it’s composed of 61 episodes in the anime (100 manga chapters) and is divided into 8 arcs. The first of these arcs is Romance Dawn, so let’s get started!

East Blue Saga Summary

Romance Dawn Arc

One Piece Romance Dawn Arc

Romance Dawn consists of only 4 anime episodes or 7 manga chapters, making it one of the shortest canon arcs in the series, as it mostly serves as an introduction.

Early in the arc, we are introduced to a boy with the ability to stretch his body, named Monkey D. Luffy. He was trapped in a barrel, from which he was rescued by Koby, a timid boy who had been a prisoner on the ship of the feared pirate Alvida, better known as the Iron Mace. Luffy ends up defeating her, thus helping Koby to escape.

One Piece East Blue Saga Luffy Breaks Out From Barrel

During the journey, he reveals to the shy boy that he is looking for crewmates to reach the Grand Line. Koby ends up telling Luffy that he is not interested in going, but he knows of a very strong person who he believes could help him on his journey.

The pair travels to where they find the pirate hunter, Roronoa Zoro. This swordsman is tied up and has been without food for 20 days because he rebelled against Helmeppo, the son of the captain of the marine at that port, known as Axe-Hand Morgan.

Luffy is not entirely convinced about having a villain in his crew, but thanks to Rika, a girl who had helped Zoro before, our protagonist changes his mind and decides to go as soon as possible.

One Piece East Blue Saga Zoro Meets Luffy

Zoro tells Luffy that he needs his three swords, and while Luffy goes to fetch them, we get a glimpse of the swordsman's past. Just as the flashback is interrupted, Koby arrives and starts untying him. He found out that Zoro was going to be executed. Morgan notices this and immediately orders his men to shoot. Luffy jumps in front of the bullets and uses his rubber body to save them.

To wrap up the arc, Luffy helps Koby pursue his dream of becoming a Marine. Additionally, we catch sight of a girl with vibrant orange hair in the act of stealing a safe, offering a tantalizing glimpse of a new character.

Orange Town Arc

One Piece Orange Town Arc

We now move on to the Orange Town arc, which begins with Luffy telling Zoro how he decided to set sail and why his straw hat is so important. When he was a child, a famous pirate named Shanks arrived on his island. Luffy insisted on joining his adventure, but the pirate told him he wasn't ready.

The Red-Haired Pirates joked with and motivated our protagonist when suddenly a bandit named Higuma appeared. The bandit caused a commotion while Luffy accidentally ate a devil fruit, the Gomu-Gomu no Mi. This devil fruit granted him the power to stretch his body. Later, Higuma would return to belittle the weakness of the pirates.

Enraged with the whole situation, Luffy decided to confront Higuma alone. Upon learning of this, Shanks quickly went to rescue him, stating that they can mock him, but never mess with one of his friends. During the clash, Higuma escaped and threw Luffy into the sea, as those who have eaten a devil fruit lose the ability to swim.

At that moment, a sea monster appears, devouring Higuma and now going after Luffy. However, Shanks intervenes and saves him, although Shanks loses his left arm in the process. Luffy feels deeply responsible, but Shanks gifts him his straw hat and asks him to promise to become a very strong pirate and return the hat to him someday.

After sharing the story of Luffy's treasured straw hat and his childhood on Foosha Village, Zoro and Luffy accidentally part ways when Luffy tries to catch a giant bird for food but is instead carried away by it. Zoro attempts to follow Luffy, but loses sight of him. They both end up on Orange Town, an island ruled by the pirate clown, Buggy, and his band of freaks.

Luffy encounters Nami, a girl with striking orange hair. However, her unexpected betrayal leads to their capture. Later, Zoro appears, attempting to help him. However, it turns out that Buggy is also a devil fruit user with the ability to separate his body. Zoro gets injured but manages to escape with Luffy.

One Piece East Blue Saga Captain Buggy The Clown Laughing

Amidst the unfolding events, we find ourselves introduced to the adorable little dog, Chouchou. Even though his owner recently passed, Chouchou protects his owner's shop from anyone that means it harm. Moghi, one of Buggy's henchmen, enters the scene and sets the store on fire. Fueled by anger, Luffy ends up defeating him. Meanwhile, another henchman appears to challenge Zoro.

One Piece East Blue Saga Chouchou Guards Pet Shop

The villain strikes the Zoro's wound, but is still defeated, while Luffy begins his confrontation with Buggy. The clown pierces our protagonist's hat and reveals that he knew Shanks. He particularly hates Shanks because he was the one who made him accidentally eat the devil fruit he possesses. During the story, Nami goes to steal Buggy's treasures. Using his devil fruit power, he splits himself into pieces to try to stop her. However, Luffy takes advantage of the situation and defeats him instead.

In gratitude, Nami gives Luffy a map to get to the Grand Line, and in return, he asks Nami to join his crew. Now the three of them, Zoro, Nami, and Luffy, leave another island which they have inadvertently saved. As a funny note, Luffy leaves half of the treasure that Nami had stolen as compensation for the damages caused to the town.

In the anime adaptation, the whole introduction of Luffy eating the Gomu Gomu no Mi, and Shanks’s influence takes place in the Orange Town arc. Whereas in the manga it takes place in the very first chapter.

Syrup Village Arc

One Piece Syrup Village Arc

Now, the Syrup Village Arc unfolds, introducing us to a young man with a remarkably long nose. He rushes throughout the village, warning everyone about the imminent arrival of pirates. However, due to his history of frequently fabricating stories, the villagers react by hurling objects at him and doubting everything he says.

However, this time, pirates really did arrive. Luffy and his company have landed on the island. The young man learns about their arrival and decides to bravely confront them. It is during this confrontation that we discover his background - he is Usopp, the son of one of Shanks' crew members.

One Piece East Blue Saga Usopp Meets Luffy

Luffy tells him that he knows his father, and they start talking, getting along almost immediately. Our protagonist wants to know if there is a way to get a boat, and that's when they meet Kaya. She is a sick girl with considerable wealth who lost her parents and takes pleasure in listening to Usopp's captivating stories. Currently, she is under the care of Kuro, a butler who, unbeknownst to Kaya, is actually a pirate captain aiming to seize her fortune and then live a peaceful life thereafter.

Luffy and Usopp find out about the butler's background and try to stop him; unfortunately, Kaya doesn't believe Usopp. In an attempt to take her away, Usopp gets injured by another butler named Merry.

Usopp manages to escape this situation and reunites with his companions, ready to confront Jango, one of Kuro's most dangerous henchmen. Kuro has injured Merry to initiate his plan of stealing Kaya's fortune, but is upset because Jango has not yet appeared. Determined to go find him, Kuro reaches the seashore, where he finds all of his men defeated.

He then joins the battle where then Kaya appears, having learned the entire truth of the situation. She offers him all her fortune if he leaves the island in peace. Captain Kuro refuses, which forces Luffy to fight him. 

One Piece East Blue Saga Klahadore Captain Kuro

We then get a glimpse of Nami's character as she reveals that most pirates are treacherous and untrustworthy. After Luffy defeats the villain, Kuro, Usopp decides to leave with our heroes to become a pirate. In gratitude, Kaya gives them a ship called The Going Merry.

One Piece East Blue Saga Going Merry Introduced

In this arc, there’s an additional story, outside of Syrup Village, where we meet Gaimon, a man trapped inside a barrel who has been trying to find a treasure for 20 years. The moral of this quick side story is: When you search for a treasure, you may not find it because someone else found it before you.

Baratie Arc

Baratie Arc

The crew grew by one member as we move onto the Baratie Arc, which begins by revealing Zoro's past. It is revealed that his dream, ever since he was a child, was to become the world's greatest swordsman. As a young boy, Zoro arrives at a new dojo, challenges everyone, and defeats all the apprentices except one, a girl named Kuina.

Kuina shares the same goal in life as Zoro, and throughout their many sparring matches, she defeats him countless times. In his constant defeats, Kuina became Zoro's target to surpass. However, after a nighttime duel, she reveals to Zoro that her strength is limited as a woman and that eventually, he would surpass her.

One Piece East Blue Saga Kuina Zoro Sparring

The next day, during his training, Zoro learns that his friend, Kuina, had passed away. This somehow compels him to set the goal of becoming the best. Not just for himself, but also for Kuina. After this recollection, we meet Johnny and Yosaku, a pair of Zoro's friends who have contracted scurvy.

Nami heals them and warns them that finding a cook is a priority to avoid the disease. Zoro's friends end up recommending a place where they might be able to recruit one.

Now, we find ourselves at The Baratie, a ship and restaurant in one. The crew arrives where Luffy causes some trouble and is forced to work on the ship to pay for the damages. It is here that we meet a blond chef named Sanji who helps feed a hungry castaway named Gin.

One Piece East Blue Saga Sanji Feeds Gin

However, what Sanji didn’t know is that Gin was actually a pirate from Don Krieg's Crew, the most feared gang in the East Blue. They would later appear to try and loot the restaurant. During the assault on Baratie, a swordsman named Dracule Mihawk would show up, cutting the Don Krieg's ship in half with a single swing of his sword.

One Piece East Blue Saga Dracule Mihawk

Amidst the chaos, Nami takes advantage of the chaos and steals the Going Merry. Usopp, Johnny, and Yosaku notice and try to chase her down. Zoro reveals that Dracule Mihawk holds the title of the world's greatest swordsman and foolishly challenges him to a duel. What Zoro did not know, is that Mihawk is simply on another level. Zoro gives his best effort but is easily beaten, although earning Mihawk's respect. The duel leaves Zoro with a horrific chest wound.

In the end, Mihawk spares Zoro's life and tells him he wants to fight him again in the future when he's stronger. Returning to Baratie, Sanji defends the ship... while his past is now revealed. When Sanji was a child, he was a cook on a ship when the pirate known as Red-Leg Zeff attacked. Amidst the commotion, a massive storm sank the ship that Sanji was on. In a turn of events, the feared pirate Zeff ended up rescuing Sanji before he drowned.

Both of them ended up being stranded on an island with limited supplies; Red-Leg Zeff decided he would divide the provisions. A big bag for himself and a small one for Sanji. They spent many days like this until the hunger was too much, and the young cook decided to steal food from the old man. To his surprise, he found only treasures inside Zeff's bag, and a missing leg. Zeff had eaten his own leg to survive.

After being rescued, they used their treasure to help fund and create The Baratie, a ship / restaurant, so that no one would have to feel the hunger that they felt on that island. Returning to the action, Luffy would defeat Krieg after an epic showdown. Sanji then shares with Luffy his dream of finding the All Blue, inspiring Luffy to invite him to join his crew.

One Piece East Blue Saga Sanji Talks About Smiles All Blue

At the end of the arc, in an emotional act, Sanji would bid farewell to The Baratie, and Zeff. An unexpected twist to the viewers as the two shared a love-hate relationship (although more of the hate was shown on screen).

One Piece East Blue Saga Sanji Says Goodbye To Baratie

With Sanji's culinary skills now on board, the Straw Hat crew sets sail for new adventures and challenges on their journey towards the Grand Line!

Arlong Park Arc

One Piece East Blue Saga Arlong Pirates

Right after the Baratie Arc, we go straight into the Arlong Park Arc, which could be considered one of the most iconic parts of the entire saga.

Yosaku explains to the others who pursued Nami that they are approaching an island ruled by the Arlong Pirates, who are Gyiojins (Fish-Men). Surprisingly, Nami is actually a member of that crew. Zoro ends up getting captured by them, and Usopp sets out to rescue him. In a dramatic twist, Nami appears to attack Usopp but secretly aids everyone's escape.

One Piece East Blue Saga Nami With The Arlong Pirates

Luffy and Sanji finally arrive on the island, but Nami insists they stay out of her affairs. It is here that we meet Nojiko, Nami's adoptive sister, who reveals their heartbreaking past. During a fierce battle, a Marine agent named Bell-mère, on the brink of death, discovers two young girls, Nojiko and Nami. She takes them in and brings them to live with her in Cocoyasi Village.

One Piece Bell-mère with Nami and Nojiko

In the village, where Bell-mère earns a meager living from harvesting tangerines, Nami turns to stealing to make ends meet. A pivotal moment occurs when Nami voices her frustration about their financial struggles, and Bell-mère responds with a stern slap. Tragically, this occurs just as Arlong and his menacing crew arrive at the coast. The pirates ruthlessly demand exorbitant sums of money from each household to spare their lives —100,000 berries per adult and 50,000 berries per child.

With only 100,000 berries, Bell-mère chooses to use her savings to save her two beloved daughters rather than herself. Arlong then heartlessly shoots Bell-mère in front of her daughters. However, he soon discovers Nami's hidden talent for cartography. Exploiting her skills, Arlong decides to keep her on the island as his cartographer. To add further cruelty, he tells Nami that if she can amass a staggering 100 million berries, he will grant the island their freedom.

Returning to the present, Nami has finally gathered the agreed-upon amount of money. However, a corrupt Marine agent, complicit with Arlong, confiscates the money from her. In a desperate act of sadness and anger, Nami starts to stab at her Arlong Pirates tattoo. Out of care for his Nakama, Luffy comes over and puts his treasured straw hat on her head, vowing to help her and basically declaring war on the Arlong Pirates. Zoro, Usopp, and Sanji join with Luffy and they all march to fight the Arlong Pirates.

One Piece East Blue Saga Luffy Gives Nami His Straw Hat
One Piece East Blue Saga Nami Wearing Straw Hat Crying

Each of the respective crew members have their own battle with a member of the Arlong pirates, each ending up victorious. In the end, with a powerful kick, Luffy defeats Arlong and demolishes Arlong Park, stating that Nami is not a tool but his navigator.

One Piece East Blue Saga Luffy Destroys Arlong Park

After defeating the pirates, the corrupt Marine member notifies headquarters about Luffy's existence and sends a picture to immediately put him on a wanted poster. Following this, Nami reunites with her comrades to begin their journey toward the Grand Line. The arc comes to an end with an episode where some of the characters who helped Luffy react to his new 30,000,000 Beri bounty.

One Piece East Blue Saga Luffy New 30 Million Bounty

Kaya says she will become a doctor, Koby, on the other hand, promises to become a great marine. Zeff expresses pride in the man Sanji has become, and lastly, on a strange island, Mihawk appears and reunites with Shanks, who becomes very excited by the news.

Buggy's Crew Adventure Chronicles Arc

One Piece East Blue Saga The Buggy Pirates

In the next two-episode filler arc, Buggy and Alvida form an alliance against Luffy. While we get a glimpse of Buggy's crew's adventures, the events lack significant impact on the overall storyline. During this arc, Buggy encounters Gaimon, but the encounters don't lead to any major developments. The arc serves as a brief diversion without altering the course of the main adventure in the Grand Line.

Loguetown Arc

One Piece East Blue Saga Gol D Roger King Of Pirates Smiles During Execution

Loguetown is the last island before entering the Grand Line, and it is also the place where Gol D. Roger was born and eventually executed. On this island, our heroes would take the opportunity to resupply.

Zoro searches for new swords as two of his were destroyed by Mihawk in their battle. During his search, he would encounter a girl identical to his childhood friend Kuina, but with the name Taishigi. He would also obtain a couple of quite peculiar swords, Sandai Kitetsu, and Yubashiri.

Usopp goes to buy weapons and sniper goggles. Sanji would enter a cooking contest, where he would win a huge fish. Meanwhile, Luffy, being distracted, would be captured by Buggy. Zoro and Sanji would notice this, but they would arrive too late for the rescue.

As the pirate clown is about to decapitate our hero, a lightning bolt suddenly saves his life. Here, we would meet a Marine officer named Smoker, who, after capturing Buggy and Alvida, would try to capture Luffy as well. Zoro and Sanji would try to help him but would end up facing Taishigi, who is revealed to be Smoker's companion.

It seemed like everything was over for the Straw Hat Pirates when suddenly a strange character in a green cloak appears to help Luffy. Along with him, a gust of wind arrives, freeing Alvida and Buggy.

One Piece East Blue Saga Monkey D Dragon Loguetown

Under a heavy storm, our heroes would escape from Loguetown. They then share an emotional moment and renew their promises and dreams as they head towards the Grand Line.

Warship Island Arc (Filler)

One Piece East Blue Saga Apis Eats With The Straw Hats

To conclude the saga, a short filler arc called Millennium Dragon begins, where our heroes help a girl named Apis escape from the Marines. It turns out that Apis belongs to an ancient tribe that can communicate with dragons. The Straw Hat crew assists Apis in reaching a dragon named Ryu, who will take her to the island of dragons. Afterwards, our heroes set sail towards the Grand Line.

One Piece East Blue Saga Apis And The Millennial Dragon

The events in this arc are completely non-canon, it even has a supposed Marine Admiral appearing, long before they are even introduced to the story. If you’re looking for an arc to skip in this saga, this is the only one you can skip without missing any important details.

East Blue Saga Review

Presenting the Vast World of One Piece

One Piece East Blue Saga Luffy Smiling

The East Blue Saga is one of the most important sagas in the series as it has the duty of establishing the entire setting and showing us for the first time the vast world of One Piece. That is, of course, an immense responsibility on its own. And something really interesting is that, for many viewers, this saga is considered to be bad.

One of the main reasons behind the complaints is that it is too slow. Considering newcomers to the series have over a thousand episodes to watch, if they get the impression the show's pacing is too slow, it could seem like an unbearable task and not worth it.

But is the pacing really too slow? The different characters are the ones that make the story unique and that is why we must dedicate all the time necessary to build them correctly and dedicate time to each one of them. This measured approach to character development not only enriches the narrative but also lays the foundation for an enduring and unforgettable journey that leaves a mark on the hearts of all who venture through the world of One Piece.

One Piece East Blue Saga Luffy Zoro And Nami First Time Sailing Together

One Piece is a work that opens the door to feelings and is not afraid to show them. It shows the inherent humanity in each of us. The One Piece story feels real and unique and connects to the audience exactly because of that, we see the strengths and weaknesses of each character. This work avoids stereotypes and makes all its characters feel authentic, and all of this is made clear in its first saga, which is supposedly the worst of them all.

An Imaginative Prelude

One Piece East Blue Saga Zoro Usopp Luffy and Sanji Prepare To Fight The Arlong Pirates

Overall, the East Blue Saga lays a solid foundation for the sprawling epic that One Piece would become, introducing us to compelling characters and an imaginative story world filled with secrets yet to be uncovered. While not without some filler content, the core arcs in this saga showcase Oda's ability to weave an emotionally resonant tale full of imagination, humor, and drama.

The main strengths of this saga are the introduction of fun and memorable characters, the buildup of stakes as the story progresses, and the establishment of key themes that will become central to One Piece moving forward. The main weaknesses stem from some slower pacing and filler content in places, though these issues are relatively minor in the context of the entire saga.

Overall Score: 8/10

One Piece East Blue Saga The Straw Hats Wave Gaimon Goodbye

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