One Piece is one of the best Manga ever. With being the best selling of all time, it has a huge fan following all over the world. At the time of writing this, it has spun 1001 chapters and hasn’t dropped a bit in quality.
One Piece has several great arcs and it is a daunting task to rank them. But here it goes, all 29 arcs ranked from worst to best.
This isn’t a ranking of sagas but arcs which is commonly followed among the fandom.
29. Syrup Village
Episodes: 9 to 18
Chapters: 22 to 41
The start of One Piece is considered to be slow and the Syrup Village arc is the biggest culprit of it. With most One Piece arcs, you either have plot progression with info dump or amazing action scenes. But Syrup Vilage arc isn’t successful in either of them.
It spanned for 10 whole episodes with a horrific pace with no plot progression. For comparison, Reverie arc, Jaya arc, and Loguetown all span less than 10 episodes with a deep impact on the story. Another big problem is the very poor antagonist in Kuro and his subordinates.
- Getting Go Merry and recruiting Usopp.
28. Long Ring Long Land
Episodes: 207 to 219
Chapters: 303 to 321
This arc focuses on a contest between the Straw Hat Pirates and the Foxy Pirates, called the “Davy Back Fight”. The arc on its own is quite decent and funny.
Davy Back Fight is an interesting concept and showed us that not everything in the pirate world is about brute strength. We already had Skypiea which went off the tangent to the main story and this occurring after Skypiea didn’t help.
Overall it was a funny arc and an enjoyable calm arc before the magnum opus Water 7 saga.
- Luffy’s Afro.
- Meeting of Aokiji
27. Orange Town
Episodes: 4 to 8
Chapters: 8 to 21
This arc focused on the encounter with Buggy. We get to see Luffy, Zoro, and Nami work together for the first time. Buggy was cool and his history with Shanks added some interest, but his subordinates were lame and weren’t really interesting.
The fight with Buggy was amazing as this is the first time we see two devil fruit users fight each other. Overall it is a solid arc.
- Zoro’s and Luffy’s fight.
- Chouchou’s Story.
26. Reverse Mountain
Episodes: 62 to 63
Chapters: 101 to 105
This is a very short arc of just 2 episodes but both these episodes exemplify One Piece’s main theme which is adventure. Going Merry climbing the reverse mountain and getting swallowed by a whale are great examples of amazing world building and the theme of adventure in general.
- Meeting Laboon.
- Climbing Reverse Mountain.
25. Return To Sabaody
Episodes: 517 to 522
Chapters: 598 to 602
This is the reunion arc of the Strawhats after the two-year time skip. It has some wholesome episodes where we get to see glimpses of the Strawhats improvement in the time skip. There isn’t anything negative to say about this arc but isn’t the most important arc in the series.
- Luffy Observational Haki.
- Fake Strawhats.
- Zoro and Sanji vs Pacifista.
24. Romance Dawn
Episodes: 1 to 3
Chapters: 1 to 7
This is the very first arc of the series and it was a neat introduction to Luffy and Zoro. The backstory of Luffy with Shanks is short but fulfills its purpose flawlessly.
Though spanning just three episodes, both Luffy and Zoro become instantly likeable characters for viewers.
- Shanks not fighting the bandits.
- Introduction of Luffy and Zoro.
23. Whiskey Peak
Episodes: 64 to 67
Chapters: 106 to 114
Whisky Peak arc focuses on the events in Whiskey Peak where Straw Hats encounter Baroque works’ agents. Zoro cuts 100 bounty hunters by himself and Luffy fights Zoro for the only time ever.
Vivi is revealed as the princess of Alabasta. And also Crocodile and Baroque Works are revealed in this arc. This is a great set up arc for the future Alabasta arc.
- Luffy vs Zoro.
- Zoro vs Bounty Hunters.
- Reveal of Crocodile and Baroque Works.
22. Little Garden
Episodes: 70 to 77
Chapters: 115 to 129
Little Garden Arc is the first time we are introduced to giants. We get to explore the lifestyle of the warrior race, the giants. The fight scenes between Baroque Works agents (Mr.3, Mr.5, Miss Valentine, Miss Goldenweek) and Strawhats are pretty solid. Overall it is a pretty decent arc.
- Sanji phones Crocodile.
21. Drum Island
Episodes: 78 to 91
Chapters: 130 to 154
Luffy meets Chopper while saving Nami from a severe sickness. After defeating Wapol, Luffy manages to recruit Chopper who becomes the doctor of the crew. The flashback of Chopper is really amazing and the rest of the arc is pretty solid too.
- Hiluluk’s speech at his death.
- Luffy saves Nai and Sanji after climbing mountain.
20. Amazon Lily
Episodes: 408 to 417
Chapters: 514 to 524
Amazon Lily is probably the weakest arc of the Summit war Saga but it is still very solid on its own nevertheless. It is a fairly short arc that focuses on Luffy’s venture in Amazon Lily island which is the base of Kuja Pirates led by Boa Hancock.
We learn about Conqueror’s Haki and a bit of history about slavery by Celestial Dragon. Overall this acts as a great setup arc for Impel Down and Marineford arcs.
- It has Boa Hancock.
- Luffy’s Conquerors Haki
- Boa falls in love with Luffy
Episodes: 19 to 30
Chapters: 42 to 68
This is one of the best East Blue arcs that happen after the slow and boring Syrup Village arc. The introduction of Mihawk and information about the dangers of the Grand Line are some of the key points in the series.
The arc emphasizes the fact that Grandline is a graveyard for pirates and shouldn’t be taken lightly, and how weak Luffy and Zoro are compared to the elites of the world.
- Mihawk vs Zoro.
- Sanji is recruited to the crew.
Episodes: 490 to 491, 493 to 516
Chapters: 581 to 597
This arc can be said to have two parts to it. The first one shows the childhood of Ace, Sabo, and Luffy. And the other shows the aftermath of the war and how Luffy takes the death of Ace. Both of them are really amazing and has no real drawback. This arc is almost like an anthology of their childhood.
- Sabo’s supposed death.
- Luffy realizing that he still has his crew.
Episodes: 45, 48 to 53
Chapters: 96 to 100
Even though it spanned just five chapters in manga, it had so many iconic moments in it. This arc is the last one before entering the Grand Line and it served as a perfect farewell to the East Blue.
The parallel between Luffy and Roger was greatly emphasized and the introduction of Smoker and the mysterious Dragon were some of the highlights in this arc.
- Dragon Saving Luffy from Smoker.
- Luffy smiling in his execution.
16. Thriller Park
Episodes: 337 to 381
Chapters: 442 to 489
Thriller Bark is another arc that suffered due to arguably a bad antagonist in Moria. I tend to look at this arc as a three-part story – story before Moria introduction, battle against Moria, and Kuma part. The early part of this arc is easily the funniest set of episodes in the series so far.
The part where the group goes against Moria is quite decent though nothing spectacular and probably the reason many don’t like it. The best part of this arc is at the end when the group faces off against Kuma.
Zoro’s sacrifice is my favorite moment in the whole series (One Piece 100 Best Moments). The scenes revealing Brook’s history with Laboon and Bink’s sake moments are exactly the reason we love One Piece.
- Zoro’s sacrifice.
- Brook’s story.
- Luffy pushing Zombie to the ground.
- Robin rejecting the docking.
15. Punk Hazard
Episodes: 579 to 589, 591 to 625
Chapters: 654 to 699
Punk Hazard is probably an underrated arc since the group doesn’t face any big enemy. But the amount of small plot points set up for the future chaotic arcs alone deserves praise. Those include the alliance with Law, making Doflamingo an enemy, the concept of Smiles, artificial Dragons, Momonosuke, underground network, Aokiji in the underworld, and the plan to defeat Kaido.
Ceasar was a decent antagonist for the group and provided to be a real threat for a while. Overall it is one of the solid arcs that one never considered to be the best but isn’t a bad arc by any means.
- Alliance with Law to defeat Kaido.
- Aokiji saves Smoker.
- Zoro cuts Monet.
14. Arlong Park
Episodes: 31 to 44
Chapters: 69 to 95
Arlong Park is the arc that changed One Piece from being a typical goofy Shonen to an actual great story with deep themes. It is, without doubt, the best arc in East Blue, touching the theme of racism and oppression. Arlong is still one of my favorite villains in the story even after 900+ chapters.
The epic walk to Arlong Park gives goosebumps till date. Also, this arc made me love Luffy as a main character.
- Walk to Arlong Park.
- Death of Bellemere.
Episodes: 144 to 152
Chapters: 218 to 236
One of the best things in One Piece is the word expansion in architecture, geography, politics, or general power structure. Arcs like Jaya serve as an information dump for world expansion.
In this arc, we get introduced to Blackbeard, Whitebeard, and a concept of an island in Sky. Jaya has one of my most favorite panels in the whole series, Blackbeard talking to Luffy about pirate’s dreams. Blackbeard has us hooked to him with just a few moments with him.
- Luffy and Zoro doesn’t fight with Bellamy.
- Blackbeard and Whitebeard introduction.
12. Fishman Island
Episodes: 523 to 541, 543 to 574
Chapters: 603 to 653
Fishman Island is one of the most divisive arcs in the series. The main problem in the series is that Hody never looked like a real threat and it took several episodes to defeat him. But I think Hody with his extreme idealogy is probably a good antagonist and doesn’t deserve the criticism his character deserves.
Leaving aside Hody, this arc had several amazing revelations like Joy Boy, ancient weapon Poseidon, etc. The main theme of the arc is the concept of discrimination. I absolutely love how Oda portrayed this concept from both Fisher Tiger and Otohime’s point of view.
Both of them are amazing characters and both fought hard in their own way to combat this discrimination. For this reason, I have placed Fishman Island above some other notable arcs and I believe the criticism towards it is unfair.
- Koala in Sun Pirates ship.
- Fisher Tiger and Otohime stories.
Episodes: 629 to 746
Chapters: 700 to 801
Luffy and Law formed an alliance and travel to Dressrosa to take down the country’s king, Doflamingo. One Piece is blessed with amazing antagonists in the series but Doflamingo stands out even among the lot.
Pacing is a problem especially in anime with more than 100 episodes. But it introduces an amazing set of characters in Fujitora, Bartolomeu, Senor Pink, and the Grand Fleet.
- Gear 4.
- Doflamingo’s backstory.
- Senor Pink’s backstory.
Episodes: 92 to 130
Chapters: 155 to 217
Alabasta arc is the first arc where Strawhats goes up against someone who is a world-known pirate. The Strawhats have to save Alabasta from Crocodile and also to stop an internal war from breaking out.
We get to know more about other important characters like Ace, Robin, Smoker, etc. It is hard to imagine it only spanned 39 episodes. The action scenes are amazing and all the Strawhats have their moments to shine in this arc.
- Luffy vs Crocodile.
- Zoro vs Daz Bones.
- Vivi’s Farewell to the Strawhats.
- Luffy punching Vivi.
Episodes: 153 to 195
Chapters: 237 to 302
Skypiea is probably one of the most divided arcs in the series. Some people even suggest an abominable thing to skip it. The issue with Skypiea is it goes off on a tangent to the main story of the series. Also, it comes after the introduction of Blackbeard, and Whitebeard in the Jaya arc. It makes us want to see more of that part rather than a story in the sky.
Having said that, Skypiea is the textbook example of the primary theme of One Piece, the adventure. An island on a sky, a floating sea, angel-like people, the dial system, etc exemplifies the amazing fantasy world of One Piece.
- Knock-up Stream.
- Enel’s face against Luffy.
- Montblanc Noland’s true story.
- Luffy ringing the bell.
8. Impel Down
Episodes: 422 to 425, 430 to 452
Chapters: 525 to 549
Luffy infiltrates Impel Down with assistance from Boa, to rescue Ace. The concept of Impel Down prison is loosely based on Dante’s Inferno and it doesn’t disappoint. The events are unpredictable in this arc.
Luffy has to team up with several of his previous enemies like Buggy, Mr.2, Mr.3, and even Crocodile. The introduction of Ivankov and his group and Blackbeard pirates added another level of excitement to the arc. Overall these factors make this to be one of the best One Piece arcs ever.
- Ivankov saves Luffy.
- Luffy teams up with Crocodile and Jinbei.
- Blackbeard and Luffy meet.
7. Whole Cake Island
Episodes: 783 to 877
Chapters: 825 to 902
Luffy has to infiltrate Whole Cake Island along with Nami, Chopper, Pedro, Brook, and Carrot to retrieve Sanji. Whole Cake Island arc is another arc that is divided among the fandom. Whole Cake arc is one of the most ambitious arcs in One Piece. Oda delves into romance for the first time and also Luffy accepts to be an accomplice to an assassination attempt.
Many didn’t like the portrayal of Big Mom’s character but I liked her childish yet monstrous character. Overall, I liked the cat and mouse game this arc’s plot undertook and also the portrayal of a Yonko, Big Mom in a different way than expected.
- Big Mom eating Mother Caramel.
- Brook standing upto Big Mom.
- Sanji vs Luffy.
- Pedro’s death.
Episodes: 878 to 889
Chapters: 903 to 908
One of the best things in One Piece is the revelations it drops from time to time. But Reverie took it a notch up and had six breathtaking chapters of just information with no action or adventure and doesn’t focus on any of the Strawhats. Though unfortunately, anime didn’t have the same effect as manga did.
This arc didn’t give us one answer to the existing mysteries instead added several more questions. The concept of a head ruler in Im, Kuma’s situation, Shanks’ motive, a giant Strawhat, etc are some of the examples. Also, several characters make their first appearance after time-skip.
- Kuma as slave.
- Luffy’s 1.5 Billion bounty and fight emperor.
- Im introduction.
- Shanks meet with Gorosei.
- A Giant Strawhat is revealed.
- Kaido and Big Mom revealed to part of same pirate group in past.
- Rocks mentioned for the first time.
Episodes: 751 to 779
Chapters: 802 to 824
Luffy and the Dressrosa group finally joins Nami and others in Zou. An alive island in the form of a walking elephant is another brilliant addition to the already amazing world. This arc reveals a lot of information and also takes one step closer to the end goal, One Piece.
- Raizo is safe.
- Formation of alliance.
- Road Poneglyphs revealed.
4. Sabaody Archipelago
Episodes: 385 to 405
Chapters: 490 to 513
Sabaody Archipelago arc subverts the expectations of the readers. At that time, Sabaody Archipelago seemed like a transition arc to Fishman, similar to Jaya or Loguetown arc. In this arc, we get introduced to the concept of slavery and discrimination, the Supernovas and Rayleigh.
We expect that Strawhats will get involved with the slavery system at one point in this arc. But none would have expected the utter defeat that Strawhats would experience in this arc. I expected that they will somehow escape or even defeat the admiral by fighting somehow.
Strawhats losing utterly and getting scattered is something I thought I will never see in the show. Luffy uncharacteristically asking everyone to just escape still remains one of the most heartbreaking moments in the show. Overall, Sabaody Archipelago is one of the arcs that make One Piece special.
- Luffy punching a Celestial Dragon.
- Strawhats separated.
- Kizaru’s introduction.
3. Water 7
Episodes: 229 to 263
Chapters: 332 to 374
One Piece till Water 7 is great with loads of action, adventure, comedy, sad moments, etc. But none of the arcs prepared us for what was waiting in the Water 7 arc. From Water 7, One Piece elevated from a great series to a masterpiece.
Water 7 is an emotional roller coaster ride for both the Strawhats and the fans. There are several heartbreaking moments like unrepairable Going Merry, Usopp losing money, Robin leaving the gang, the accusation of an assassination, etc. But the fight between Luffy and Usopp broke everyone’s heart. This moment alone makes Water 7 a top 3 arc for me.
Not to mention other crazy things that happen here like Franky’s character, Tom’s story, CP9, etc. Overall Water 7 is one of my all-time favorite arcs ever in manga or anime and aptly ranked at No.3 here.
- Usopp vs Luffy.
- CP9 Revealed.
- Franky and Tom backstory.
2. Enies Lobby
Episodes: 264 to 290, 293 to 302, 304 to 312, 313 to 325 (Post Enies Lobby)
Chapters: 375 to 430
Many people rate Enies Lobby arc as their favorite arc in the series and they are justified to think so. Enies Lobby had everything you expect from a Shonen series. The Strawhats push their limits in defeating their enemies. All the fight scenes were amazing. All the emotional trauma experienced in Water 7 arc gets salvation here.
Going Merry gets a proper farewell making us cry and Robin rejoins the crew. Post-Enies Lobby part is also amazing with events like new ship, new bounties, and reveal of Luffy’s family. Overall one of the best arcs in One Piece.
- Going Merry farewell.
- Luffy vs Lucci.
- Declaring war by shooting at the flag.
- Robin – “I want to live”
Episodes: 457 to 489
Chapters: 550 to 580
Marineford arc is one of my favorite arcs of all time in manga. There are several things that make Marineford amazing. It shows the long-awaited war between Whitebeard Pirates and the World Government of Navy and Warlords.
We finally get to meet the long-teased Whitebeard and his crew in action. It may be easy to forget that Luffy isn’t present in this arc for several episodes, yet we fully get grown towards Whitebeard pirates who act as the protagonists initially.
The arc is filled with so many important characters that it is amazing that Oda manages to use everyone efficiently. Luffy is placed in a where almost every named character is stronger than him. Oda manages to handle Luffy phenomenally even in this situation as his actions and achievements never come off as plot armor.
As the arc reaches the end, the most unexpected thing happens – the death of Ace. In retrospect, it should have been expected especially after Sabaody. But I genuinely didn’t think Ace was going to die especially after Luffy saves him. Luffy screaming in disbelief with a dead Ace in his hands remains the saddest One Piece moment in the story.
If the arc had ended with Ace being saved, it would still have been a great arc. But the loss of Ace and the sacrifice Luffy made from Amazon Lily, Impel Down to Marineford going in vain makes this arc one of the greatest in anime or manga and not to mention the Blackbeard’s interference at the climax.
- Luffy enters Marinford
- Luffy vs Three admirals
- Whitebeard Death
- Ace Death.
- Coby standing up to Akainu.
- Shanks stops the war.
- Blackbeard steals Whitebeard’s fruit.
Share your thoughts in the comments.
Update: I haven’t included the Wano arc yet as I am waiting for it to be over. Where Do you think Wano Arc should be on this list?
- One Piece Next Strawhat: 5 Best Candidates To Become A Future Strawhat - October 14, 2021
- One Piece Chapter 1028 Analysis and Review - October 9, 2021
- How Shanks Stopped Kaido From Marineford – A Theory. - October 7, 2021