One Piece Arcs: Story and Filler

One Piece Arcs: Story and Filler

If you haven’t watched One Piece before, there’s a high chance you’ve at least considered it. I mean it’s the highest-selling manga of all time, which means there must be something here that everybody seems to love, right? But then you discover the biggest barrier of entry to the series: 900+ episodes for the anime adaptation.

Now if reading manga is more of your thing, then you can always just read the source material. And that would skip any anime fillers at the same time! But that can be quite consuming as well; the manga has 970+ chapters that have been collected in 90+ volumes. It’s faster than watching the anime, but you’ll still be spending quite a lot of time chipping away.

There are plenty who prefer the anime so they can experience the story through animated action (and listen to the hype openings). Once you start watching and are in the weekly rhythm, then everything should be all good!

But if you’re a potential new watcher or someone who took a break and have come back feeling a little lost, this on-going series might seem a little intimidating. This article aims to make a list of One Piece Sagas and Arcs, as well as letting you know which ones are fillers in case they don’t sound interesting to you.

It’s worth mentioning that while fans commonly divide the story up into arcs (most of which are named after islands or locations), the sagas that encompass them, and lastly into two halves of the series (set before and after a two-year time skip), not everybody separates them in this manner. 

Toei Animation has its own method of dividing the series into “seasons”, while Funimation compiles the series into much longer and therefore fewer seasons. We’ll be using the most common format, and including some descriptions to narrow it down in case you watch the series somewhere that formats the show differently.

The First Half

The first half of One Piece is commonly separated into six sagas. Its intro saga is the “East Blue Saga”, named after one of the major oceans in the world. The “East Blue Saga” is divided into the following arcs:

  • Romance Dawn Arc
  • Orange Town Arc
  • Syrup Village Arc
  • Baratie Arc
  • Arlong Park Arc
  • Loguetown Arc
  • Warship Island Arc

Along with detailing the reason why so many pirates have set sail in search of the One Piece, this saga also introduces Monkey D. Luffy and the start of him building his own crew. This saga also includes him meeting and gaining four of his crewmates, including Zoro the swordsman, Usopp the gunner, Nami the navigator, and Sanji the cook. The Warship Island arc is the only filler.

Following this is the “Alabasta Saga”, named after the country that the Straw Hats are trying to reach. The “Alabasta Saga” is divided into the following arcs:

  • Reverse Mountain Arc
  • Whisky Peak Arc
  • Little Garden Arc
  • Drum Island Arc
  • Alabasta Arc
  • Post-Alabasta Arc

The crux of this saga is the Straw Hat Pirates meeting and subsequent pledge to help the princess of Alabasta make it home to avert a disastrous plan by the nefarious Baroque Works. Tony Tony Chopper joins the crew as a doctor, while Nico Robin joins as an archaeologist. The only filler arc in this saga is the Post-Alabasta Arc.

“Sky Island Saga” is the name of the third saga, referring to the legendary floating island known as Skypiea. It’s divided into the following arcs:

  • Goat Island Arc
  • Ruluka Island Arc
  • Jaya Arc
  • Skypiea Arc
  • G-8 Arc

This saga follows the crew as they research if there’s any truth behind the legend of the floating island. Once they manage to make it there, they discover a plot that could destroy it. Events elsewhere introduce two members of the World Government-affiliated Shichibukai: Bartholomew Kuma and Donquixote Doflamingo. The Goat Island Arc, Ruluka Island Arc, and G-8 Arc are all fillers in this saga.

The fourth saga is the “Water 7 Saga”, referring to the titular island famous for its shipwright workers. It includes the following arcs:

  • Long Ring Long Land Arc
  • Ocean’s Dream Arc
  • Foxy’s Return Arc
  • Water 7 Arc
  • Enies Lobby Arc
  • Post-Enies Lobby Arc

Some of the major developments in this saga include the joining of Franky the shipwright and the replacement of their ship the Going Merry with Thousand Sunny. The filler arcs within this saga are the Ocean’s Dream Arc and Foxy’s Return Arc.

The penultimate saga in the first half is the “Thriller Bark Saga”, named after the island turned ship that the majority of the saga takes place in. It’s divided into the following arcs:

  • Ice Hunter Arc
  • Thriller Bark Arc
  • Spa Island Arc

A contrasting saga from the others, focusing on the crew’s arrival to a ghost island. It’s within this saga that the crew meets Brook and welcomes him as their musician. The Thriller Bark arc is the only canon arc in the saga, with both the Ice Hunter Arc and Spa Island Arc acting as filler.

The final saga for the first half is the “Summit War Saga”, which is the lead-up to a large scale war that changes the world forever. It’s split up into these final arcs:

  • Sabaody Archipelago Arc
  • Amazon Lily Arc
  • Impel Down Arc
  • Little East Blue Arc
  • Marineford Arc
  • Post-War Arc

Certainly, one of the most intense arcs as Luffy and crew are caught in the middle of an erupting war between the Whitebeard Pirates and the World Government. Even as the final saga of this half, we’re still introduced to new fan-favorite characters such as Trafalgar Law. It ends with Luffy and his crewmates deciding to train themselves in preparation for traveling to the New World. The only filler arc within this saga is the Little East Blue Arc.

The Second (and Current) Half

A two-year time skip separates the first half from the second half, with the world changed and the crew returning from their own training. The first saga is the “Fish-Man Island Saga”, titled after the underwater island that serves as the main setting for the saga. The first saga of the second half is split into two arcs:

  • Return to Sabaody Arc
  • Fish-Man Island Arc

After each member goes through their own training, the crew reunites where they said they would two years prior and continues their travels. While they’ve gone to a sky island before, this saga focuses on the crew’s arrival to an underwater island. This saga contains no filler arcs in it.

Following this is one of the longest sagas, the “Dressrosa Saga”, which is named after the second island the Straw Hats visit after entering into the New World. This is divided into the following arcs:

  • Z’s Ambition Arc
  • Punk Hazard Arc
  • Caesar Retrieval Arc
  • Dressrosa Arc

This saga represents the crew’s entrance into the New World. The new region proves to be as dangerous as it’s always said to have been as the crew finds themselves against some of the most notorious pirates. Within this saga are two filler arcs: Z’s Ambition Arc and the Caesar Retrieval Arc.

The most current running saga is the “Yonko Saga”, the name attributed to the current four most powerful pirate captains, each of which dwelling in the New World. This saga is currently split into the following arcs:

  • Silver Mine Arc
  • Zou Arc
  • Marine Rookie Arc
  • Whole Cake Island Arc
  • Levely Arc
  • Wano Country Arc
  • Cidre Guild Arc

Currently running and the longest saga to date, it follows the crew as they fight against Big Mom and Kaido, two members of the Yonko. Jinbe joins the crew as a helmsman in the Whole Cake Island Arc. The fillers in this arc so far are the Silver Mine Arc, Marine Rookie Arc, and the Cidre Guild Arc.

How To Watch

If you’re interested in watching the anime then you have a couple of options. The first option is to watch the series on Crunchyroll with the Japanese dub. For the most part, Crunchyroll splits it up by the common way listed in this article. The first half is divided into each saga, while the second half is so far split up by its smaller arcs.

Another option you have is to watch it on Funimation, which has the Japanese dub, and up to Season 9 or the Fish-Man Island Saga dubbed in English as well (the English dub does require a subscription for most episodes though).

Finally, if you’re still not interested in watching the anime and think you’d much rather read through the series, you’re in luck! The entire series can be read on VIZ if you have a member subscription.

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