This one is going to be much shorter than the Alabasta Arc
Masira (right) the Salvage King and Shoujou (left) the Sonar King are brother pirates who are big fans and supporter of Montblanc Cricket. The two lead their pirate groups to salvage areas around island of Jaya in search of evidence of Shandora.
Montblanc Cricket (center) is the head of the Saruyama Alliance in which Masira and Shoujou are part of. Montblanc Cricket is in a long drawn out duel with his ancestor. His ancestor, Noland was executed for lying about the legendary city of gold, Shandora, and his famly line has been mocked for that. But Montblanc Cricket wants to prove that his ancestor was correct, so he and the Saruyama Alliance search for Shandora beneath the ocean.
Marshall D. Teach aka Blackbeard is probably the most important character that was introduced here. Not much is shown about this guy in this arc, but he will later become a Shichibukai as well as a Yonkou.
Bellamy the Hyena is the main antagonist of this transitional arc. He is the user of the Spring Spring Fruit that gives him power to super jump. It is later revealed that he works for Donquixote Doflamingo, a Shichibukai and the king of Dressrossa. Bellamy is a prick and does asshole things, and most recent victim of his is Montblanc Cricket.
After the events of Alabasta, the gang finds out Nico Robin aka former Miss All Sunday stowawayed on their ship and wants to join the Straw Hats. Luff says yes.
Now the gang heads to their next destination…. which is in the sky…. yup. While being dumbfounded, a ship falls from the sky…. yup. The crew then meets these pirates that look like monkeys, not monkeys, but look like monkeys…. yup. From this fallen ship, the crew finds a map to Sky Piea, an island in the sky. And if falling ship and moneky man wasn’t enough, we then see this:
After seeing THAT, the crew separate from Masira’s ship, and Robin stole the Eternal Compass to island of Jaya, the dirtiest and sketchiest place we’ve seen in One Piece yet. Here, we see more realistic pirates: thugs who like to ignore laws, cheat, and beat each other up for money or for fun.
Luffy and Zoro goes into Mock Town, the central hub for Jaya. And in this local bar Luffy meets Marhsall D. Teach, and the two instantly do not like each other. No one realizes this now, but this is clash of titans that is happening now, this meeting will be so much mroe significant later on in the story as their relationship becomes more and more hostile. Following this meeting, Bellamy enters and decides to bully Luffy and Zoro. To avoid causing trouble and gather info on Sky Piea, Nami asks the bartender about any way to get there, and the entire bar laughs and the crew, telling them that dreams and romance are dead. And Luffy decides that this is below him, does not retaliate and gets beat.
After leaving the bar, Luffy, Zoro, and Nami returns to the ship, and they meet Shoujo who is angry that Straw Hats are trespassing his territory. He gets angry and starts attacking, but Luffy pirates run away. Robin has gathered some good info on a man who may be the key to go to the sky. Following her data, they find a house that is split down the middle. This will be tad interesting later on.
The crew then meet Montblanc Cricket. A former pirate who dives daily in search of the legendary golden city. He mistakes Luffy pirates…. for pirates, and tries to protect his gold, but faints due to diving injuries. Cricket dives for gold, not because he is greedy, nor to prove his ancestor’s innocence but because this situation is a curse and he is going to break it, a duel between Cricket and his ancestor. Here is the quick thing about Montblanc’s “Shame” aka “Norland, the King of Liars”:
Montblanc Norland was a royal-funded explorer who found the island of Jaya. And on Jaya, she discovered the city of gold, Shandora. And returned to his home country to report his findings. So happy and excited, the king and Norland made their way to Shandora, only to find the city… hell, half the island, disappeared and leaving only sea water. Feeling bamboozled, the king executed Norland back in homeland for his lie. This is a children’s tale in One Piece….
The crew quickly become friends with Montblanc Cricket and the the monkey brothers. And find out that Cricket has indeed found gold of Shandora, but not the city itself. Then Cricket proceeds to give any info he has on reaching islands in the sky. Seeing that Straw Hats have no idea what they are about to do, Cricket and the monkey brother’s decide to assist them to reach their destination. And then, in good ol’ One Piece fashion, they have a feast to celebrate, this time the alliance formed between Luffy pirates and the Cricket crew. And during this feat, Cricket says:
“In the Skull’s right eye, Gold is seen.”
Although it does not mean much now, it will be important later. The feast continues and pretty much everyone is drunk. Cricket brings out the gold they found and show a golden bird. And this reminds Cricket that the crew need to catch one of the “South Bird,” named for always facing south, to reach their destination called the Knock Up Stream, it is not what you think it is. It is a giant seas geyser that can blast ships in the sky. So to catch this bird, the crew heads to the forest.
A little back, Bellamy and his crew find out old man Cricket has a lot of gold, so they head over there. During the Straw Hats’ absence, Bellamy attacks the Cricket household. Sdaly, Cricket and the monkey brother are brutally beat up and had their life’s worth robbed from them.
Luffy returns to Cricket’s place to find his new comrades beat up and Cricket’s gold, his life’s work, stolen. And Bellamy, being a dick, left his symbol on his wall.
Luffy returns to Mock Town and face Bellamy. And Luffy is furious. Bellamy laughs at him and charges in. Like a badass, Luffy gives Bellamy one good hit in the face and Bellamy is destroyed. And terrified, Bellamy’s lackeys ask Luffy what he is going to do next, and he says:
After this, Luffy makes his way back to his crew to freaking ride this:
This arc ends in a super natural event of the Muthafcking Knock Up Stream. Luffy and the crew, on their new pimped up Going Merry, rides the volcanic stream in to Sky Piea!!!
While Luffy’s adventures on Jaya comes to a close, we turn to other parts of the world. The Gorosei of the World Governement, called in all of the Shichibukais for a meeting. And they are going to discuss 2 of the most powerful pirate in the world, Yonkous Red Haired Shanks and Edward “White Beard” Newgate.
This is one of the most frustrating and refreshing arcs for me. This is because Bellamy and Mock Town opposes everything Straw Hats believe in: that dreams are for losers and trying is only for the weak. Seeing how Bellamy has no idea who he is dealing with and getting his ass whopped was something we needed to close this arc.
Hope you liked this one. The next time, let’s take a step back to the past and see what really happened to golden city of Shandora!