This article contains spoilers for Netflix’s One Piece.
Fans have been following the grand adventures of Monkey D. Luffy since 1997, the year that Eiichiro Oda first debuted his manga One Piece in the pages of Weekly Shonen Jump. Now, over 25 years later, an entirely new audience is discovering this fantastic story through Netflix’s live-action adaptation, which has become an instant success with a reported record-shattering 18 million views across the world. Fans clamoring for the continued adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates don’t have to wait for Netflix to greenlight a second season, there’s a wealth of source material waiting to be read and watched.
This guide breaks down five of the most incredible moments from the live-action series and includes what chapter of the manga and what episode from the anime they were adapted from so you can jump directly into the originals.
Luffy Sends Alvida Flying Off Her Own Pirate Ship
Live Action: Episode 1
Manga: Chapter 2
Anime: Episode 1
There’s one thing that becomes abundantly clear as Alvida is sent flying off into the night, Luffy knows how to throw a punch. His Gum-Gum powers makes his body all stretchy, which means he can cock his hand back hundreds of feet and snap it forward for an explosive strike that earned him a total victory against a badder-than-bad pirate. Alvida had just been introduced as a prototypical pirate, she’s mighty, she plunders and pillages, she commands her own pirate ship. And yet, she is completely helpless against the untested no-name pirate in a straw hat. Luffy is just that strong.
In chapter 2 of the manga, the set-up is mostly the same as the live-action adaptation, with a few changes here and there. Luffy still meets Koby, the meager cabin boy, and resolves to whomp Alvida on his accord. The fight takes all of two pages to play out, emphasizing two things about Luffy: one, his rubbery body can take a physical attack with no damage and two, his stretchy arm packs a serious punch.
Meanwhile, the anime also chose to expand this interaction in its very first episode. You see a lot more of Luffy’s happy-go-lucky attitude and more than a few named Gum-Gum attacks. The anime takes its time to draw the scene out, doing its own take on the interaction, but both lead to the same satisfying conclusion with Alvida flying off into the distance and Koby gaining the freedom to follow his dream of joining the Marines.
Zoro Swears to Never Lose Again
Live Action: Episode 5
Manga: Chapters 50-52
Anime: Episode 24
Zoro is bleeding out and drawing his final breaths when he he points his sword to the sky and makes his vow to Luffy to remain undefeated until the day he fulfills his life-long dream of becoming the world’s greatest swordsman by defeating Dracule Mihawk, one of the seven state-sanctioned pirates, a fearsome Warlord of the Sea. It’s an incredible promise, considering that Mihawk is the one who put Zoro in this near-death state by winning a duel that wasn’t even close. Zoro lost to a guy holding a sword the size of a golf pencil and yet he is still resolved to achieve his life-long dream.
Mihawk, for his part, is captivated by Zoro’s spirit and leaves him mostly dead instead of body-split-in-two dead, setting up an inevitable rematch for the ages. Zoro’s journey ahead will be long and arduous, but he has the resolve, like Luffy, to attain the unattainable. The fact that this vow is made to his captain, not just for his own sake, is the moment that their unbreakable bond is born.
Incredibly, the way their duel plays out in live action is almost identical to the way Oda originally drew it in chapter 51 of the manga, down to the sequence of attacks that Zoro launches and the way Zoro holds his head in his hand. It’s also striking how quickly the fight plays out, spanning a single 20-page chapter with a pace that perfectly illustrates the mighty gulf between Zoro and his goal. In comparison, the battle between Luffy and Don Krieg, which was omitted from the Netflix series in favor of a round 1 fight against Arlong, takes a whopping 13 chapters to play out.
Sanji Shouts His Tearful Farewell to Chef Zeff
Live-Action: Episode 6
Manga: Chapter 68
Anime: Episode 30
When Sanji finally sets off in search of the legendary All Blue as a member of Luffy’s pirate crew, he tries to bid adieu to Chef Zeff with a brief, stoic look to say everything without saying anything. It’s “Red-Leg” Zeff who breaks the silence with one final piece of advice, “Keep your feet dry.” It’s an acknowledgement that Sanji is venturing into the same treacherous waters where Zeff once ran wild, before they were stranded on that rock, before Zeff traded his leg for Sanji’s chance at fulfilling their shared dream.
Sanji turns back to Zeff, and as he sails away, unlikely to return, his heart pours open. “I owe you my life. I’ll never forget you.” Zeff isn’t quite a father to Sanji and Sanji isn’t quite a son to Zeff, but their bond is forever. They share the same dream after all. With this emotionally vulnerable exchange, it’s clear that One Piece isn’t just action and adventure, it’s about the love we feel for one another.
The original goodbye in the manga hits all the same emotional highs as the live-action, but not before putting Sanji through the wringer with the staff of Baratie who give him the “go-on an’ git” treatment in hopes of convincing Sanji to finally set out on his own adventure. The restaurant also sees significantly more action in the original.
There’s an entire crew of pirates that Luffy and Sanji take on led by Don Krieg, who just barely escaped the Grand Line with his life. All that was cut from the live episode, most likely for time and brevity. The anime’s farewell is also different in its own way, with extra scenes depicting small moments between Sanji and Zeff as they started the restaurant together fresh off that horrible rock.
Nami Asks Luffy for Help and He Puts His Hat on Her
Live-Action: Episode 7
Manga: Chapters 77 – 81
Anime: Episodes 35 – 37
When the money Nami squirreled away to buy back her village from Arlong is taken away by crooked Marines, the despair Nami feels is so deep that she stabs at the tattoo symbolizing her subservience to the pirate who took everything from her, screaming his name in anguish. Luffy has been on Nami’s case the entire season, vowing to help, but she turned him away at every chance. Her despair finally reached the breaking point when she realized she would never, ever be free from his control.
It’s the moment where she has nothing left to lose that she turns to Luffy, tears bursting from her eyes, and asks for help. Luffy’s response is incredible, in two parts. He takes off his hat and puts it on her head the exact same way Shanks entrusted it to him the last time he ever saw him. And then there’s Luffy’s answer, “Of course I will!” It’s a snap response that confirms everything there is to love about the guy. He isn’t scared of keeping his word, even against Arlong. He’s overjoyed that Nami is finally asking him for help. It’s all he needed to save her. She had to believe she could be saved.
Read the original flashback in the manga, if you can stomach it. You’ll relive the tragedy that was Nami and Nojiko’s childhood, starting as war orphans that Belle-mere took in. The fight they get into about being poor. Nami realizes she could stay with Belle-mere if they had more money to give to Arlong. Belle-mere paying her kids’ way, refusing to say she doesn’t have kids. The apology, the “I love you” and then Arlong finishes her. We knew Arlong was bad, but not like this. His ecstatic laugh cuts through the misery. The terror he inflicted on Nami and her family was his dream. He lives to exact revenge on humans in a way just as miserable as what he says he suffered through.
Luffy’s Gum-Gum Battle Axe Against Arlong
Live-Action: Episode 8
Manga: Chapters 82 – 93
Anime: Episode 43
Years and years of Arlong’s vicious reign of terror finally come to an end when Luffy stretches his foot into the sky and brings it down on Arlong, defeating him and destroying his stronghold once and for all. The pirates Luffy bested before facing Arlong might have had strange powers, incredible speed, and ingenious plans, but the simple truth about Arlong is that his power was absolute. He easily outclassed Luffy at Baratie and every bounty hunter and marine who dared cross his path.
Even at the end, Luffy acknowledges that Arlong is stronger than him, but his resolve isn’t just to beat him, it’s to set Nami free. His final attack, the Gum-Gum Battle Axe, doesn’t just stomp Arlong through every floor of Nami’s prison, it destroys her years of work, the maps Arlong was relying on to take control of the entire East Blue. The entire building comes crashing down, but Luffy emerges from the rubble victorious. For his friends, Luffy will do anything to set them free.
While the Arlong of the live-action series voices his complexities much more than his original portrayal in the manga, the manga also has a ton of amazing fight sequences that didn’t make it into the adaptation. There’s the part where Luffy drives his feet straight into concrete so he can swing a giant sea cow around and around, which works, but then he finds himself unable to get his feet out. Arlong’s first-mate Hachi, an octopus fishman who was omitted entirely from the adaptation, faces off against Zoro that pits six swords against three. Usopp has a few extra gags involving rotten eggs and ketchup. Luffy’s final round fight against Arlong was faithfully adapted, a testament to its breathtaking paneling and emotional intensity.
BONUS: Buggy’s Quest to Find His Missing Body Parts and Koby’s Path to Becoming Garp’s Disciple
Manga: The first page of chapters 35-75
Anime: Episodes 46-47
Manga: The first page of chapters 83 – 119
Anime: Episodes 68-69
The biggest change to the original story was the inclusion of Garp, Koby, and Helmeppo and their quest to bring Luffy to justice. In the manga and anime, Luffy says goodbye to Koby after defeating Ax-hand Morgan and they don’t cross paths for years and years. Recently, Koby has taken on a larger role as a rising star of the Marines, but his origin as a Navy recruit was only covered in a one-page-a-week cover stories Oda included with each chapter. They read differently from the rest of the manga, with little-to-no dialogue while moving the story along slowly but surely. The anime compiled these and adapted them into two episodes as well.
It’s also worth noting that Buggy, the Jester Genius everyone loves to hate, starred in the first cover story series, from chapters 35-75, depicting his perilous quest to find his missing limbs and reassemble his crew. He wasn’t kidnapped by Arlong in the original, so this is an entirely more silly take on how Buggy weasels his way back into the main story.
All eight episodes of One Piece are available to stream on Netflix now.