Welcome pirates to a new series of feature stories. Starting here on the Punk Hazard arc, we will highlight the best moments of each arc. Why are we starting with Punk Hazard? Well, I’m reading One Piece for the first time, and as the series finally clicks, it’s the perfect time to highlight the best moments as I read along.. Punk Hazard is the most recent arc that I’ve finished, so we will start here. While I may go back and start from the beginning after I catch up, as fans know, I still have a long way to go!!
So let’s embark on an expedition to the perilous island of Punk Hazard. In this tumultuous arc, the Straw Hat Pirates find themselves on a hot and cold island with a true monster for a villain and tons of comedic chaos. Let’s see what this awful island has in store for us!
The Return of Law, Who Is Just So Cool
The Punk Hazard arc marks the impactful return of Trafalgar Law, who is now one of the seven warlords of the sea. His reentry into the narrative as a formidable force brings about a series of electrifying events that set the stage for chaos and alliances. Law steals the show and defeats nearly every character he encounters, and if he fails the first time, he amends that later. As he forms a significant alliance with the Straw Hat crew, Law’s cool one-liners, and menacing aura solidify his place as a fan-favorite through this arc.
The Body Swaps
Law blesses half of the Straw Hats with a little body swap, resulting in some of the best comedic moments in the arc. Sanji might be annoying as hell, but Nami in Franky’s body and Franky in Choppers leads to some of the best comedic moments in the arc. Everything from the characters trying to adjust to their new strengths and limitations to the absurd little faces drawn on their hands make this short and sweet moment a hoot. The icing on the cake is Smoker and Tashigi swapping bodies.
Vergo Is A Dude
Vergo, one of Donquixote Doflamingo’s top officers, plays a significant role in the Punk Hazard arc, even if we don’t get to spend more time with him in future arcs. Seriously, I don’t understand how some truly awful villains get to keep on living through the series and Vergo somehow gets written out within a few chapters. He doesn’t get too many action sequences, but shines in both the Law and Smoker encounters. His excellent design, funny lines, and entire chunks of food being stuck to the side of his face are enough to make him memorable.
I’ll never forget you, Vergo.
Realizing that Caesar is a Real Monster
Caesar Clown is the main antagonist of the Punk Hazard arc and just a straight up war criminal. Seriousdly, I don’t think there are too many One Piece villains that are more detestable in Caesar. His actions, such as murdering almost everyone on the island and using innocent children like Mocha and endangering their lives with his gas experiments, highlight his villainous nature and make him a compelling antagonist to root against. He gets what he deserves.
Speaking of Caesar abusing children, Mocha is a real one. Amidst the chaos on Punk Hazard, Mocha, a young girl experimented on by Caesar, shows incredible bravery and heroism. She is determined to save her friends from Caesar’s deadly drug, and shows that she is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to help everyone else become grownups. The scene with Chopper after she eats the candy is one of the strongest emotional scenes in the entire series.