The Straw Hats finally reach the desert kingdom of Alabasta and begin their race across the land to reach Alubarna before a massive war breaks out between the kingdom's royal guards and the rebels. However, the true perpetrator of the war, Mr. 0 and the remaining Baroque Works officer agents stand in the way of reaching their goal.
The Man with Many Faces: Mr. 2Edit
The Going Merry is on its way to Alabasta and the crew is trying to catch fish to eat. When they steer through a hot spot (an undersea volcano making the sea above steaming hot), Usopp and Luffy catch Mr. 2, who coincidentally took a similar course, on their fishing rods. The crew pulls him up and quickly befriend him, mainly due to how entertaining he is, especially with his ability to transform into other people with the Mane Mane no Mi. He imitates everybody on the ship except Sanji, who was cooking at the moment, and Vivi, who he simply did not touch. Bon Kurei is then picked up by his own ship and crew and leaves, swearing on friendship. Just as they leave, Vivi realizes that he is Mr. 2 of Baroque Works, but the Straw Hats see it as good fortune to have met him and wear white cloths on their wrists so Bon Kurei can not imitate them without them noticing.
Arriving in Alabasta: The Port Town of NanohanaEdit
The Straw Hats finally reach the port town of Nanohana in the desert kingdom of Alabasta. Luffy, hungry from the long journey, storms off into town without waiting for his crew. At a bar, he interrupts a confrontation between a man named Portgas D. Ace and Captain Smoker of the Marines, knocking both through the wall without his noticing. Luffy grabs a lot of meat, but flees when Smoker stands back up and gives chase. He leads the Marines directly to his crew mates that were purchasing provisions and water in the town. Just as Smoker tries to catch them, Ace interrupts and secures an escape route for the Straw Hat Pirates.
Back on the ship, Luffy tells the crew the man who saved them was his brother. Ace hops onto the ship and meets the crew, but does not stay long and gives Luffy a piece of paper before leaving, destroying seven ships with Billions of the Baroque Works on the way out. Vivi also sends Karoo with a message to Alubarna to warn the King.
The Desert, A Camel, and the Old ManEdit
The Straw Hat Pirates sails to the west side of the Sandora River (Alabasta's biggest river) delta and anchor, leaving the ship. They encounter a group of Kung-Fu Dugongs, who challenge the crew only to be beaten up by Luffy. However, the dugongs now want to become his apprentices, forcing Chopper to bribe them with half their food so they can leave. They enter the town of Erumalu, formerly also known as the Green City, but is now deserted and destroyed by the sand.
They continue their journey through the desert, and Luffy, while resting in a shadow of a big rock, loses half their stuff to Warusagi Birds who trick travelers and steal their luggage. He chases after them but returns alongside a camel that is being chased by a gigantic Great Sandora Lizard. In joined efforts, Sanji, Zoro and Luffy kill the lizard and cook it. The camel, who happens to be a pervert, is given the name "Matsuge" by Nami and joins the crew, giving Nami and Vivi (and only them) a ride on his back.
The journey is continued and the Straw Hats finally arrive in the Yuba Oasis, the supposed hideout of the Rebel Army. However, the only citizen left in town tells them that the rebels are now in an oasis near Nanohana, for Yuba is now almost a daily target of sandstorms. The old citizen turns out to be an old friend of Vivi's, Toto. Here, we learn of their past together along with his son and her friend, Koza, who is currently the leader of the Rebel Army. He gives the Straw Hats a place to sleep and also digs up a gallon of water in the night.
The Straw Hats leave Yuba in the morning as Vivi wants to return to Nanohana, but Luffy becomes gravely serious and tells her that stopping the Rebels will not get rid of Crocodile nor prevent any loss of life and they should go to Rainbase where Crocodile resides. He notes that even if they manage to reach the rebels, Crocodile will still try something to continue the war—it should be noted that, at this point, they still thought there was time before the battles started. After a tough argument and a scuffle in which Luffy states they're all risking their lives, Vivi agrees and leads them to Rainbase.
Meanwhile the Officer Agents of the Baroque Works met up with Miss All Sunday and Crocodile in the basement of the Rain Dinners Casino, owned by Crocodile. They are told the goal of the Baroque Works, their final mission and their respective parts in overthrowing Alabasta. They are interrupted by Mr. 3, who tells them that the Straw Hats and Vivi have escaped him during their time in Little Garden. He asks Crocodile for forgiveness, but is fed to his pet Bananawani (huge crocodiles with banana-shaped growths on their heads) instead. The Officer Agents all get pictures of Vivi and the Straw Hat crew (excluding Sanji) with the help of Bon Kurei's abilities and are given the order to hunt them down (excluding Chopper as Crocodile believed he was the Straw Hats pet).
Arriving in Rainbase: Crocodile's Plan UnveiledEdit
Upon their arrival in Rainbase, the thirsty Luffy and Usopp rush right into a bar to get water, only to unexpectedly run into Captain Smoker and Tashigi there (and spit water in their faces from shock). They get chased by the two and their Marine squad, which also draws the attention of the Baroque Works Billions stationed. The crew splits into groups: Nami and Usopp; Zoro and Vivi; Sanji; Luffy, chased by Smoker; and Chopper, who was left behind. Luffy, Nami, Usopp, Zoro, and Smoker all arrive at Rain Dinners, but they all are caught by a trap and thrown in a Seastone cage by Crocodile.
Vivi is surrounded by Billions, but is saved by Pell, a guard of the king who flew to Rainbase after Karoo's arrival in order to scout. Pell however is defeated by Miss All-Sunday and Vivi is taken to the Rain Dinners basement. There Crocodile tells her his plan to overthrow Alabasta while it is being executed.
In Alubarna, Mr. 4 and Miss Merry Christmas have kidnapped King Nefertari Cobra while Mr. 2 Bon Kurei acts as him in Nanohana alongside a fake group of soldiers. There, he "admits" that he used Dance Powder to make it so that it rains only in Alubarna, and orders his soldiers to destroy the town, because they were the ones who saw the powder being carried in. Koza confronts him, but he is shot. Mr. 1 and Miss Doublefinger add to this destruction by crashing a huge ship filled with weapons into Nanohana.
However, during execution Mr. 2 is spotted changing back by a local kid named Kappa, but the child is taken care of by Mr. 1 and Miss Doublefinger. Kappa, heavily wounded, is spotted by rebel soldiers, and seeing what the "king" has done, Koza decides to launch an attack on Alubarna.
Crocodile dares Vivi to try and help her friends and he floods the room, lets Bananawani in, and has one swallow the key. However he suddenly gets a phone call by a Mr. Prince, recognized by the crew as Sanji, who starts off by imitating the phone call in Little Garden. Sanji makes Crocodile believe he got caught in front of the Rain Dinners and Crocodile goes to check out the situation in front of the casino. Chopper acts as a decoy, using his powers to avoid Crocodile while Sanji destroys the bridge between the Rain Dinners and the rest of Rainbase to ensure that Crocodile can not return to Rain Dinners right away. With Smoker's suggestion, Sanji kicks the right Bananawani with the key, making it cough up both the key and a large wax ball.
As it turns out, the wax ball was created by Mr. 3 to protect himself from being digested, but still wanting revenge, Mr. 3 gets rid of the key (which is actually a fake). However, Sanji forces him to make a copy of the key using his powers, and releases everyone. When Crocodile returns, he sees that everyone is gone, as they had escaped by going underwater (with Sanji and Zoro carrying Luffy and Smoker through the water because of their Devil Fruit powers).
Chopper picks up the crew with a Moving Crab named Hasami, a friend of Matsuge. Smoker decides not to pursue the Straw Hats to repay the favor to them for saving his life and instead gives the order to have nearby Marine forces depart for Alabasta immediately, heading out to their ship and leaving Tashigi in charge. As the Straw Hats run away, Crocodile tries to snatch Vivi from the crab, but she is saved by Luffy who lets himself get dragged off by the crab, promising to meet them in Alubarna.
Crocodile says that he will humor Luffy for three minutes, but will finish him off once that time is up. Luffy attacks Crocodile, but discovers that he can not hit Crocodile as he just turns into sand thanks to the ability of his devil fruit, the Suna Suna no Mi. Crocodile also shows off some attacks as well, one of which dries Luffy's arm out, but Luffy takes water from his small barrel to restore his strength.
Once the three minutes are up, Crocodile creates a sandstorm and sends it off to Yuba, where Toto is, and explains that he was the one who was sending storms there every day. Luffy yells for him to stop it but Crocodile impales him with his hook during his distress. When Luffy proves he is still alive, Crocodile leaves him in quicksand to die.
Luckily, Luffy is saved by Miss All-Sunday after Crocodile's departure. She then leaves Luffy in the hands of Pell, telling Pell that Luffy is responsible for the safe return of Vivi.
Arriving in Alubarna: The War Begins!Edit
The rest of the Straw Hat crew is on the way to Alubarna, only to discover that the Sandora River is in their path and that moving crabs can not swim. They try anyway, but they almost drown and are attacked by a Sandora Rare Catfish. However, the fish is defeated by the Kung-Fu Dugongs they met before. The Dugongs bring them on the back of the fish to the other side of the river where they are met by Karoo and the Super Spot-Billed Duck Troops, the fastest animals on Alabasta.
Meanwhile the Rebel Army under the leadership of Koza have started their rush on Alubarna. Alubarna is evacuated and the royal army, led by Chaka, is preparing the city for the rebel attack. Outside of Alubarna, the officer agents are waiting for Vivi to arrive and catch her, but are thrown into confusion as six hooded people arrive on Super Spot-Billed Ducks. They are forced to pursue them in a hasty decision trying to figure out which one is Vivi.
The real Vivi however hid behind a rock and waited for the Straw Hats to distract the officer agents to buy her time. She tries to stop the rebel army, but a dust cloud caused by a Baroque Works agent under cover in the royal army prevents the Rebel Army from seeing her. She is covered by Karoo to not get trampled down by the rebel army. As she awakes she is greeted by Usopp, but she sees through Mr. 2's disguise (he beat up Usopp and Matsuge shortly before) as he does not show her the special mark under his cloth. Karoo runs off with her climbing the steep walls of Alubarna but still is pursued by Mr. 2. However, he gets delayed by Sanji, who buys Vivi time to get to the palace.
The Straw Hats each face a dangerous battle. Chopper and Usopp battle Mr. 4, his devil fruit gun/dog Lassoo, and Miss Merry Christmas, despite Usopp taking serious injures the duo manage to turn their enemies' attacks against them and defeat the trio. Sanji takes Mr. 2 Bon Kurei in a very comical yet brutal match of martial arts where Mr. 2 takes advantage of Sanji's weakness towards women by turning his head into Nami to take the upper hands until Sanji figures out his weakness and emerges the victor. Nami fights Miss Doublefinger in her first solo fight in the series, using a new weapon created by Usopp called the Clima-Tact and her knowledge of weather to beat her opponent.
Zoro faces against Mr. 1 where Zoro has to confront and overcome his lingering problem of being unable to cut steel before striking down Mr. 1. Vivi arrives at the palace and gives order for the Royal Army to blow up the palace in order to get everyone's attention, but is stopped by Crocodile. The army, realizing what is happening, try to enter the palace but are stopped by Miss All-Sunday. Koza also arrives at the scene, intending to demand Cobra's surrender, only to find out the truth of the situation. Crocodile reveals that he is going to blow up the palace plaza, soon to be center point of battle, with a massive and powerful bomb. He also reveals his true intentions: to find the location of the secret ancient weapon Pluton, which is said to be buried in Alabasta.
Koza wants to warn the city but is stopped by Vivi, who states that it will create a panic. The Royal Army raises the white flag, with Koza in front, but he is shot down by a double agent in the Royal Army, provoking the rebels. A battle starts on the palace plaza and Vivi watches in horror. Crocodile proceeds to throw Vivi off a palace wall, but she is saved by Luffy who came in flying on Pell's back. Vivi meets the rest of the Straw Hats on the foot of the wall and goes to search for the bomb with them and Pell.
Luffy flings himself back up to Crocodile and Miss All Sunday goes off with Cobra to the Poneglyph, which is supposed to reveal the location of Pluton. Luffy, armed with a barrel of water, confronts Crocodile again, as he found his weakness and manages to get a few good hits. Crocodile however can still dry him up and stop his attempts at getting him wet by trying to blow away the soaked Luffy and his barrel. Seeing this, Luffy decides to take in all the water from the barrel, completely filling him, dubbing himself "Water Luffy". Crocodile does not take this form seriously and pays for it when Luffy fires a water bubble completely soaking Crocodile, and hits him with a Gomu Gomu no Bazooka.
While the fight continues, Miss All Sunday takes the nails painfully out of Cobra's body and cuffs him with her powers to force the King to the location of Pluton. Meanwhile, a furious Crocodile recovers and orders his partner to quickly depart. Soon, the Shichibukai reveals that his powers affect everything including inanimate objects and proceeds to dry out the entire garden of the Royal Palace, and anything connected to it, forcing Luffy to attempt to hang on to the walls. Unfortunately, Crocodile appears grabbing Luffy by the neck. He attempts to soak the Baroque Works leader but misses, and is dehydrated in response and left to die once again. Luckily, the water bubbles that Luffy fired fall back down on him re-hydrating him and narrowly saving his life . Thus Luffy goes on to pursue Crocodile.
Miss All Sunday is confronted by Marines led by Tashigi. Having a more than personal enmity against Marines than other pirates, she yells at them to get out of her way. Tashigi demands she releases Cobra, but Miss All Sunday is not prepared to take orders from those who directly take orders from the World Government. Tashigi is later informed by one of her men that Miss All Sunday was originally known as "Nico Robin", who received a bounty of 79,000,000 as a child because she was believed to have been responsible for the sinking of six warships.
Visibly angered, Miss All Sunday easily dispatches the Marine grunts, and defeats Tashigi with her Devil Fruit ability. As Tashigi struggles for her sword, Crocodile appears, calling her superior Smoker "cowardly" and mocking her and the Marines' ideals of "Justice" before departing again. Tashigi is left crying confused as to what action she should take, and angry she is not strong enough.
Vivi, Pell and the Straw Hat crew are separately fighting their way through gangs of Billions and Rebel/Royal Army fights to find the hideout for the bomb, but without any luck. Right then Vivi thinks about the only place that would be useful for launching such an attack: the clock tower, which used to be a hideout for Koza and her other friends.
Usopp calls all the crew mates to the clock tower, but they turn up on different levels (the top can only be reached through a secret staircase at the base), and Pell is shot down by Miss Father's Day, who, alongside Mr. 7, is preparing the cannon. The Straw Hats take advantage of being on different levels of the tower as Nami plans on flinging Vivi to the top level of the tower through multiple stations each assisted by a Straw Hats member. She reaches the cannon and defeats Mr. 7 and Miss Father's Day and stops the cannon from going off, only to discover that it is a time bomb that will go off regardless of being shot or not. Just when it seems everything for naught Pell shows up and carries the bomb off into the sky, allowing it to explode high and harmlessly above the city while sacrificing himself.
However, despite the bomb's explosion knocking the soldiers over, they simply get up and continue the battle. Desperately, Vivi repeatedly yells for them to stop fighting, but her voice is not heard.
Meanwhile, Miss All-Sunday and King Cobra go in the hidden Grave of the Kings and find the poneglyph. Crocodile soon arrives but does not get the information he wants from the stone. He turns his back on Nico Robin and attacks her while she tries an assassination attempt of her own but fails. Cobra triggers a destruction effect on the grave to keep the secrets safe, but Crocodile points out that he can easily escape with his ability. On his way out however, he is confronted by Luffy again. With Luffy soaked in blood, the punches he delivers to Crocodile negate his powers, due to blood also able to harden sand. Crocodile is now determined to end it once and for all, releasing the golden cover to reveal a poison hook.
Luffy fights him and gains the upper hand, but eventually gets struck by the hook and is poisoned. However, he is so determined to send Crocodile flying and help Vivi that it hardly phases him much to Crocodile's increasing frustration. Crocodile goes to end it with a hidden knife in his hook. But Luffy dodges it and kicks Crocodile into the air to which Crocodile counters an with attack that further decreases the stability of the catacombs. Luffy weathers it and manages to get into himself into the air afterwards. Both pirates go for a final attack with Luffy managing to bust through Crocodiles', slamming him with a massive attack called Gomu Gomu no Storm.
Crocodile is smashed through the roof of the mausoleum, through solid bedrock, and into the air, knocking over several buildings in the process landing the Baroque Works president in the center of the capital. Cobra crawls to the victorious young pirate to thank him for defeating Crocodile, to which Luffy replies "No problem" and smiles. Luffy is later saved from Crocodile's poison by Nico Robin who gives him the antidote. Luffy manages to awaken enough to grab Robin and Cobra and carry them out before the grave caves in.
On the surface, Vivi continues her plead as the Rebels and Royal Guard continue to fight as the sky seemed to signify Crocodile's defeat and loss of influence of the land by raining of the first time in years. The Rebels and Royal Guards notice the rain and begin to cease fighting and Vivi's pleas are finally heard. With their attention on the princess who had be thought missing for two years, Vivi tells them that the rain has fallen as it will always fall, and the nightmare is over.
A Farewell and a New Crew MemberEdit
Nefertari Cobra delivers Luffy on his back to the Straw Hats and tells them what happened. Vivi meets up with the group introducing her father to the crew. While concerned for their welfare, the crew state the kingdom comes first and convince her to help Cobra address the subjects. She complies and heads off with him as the crew all pass out from their injuries around Luffy. Igaram, Vivi's bodyguard who was thought dead since Whisky Peak, shows up in Alubarna with Kappa, the beaten-up child from Nanohana, in his arms. He reveals the truth of Baroque Works' ploy to everyone. At last, Cobra himself informs both sides that whoever they rose their swords at and whoever they pointed their guns at no longer matters. Furthermore, while they cannot erase what happened from history but they can together rebuild the country. Rebels and Royal Guards alike were moved by his wise words, and the war officially ended. The Straw Hats, meanwhile, are spared by Tashigi's marine forces, who instead arrest Crocodile and strip him of Shichibukai rank, and are later led to the palace.
Luffy awakens after three days of sleep, demanding food immediately. Luffy and his crew are hailed as heroes in the palace for their efforts in saving the country, but it is kept secret on the outside. Bon Kurei suddenly calls the crew, telling the Straw Hats that he has saved their ship from the Marines and is protecting it for them. The Straw Hat crew gives Vivi a choice of coming with them if she wants to, and to make her decision by noon.
The Straw Hats and Bon Kurei's crew leave in the morning, but they get engaged in a battle with Marine Captain Hina the Black Cage. Bon Kurei and his crew disguise themselves as the Straw Hats to draw their attention, giving them the opportunity to flee though Luffy yells he will never forget them. In the end, Vivi chose not come with them, but came to wave them goodbye, holding her speech over a Den Den Mushi. The Straw Hats respond back by showing her their friendship marks on their arms before sailing off.
However, no sooner then the Straw Hat leave Alabasta, Nico Robin a.k.a. Miss All-Sunday makes herself known having hid herself on board of the Going Merry before their departure from Alabasta. She claims she wants to join the crew for Luffy saved her, even though she lost her will to live, making her their problem. Luffy accepts her offer to join the crew, but the rest (excluding Sanji) are suspicious of her. However, she manages to quickly win everyone's favor, though Zoro remains wary of her. With an unexpected seventh member of the crew, the Straw Hats continue onward with their voyage of the Grand Line for their next adventure.
- This is the first arc to demonstrate fusing Zoan-type Devil Fruits with weapons; i.e. Lassoo with the Inu Inu no Mi, Model: Dachshund (this would not be seen again until the Enies Lobby Arc). It also foreshadows Dr. Vegapunk's abilities with Devil Fruits.
- Robin's character is one of the most important issues of this arc concerning the larger story. She introduces the poneglyphs and the True History, and is the second person to speak about the Will of the D. Also, her sad past is foreshadowed.
- Another important consequence of this arc is the arrest of Baroque Works and the imprisonment of its main members in Impel Down. During that particular arc they will be seen again, but instead, they are on Luffy's side in his attempt to rescue Portgas D. Ace. Prior to the Summit War Saga, the other three officer agents (along with Lassoo) who were arrested in this story arc were freed before the others were sent to Impel Down.
- In this arc, Luffy meets his older brother Ace for the first time in three years in Nanohana, who then tells him about his former subordinate, Blackbeard. Also, at that time Ace gives Luffy a Vivre Card, which its power will be explained by Lola at the end of the Thriller Bark Arc. The paper given in this arc leads to the plots of the Impel Down and Marineford Arcs.
- Luffy suffers his first and second defeats in a row at the hands of Crocodile, thus beginning a pattern in future fights where Luffy, for the sake of his crew and other people, overtaxes himself physically in long and arduous battles against powerful opponents (Enel, Admiral Aokiji, Rob Lucci, Gecko Moria, Pacifista, Magellan and the Marines). Moreover, as a result of the tremendous damage sustained, his health grows worse.
- Realizing her own weakness in contrast with the rest of the crew, and wanting to fight for Vivi's sake, Nami asks Usopp to create a weapon for her, which he does in the form of the Clima Tact. Although mistakenly designed as a party trick rather than a serious weapon, Nami still learns to use it to great effect, marking the point of the series where she starts to participate more proactively in battle.
- During Luffy's third and final battle with Crocodile, the latter explains that once Luffy understands the sea, he will forsake his dream of becoming the Pirate King. These words foreshadow the Post-War Arc: Luffy, after having his spirit broken by Akainu, considers himself too weak to become Pirate King after the death of his brother and being unable to protect his crew, and simply proves that the Straw Hat Pirates, being rookies, are not ready for the threats that inhabit the New World, which will eventually lead the Straw Hat Pirates to individually train in separate locations for two years to prepare for the second half of the Grand Line.
- Luffy's victory over Crocodile would cause the World Government to label him and his whole crew as a dangerous threat.
- This is the first arc to fully demonstrate the corruption of the World Government. After Smoker reports to the government of what happened, they ignore his report and give him and Tashigi all the credit and a promotion.
- During the timeskip, Smoker would express his frustration over the ordeal to Fujitora about how the government covered up what happened. This would also inspire Fujitora to take action and desire to abolish the Shichibukai system.
- This would also cause Fujitora to take matters into his own hands in the Dressrosa Arc by revealing to the whole world what really transpired after Luffy defeats Doflamingo to ensure the government cannot cover up the details like before.
- Despite giving Smoker the credit, Doflamingo would learn of Luffy's victory over Crocodile and take a personal interest in him.
- The Going Merry takes some serious damage during the Straw Hat's escape from Hina's forces (In the anime the ship was repaired afterwards and the filler arc Ruluka Island Arc would instead contribute to this damage). The ship's weakening condition would become a major topic in the next few story arcs, particularly during the Water 7 Arc.
- After his departure from Alabasta, Ace would later go on his own solo adventures that would eventually allow for him to catch up with Blackbeard in the Post-Enies Lobby Arc.
Anime and Manga DifferencesEdit
- Upon their arrival to Nanohana, some filler scenes were added in Episode 93. In particular, Chopper makes the acquaintance of Matsuge.
- During Episode 95, Luffy gets separated from the crew following their escape from Smoker and Ace meets up with him they encounter and fight some of the Billions agents who attempt to kill Ace so they could advance in rank. Notably Ace's invitation for the Straw Hats to join Whitebeard's crew is moved here, while in the manga it took place in front of the whole crew on the Going Merry just after they escaped from Smoker.
- There are four anime-only episodes (episodes 98, 99, 101, and 102) based around the crew's journey in the desert. The crew is accompanied by Ace (he left at the end of Episode 101), as opposed to the manga, where he left right after destroying the ships and giving Luffy his Vivre Card.
- Vivi's flashback occurs in the middle of the fillers episodes in Episode 100 instead of her arrival in Yuba when she encounters Toto.
- Initially, Nami's Clima-Tact was intended to be colored red, as seen in a scene in Chapter 165 title page and Volume 23 cover. But, in the anime, it was colored blue when Nami introduces her new weapon to Miss Doublefinger. Later on in the manga, the Perfect Clima-Tact is colored blue to match the anime.
- Mr. 2 Bon Kurei is an Okama in the manga, with the words Okama way on his back, and practices Okama Kenpo, but in the anime he is a male ballerina, with Bon Kurei on his back, and instead practices ballet kenpo.
- In the manga, it is told that Smoker and Tashigi only received promotion. In the anime, both of them are promoted by one rank. A noticeable mistake is that Tashigi was instead promoted by two ranks, from Master Chief Petty Officer to Ensign, and therefore skipping the Warrant Officer rank.
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