"The Decisive Battle Begins - At Gyoncorde Plaza!" is the 551st episode of the One Piece anime.
Neptune's army put up an attempt to stop Hody Jones and his pirates from reaching Gyoncorde Plaza but seeing the king held hostage prevents them from attacking. The civilians of Fish-Man Island climb up the walls of the plaza only to see the army defeated with King Neptune held captive by the New Fish-Man Pirates at the center of the plaza. Jinbe, Shirahoshi and Megalo have finally left the Sea Forest to reach the plaza. Vander Decken IX shaves the top of his head in his grief, but then starts laughing exclaiming that he got an idea on how to destroy everything.
The three princes have finally reached the plaza where they easily defeat the sea animals. Fukaboshi then gives a speech urging the people of Fish-Man Island to forget the discrimination suffered by humans and aim for a better future, but Hody and his officers attack the three princes, while being enhanced by Energy Steroids. The princes are soundly defeated, with Hody boasting on his victory.
Hody watches the destruction he had unleashed with his enhanced water bullet and Ikaros comments on how Hody was writhing in agony by the Energy Steroid overdose before his transformation. The citizens watched in horror, not only the destruction of the district, but the utter defeat of Neptune's army, with both the Minister of the Right and Minister of the Left were left critically injured in the attack. King Neptune watched helplessly as his soldiers were wiped out, and Hody resumes his path to Gyoncorde Plaza. The Minister of the Left just regained consciousness as he watched his king get taken away to his execution. As the citizens help the army up from the rubble, the minister laments over how they were almost there to fulfilling the late Queen Otohime's dream of a peaceful coexistence with humans until Hody came and threw the island in turmoil. He then begged towards the sky hoping that someone will save the king before Hody executes him. Hody and his pirates continues their trek towards the plaza with everyone on the ground watching them, including Madam Shyarly.
Back at the Fish-Man District, Vander Decken IX cries in grief over his rejection by Princess Shirahoshi, with his crew trying to cheer him up, but he angrily refuses their help saying that they do not know whats it like to be broken-hearted. He even went as far as to shave off his hair but only the top scalp. He began plotting to kill Shirahoshi for deceiving him in his own twisted perception, as he knows he still have the means to send weapons at her but remembers Luffy will still be protecting her. Torn over what to do, he then notices the giant ship situated near the district. He began laughing insanely, saying that he's got an idea to destroy everything.
As Hody and his pirates reach the plaza on their sea-animal mounts, they are greeted by the remaining soldiers of Neptune's army all armed with rifles aimed at them and their captain orders Hody to release King Neptune or they will open fire. The situation turned dire when the soldiers sees Neptune held at gunpoint. The king then yells at his soldiers to run away so they will not die meaningless deaths, but Ikaros Much will not allow it and orders the sea-bear to charge. The soldiers began to fire at the sea-bear with most of the shots striking at the bubble holding the creature afloat.
As the sea-bear looms over the soldiers, the bubble burst, sending the huge beast crashing on top of the soldiers. Those who weren't crushed were either trampled or sent plummeting down the wall. As the soldiers at the center of the plaza watch this happening, they were then greeted by the New Fish-Man Pirates officers as well as their mounts, leaving them surrounded on all sides. Outside the locked plaza gates, the citizens are climbing the walls to see the outcome of the battle occurring in the plaza. Their first sight is the defeat of the soldiers by the sea-beasts, King Neptune held by poles, and the cheering of the New Fish-Man Pirates.
At the sea forest, Jinbe is finally setting out with Shirahoshi and Megalo to Gyoncorde Plaza, commenting on how Luffy gave him a lot of trouble. Before leaving he asks Camie to look after Hatchan. Luffy and his crew are nowhere to be seen.
Back at the Plaza, it has became clear that Hody and his crew are the victors, however one badly injured soldier refuses to admit defeat and is prepared to launch a suicide attack on the officers before the princes arrive. The officers as well as Hody noticed him and Hody, not wanting any disruptions attacked the soldier with an enhanced water shot before the solder can light the fuse, killing him and breaking through the wall of the plaza where it kept going, destroying everything in its path until it reached Mermaid Cove where it fell into the sea as a harmless drop of water. The Fish-Man pirates were left in shock over the strength of the attack, while the officers were in awe and talked with Hody over his transformation, asking him if he's alright, in which he replied "never felt better".
Suddenly, the three princes came crashing through the gate on their mount much to the joy of the citizens, but expresses their dismay when they see the state of Neptune's army. They turned their anger towards Hody and his crew. Neptune warns his sons to be careful of the beasts and the officers as they all have taken Energy Steroids. As the sea-beasts surround the princes, Fukaboshi yells at Hody Jones that he and his folk are the weakest on the island. He describes how the people of the island try to ignore their history of discrimination by humans, as well as endure the pain of losing Fisher Tiger and Queen Otohime to humans. That's why they signed their names for a better future and that Hody will never understand their kindness.
Hody, however scoffs at him, saying it's meaningless gesture and that its just human tricks. As the sea-beasts prepare to attack, the princes struck first taking out two sea-beasts each with their mount pitched in at defeating the sea-bear. The citizens were left in awe at the princes defeating the drug enhanced sea-beasts so easily. The princes then prepare to face Hody, reinforcing their will to prevent Hody from taking over the island and destroying the chance of peace their mother tried to achieve. Hody showed no relent and comments that the island will be ruled by the victors of this battle. As his officers each take a pill of Energy Steroids, the princes prepare to defend themselves from their unnatural strength.
The officers attacked quickly and without mercy dealing heavy injuries to the princes as well as their mount. In the end, the three princes were defeated, the King watched helplessly as his sons lie in pain and Hody laughing at his victory over the royal family.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- The following scenes are shown in the anime:
- In the manga, the ministers and the soldiers with them were wiped out fighting a sea beast. However, the anime shows that Hody is the one who deals the defeating blow to them.
- In the manga, the conversation of Decken with his subordinates happens in Hody's hideout, but in the anime, it happens in the Flying Dutchman.
- In the manga, a citizen mentioned that the princes initially had the officers beaten, but the anime shows that the fight has been rather short and the princes are swiftly defeated right after the battle began. However in the next episode, this seems to be ignored as the citizens still say that the princes had the initial advantage, causing a continuity error.
- Despite already being present with the rest of the sea beasts in the manga, Surume is not seen in this episode.
- This is the first episode to use Sanji's post-timeskip eyecatcher.