"A Battle Begins - Luffy vs. the Mink Tribe!" is the 754th episode of the One Piece anime.
The minks Carrot and Wanda leave the Straw Hats and Law in order to stop Luffy from invading the Whale Forest and getting attacked by the Guardians. Luffy comes into conflict with two Guardians named Roddy and Blackback, but Wanda and Carrot intervene. Meanwhile, the Straw Hats and Law walk through Kurau City, seeing signs of recent heavy damage, which Wanda reveals is due to an attack by Jack as she prepares to take Luffy to see his crewmates that had come to Zou earlier.
Luffy races through the abandoned Kurau City, looking for Sanji, Nami, Chopper, Brook, Momonosuke, and Caesar Clown. He then enters the Whale Forest, and is awestruck at the giant tree shaped like a whale in the center. Luffy traverses through the trees, but he is unknowingly being watched by a mink named Pedro. Meanwhile, a canine mink named Wanda stops her fellow mink Carrot from attacking the Straw Hats, saying that they need to deal with an intruder in the Whale Forest. Usopp notices that Wanda is wearing Nami's clothes and becomes paranoid; Robin suggests that the minks could be cannibals, which only frightens Usopp more. Meanwhile, Luffy surveys the Whale Forest, but is suddenly confronted by two minks. Carrot then jumps a very high distance in order to survey the Whale Forest, shocking the Straw Hats with her abilities, and sees a disturbance occurring there. She comes back down and climbs on Wanda's steed Wany, and Wanda gives the Straw Hats directions to get to the Rightflank Forest, where they will find the corpse of their crewmate, which appalls them. Wanda and Carrot ride toward the Whale Forest, with Wanda revealing that the pirates they just met are the Straw Hat Pirates, and that Luffy is probably the intruder in the Whale Forest. However, the Guardians may not show him mercy despite who he is.
Meanwhile, Usopp freaks out about the minks and what happened to their crewmates, and Robin only continues assuming the worst about the minks. However, Zoro and Franky are confident that their crewmates are safe, and Robin asks Law if his crewmates are here as well. Law affirms this, though he did not plan a way to get back to them because he thought he would never seen again, but he realizes he has Bepo's Vivre Card in his possession. Law reveals to the Straw Hats that Bepo is a mink, but left Zou at a young age, and the pirates follow the direction the Vivre Card is pointing toward.
In the Whale Forest, Luffy clashes with a bull mink named Roddy; the two butt heads while Roddy discharges electrical energy. Luffy and Roddy fight evenly, with both parties managing to repel the other. The other Guardian, a gorilla mink named Blackback, wonders how Roddy's Electro does not work on Luffy, who reveals to them that he is made of rubber. Luffy and Roddy continue fighting, when suddenly Bepo, Jean Bart, Shachi, and Penguin arrive at the scene. They recognize Luffy and tell Roddy to stop attacking, as Luffy is a friend, but Roddy refuses. Jean Bart tries to break the two up by force, but an angry Blackback flips him over. An enraged Roddy mounts another charge, but Wanda and Carrot then arrive, throwing a fluttering object to distract Roddy and bananas to pacify Blackback. Luffy asks Wanda why they were attacking him, and Wanda reveals that the Guardians are tasked with keeping intruders out of the Whale Forest. Wanda then talks to Pedro, who is standing on a treetop, apologizing for Luffy's intrusion and telling him to call back the Guardians. Pedro does so, and the large number of Guardians that had secretly surrounded Luffy all disperse; Luffy is bewildered due to not knowing they were there, and Wanda tells him to be glad this was not a moonlit night. Luffy then meets the Heart Pirates, who are initially confused by him referring to Law as "Torao", but are happy to find out their captain is here.
Meanwhile, the Straw Hats and Law travel through Kurau City, noticing the massive damage and the lack of anyone here. Robin, Zoro, and Law inspect various buildings as Usopp continues panicking, and the Straw Hats see large claw marks on the buildings, big footprints on the ground, and torture devices with blood on them. Robin then reveals that whatever happened to cause this damage was only a week or two ago, meaning Sanji and the others were likely involved in it. Meanwhile, Wanda reveals to Luffy that the country was destroyed by Jack as Wanda and Carrot emotionally remember the bloodshed that occurred not too long ago. Suddenly, the ground begins shaking, and the minks prepare for the upcoming Eruption Rain. Wanda tells Luffy to get onto Wany and she will take him to his friends, and Luffy is excited to see Sanji and the others. However, Wanda fails to affirm his statement, and Luffy wonders what is wrong.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- The anime adds the following:
- After Luffy enters the Whale Forest, he is first spotted by Pedro.
- Luffy's meeting with Roddy and Blackback and the start of their confrontation are shown onscreen.
- Usopp and his allies debating whether or not to listen to Wanda's instructions is extended in the anime, as is the gag of Robin wondering if the minks eat humans.
- Luffy's fight with Roddy is extended in the anime. During the fight, Luffy explains to Blackback that he's made of rubber, which is why Electro has no effect on him.
- Zoro, Robin, Usopp, Franky, and Law's exploration of Zou is extended.