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"Protect! The Last Great Performance" is the third TV Special of the One Piece anime. It was aired after Episode 174 of the anime.

The storyline time is assumed to be between the Long Ring Long Land Arc and Ocean's Dream Arc.

It is called Save! The Last Big Stage by Toei Animation USA.[1]

Short Summary[]

For many years, Ex-Marine Lieutenant Randolph and his troupe have put on a play aboard his ship. Having lost his family to pirates, Randolph wishes to put on plays that will give courage to those who have also lost their loved ones to pirates. Unfortunately, Randolph must retire soon, and he is now giving his last performance. Luffy and his crew come to see the play, and somehow manage to take part in it themselves. But from Randolph's past comes a vengeful subordinate with a diabolical plan who has finally become commander in order to capture Randolph. Luffy and his nakama now must prove to the people that not all pirates are scum, and protect Randolph's final farewell performance from the bitter commander.

Long Summary[]

Long-time actor Randolph is performing his final farewell show. The Straw Hat Pirates decide to buy tickets to go see the performance. 30 minutes before the play is set to start, 3 actors decide to quit the play, leaving Randolph's play shorthanded. Nami makes a deal with the manager of the play to participate as the princess for Beli100,000, and the other Straw Hats decide to help as well.

The first act is disastrous as Usopp says too many lines, Sanji, playing a pirate, fails to memorize his lines and cannot bring himself to attack Nami, playing a princess even if it's just pretending, Robin thinks the play is a musical and overacts while singing, and Luffy dresses up in a monkey costume and dances in front of the audience just for fun. This hectic performance causes a crash on the set and Zoro, thinking that was the cue, turns the stage so that it crashes on all the actors. Randolph, playing a marine officer, however performs a valiant speech which inspires the audience.

Before Act 2, Randolph finds out Luffy is a pirate and attacks him. In the past, Randolph had his family killed by pirates and joined the marines to bring them to justice. After he arrested the pirates that killed his family, he went back to his original job as an actor. But knowing that Luffy was a pirate made Randolph angry and he attempted to fight him. Seeing as Act 2 was soon to come, Randolph postponed the fight until after the play.

Just as everyone was about to start the 2nd act, a marine commander showed up and arrested Randolph for selling weapons to pirates. This turned out to be a lie however as this marine commander Governor had planted those weapons on Randolph's ship for revenge.

In the past, Governor was an underling of Randolph who had tried to rise in marine rank by selling marine weapons to pirates for money. And Governor, killed one of his accomplices while doing this to keep the act a secret and to keep the money to himself. Randolph realized what Governor had done and without any evidence sent Governor to court martial. Governor was pronounced not guilty, but the accusation delayed his plan to rise in rank by many years.

Finally, after all this time Commander Governor decided to take his revenge on Randolph and planned to send him to court martial like Governor had gone through previously and ruin Randolph's farewell performance. Except Commander Governor made up evidence to prove Randolph was guilty. It turns out the 3 actors who quit Randolph's group earlier in the day, were actually allied with Commander Governor and planned to testify that Randolph was indeed a criminal.

After falling into a cell, Randolph is freed by Luffy who tells him to go back to his ship and finish the act. Randolph refuses to accept help from a pirate but once they are discovered, Luffy grabs Randolph and fights through many marines until he escapes the marine ship and places Randolph back on his own ship and stage. Commander Governor tells the marines to fire and sink both the Going Merry and Randolph's ship but Luffy stops the cannonballs from reaching Randolph's ship. Luffy vows to protect Randolph's performance and yells to Randolph to hurry and finish the act.

While Randolph is performing the act, the marines send two ships around the Going Merry to try and sink Randolph's ships. Zoro and Sanji head out to stop these ships and defend against cannonballs. Eventually, the marines focus all fire on the Straw Hat Pirates and sink both Zoro's and Sanji's rowboats. The Straw Hats decide to attack the main marine ship with Robin turning one of its own cannons against it and Usopp knocking out a couple of the cannons with one shot.

In the confusion, Luffy and Chopper board the main marine ship and knock out all of the marines on board. The two other marine ships try to help the main marine flagship but each is destroyed by Sanji and Zoro respectively. Commander Governor wonders why the pirates are so strong and finally realizes that they are facing the Straw Hat Pirates. He accuses an underling of making the mistake and threatens him with court martial, but the marine says go ahead and threatens to reveal the truth about Commander Governor.

Meanwhile, Randolph is just about to finish his play when he decides to change the last line. Instead of "I will fight until every pirate is dead at my feet", he tells the audience that the pirates in the play actually disposed of the cruel and greedy princess of the village. He says that he will fight against all who are despicable instead. He will fight against those with rotten souls and that even if your loved ones are slain by these evil people, you must forge ahead and live on.

The Straw Hat Pirates defeat all the marines that fight, while some decide to ditch the cowardly Commander Governor. With no men left, Commander Governor states he will not give up and will just lie on his reports to his superiors about what happened. Luffy drops down into the commanders room however, and punches him through the sky.

Randolph's new speech brings tears and cheers to the audience as his farewell performance comes to an end. As Luffy and the rest leave the island, Luffy yells to Randolph that he will be back to settle things and to not to forget about it and Randolph remarks that Luffy better not forget their postponed fight either as the Straw Hats sail off into the sunset.

Characters in Order of Appearance[]

Anime Notes[]

  • Several names appeared in the episode credits. Suita is Randolph's manager in the red coat. Jotto is the large actor who plays the final pirate in the play. Alan is the actor in the green shirt wearing glasses. Lego is the marine subordinate of Governor. Ed is the one that is somewhat fat and wearing a brown vest. The other one is unknown as he is not referred to by name during the special.
  • When Randolph punches Luffy into a wardrobe, Luffy's sandals are on, but he had been shown with them off.
  • This special takes place between the Long Ring Long Land Arc and Water 7 Arc.
  • This is the last special to be shown in 4:3 aspect ratio before the switch to 16:9 widescreen ratio.

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