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One Piece Art NUE is a series of artwork that tells a non-canon story about the Straw Hat Pirates in Wano Country. It was created for an exhibit at the Daikaku Temple in Kyoto during the One Piece x Kyoto event in 2017 celebrating the 20th anniversary of One Piece. After the event ended, it later became an exhibit in the traveling exhibition Hello, One Piece.[1]

The artwork is predominantly drawn in an ukiyo-e style. Eiichiro Oda drew the climactic scene in his own style, formatting it much like a color spread.

Plot

The story is set in Yo, a region in Wano Country, where a man named Toratsugu is raggedly wandering along a beach, and finds a piece of fruit in the sand. He eats it, not realizing it was a Devil Fruit, and he is cursed with the transformative power of a Nue—a mythological Japanese creature that has a monkey's head, a lion's body, and a snake for a tail.

The Straw Hats arrive at Yo.

The next day, the Straw Hat Pirates land in the harbor of the region. They interact with the locals, as Nami checking out a kimono, Chopper sampling local sweets, Brook playing a shamisen-like instrument, Sanji schmoozing with the ladies, Usopp learning about ukiyo-e, and Zoro just getting lost.

While the Straw Hats enjoy the excitement of the harbor, the daimyo's daughter princess Kikuhime is having her wedding celebration, even though the daimyo himself recently died. She is marrying prince Lark from a neighboring country, and he is to become the new feudal lord. Suddenly, the mansion housing the ceremony is attacked by the nue, and Lark faces the creature but is unable to take it down.

Lark sends the Straw Hats after the nue.

Lark meets with the Straw Hats, asking them to help him save the capital. Luffy is much more excited about the nue and says he wants to make it his pet, so he agrees, while Nami is excited by the rewards promised. Afterwards, they all travel to a mountain temple to face the nue.

At the mountain temple, Luffy finds that the supposed "monster" is acting like a human, and seems to be crying. After their quick bout is over, the nue falls into a ravine. Luffy and his crew retreat but later find a man at the bottom of the ravine. Luffy realizes the nue is really a human, and Chopper begins healing him.

Lark is revealed to be Hitaki's murderer.

Toratsugu then explains himself. He is, in fact, a master florist and teacher of flower arranging for the Hitaki Family, the clan of the daimyo. He is also a childhood friend of Kikuhime. The two got along well and gradually came to love one another. They pledged their love to each other and got engaged. A few days later, Lark murdered the daimyo, and Toratsugu witnesses the act. Lark imprisons Toratsugu, blaming the murder on him, and as a result become the next in line to become the daimyo and rule the capital. The night before his public execution, Toratsugu escapes his prison, and that is when he finds the Devil Fruit on the beach.

The Straw Hats are moved by Toratsugu's tale, and they decide to work together to take down Lark. Toratsugu is injured, but he nevertheless changes into his nue form, and the Straw Hats ride on his back to face Lark, who has barricaded himself in an encampment. Kikuhime desperatly tries to convince him that Toratsugu is innocent. Lark says he'll definitely capture Toratsugu and execute him, and confesses to Kikuhime that he is the real killer, before claiming he doesn't need her anymore, and pushes her off a balcony, saying he'll blame that on Toratsugu as well.

Luffy defeats Lark.

Toratsugu and the Straw Hats arrive just in time for Luffy to stretch and save Kikuhime. Luffy then fights Lark and knocks him out with a single punch. After Lark's defeat, everybody celebrates with a banquet before the Straw Hats sail off for another adventure. Chopper is happy that Toratsugu and Kikuhime will live happily ever after, Nami jokes that it's a shame they couldn't get a reward, and Luffy laughingly regrets that he wasn't able to make the nue his pet after all.

References

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