The Post-Enies Lobby Arc, also known as the Second Water 7 Arc, Return to Water 7 Arc, or Thousand Sunny Arc, is the seventeenth story arc in the series, and the fourth and final in the Water 7 Saga of the manga and anime series, One Piece. During their stay at Water 7, after successfully escaping from Enies Lobby, the Straw Hats are visited by Marines. A few days before, Ace finally catches up to and battles with Blackbeard on Banaro Island. This arc is also when Franky joins the Straw Hats and becomes their shipwright.
Familiar Faces, Family Legacy Revealed, and a Warning
After the Straw Hats leave Enies Lobby, the story shifts forward two days where the heroes have returned back to Water 7. Galley-La has begun fixing the damages to the city by the Aqua Laguna, while the Franky Family repairs their house. Sodom and Gomorrah have been patched up as well. While in Iceburg's office, Iceburg and Franky are shown having a conversation where Iceburg reveals that he plans to turn Water 7 into a ship and float it out to sea. Franky suddenly gets a call from Zambai that the stuff he bought with the Straw Hats' stolen 200,000,000 has arrived.
The Straw Hats have finally awoken after two days of sleep save for Luffy who is still sleeping while simultaneously eating at the same time. Nami mopes over having lost their belongings in the storm, but Galley-La returns them after confiscating it while thinking that the Straw Hats were the assassins. Franky then comes by and reveals that he bought a legendary Treasure Tree with their stolen 200,000,000 with which he plans to build a ship. He asks the Straw Hats to crew this ship, because his dream is that someone he admires rides it.
Suddenly an outcry from the shipwrights sound out as they realized a Marine ship has docked at their port, recognizing it as the ship of the legendary Vice Admiral Garp, who cornered the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. Garp tells two mysterious Marines to wait as he unceremoniously breaks down the wall to where the Straw Hats are staying and then punches the sleep-eating Luffy, waking him up. Surprisingly, it hurts the rubber man, and Sanji comments that it should not. Garp claims there is no way to dodge a "fist of love" while removing his mask, commenting that Luffy has been too reckless. Luffy looks on in surprise as he identifies, much to everybody's shock, Garp as his grandfather.
Luffy tells the others to not lay a finger on him, as Garp may kill them. Luffy goes on to explain that he has nearly been killed many times by Garp in the past. Garp claims that the reason he shoved Luffy into deep valleys, left him into the jungle in the middle of the night, and many other dangerous methods, was all to make him a strong man. Garp then tells everyone that, in the end, he entrusted Luffy and Ace to a friend of his to make them into strong Marines. Luffy yells at his grandfather that he always wanted to be a pirate and Garp tells him that "the Red-Hair" influenced him with that nonsense. Luffy tells Garp that Shanks saved his life, and a fight between the two breaks out. Suddenly, the two fall asleep. Garp, who wakes up first, punches Luffy and then ironically says that this kind of attitude is what makes people angry.
Garp then asks if Luffy knows what Shanks is doing right now. He then explains that there are four great pirates, the Four Emperors, at the level of Whitebeard, who rules the latter half of the Grand Line and Shanks is one of them, along with Whitebeard. The only known power to stand against them are the Marine Headquarters and the Seven Warlords of the Sea. Zoro then arrives and a fight between him and the marines occurs. Garp tells the two Marines he told to wait to try to stop him. Zoro fights against the Marine who wields the rare Kukri blades and Luffy fights against the Marine who uses Soru. Luffy and Zoro effortlessly defeat them and they reveal themselves to be Koby and Helmeppo. Luffy and Zoro are surprised on how Koby has grown so fast. Helmeppo starts getting angry at the two of them as they cannot recognize him. Garp then breaks up their little reunion as he repairs the wall he broke down while telling Luffy that he has met his father in Loguetown. Luffy is clueless as he did not even know he had a father. Everyone is curious as to who Luffy's father may be. Garp then reveals Luffy's father to be Monkey D. Dragon, the revolutionary, shocking everyone.
As the shock of Luffy's background settles, Garp states that his intention was not to arrest Luffy, as he was his grandson. The reason of his visit was to fulfill Koby and Helmeppo's wish to meet Luffy and his crew. After saying that, he leaves for his boat. Koby talks with Luffy, stating he did not pass through Reverse Mountain for Marines boats are equipped with a seastone layer, thus being able to cross the Calm Belts unnoticed. After some more conversation and fun, Koby prepares to leave. Before, though, he tells Luffy about the second half of Grand Line, the "New World".
He says that the one to conquer such a sea is to be the new "Pirate King" and invites Luffy to meet him there, when both their goals are accomplished: Luffy becoming Pirate King and Koby becoming a new Marine admiral. Some time later, as the Straw Hats throw a BBQ Party with the Franky Family and Galley-La, Aokiji and Robin have a chat. Aokiji states that he originally intended to end Robin's drifting with her capture, but he himself was very surprised when the CP9 were defeated. He then asks if Robin has found a place to stay, to which she answers with a sincere "yes".
Meanwhile, in "The New World", Marines report Red Haired Shanks breaking through a Naval Blockade between himself and Whitebeard. As there is nothing else they can do to prevent the reunion, they stand by. Shanks is about to meet Whitebeard and does some kind of big entrance, defeating the lower ranked ones of his crew with nothing more than his "Haki". As both of them begin their conversation, it is revealed that Shanks and Buggy were in fact members of Gol D. Roger's crew and had been in numerous battles with Whitebeard's crew. Whitebeard says just about everyone was astounded when he came back from East Blue without an arm, to which Shanks replies he had it bet in the "new era". Shanks tells Whitebeard the only scar he was still angry about was the one in his eye, made neither by "Hawk-Eyes" nor by any other enemy but the one and only Blackbeard. They proceed to discussing the menace represented by that man. Shanks makes a shocking statement, asking Whitebeard to summon back Ace, in fear for his security. Whitebeard tells Shanks that he cannot do that, for Blackbeard's crime was killing one of his crew and that was unforgivable. They disagree and pull their swords. The two clash and the heavens split. The scene changes to the Grand Line, in an island where Blackbeard comments an article about Luffy's most recent adventure, pointing out they are nearby and preparing to leave to chase them. At that moment, Ace reaches Blackbeard and begins to talk.
Back on Water 7, the Straw Hats eagerly wait for their new ship, which would be done in five days. Kokoro asks Nami whether she has already found the direction to the next island. Nami answers 'yes', but she says that the direction is pointing a little too downwards. Kokoro answers that the next island is Fish-Man Island, located underwater. Sanji is very excited because of the amount of young mermaids there (a dream that is crushed when he remembered that Kokoro is a mermaid,) at this she angrily yells there are much younger mermaids. Robin is a bit worried about how Devil Fruit users can get there but Kokoro says that getting undersea is not the problem, but even getting there is. Just between Water 7 and Fish-Man Island there is a Florian Triangle, where hundreds of ships are crushed by the vicious terrain. The ships which do not sink are all empty, and many people speculate that the vacant ships are haunted. They were also wondering what bounties they will get, since the entire Enies Lobby's destruction is blamed on them (while mentioned nothing of Franky Family or Buster Call), but they are all excited—except Nami, who sees it as a bad thing, and Robin, who sees it neutrally. Five days later, as they go to receive their new ship, the Straw Hat Crew received their new bounties from a worrisome Franky Family:
While Luffy and Zoro are happy, Nami is horrified to see she now has a bounty, and Robin just smiled at her "small" rise (and updated poster photo). Chopper is shocked, due to his small bounty. Sanji is completely dejected, as the Marines failed to get his photograph and thus used a very ugly composite of him.
Ignoring the fact that the Straw Hats found this as good news, they revealed the last bounty poster:
The Franky Family urges Luffy to take Franky, since he is now a wanted man and made a great asset to Luffy during Enies Lobby. They also reveal that he is a son of a pirate.
While everyone talks about their pictures and the Marines discuss what happened to Sanji's picture, they are presented with their new ship, a brigantine twice the size of Merry called the Thousand Sunny, with many features like specially designed sails, a courtyard, and a locked fridge. Franky is also shown to have went back to the Franky House. He wants to stay on Water 7, but also wants to go with the Straw Hats. He knows he will say yes to Luffy if Luffy asks him to join, so he is hiding. However, the Franky Family wants him to join Luffy, and takes his swim briefs. This results in a half-naked Franky chasing them to get his underwear back. Franky is then caught by Zoro, Sanji, and Chopper, and put into a cannon. They fired him to a spot near to the Kings of All Beasts and Luffy is seen holding his underwear. He tells Franky if he wants his underwear back, he will have to join his crew.
Franky refuses at first and as a result Nico Robin uses her Devil Fruit power to grab and begin to crush his testicles, causing an uproar from both sides (Luffy, in particular, states that he wants Franky on his crew "as a man"). Franky uses this pain to hide the outpouring of emotion he feels as everyone tries and eventually succeeds in convincing him to go with the Straw Hats. Meanwhile, Zoro and Sanji rush to the scene stating that Garp is on the other side of the island. Despite the pain, he continues to refuse until Iceburg reminds him that his dream has not been fulfilled. His dream ship was built, yes, but his dream itself was to see his ship around the world and in many adventures. Franky finally relents, using his need for revenge on Nico Robin as an excuse (and the fact that none of them are able to properly repair a ship), and joins the Straw Hat Pirates. As he leaves, his family says goodbye, and he thanks Tom for everything.
Usopp Returns and the Crew Departs
In one of Water 7's alleys, Usopp hurriedly runs toward the new ship, stating that he had perfected his return to Straw Hats, believing that his crewmates will actually be cheering for his return. Franky, for that matter, is asking Luffy about his decision to set sail and Luffy gives him a valid reason, in a carefree tone that would be convincing if he wasn't sweating bullets. It is revealed that earlier on, the Straw Hats were talking about Usopp's practice. While Luffy was initially eager to pick him up, Zoro was against it, stating that Usopp should not be permitted to return as if nothing had happened, filled with pride after leaving of his own volition, and challenging Luffy to a fight. Thus, he threatened that Luffy must make Usopp realize he himself is too prideful and the guilty party here, or else he will be the one to leave this time.
After further discussion, they agreed to leave him on Water 7, unless Usopp gave a proper apology for his actions to the crew. On board of his ship, Garp was "complaining" that Sengoku forced him to come back to deal with Luffy, while Aokiji took a nap on board of his ship. By then, the new ship set sail, and everyone believed Usopp was not coming back. Suddenly, Garp began to attack the Straw Hats by himself, and demonstrated his Iron Fist Meteor—in which he threw a very fast cannon ball by himself—shocking everyone. It was at this point that Usopp would show up, who admitting that he himself had fought in Enies Lobby as Sogeking. He continued by talking about the great times that they had, but despite the fact that the Straw Hats are having trouble defending the Iron Fist meteor, everyone (save Chopper) pretended they could not hear Usopp's words. Finally, Usopp realized they were serious about leaving without him so he yells at the top of the lungs that he was sorry and with tears streaming out his eyes begs to rejoin they crew. Satisfied an overjoyed Luffy stretched his arm over and grabbed Usopp back onto the new ship.
With the Straw Hats once again whole, the group began to head out just as Garp's ship begins to bear down on them. Before doing so, they realize they must name their ship. Luffy stupidly suggests a few animal combination's with lion (due to the lion shaped sternhead) but Franky makes a suggestion that Iceburg came up with; since Luffy wants to be the king of pirates then he and the Straw Hats should have a ship that should "sail thousands of oceans just like the sun" thus the name "Thousand Sunny". The crew instantly take a liking to it (despite Franky also having a name of his own) and thus the Thousand Sunny begins its maiden voyage as Garp prepares to crush the ship with a gigantic iron ball with his bare hands.
Luffy, however, tells Garp and Koby (though forgets Helmeppo again) that he will see them soon and gives one last thanks to the people of Water 7 before Franky activates the the Coup De Burst (a cannon on the back of the ship) to catapult the ship into the air just as Garp launches the ball. Franky then states the Thousand Sunny will do everything the Going Merry can do and better and will pick up its torch for the Straw Hats' adventures as the ship escapes from the Marines.
Life soon starts to return to normal for Water 7, Oimo and Kāshi decide to stay a little while, though comment on meeting "Sogeking" on Elbaf. Galley-La returns to their shipyard. Kokoro, Chimney and Gonbe start to head back for their train station and Iceburg offers the Franky Family jobs at Galley-La prompting them to call him the "new bro". Meanwhile on an unnamed island, Smoker has just caught another pirate when Tashigi reminds him of the award ceremony for what happened in Arabasta. Smoker comments that the Marines are restless and need a group even stronger then the Straw Hats to fight, though he wagers his pride that he will crush the Straw Hats in the New World. Meanwhile, reports spread across the world about the Straw Hats raiding Enies Lobby in the Baratie (where Zeff and the cooks laugh at Sanji's ugly picture), in Foosha Village (where the mayor gripes about Luffy's notoriety), Syrup Village (where Kaya recognizes Usopp in spite of his Sogeking mask), Cocoyasi Village (where Genzo both complains about and blows up Nami's wanted picture) and the Drum Kingdom (now renamed Sakura Kingdom), with everybody noticing the Straw Hats' wanted posters. It then goes to Arabasta where King Nefertari Cobra and his subordinates are just finding out about the Straw Hats new bounties as well as Nico Robin being in the crew. However when Vivi is told she takes the news in stride telling the others that there is no way to know what Luffy thinking, though is convinced that he will become Pirate King. Then the scene shifts to Baltigo, a barren sort of island somewhere in the Grand Line. In a large, oddly shaped fort, some men are shown talking about the fall of Centaurea. Another man nearby tells them not to be glad of a single victory; they are in the midst of war. He walks away, then notices Luffy's poster and asks about it. A man nearby tells him he was the one who took down Crocodile, and after the events at Enies Lobby, the government could not suppress their existence any longer. The man walks out onto a balcony, and is revealed to be Monkey D. Dragon. He encourages Luffy to follow his dreams, saying that the stability of the world must be questioned and that the time they meet will soon come. With that we go back to the crew who celebrates the return of Usopp and Robin as well their new crewmate and ship, Franky and the Thousand Sunny before setting out for their next destination, Fish-Man Island.
The Battle of Night and Day: Blackbeard vs. Fire Fist Ace
The scene then goes over to Blackbeard encountering Ace just as Blackbeard was preparing to head out after Luffy again upon reading the newspaper article regarding the Enies Lobby incident. While talking, it is revealed that Blackbeard murdered the Whitebeard Pirates' 4th Division Commander Thatch, because he acquired the Devil Fruit he had searched for during his time in Whitebeard's service. It is also revealed that Blackbeard joined the Whitebeard Pirates only to find the fruit. He then killed Thatch and ate it. The chapter ends with Blackbeard announcing to Ace that it is a Logia fruit, but it is a very special type and that he is "Darkness."
A vicious battle ensues and Ace uses a technique in which he makes a perpetual sun. Eventually Ace's hat is seen on the ground and the resolution of the duel is unknown  but is stated to be the catalyst for a greater conflict to come.
Luffy, Zoro, and Robin's bounty increases (Robin's picture is also updated). Nami, Usopp (technically Sogeking), Sanji and Chopper all receive bounties. Chopper's is extremely low because he is mistaken as a pet, and Sanji is given a terrible composite sketch for his wanted poster for lack of a proper photograph. Nami is also tricked by an undercover photographer into posing for her own wanted poster. Franky receives a bounty as well, which leads the Franky Family and the Straw Hats to force a stubborn and proud Franky into being their shipwright.
Sanji's wanted poster had to be sketched because the lens cap was still on. Coincidentally, a man named Duval had the same face as the picture that Sanji's sketched which will cause Duval to form a grudge against Sanji and the two will meet in the early-Sabaody Archipelago Arc.
It was later revealed in the Whole Cake Island Arc that Sanji's father was partly responsible for the Marine's attack on Duval, because of the mistake in identity from the bad wanted poster, and his determination to bring his son home.
Robin and Usopp rejoin the crew. Zoro makes sure Luffy understands the seriousness of his authority as captain and because of this, Usopp must apologize for challenging Luffy's command before he is allowed to return. They have a tearful reunion and all is forgiven. Robin also becomes a true companion of the Straw Hat Pirates.
Franky is revealed to have spent the Straw Hats' money on the exceptionally rare and durable Adam Wood, which his mentor Tom used to build the Oro Jackson, the only ship durable enough to reach Laugh Tale. Franky was working to further his own dream of building a ship that will sail through the entire Grand Line and didn't actually waste the stolen funds. As a means of making amends for his thievery, he uses the wood to construct the Thousand Sunny.
Garp's surname and true identity are revealed, as well as the progress of Koby and Helmeppo.
Back in Loguetown, Luffy was saved from Smoker by a mysterious man named Dragon. Ever since, Dragon has almost never been mentioned up until this point (it's mentioned at the Levely where they discussed about the danger of Dragon), when Garp reveals to Luffy that Dragon is his father, the leader of the Revolutionaries. In the Impel Down Arc, Luffy will meet Emporio Ivankov and Inazuma, two Revolutionaries, who will help him try to save Ace. The Revolutionary Army's main base is revealed as well, as Baltigo.
There are a few fillers added before the crew depart the island. This includes Luffy and Chopper helping a girl look for her lost yagara bull, Zoro helping a foster family against some debt collectors, and Sanji meeting a friend of Zeff's. In between this, Usopp is trying to figure out how to rejoin the crew.
This is the second arc to have more anime episodes than manga chapters.
This arc serves as a stepping stone that leads to the time skip and gives an insight about the New World.