The Thriller Bark Arc is the eighteenth story arc in the series, and the first and only in the Thriller Bark Saga.
The Straw Hats, during their journey into the Florian Triangle arrive at a haunted island/ship called Thriller Bark, in which their shadows are stolen by Warlord of the Sea Gecko Moria and must hurry to get them back before the sun rises. After defeating Moria, another Warlord shows up to make the Straw Hats' situation worse. The Straw Hats also gain a new crewmate, a living skeleton named Brook who becomes their musician.
- 1 Summary
- 2 Story Impact
- 3 Anime and Manga Differences
- 4 References
- 5 Arc Navigation
- 6 Site Navigation
Arriving in the Devil's Sea
Three days after the Post-Enies Lobby Arc, the Straw Hats enjoy the features of their new ship; Usopp and Luffy go fishing together and toss everything they catch into the aquarium, while Robin, Franky and Sanji relax in the dining room, Nami takes a bath in the bath hut, Chopper enjoys his expanded room/infirmary and Zoro takes a nap in the observation tower.
When Zoro wakes up, he notices a barrel floating in the ocean and alerts the rest of the crew over the built-in speaker system. When they fish the barrel out of the sea, they notice that it is an offering to the sea god. After a short discussion, they open the barrel, but instead of finding food and sake, a red light shoots out of the barrel and into the sky. Fearing that someone may spot them and knowing that a big storm is heading in their direction, Nami orders the crew to head southwest. Unfortunately, the High-wind catches them, prompting Franky to unveil the Soldier Dock Channel 0; a set of paddle wheels. Using the paddle wheels, they avoid the storm and finally enter the Florian Triangle.
At first, Usopp thinks they might already have arrived at Fish-Man Island, but he is quickly corrected by the others who explain to him (in a teasing manner) that they are in fact in the Florian Triangle (he did not know this, since he was not around when Kokoro told the others about it). Upset that he was not notified about this and scared about the ghosts, he quickly grabs his exorcism set to rebuke any evil spirits. Suddenly, he and the rest of the crew hear an ominous song resounding throughout the fog, and discover a ghost ship that has suddenly appeared behind them with a skeleton singing Binks' Sake.
"Dead Bones" Brook
Excited and filled with overwhelming curiosity, Luffy starts to board the ship, with Nami and Sanji behind him, who want to stop him "in case he does something impulsive and stupid". When they arrive on board of the ship they are greeted by the self-proclaimed "Gentleman Skeleton" Brook, whose first action is to question Nami as to whether or not he may see her panties. She, of course, denies this and knocks Brook to the floor.
Luffy, finding all this hilarious, asks Brook if the skeleton can poop, to which Brook replies yes only for Sanji to berate them both for their choice of questions. Opting for his own take on things, he then starts to shout questions at Brook about what happened to him and the ship, only to be interrupted by Luffy, who much to the shock of everybody else, asks Brook to join his crew. Brook casually agrees to, much to the horror of everyone else present. Leaving the ghost ship with them, Brook goes back with them to the ship and ends up having dinner with the crew. Brook is explaining his Devil Fruit ability when Usopp (in Exorcist attire) notices that he has no shadow and no reflection. 
Brook explains how his shadow was stolen, and sadly he cannot leave the foggy Florian Triangle with the Straw Hats for the sun would disintegrate him. Not wanting his new friends to get hurt, Brook refuses to reveal the culprit. Nonetheless, meeting the crew has brightened his dreary existence, and Brook is about to play the violin when a ghost appears. Just then, the gates of Thriller Bark capture the Thousand Sunny. Brook warns the Straw Hats to escape and runs across the water to Thriller Bark.
After seeing Brook leave and the prospect of an adventure Luffy decides he wants to explore Thriller Bark. While the rest of the crew only want to escape their entrapment, Robin explains that they are confined within a large wall which encircles the entire island. Losing hope, both Nami and Chopper claim to have been stricken with Usopp's recurring, "Can't-get-on-this-island disease". Luffy then appears geared up to go, with a net and box ready to catch whatever he finds of interest. Despite Usopp's best efforts to dissuade the captain, Luffy is only further encouraged by the prospect of gaining Brook as a crew member, along with Robin and Franky deciding to join him as well.
Franky suggests they try out the Soldier Dock system while they decide what to do, claiming they'd need a smaller ship to make it to shore. Activating the mechanism Franky reveals a Going Merry-themed paddle boat named Mini Merry II. Usopp, Nami, and Chopper immediately jump in to try it out, making their way towards the shoreline. While Franky explains the Soldier Dock system in its entirety, the remaining crew are suddenly attacked by some invisible beast. After making fools out of Luffy, Franky, Sanji, and Zoro it advanced upon Robin who attempted to resist using her Hana Hana powers, yet was disturbingly licked by this invisible menace. The unseen enemy then flees as the ship begins to be pulled closer to the island.
Meanwhile, Nami, Usopp, and Chopper arrive on shore (crashing the Mini Merry II into a moat in the process) and try to figure out where they are. Finding themselves deep inside the waterless moat, out of the shadows a frightening three-headed stitched up dog suddenly appears. Identifying is as the mythical "Cerberus", the terrified trio escape with help from Usopp's "Kemuri Boshi", fleeing up a tree only to then encounter a strange vampire-like individual named Hildon. He asks them if they would like to come to the mansion of Dr. Hogback, whose name immediately gets Chopper's attention.
Chopper explains that Hogback is a famous doctor that went missing many years ago. By this time they are in a carriage with Hildon listening to Chopper talk about Hogback. However, after seeing several frightening animals Nami and Usopp ask Hildon if he can ask the coach driver to take them back to the shore. After seeming to agree he goes outside to relay their request. Ten minutes pass and when the three look outside they find Hildon and the horses gone, leaving them alone inside of a graveyard. While they panic, Hildon, who was watching them from above, flies off towards the mansion. Meanwhile, without warning, out of the ground come hundreds of malformed zombies who immediately set their sights onto the terrified trio. A chaotic fight ensues with the three only getting away after Usopp uses his "Kaen Boshi" attack to scare the zombies. However, with the undead still chasing them the three take off toward the mansion that Hildon told them was owned by Dr. Hogback.
Reaching the mansion's entrance, Nami, Usopp, and Chopper are confronted by a frightening stitched-up maid that starts hurling plates at Usopp until a man appears and orders her to stop, calling her Cindry. Explaining that she once tested a lover's feelings by breaking all of his important dishes only to be kicked out, he then introduces himself to be the world famous, Dr. Hogback. Despite the ominous setting, Chopper is left in awe of Hogback and all three accept the invitation to dinner, where Hogback explains he is on the island to do research on the zombie inhabitants. Later, in the shower, Nami tells Usopp and Chopper she thinks Hogback is lying and knows more about the island than he lets on. Suddenly, Nami is attacked by the same invisible creature who attacked Robin, who then declares that he will take her as his bride. Getting her mouth free Nami shouts out to Usopp and Chopper. Bursting in and seeing the window opening on its own, Usopp lets off another "Kaen Boshi" which destroys the bathroom wall.
Back at the Thousand Sunny, the remaining crew has been pulled to the shore and the ship caught in a giant web. Finding the Mini Merry II also caught but no sign of Nami, Usopp or Chopper, they are left pondering what to do. Deciding the only thing do is to explore the island through the nearby gate, they then disembark. Following the path inside the same boat from before, the remaining crew encounters the Cerberus from earlier. After Luffy "tames" it, the crew wanders through the forest encountering other strange creatures, Luffy trying to capture or convince each to join his crew. Meanwhile in the mansion Nami, Usopp, and Chopper attempt to explore further, only to be attacked by several zombies. Escaping, they then stumble upon a room decorated with pictures of Cindry. Nami discovers she was once a famous actress and she was reported to have died ten years ago. Finding a chest they open it only to be terrified by a zombie Jack-in-the-box. Taking off once again, this time they are pursued by even more zombies until they accidentally go through a secret passage in a fireplace that the zombies say leads to Hogback's lab.
Meanwhile, Luffy and the rest of the crew stumble across several intangible ghosts, similar to the one they encountered on the ship earlier which Luffy attempts to catch without success. The ghost is revealed to have the ability to induce a depressed state in people by passing through them, which Luffy, Franky, and Zoro quickly fall victim too. Luckily for them, however, the state is only temporary. Continuing towards the graveyard, they are attacked by the same zombie horde that chased Nami, Usopp, and Chopper, but defeats them with ease using a team combination move called, "600,000,000 Jackpot". After defeating the zombies, Luffy then asks if they saw anybody else pass through. Accidentally revealing that they'd attacked his lost crew members, Luffy and the others proceed to beat the zombies a second time. Leaving the graveyard, they encounter an old man who like Brook is missing his shadow. The man then tells them a shadow thief is a man named Gecko Moria. Hearing this name Robin reveals that Gecko Moria is a Warlord of the Sea with a bounty that exceeds even Luffy's (who currently has a bounty of 300,000,000), stunning the rest of the crew.
Back in the mansion Nami, Usopp, and Chopper find Hogback's lab. Peeking inside they watch as Hogback creates a zombie he calls Mario. Suddenly the mysterious figure from earlier appears and knocks them forward into the lab. Nami and Chopper exclaim it sounded like Brook but had flesh and skin. The person comes forward revealing himself to be a zombie samurai named Ryuma, and when he sees Nami he asks to see her panties. Initially angered by this, Nami realizes he is acting just like Brook. Ryuma responds by taking out his sword and then he runs right past them. Confused they try to run but are quickly taken down by his attack which they did not even realize had been done when he ran by them.
Outside, the clock strikes midnight. In the graveyard, the voice of the invisible man is heard ordering the defeated zombie soldiers to get up, which they do. The man starts to become visible revealing a tall man with a stitched lion's face. The zombies begin calling out his name, Absalom, then calling him "Ero-salom" until he yells for them to shut up. Elsewhere, it shows a dozen of ghosts heading toward the tower behind Hogback's mansion. Entering this room with a teddy bear zombie welcoming them as they enter, a girl in the back of the room gets up telling the bear zombie to not talk because it is not cute. Meanwhile, in another part of the tower, three zombies enter the room where Gecko Moria is asleep to wake him up. From the top of the tower, lost in the fog, an enormous black sheet starts to come down. Luffy and his crew then learn from the old man that Thriller Bark is actually the world's largest pirate ship. With that, Luffy and his crew enter the mansion.
Soon, the zombie soldiers surround the place and Absalom enters the place to wake up the Zombie Generals. These are revealed to be several large zombies, armored zombies, a drunk man called John, and some other strange zombies.
As Absalom watches them leave to hunt the Straw Hats, he is confronted by a large zombie warthog bride named Lola asking Absalom to marry her. Failing to force him to sign a marriage contract, Absalom tells Lola he plans to make Nami his bride. He even shows her Nami's wanted poster. Enraged, Lola vows to destroy Nami and runs off to do it. Absalom runs after her.
Down in the mansion, Luffy and his crew are attacked by "Surprise Zombies" led by the taxidermied pig zombie Buhichuck. The battle is short, and they notice Sanji has gone missing.
Meanwhile, in this strange forest, two zombie squirrels are transporting a coffin. Tripping, they drop the coffin Chopper is in, waking him up, and after driving off the squirrels, he wakes up Nami and Usopp. They quickly realize it is not an actual forest but Perona's Wonder Garden which is located on a bridge spanning from Hogback's mansion the tower (which turns out is also the mast). More zombie animals show up including a dog-faced penguin zombie. However, when the other zombie's attack Nami, the dog penguin rushes to her defense. When the other zombies demand to know what he is doing, the dog-penguin declares he will not ever harm a lady.
Lola suddenly shows up and attempts to attack Nami. However, Nami is lifted off her feet and it is revealed to be Absalom. Nami takes her Clima-Tact and uses a thunder ball to electrocute Absalom, then she and the others take off pursued by Lola. Absalom mistakes the shock for love and orders the zombie animals to help him. After some rude remarks, he threatens the zombies to mind who they talk to. Absalom is then confronted by the dog penguin but he blasts the dog with some sort of invisible attack. In the mansion, it is revealed that Zoro has gone missing too.
Luffy finds a suit of armor and puts it on. Coming into a huge room full of tents, he, Franky, and Robin are ambushed by a General Zombie. Franky proceeds to pound it, but the armored knight keeps getting up. Many more Zombie Generals appear. Buhichuck runs off, sealing the way they came from. A vicious battle ensues as Luffy, Robin, and Franky tries to get out. Franky discovers these zombies fend off their weakness to fire with buckets of water. Luffy suddenly sees a Zombie General named Jigoro use Zoro's 36 Pound Cannon technique. Franky and Robin manage to finally escape onto a stone bridge spanning from the mansion to the tower beneath Perona's Wonder garden. However, they discover Luffy has been taken captive by the zombies and is being transported by a chain to the tower. As they run after him they are blocked by a giant spider/monkey hybrid Zombie General called Tararan.
Back on the Thousand Sunny, Perona and other zombies are scavenging the ship for treasure when Hildon shows up and informs her that Luffy has been captured and their master is planning to bring out zombie 900. In Perona's Wonder Garden, Nami is cornered by Lola. Keeping her wits, Nami convinces Lola she is really a man. Having stopped Lola, Nami proceeds to talk to Lola telling her she has to go after Absalom if she wants him to marry her. Taking this advice, Lola goes after Absalom who is next seen in Perona's room with Kumashi when Perona shows up. Then, it is revealed that while Lola went after Absalom Nami and the others ran away and are hiding in Kumashi.
Back on the bridge, Robin and Franky are cornered by the generals. Thinking quickly; Franky smashes the bridge. However; as they fall; Robin reveals the ability to fly for five seconds by using her powers to form large wings. While she keeps them airborne, Franky launches his Strong Right to grab the ledge. However, Tararan is on the tower side of the gap. Suddenly, a weird noise is heard and Brook plummets out of the sky and into the courtyard with the zombie general.
Tararan begins spinning his web out of his hand moving toward them. Robin uses her Devil Fruit powers to slap Tararan in the eyes when he brings his hands to his eyes he gets the web in them. Next, Franky takes his iron nunchucks and combines them with some stone columns and starts bashing Tararan hard. However, just when it seemed they would win, Robin is attacked by several spider mice zombies. As Franky turns to help her, he is caught by Tararan's web. Just then, Brook appears having leaped up from the courtyard.
After a brief conversation with Robin and Franky, Tararan suddenly gasps in pain. It is revealed just like Ryuma, Brook attacked Tararan without him realizing it for a short period of time. Suddenly, something comes out of Tararan's mouth and Tararan lies defeated. Horrified by the defeat of their leader, the spider mice flee. After freeing himself and Robin, Franky asks Brook what is going on. Brook tells them after Hogback gathers bodies he fixes them up, but to bring them to the life he needs Moria's help. Moria steals shadows and puts them in corpses creating his zombie army. Moria is able to do this because he has the power of the Kage Kage no Mi. And the stronger the person whose shadow is stolen, the stronger the zombie warrior. The zombies also gain the personality and combat styles of the person whose shadow they come from.
However, the zombies do have a weakness: salt. Because their power is Devil Fruit based, salt from the ocean frees the shadow to go back to its owner. It flashes back to the front of the mansion where hundreds of zombie soldiers lie lifeless having been purified by Brook. Also, Moria cannot kill the person he steals shadows from for it would kill the zombie. Brook gives the two a bag of salt and runs off.
Perona, Kumashi, Absalom, and Dr. Hogback with Cindry arrive in a massive room and sitting on the throne is Gecko Moria. Moria reveals his desire to be pirate king. Luffy, who is tied up in a cage, yells he will be pirate king. Moria and his chief officers converse on their aims when the three soldiers guarding him yelled out, "Luffy ate the steel cage and is escaping." Perona lets loose a few ghosts who subdue him with their negative attack. With that, Gecko Moria begins to remove Luffy's shadow while Nami, Usopp, and Chopper watch in horror from Kumashi. With his shadow removed, Luffy loses consciousness. Moria mentions how he was once defeated by a person called Kaido in the New World. Moria orders the Spider Mice to take Luffy back to his ship. Before they leave, the Spider Mice inform him of Tararan's defeat.
The Spider Mice trap Luffy and rush off down the stairs taking him to the Thousand Sunny. Absalom is concerned about Brook, but Perona does not know about him. Moria, not bothered by this development, orders his three personal zombies to open the door to the freezer where zombie 900 is stored. Elsewhere, Franky and Robin hurry back to the Thousand Sunny, looking for the others on the way. Meanwhile, Brook confronts Ryuma in Hogback's Lab.
In the tunnel of the freezer, all the leaders of Thriller Bark are excited about their plans for the future. They enter the chamber, where this enormous giant twenty times Moria's size rests. Moria declares it was once the great conqueror known as Oars. Moria walks on one of the chains supporting Oars and inserts Luffy's shadow. The monster awakens and roars for food. Nami, Usopp, and Chopper fall out of Kumashi and are discovered. However, Oars roars out for food again and they run off. They head down the stairs when suddenly Usopp and Chopper are enveloped in explosions. Absalom grabs Nami and turns himself and her invisible and escapes. Usopp and Chopper are set upon by dozens of soldier zombies. However, just as they are being overwhelmed, Franky and Robin show up and begin purifying zombies.
Oars and Luffy
Moria has his zombies bring Oars tons of food to eat. The zombies watch in shock as Oars consumes vast amounts of Thriller Bark's stored foods and still wants more. Moria tells Oars who he is and that he is now his minion but Oars declares he will be pirate king and proceeds to break out of the freezer much to the astonishment of the zombies. Meanwhile, Robin, Franky, Usopp, and Chopper run down stairs that lead to the ships. Elsewhere, Absalom prepares to marry Nami. In Hogback's lab, Ryuma reminds Brook of what happened last time he was in Thriller Bark. They begin to fight. The remaining Straw Hats reach their ship which has been ransacked by the Zombies and find Luffy, Sanji, and Zoro. After several blows on the head by Franky, to no effect, Usopp lies that "A beautiful lady swordsman just arrived with a ton of meat!!" they begin to come to.
After their current situation is explained to the now awakened Straw Hats, it is revealed by Franky that Brook was a member of the crew that promised Laboon 50 years ago that they would return to Reverse Mountain. Meanwhile, Brook is fighting with Ryuma while thinking how every time he thinks about Laboon his heart squeezes in pain even though he does not have a heart, and that how Laboon will not recognize him without his afro. With the situation revealed, Luffy is now more determined than ever to make Brook join his crew.
They begin to plan their counter attack, with Luffy stating that it would be easier to just go and beat Moria than to look for their individual shadows, leaves Nami up to Sanji (burning with rage over the idea of a wedding) and Usopp, Franky decides to go help Brook with Zoro joining him. Before setting out, Usopp gives everyone a bag of salt and says that they should definitely finish their objectives before dawn, or they will be at a disadvantage. Meanwhile, Oars has climbed to the top of the main mast of Thriller Bark, amazed that it is a ship, and declares that he will become pirate king with it while Hildon reports to Moria that the Straw Hats have woken up and are rampaging about destroying zombies and that Absalom's wedding has started with all the General zombies attending. Perona says she will take care of them and Hogback requests to be made second in command. Luffy, Sanji, Usopp, Robin, and Chopper are taking the upper bridge to where Moria is when Luffy and Sanji get hit with the negative ghosts and Oars comes crashing down destroying the bridge and taking Sanji and Usopp down with him to the lower bridge where Zoro and Franky are, where they attacked what they thought was a wall but is actually Oars.
Luffy, Robin, and Chopper continue to where Moria is when they encounter Dr. Hogback along the way, Chopper says he will fight Hogback and that Luffy should go on ahead, Robin stays behind as well to deal with Cindry. Chopper tells Hogback that he no longer recognizes him as a doctor and Luffy finds Moria, who treats him with indifference. Back at the bridge Oars gets up causing Sanji, Zoro, Franky, and Usopp to panic over his sheer size, but Oars does not even notice them. He makes a hat out of part of the mansion then walks away saying he will be pirate king. After voicing their concerns over the destroyed bridge they realize Franky has already built a new one and are all shocked by the speed and quality Franky put into it. They then encounter Perona in her room where she reveals she has the powers of the Horo Horo (ghost ghost) fruit and are all hit with her negative spirits and fall to the ground. Perona then orders her zombies to capture them but are destroyed by Usopp's Salt star, Perona sends more ghosts through him but they have no effect as Usopp states he is already negative, thoroughly shocking Perona. Usopp tells the others to get up and says he will deal with her. Meanwhile, the wedding has progressed and Absalom is about to kiss, a still unconscious, Nami.
Perona sends four more of her ghosts through Usopp causing the ghosts and Perona to become depressed, meanwhile, Sanji flies off (literally) to save Nami. The fight between Brook and Ryuma continues with Ryuma wondering what he should cut off next with his special arrow notch slash. Brook reveals that the technique came from a kingdom's assault squad and its real name is Requiem Handoul, nicknamed by his old crew, and he does not want Ryuma using that name. They face off one last time, seemingly walking past each other, using their fastest sword techniques and Brook is defeated. Just as Ryuma is about to cut off Brook's afro, all of Thriller Bark starts shaking causing both of them to fall over just as Zoro and Franky arrive, Ryuma charges and is blocked by Zoro who says Ryuma has a nice sword. Ryuma states that it is one of the 21 O Wazamono Grade Swords, "Shusui", and Zoro says that he will use that blade. Back at the wedding, the shaking has caused Absalom to miss kissing Nami and it is revealed that a strange ocean current is causing it thanks to Oars moving the rudder. Absalom orders all general zombies to stop Oars who pummels them with his Gomu Gomu no Gatling gun, Sanji finally arrives at the wedding.
Luffy demands that Moria returns everybody’s shadows and that he will kick Moria's ass, prompting Moria to ask how exactly Luffy will do that and even if Luffy beats him up or even kills him the shadows will not return unless he orders them to do so. Luffy rears up for a Gomu Gomu no Pistol only to have it blocked by Moria's shadow, his duplicate Doppelman. Moria then tells Luffy that in the past he was too overconfident in his own ability and ambition and learned the importance of having strong subordinates so their power can make him pirate king without himself having to lift a finger. Luffy retorts that he will be pirate king and Moria reveals that a shadow’s master can sometimes leave a very strong will behind, but it’s still just a matter of time until that will fades and they become another obedient zombie. Moria's shadow turns into several black bats to block Luffy's attacks and then starts to bite him making Moria ask how this is "kicking my ass?". Luffy jumps down into the freezer causing Moria to think Luffy is trying to escape only for Luffy to launch a Gomu Gomu no Stamp through the ledge Moria is sitting on literally kicking his butt behind.
Sanji kicks the zombie holding Nami away and for a moment thinks he rescued a goddess instead. Absalom demands that Sanji returns his bride and mistakes Nami for an angel. Sanji finds this totally understandable because of Nami's pure white dress. Absalom then fires an explosion at Sanji, who dodges it and berates Absalom for nearly hitting Nami. Absalom then figures out that the animal zombie that attacked him earlier must have had Sanji's shadow, as Sanji is mistaking Nami as a holy nymph, and that he does not have time to deal with small fry only to be kicked in the face, sending Absalom's 300-kilo body flying. Absalom tries to use his "Dead Man's Hand" (the explosion technique, which is actually a pair of guns strapped to his hands turned invisible by his power) only for Sanji to redirect it. He then proceeds to kick the hell out of Absalom who tries to escape by turning invisible. Sanji uses Usopp's salt balls to find him and continue kicking him, literally exploding with anger, states that there is one last problem between them.
Sanji reveals he knows the source of Absalom's power, the Suke Suke no Mi. Sanji goes on to add that he had always been on the lookout for the fruit desiring the power to make himself invisible, saying that he would use it to help humans, but he only wants to spy on nude girls. It revealed that Absalom's body has been upgraded by Hogback with Gorilla and Bear muscle, elephant skin, and his lion jaws. Despite this Sanji slams Absalom against a wall. Meanwhile, Usopp fights Perona, who at the beginning runs away, only to threaten Usopp with previously unrevealed powers, like flying or sending exploding mini ghosts on Usopp. Though Usopp tries, he cannot seem to harm her, as all attacks go right through her. He is beaten heavily by Kumancy so that he asks "Sogeking" for "help". "Sogeking" then purifies Kumancy and demands Usopp to fight on, till, at the end of his wits, Usopp discovers the reason of Perona's invulnerability-she is a host projection, while her real body is in her room.
Usopp fires a shot at the real Perona but misses and Perona then launches an attack with a gigantic exploding ghost and then goes back into her body. Usopp stores the explosion in his impact dial and Perona find herself unable to move, as she is glued to the wall, due to Usopp's "dud" shot. A mustached hippo attacks Usopp, whom he hits with the stored impact. Usopp then shoots his "Glittering black star", a bunch of cockroaches, (that are actually fake) at her and then hits her with a "10-ton" hammer that is actually a balloon on an inflatable stick. She collapses from the shock, as Usopp leaves her behind.
At another point Zoro fights Ryuma, who proves to be a formidable enemy whose main technique is to destroy Zoro's swords in combat. The battle progresses and Brook says that the two are nearly equal in strength. Finally, Zoro manages to wound him, and the wound catches fire. Ryuma is then defeated. He then gives Zoro his sword, saying that it shall be "happy with him" and that he feels ashamed that he has "made this samurai's body suffer defeat". A few seconds later, his shadow returns to Brook.
Meanwhile, Robin and Chopper are fighting Hogback, but are restrained by Jigoro and Inuppe, until the two (bearing Zoro's and Sanji's shadow and their personality traits) begin to fight when Hogback orders them to kill anyone who gets in their way. Robin then holds Hogback's mouth shut, tricking him into "order them to jump off the building". Hogback, angered after the crushing, does indeed shout it out in anger, making the two zombies jump off instead. Chopper talks about how Hogback has failed as a doctor, to which Hogback replies that he was a doctor only because of the wealth. He explains how he proposed to Cindry in her lifetime, but she refused him because she was already engaged, and later on she died.
He was then approached by Gecko Moria who asks for him to join his crew, accepting, on the condition that he can bring Cindry back, with a different person's shadow. He then demonstrated Cindry's obedience when given a direct order, by kicking her down and forcing her to lick the floor with her tongue. He then states he only cared about the body and not about the soul of the woman that rejected him. He then sends Cindry to beat Chopper. Chopper, however does not fight her, saying, what would her family think if they knew about this. Hogback orders her to spare him some time, as he is escaping, but Cindry starts crying, saying that her body cannot move.
She regains her posture somewhat, and charges forth again, but is held back by Robin, while Chopper goes forth for Hogback. Then, using a combined attack with Robin, using a feet sprouting technique, they ascend to a great height, from which Chopper wishes to drop off Hogback for all the evil he has done. But meanwhile, Oars, who was summoned to Moria and has now become obedient, is sent off by Moria to wreck havoc across Thriller Bark and capture all the Straw Hats, beat them and put them on their ship, just before he smilingly runs away from Luffy. Oars does indeed rampage and interrupts Chopper's and Robin's attack. Hogback falls down, but is engulfed within rocks. He orders Cindry to free him, yelling that her only positive feature is the face of her's, being afraid that Oars, who is coming closer, will crush him. However, Cindry just turns to him, smiling for the first time, like she did when she was alive, afterwards we are left to believe Hogback was stepped on by Oars.
Straw Hat Pirates vs. Oars
In a different place, Oars chases Usopp and Sanji respectively, while this interruption makes it possible for Absalom to once again steal Nami away from Sanji. The crew is reunited, just as Oars is standing in the courtyard, yelling at the Straw Hats to come out, to which Franky replies that they have to take him down together. Luffy continues to chase Moria while the rest of the crew, minus Nami, faces off against Oars, who identifies them by their wanted posters on his arm. Each of the Straw Hats tries attacking Oars individually, but to no avail, and no small amount of salt can purify him as he pummels the crew.
Meanwhile, Perona wakes up wondering who could have caused so much destruction, only for Oars' arm to smash through the wall near her while looking for the girl (Nami). Perona panics and decides to leave Thriller Bark with the Thousand Sunny.
Back at the wedding ceremony, Nami has woken up, about to be kissed by Absalom only to be attacked by an enraged Lola, which was a ruse to try and help Nami escape. Absalom attacks Lola prompting Nami to attack Absalom with her Clima-Tact's swinger arm knocking him out thanks to all the damage he took from Sanji and leaving Lola to marry the unconscious Absalom.
Meanwhile, the rest of the crew gets back up for another round with Oars. Zoro decides they should send Oars flying and Franky decides to use "Tactic Fifteen" which is essentially Franky standing on Zoro and Sanji's shoulders holding Usopp in his right hand with Chopper on top of his head, Robin does not participate because it was too embarrassing, this upsets Oars (he was getting pumped for it) who sends Franky, Usopp, and Chopper flying all the while feeling betrayed by Robin who flatly tells them never to do that again. After a lot of teamwork and combo attacks, the crew manages to flip Oars over on his head.
Nami finally reaches the treasure room only to find it has already been cleaned out by Perona. Back at the Thousand Sunny Perona's zombies have restocked the food supply and almost loaded all the treasure on board when out of nowhere Bartholomew Kuma of the Seven Warlords of the Sea shows up asking where Moria is. Nami has found out what Perona is planning and races off to Thousand Sunny while Oars finds that his horns are stuck in the ground allowing the crew to get some free shots thoroughly engaging Oars. Once Oars gets free, they proceed to break his knees, while Nami has caught up with Perona. Before the two begin to fight, Kuma appears again whom Perona identifies as "The Tyrant", stating that he was brutal beyond all measure while he was still a pirate. Kuma asks if Perona works for Moria, which she denies and says she was just leaving, Kuma asks her where she would like to go to which she answers a creepy old castle and then tries to attack Kuma, who makes her disappear, literally. He then asks Nami if it's true that Luffy has a brother, to which she replies yes. Back in the forest, Luffy thinks he has finally caught up with Moria but it's just his shadow and Dawn is now approaching.
The fight with Oars continues with Zoro using his 108-pound cannon, which is now much more powerful with his new blade, remarking that that Autumn Water has a bit of a temper. Oars dodge it. The two pirate crews resolve to get Luffy his shadow back before dawn so he can still fight even if they run out of time. Thriller Bark starts shaking again and the fog clears. Thanks to Oars messing with the rudder Thriller Bark has drifted out of the Florian Triangle. Meanwhile, Kuma has finally found Moria who tells him that the successor to Crocodile has been chosen: Marshal D. Teach alias Blackbeard with a former bounty of zero. Moria takes this with apathy until Kuma tells him the government is afraid of another Warlord being defeated by the Straw Hats.
This, thoroughly, angers Moria who tells Kuma to sit back and watch as he defeats the Straw Hats. Back at the battle with Oars, the crew is still shocked over the mist dissipating when Moria reveals that he is inside of a control room in Oars' stomach. Moria then challenges them saying that if they can defeat him he will return all their shadows. Zoro tells Usopp to go find a mountain of salt so they can purify Oars only for Moria to destroy the way to the kitchen. Luckily Usopp was saved by Brook who already went and got the salt. Brook reveals that he drank some milk in the kitchen and it revived him completely. Moria continues to take this with indifference while Brook asks to fight alongside the crew. After some more combo attacks, Franky tries to hit Moria point blank only to get knocked out. As Oars is about to finish him Nami arrives using her Thunderbolt tempo so they can get Franky to safety. Oars use Gomu Gomu no Pistol at Nami. Robin saves Nami from the attack and Luffy is still lost in the forest, where he meets some of Moria's other victims who say they can give him the power he needs to defeat Moria.
They take Luffy to their captain "Proposal" Lola, who has been rejected 4,443 times, who immediately proposes to Luffy who rejects her making it 4,444 times. They inform Luffy that Moria is now inside Oars' stomach and the only Luffy can beat Moria is to beat Oars first. They proceed to place a shadow into Luffy stating that once purified they are easy to capture and ask Luffy if he is good with a sword, Luffy says he is not while demonstrating amazing swordsmanship. It is explained that if a shadow is placed in a body that has its own soul it will augment their power with the shadow's skill but will only last about 10 minutes before the shadow goes back to its owner. They proceed to place 100 shadows in Luffy and dubbing him "Nightmare Luffy". The crew and Oars continue to fight with Oars gaining the upper hand thanks to his new-found stretching ability. Moria tells them that he has reversed the role of the shadow obeying the body henceforth he can now alter Oars' shape at will by changing the shape of Oars' shadow.
Brook, Nami, Usopp, and Robin launch a new combo and throw Oars off balance and giving Zoro a chance to land a damaging blow. Oars take out Brook with a Gomu gomu no axe and then targets Usopp, but he stops stretching thanks to Robin putting Moria in a choke hold with her powers. Shortly after this, Moria uses his powers to steal Robin's shadow through Oars, making her pass out instantly and loose her grip. Enraged by this, Sanji activates his Diable Jambe Technique, just in time to deflect a Gomu Gomu no Bazooka aimed at the defenseless Robin, shortly after Chopper discovers Oars' cause of death (freezing to death in the snow due to lack of clothes) and his weak point, Sanji and Chopper launch a combo attack on Oars' right arm and are then knocked out by Oars' Gomu Gomu no Gatling attack leaving only 3 of the 8 fighting them standing.
Zoro creates an opening for Usopp to launch the salt into Oars' mouth but gets knocked out in the process, but instead of Luffy's shadow coming out Moria's does and throws the salt back at Usopp. Moria orders Oars to stomp Nami and Usopp but Luffy arrives in time to save them. Oars use his Gomu gomu no rifle on Luffy who stops it with one hand and proceeds to send Oars flying into Thriller Bark's forest. The Rolling pirates arrive and tend to the wounded Straw Hats while Nightmare Luffy unleashes a barrage of attacks against Oars and Moria, at one point slashing through Oars with a sword, hitting Moria in the face with a Gomu gomu no Pistol, and seemingly finishing them off with Gomu gomu no Storm. All the shadows then leave Luffy and he goes unconscious as the victims of Moria cheer that Thriller Bark has fallen.
However, shortly afterward, Oars gets back on his feet and the sun is almost up. The rest of the Straw Hats and Brook make it to their feet to end the fight with Oars. Usopp and Franky make a freezing wind cannon to turn the water from Nami's Rain Tempo to ice to keep Oars from moving his legs, Robin uses her powers to create legs for Brook to jump on while carrying Luffy to the top of Thriller Bark's main mast while Sanji uses a huge chain to keep Oars in place and Zoro using his Three Thousand Worlds technique to straighten Oars' back. Chopper explains that the human spine is S-shaped so it can absorb shocks, straightening it will cause Oars to take much more damage. Luffy descends activating Gear Third and hitting Oars directly in the face with his Gomu Gomu no Gigant Bazooka shattering Oars' spine.
However, their victory is short-lived as Moria arises from Oars' cockpit. After giving the Straw Hats a speech about how the New World is out of their league, he uses his ultimate technique: Shadow's Asgard. By absorbing all of his zombie's shadows (including Cindry, Inuppe, Captain John, Lola, Jigoro, Hildon, Buhichuck, Gyoro, Nin, and Bao, and Oars), he transforms into a giant, deformed version of himself, resembling a lizard or a gecko. As he displays his newfound, destructive power, the pirates realize that they have one more problem at their hands, the sun is rising. As the Rolling Pirates (minus Lola) run for cover so they do not burn away, Luffy activates Gear 2nd in order to combat, and defeat Moria's new form.
Luffy begins to repeatedly strike at Moria's stomach, causing the latter to lose control of the shadows and release a small number of them. Trying to hold the remaining shadows in, he manages to trap Luffy within a black box made of shadows before crushing it. Emerging from wreckage, Luffy uses all his strength to combine Gear 2nd and Gear 3rd, launching his enlarged body into Moria with the strengths of both forms. The impact of this move causes Thriller Bark's mast to fall on top of Moria, forcing him to spew out all the shadows just as the sun comes out and the Straw Hats start burning away.
At the last second the shadows return to the crew and they are saved. The Rolling Pirates and the Straw Hats celebrate, Absalom is woken up by Dr. Hogback and plan to escape. Other people around the world celebrate as their shadows are returned too.
The Tyrant Strikes
The celebration is cut short when Kuma appears and is ordered by the World Government to revive Moria and eliminate everyone who witnessed his defeat. Kuma takes out a few of the Rolling Pirates by launching paw shaped air blasts similar to Rokuogan. He then teleports again and appears in front of the Straw hats and claims he will start with Zoro.
Zoro begins the battle but Kuma is able to dodge or deflect all of Zoro's attacks with the use of his devil fruit ability, the Nikyu Nikyu no Mi. Franky mocks Kuma's ability and is taken out by one hit from Kuma. Sanji and Usopp enter the fray in order to save Zoro but their attacks do not faze Kuma at all.
Kuma uses his Devil Fruit to compress the air into a paw shaped balloon, making a small but powerful bomb. Kuma replies that he can let them live if they surrender Luffy to the World Government.
The Straw Hats and Rolling Pirate simultaneously shout "NEVER!", and Kuma merely replies, "What a pity" and launches the bomb. The blast destroys most of Thriller Bark, though this does not succeed in killing the Straw Hats but knocks out all of them except Zoro. Zoro surprise attacks Kuma, slicing into his shoulder, exposing his Pacifista modifications. This attack only proves to irritate the Warlord of the Sea, and defeated him easily. Knowing death was upon him, Zoro offers to trade his life for Luffy's. Then, Sanji appears and asks Kuma to take his life instead of Zoro's. Hearing this, Zoro knocks out Sanji unconscious. Kuma agrees to Zoro's offer and uses his Devil Fruit to project Luffy's pain onto Zoro. Kuma then teleports to the entrance to the ship, musing about how Dragon has raised a good son with a fine crew.
When everyone comes to, Luffy is perfectly fine, but Zoro is nowhere to be seen. Sanji finds Zoro standing alone outside the ruins. He is still alive, but his blood is splattered in a wide radius around him. Zoro shortly states that nothing happened.
Hogback, Absalom, and Moria make their escape from Thriller Bark and read in the paper that Ace is now imprisoned in Impel Down. A day has passed and everyone except Zoro is up and celebrating with a feast in the courtyard. Sanji prevents any of the witnesses from informing anyone of what Zoro did (Robin eavesdrops on the conversation). Brook finds a piano and plays some background music, a song that all the pirates of old know: "Bink's Sake", which both Luffy and Robin have heard before. Luffy tells Brook of how he met Laboon at Reverse Mountain which causes Brook to break down in tears. Now that he knows Laboon is still waiting for him, Brook remembers the first time he and the Rumbar pirates met Laboon.
In the West Blue, more than 50 years ago, the Rumbar Pirates encountered a baby whale who had strayed from his pod and decided to sing a song to cheer him up, not long after all the Rumbar pirates grew fond of him and named him Laboon. When they were approaching the Grand Line they knew that it was too dangerous for Laboon to come, so they ignored him, hoping he would leave and try to find his pod. After coming down from Reverse Mountain they discovered that Laboon had followed them. Three months later they leave Laboon at Twin capes and promise to return. Three years have passed now and the captain of the Rumba pirates, "Calico" Yorki, and some of the crew have fallen ill with a virus their doctor cannot cure. Filled with regret, he asks Brook to keep their promise to Laboon for them as he and the other infected members meet their deaths trying to escape through the Calm Belt.
Back in the present Brook takes a tone dial out of his skull that contains the final song the Rumba pirates performed before they died. As the song plays, the Straw Hats and Rolling pirates join in and Brook remembers how the rest of the Rumba pirates died from poisoned enemy weapons. He also remembers how they went from a band, to a quartet, a trio, a duet, and finally a solo as Brook finally died remembering Laboon.
In the present Brook still has the pride of a pirate and resolves to meet Laboon from the "front" as promised. Brook decides to seal the tone dial away inside his skull and joins Luffy's crew. At Reverse Mountain Laboon is shown in good spirits as he lets out a terrific roar. Brook shows the others his wanted poster as he is known as "Humming Brook" with a bounty of 33,000,000 and pledges his life to Luffy.
Two days have passed and Usopp and Franky have erected a grave in the cemetery for Brook's crew. Zoro is awake, and joins Brook at the grave, burying 'Yubashiri' there and finally getting formally acquainted with the crew's new musician. As the Straw Hats are getting ready to leave, Lola gives Nami half of a piece of paper calling it her mother's "Vivre Card" which will always point in the direction of its owner and how they should find Lola's mother in the New World if they ever get in to trouble.
Luffy remembers the piece of paper Ace gave him and finds that it is getting smaller and is burning, Lola explains that this means Ace's life is in danger. Though Luffy is concerned, he decides to not pursue his brother, believing that Ace can handle himself and that the next time they meet, they will be rival pirates.
With everything needed to continue on their journey, the Straw Hat Pirates finally leave Thriller Bark and Florian Triangle, following the Log Pose towards Fish-Man Island. However, as the Rolling Pirates attempt to leave via Brook's ship, Lola almost thinks she sees something in the fog as they attempt to escape the triangle. Although she passes it off, a pair of huge eyes stares at the opposite crew.
Meanwhile, back at Mary Geoise, Fleet Admiral Sengoku puts down Kuma for not going after the Straw Hats like originally planned, while Vice Admiral Monkey D. Garp tells the leader of the Marines about how Luffy was able to get away from yet another government foe.
- Gecko Moria is the fifth Warlord of the Sea to be shown. Boa Hancock is also briefly mentioned but will not be fully revealed until the Amazon Lily Arc.
- Amongst Moria's zombie army is a pirate named Captain John, which so happens to be the former owner of a treasure that Buggy just so happens to be after. After collecting the treasure on Thriller Bark, Luffy begins wearing a bracelet which he gives to Buggy in the Impel Down Arc which Buggy reveals the bracelet to be a lead to Captain John's treasure.
- After defeating Ryuma, Zoro gets Shusui to replace the sword he lost back in the Enies Lobby Arc. Later around the end of the Punk Hazard Arc, it was revealed by Kin'emon that Ryuma's grave was robbed and it causes him to believe Zoro is the culprit, to which he plans to take the sword back from him so it could be returned to Wano Country. The matter was eventually resolved in the Wano Country Arc, when Zoro agreed to returning Shusui to Wano Country in exchange for the sword Enma as Shusui's replacement.
- Perona having been sent to Kuraigana Island would foreshadow Zoro being sent there by Kuma the following arc, resulting in them having to get along for the next two years while he trains there.
- Some information of Moria's past is explained.
- At least more than 10 years before the start of the series, Moria fought on par with Kaido of the Four Emperors.
- Moria was defeated, and in the process, his entire crew was killed presumably by Kaido.
- To get revenge, Moria joined the Seven Warlords of the Sea to build an army of zombies using his Kage Kage no Mi powers and began stealing shadows from Marines, pirates, and civilians in the process.
- Due to Moria relying on his shadow or his zombies to fight for him, his overall fighting prowess diminished over the years.
- Teach's new position as a Warlord of the Sea is confirmed according to Kuma. In the previous arc, Ace and Teach had a battle, which Ace had lost and led Teach to become a Warlord, as well as the events of the Impel Down and Marineford arcs are foreshadowed after Ace has been captured following his defeat against Teach.
- Both of the remaining two of the Four Emperors are briefly introduced in this arc after their concept was initially brought up in the previous arc.
- Kaido of the Four Emperors is briefly mentioned. Also, Gecko Moria appears to have fought on equal footing against him in the past and had lost his entire crew.
- Lola, captain of the Rolling Pirates captured by Moria, is later revealed to be the daughter of Charlotte Linlin of the Big Mom Pirates.
- Lola also originally believed that her mother would help the Straw Hats in the New World, but it was later proven to be completely false during the Whole Cake Island Arc as Big Mom despises Lola and wouldn't hesitate to kill her for costing her a chance at becoming the Pirate King, which Lola is unaware of. They end up becoming enemies and Nami refuses to divulge Lola's location to Big Mom to protect her friend.
- However Nami's friendship with Lola would also help her befriend Lola's twin sister, Charlotte Chiffon, whom still considers Lola to be her family (other than their father). Because of the negative cruel treatment her mother gives to her after Lola left due to their resemblance, Chiffon would also side against Big Mom.
- Lola also originally believed that her mother would help the Straw Hats in the New World, but it was later proven to be completely false during the Whole Cake Island Arc as Big Mom despises Lola and wouldn't hesitate to kill her for costing her a chance at becoming the Pirate King, which Lola is unaware of. They end up becoming enemies and Nami refuses to divulge Lola's location to Big Mom to protect her friend.
- The Straw Hats (minus Luffy) begin to realize that they need to become stronger, foreshadowing the Post-War Arc.
- Moria is the second Warlord of the Sea to be defeated by Luffy. However, unlike with Crocodile, Moria was allowed to maintain his position for the Marineford War. However, after the war in the Post-War Arc, the World Government would attempt to kill Moria, believing he had become far too weak to keep his position as a Warlord.
- Moria also notes that Luffy with his current strength would lose his crew on upcoming seas. Not long after that the foreshadow came true, as the Straw Hats did indeed suffer a crushing defeat and separation at Sabaody Archipelago, thus beginning a training period of two years to prepare themselves for the New World.
- Bartholomew Kuma reveals his Devil Fruit powers, the Nikyu Nikyu no Mi and his history with Monkey D. Dragon is briefly foreshadowed.
- Zoro is severely wounded when Kuma uses his powers to remove all of Luffy's pain from his battles and give it to Zoro. Zoro is not shown with the wounds healed until after the timeskip.
- Brook tells the full story behind Laboon's past, and that he is the one who left Laboon.
- Brook joins the Straw Hat Pirates as Luffy wanted a musician for a long time.
- Lola informs the Straw Hats the secret of the Vivre Card.
- Lola also gives them a Vivre Card to her mother to help in the New World.
- As it was revealed in the Whole Cake Island Arc that Big Mom does not allow for any of her children to have her Vivre Card, it is unknown to how Lola got ahold of one.
- Nami would later put Big Mom's Vivre Card to use during the Whole Cake Island arc.
- Lola reveals the paper Ace gave Luffy back in the Arabasta Arc is a Vivre Card. Luffy has also noticed that the Vivre Card has begun to burn.
- Lola also gives them a Vivre Card to her mother to help in the New World.
Anime and Manga Differences
- In the manga, while searching the island for Nami, Usopp, and Chopper, Zoro and Sanji disappear mysteriously. The anime shows their capture by Tararan's spider mice.
- The chase in the garden of the zombie animals is extended to show Nami, Usopp, and Chopper fending off the zombies the best they can.
- In the manga, Absalom stabs Sanji with a knife in the back. This scene was taken out in the broadcast version of the anime.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 442 and Episode 337, the Straw Hats fish up and activate a Flash Barrel.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 442 and Episode 337, the Straw Hats encounter a mysterious ghost ship.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 443 and Episode 338, Brook explains his Devil Fruit powers, and that his shadow was stolen.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 444 and Episode 339, Franky reveals the Mini Merry II.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 444 and Episode 339, Usopp, Nami and Chopper are attacked by a Cerberus.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 445 and Episode 340, Usopp, Nami and Chopper are then attacked by a horde of zombies.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 446 and Episode 341, Nami, during a bath, is assaulted by an invisible attacker.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 449 and Episode 342, Usopp, Nami and Chopper discover Hogback's lab.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 46 Chapter 448 and Episode 343, Robin reveals that Gecko Moria is a Warlord of the Sea.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 50 Chapter 489 (p. 16) and Episode 381, Hancock is mentioned by the Risky Brothers for the first time.
- One Piece Manga — Vol. 95 Chapter 954.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 49 Chapter 481 (p. 8) and Episode 373, Moria claims the Straw Hats aren't strong enough for the New World.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 52 –53 Chapters 512–513 and Episodes 404–405, the Straw Hats are conquered and divided by Kuma.
Thriller Bark Arc