Romance Dawn Arc (The Origin Of An Epic Adventure)

Written By CJ  |  Anime  |  0 Comments

November 8, 2022

Romance Dawn Arc Short Recap

  1. Luffy Eats Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit (In the Wano Arc its uncovered that Luffy actually ate a completely different Devil Fruit, but does have properties of rubber which is why its not questioned earlier on)
  2. Shanks loses his arm and showcases "Haki" or Haoshoku Haki (This concept takes a while to be fully explained in the One Piece story)
  3. Shanks gives Luffy his signature Straw Hat
  4. Luffy leaves for his Journey to become King of Pirates
  5. Zoro becomes the first Crewmate of the Straw hat Pirates

This is the first story arc in One Piece. The beginning of the series chronicles Luffy's origins and his journeys after he leaves his hometown to start a pirate crew.

When Monkey D. Luffy was only seven years old, he befriended the Red Hair Pirates and promised their captain, Shanks, that one day he would become a great pirate himself.

A decade after Roger's death (King of the pirates), Luffy finally heads out on his journey. His first obstacle is Alvida, a tyrannical female pirate. 

Afterward, he reaches Shells Town which is constantly under Marine Captain Morgan's strict control.

One Piece Romance Dawn Arc

Romance dawn arc, Luffy, Zoro, Nami

Romance dawn arc, Luffy, Zoro, Nami

East Blue Saga Total Episode 4 episodes

Romance Dawn Arc is the first arc in One Piece.

Next Arc - Orange Town Arc.

What episodes are in the Romance Dawn Arc?

Episodes 1-4, which is a total of 4 episodes.

What chapters are in the Romance Dawn Arc

Chapters 1-7, which is a total of 7 chapters.

For many people, the thought of reading Eiichiro Oda's One Piece is daunting. 

The story is large-scale and incredibly intimidating, with a time commitment that can seem impossible. 

Additionally, even fans of the series recommend starting from later story arcs due to how much better they are than the beginning.

However, it's important to remember that every great journey has to start somewhere: a compelling beginning. 

Chapter 1 of One Piece sets up an absurdist epic fantasy adventure in the best way possible

As the King of the pirates, Gold D. Roger attained great wealth, fame, and power. 

Before he was executed, he announced to everyone watching that he had left all his treasure in ONE PIECE. This caused the world to enter the Great Age of Pirates.

Luffy's introduction is both over-the-top and hilarious. With this first arc, Oda positions Luffy as one of the silliest and most likable protagonists in all of anime. 

The wild child slices his face in an attempt to show conviction and strength to the first member of his patchwork One Piece family: Shanks who he meets earlier on in the Romance Dawn Arc and is a pillar character later in the series.

To demonstrate the scope and importance of the One Piece world, Oda employs Shanks and his Red Hair Pirates. 

They rescue Luffy from a bandit group headed by the cocky Higuma, during which Roux executes one Bandit without hesitation. 

This scene nicely displays the slight darkness present in this world, something that is further established when Shanks willingly sacrifices his arm to save Luffy from a sea monster. 

These scenes provide contrast to the ridiculous body humor stemming from Luffy's rubbery powers after he ate his devil fruit.

East Blue Saga|Romance Dawn Arc

Romance_Dawn_Arc Luffy and Shanks

Romance_Dawn_Arc Luffy and Shanks

When Luffy asked the captain, "Red-Haired" Shanks, to join his crew, Shanks had to decline because Luffy was too young and could not swim. 

This is all the funnier because Luffy accidentally ate a devil fruit losing the ability to ever swim again But gained powers).

Yes, a pirate that can't swim, you read that right.

A group of mountain bandits, led by Higuma, suddenly barged into the bar and demanded alcohol. The bartender Makino explained that the pirates had drunk it all already. 

When Shanks offered Higuma the last bottle, he responded violently by breaking it over Shanks' head; this was due to the bandit's extensive 8,000,000 berry bounty (Berries is the One Piece currency). 

Without fear or hesitation, Shanks simply apologized and cleaned up the mess, which only caused Higuma to break more dishes before finally leaving with his gang in tow.

Afterward, the Red Hair Pirates just laughed, but Luffy was angry at Shanks for not standing up for himself. He stormed out of the bar, and Shanks tried to grab his arm to hold him back. 

However, to his shock and dismay, he realized that Luffy's arms had stretched like rubber as the boy continued walking away from him. 

The realization then hit all of them simultaneously as they remembered that the Devil Fruit they had stolen earlier was now gone; eaten by none other than young Monkey D. Luffy himself as dessert no less! 

This caused quite a stir among them as they knew this meant that due to eating the fruit, this rubberized body wouldn't be able to swim ever again, a devastating reality for anyone that wants to be a pirate!

The Red Hair Pirates went on another voyage and Luffy started to enjoy his new rubber body. However, one day he was sitting in Makino's bar when Higuma's gang returned and demanded alcohol. 

Soon afterward, Makino alerted Mayor Woop Slap that Luffy had been kidnapped by bandits after picking a fight with them.

Higuma initially planned to sell him to Circus due to his strange silly rubber boy body but then decided to kill him for angering him. When Shanks arrived to come to Luffy's aid before he could be killed, Luffy said he didn’t need help. 

However, when one of the bandits pointed his gun at Shanks, the pirate Lucky Roux shot him. While stating that he could accept an insult toward him, Shanks made it clear that anyone who harms his friends would not be forgiven. 

His first mate Benn Beckman then overpowered the bandits singlehandedly. Higuma managed to escape with Luffy in tow throw a smoke bomb. 

Higuma brought Luffy out to sea and kicked him overboard in an attempt to drown him. As Luffy fought desperately to keep his head above water, a Sea King known as the Lord of the Coast approached to eat Higuma. 

The beast then sets its sights on Luffy, but Shanks arrives just in time to save him and Shanks pulls him from the water. 

Shanks then scares the Lord of the Coast away with a menacing glare. 

This ended up costing Shanks his arm in the process. 

Interestingly enough we get to see something foreshadowed (Haki) by Shanks when with just a glare he scared the Lord of the Coast.

Later, as the Red Hair Pirates prepared to leave Foosha Village for good, Luffy decided he would not try to join them. 

Instead, he declared that he would form his crew; one that was stronger than Shanks', find the greatest treasure, and become king of the pirates. 

To take Luffy up on his word, Shank gave him his straw hat with instructions to return it once he had surpassed him. 

As the Red Hair Pirates set sail, Shanks and Beckman both looked forward to great things from Luffy in the future.

Straw Hat Luffy And Journey Toward King of Pirates

Romance Dawn Arc Luffy Sets Sail

Romance Dawn Arc Luffy Sets Sail

Ten years later, Luffy sets sail on his own in a small rowboat. 

The Lord of the Coast comes to confront him, and he quickly takes it out with Gomu Gomu no Pistol stretching his arm forward and unleashing a long-range punch. 

As he drifts out to sea, Luffy plots to recruit at least 10 crewmates, make a Jolly Roger, and become the Pirate King. 

Unfortunately when his boat is pulled into a whirlpool from which there appears to be no escape Luffy gets inside a barrel. Not being able to swim has its setbacks.

The following sequence from Romance Dawn introduces one of the key characters in the story, Coby. 

This sequence shows Luffy's ability to have a positive impact on the people he meets. When he encourages Coby to break free from his capture and pursue his dreams, Coby's future changes for the better. 

While Alvida does not make much of an impression as an antagonist, she allows Coby to shine during this sequence setting up his bright future.

From the Marines' perspective, Coby could be seen as the protagonist. He systematically goes through and tries to improve things from within, which gains him confidence and a sense of purpose. 

However, because we see things primarily through Luffy's eyes, we also get a more positive view of one of Luffy's main antagonists: the Marines.

In the meantime, a pirates' ship was anchored at a remote island. The merciless captain, Alvida, badgered her subordinates for not scrubbing the vessel clean, especially Koby, the cabin boy. 

She ordered him to go ashore and to their base.

Once there, he found an abandoned barrel and rolled it back to the wine cellar where three of his curious crew mates decided to break it open thinking it contained some type of alcohol they could drink in secret. 

To the crew's and viewers' surprise, Luffy took a nap inside the barrel he was placed in. 

The commotion that resulted caused Alvida to destroy the building by throwing her iron mace into it. 

Her three henchmen told her what happened with Koby and Luffy as they had both escaped during all the commotion. 

Alvida was furious and ordered them to bring both of them back or they would suffer her wrath.

Luffy's nonchalance towards Koby's cowardice led the Koby to hope for a method to get stronger and stand up for himself more often. 

Suddenly, Luffy and Koby were met with resistance by Alvida and her crew as she destroyed their boat. 

Alvida gave Koby a chance to stay alive by calling her the most beautiful creature in all the seas, but when Luffy asked who she was, he insulted her appearance without meaning to. 

At first, Koby started scolding Luffy, but then remembered what he had told him before and decided to stand up for himself and insulted Alvida instead. 

Alvida prepared to hit Koby with her mace, but an impressed Luffy jumped in and intercepted it with his rubber body so that it wouldn't hurt him. 

He then used Gomu Gomu no Pistol to knock Alvida down and told her crew to get Koby a boat.

Pirate Hunter Rorona Zoro

Romance Dawn Arc Luffy meets Zoro

Romance Dawn Arc Luffy meets Zoro

As they sailed away, Koby pointed out that for Luffy to achieve his dream, he would have to travel the Grand Line. This is an area known as the pirate's graveyard since it's so treacherous to travel. 

Luffy responded by saying that he planned to create a powerful crew that could survive it. 

Luffy automatically decided to recruit Roronoa Zoro, a bounty hunter and Marine prisoner who he heard about from the Alvida Pirates. 

This shocked Koby, seeing as Zoro was believed by many to be some type of demonic beast. 

Thanks to Koby's excellent navigation, the two were able to make it to Shells Town where Zoro was being held by the Marines. 

Luffy and Koby stopped for a meal at a restaurant before saying goodbye. The other customers in the restaurant gasped when they heard Luffy mention Zoro's name. 

Then Koby remembered seeing Captain Morgan at this base and, to his surprise, the others reacted with fear even upon hearing Morgan's name.

Luffy, who perfectly embodies absurdity, seeks out to free Zoro for his crew. Therefore, one would think that someone with the title of "Pirate Hunter" wouldn't want to join a pirate ship.

Upon arriving at the Marine base, Luffy and Koby discovered Zoro tied to a crucifix in the parade ground behind the outer wall. 

When they approached to untie Zoro, a young girl named Rika scaled the wall to offer them some rice balls she had made. 

However, Morgan's son Helmeppo intervened and snatched away the rice balls before proceeding to spit them out and stomp on them because he found them too sweet for his taste. 

When the upset Rika tried to help Zoro, Helmeppo pointed out that it was a crime. He then ordered one of his Marine companions to throw her over the wall. 

The Marine did as he was ordered, but Luffy caught Rika before she fell. After Helmeppo and his group left, Luffy went to get Zoro to join his pirate crew. 

But Zoro refused because he had made a deal with Helmeppo, if Zoro stayed in confinement here for another month without food, then Helmeppo would set him free. 

However, Zoro asked Luffy to feed him the rice balls that Helmeppo had stomped into the ground; despite them being caked with dirt, he told Luffy to tell Rika they were delicious.

Luffy and Zoro Toppling Morgan's Reign

Romance Dawn Arc Luffy Ask Zoro to join him

Romance Dawn Arc Luffy Ask Zoro to join him

Upon hearing that Zoro was still well, Rika expressed great joy. 

It turns out Captain Morgan and Helmeppo ruled the town with an iron fist, often sentencing people to death for offenses they just made up. 

Zoro had only been arrested after saving her from Helmeppo's dangerous dog that tried to kill her.

Walking into town, Helmeppo demanded the citizens bow to him. He stated that in three days Zoro would be executed, causing Luffy to confront him about the promise he made.

Helmeppo revealed he was only joking, which in typical Luffy fashion causes Luffy to get very angry, Luffy confronts Helmeppo and punches him.

This will be a common theme through One Piece as Luffy is not afraid to stand up to people that he had conflicting morals.

Koby had to hold Luffy back from attacking further, but Helmeppo promised revenge before heading home. As citizens retreated into their homes, Koby headed back to recruit Zoro again.

Battle Of Shells Town, Stop Luffy And Zoro

Romance Dawn Arc Luffy vs Morgan

Romance Dawn Arc Luffy vs Morgan

Luffy went back to Zoro, who still refused to join his pirate crew. Luffy then asked where Zoro's swords were, and he revealed that Helmeppo had taken them. 

If Luffy retrieved Zoro's swords and gave them back, would he reconsider joining? Zoro accepts this deal, but had doubts that Luffy could do it. 

Helmeppo came and told Morgan to kill Luffy, but Morgan ignored this as he oversaw his men erect a massive statue of himself on the roof. 

Helmeppo asked why his father was not going after someone who attacked him, and Morgan responded that now that Helmeppo was older, it was time for him to fight his own battles. Morgan stated that he only killed people who defied him.

Morgan ordered one of his men to kill Rika, but when the soldier refused, Morgan struck him down with his giant axe-hand. 

Luffy was looking for someone to guide him to Zoro's swords and heard noises coming from the roof, so he stretched his arms to pull himself up there. 

Luffy Jumps with so much velocity it results in him flying over the roof, so he grabs onto the ropes Marines were using to pull up Morgan's statue causing it to fall down and split in two.

Morgan was furious when he saw Luffy and told his men to apprehend him. Luffy captured Helmeppo and took him inside the base to find out where Zoro's swords were. 

Helmeppo told Luffy that he put Zoro's swords in his room, and when Luffy was confronted by some Marines, he used Helmeppo as a shield to protect himself. 

Luffy made His way into Homempo's room and saw three swords but Homsmpo had fainted so could not tell him which ones were Zoros. Luffy decided to just take them all not knowing which was Zoro's sword. 

At that time Kobi is trying to set Zoro free and is shot by the soldiers.

Zoro implored Koby to take advantage of the situation and escape while they still could, but Koby let Zoro know that his agreement with Helmeppo was all just a lie.

He also divulged that Luffy had found out about Zoror's upcoming execution and took matters into his own hands by punching Helmeppo. 

Koby begged Zoro for help should he manage to get freed, just as Morgan and company showed up brandishing guns at them both. 

Morgan commanded his troops to open fire, leaving Zoro feeling a sense of failure. Zoro's dreams were built on a promise long ago never to die until he became the strongest swordsman in the world.

Zoro and Kuina's Past Story In Romance Dawn Arc

Romance Dawn Arc Zoro fights Kuina

Romance Dawn Arc Zoro fights Kuina

Zoro began training in swordsmanship at a young age. He Lost 2000 practice duels to Kuina, the dojo master's daughter. 

One night, he requested a real duel in armed combat with her instead of just using wooden swords. She beat him handily, but then she revealed that even she was frustrated because her father always said women couldn't compete against men in terms of strength physically due to the differences in men's bodies. 

This made Zoro angry because he wanted to beat her fair and square, not just because he was a man. 

He and Kuina then promised each other they would become the world's greatest swordsmen and have a duel for the title. 

The next day though, Zoro found out that Kuina had died after falling down some stairs. 

He asked Koushirou if he could have her sword and tearfully declared that he would fulfill their promise for both of them by becoming the world's best swordsman.

Zoro Joins Luffy's Crew

As the Marines shoot at Koby and Zoro, Luffy jumps out of the window and lands in front of them. The bullets ricocheted off his body and hit the Marines. 

Luffy confronts Zoro asking which sword was his, Zoror revealed that he wielded all three of them as a Three Sword Style user. 

With the Marines now unquestionably against him, Zoro decided to take up on Luffy's offer and become a pirate. 

After the Marines unsheathed their swords, they ran towards Luffy and Zoro. Zoro asks Luffy to give his swords. With them, he could cut himself free and take on all of the Marines by himself. 

Morgan ordered his men to shoot themselves for their incompetence, and Luffy charged to fight him. With a few quick movements, Luffy's actions had given him the advantage against Morgan. 

However, Helmeppo then held Koby at gunpoint to stop him from harming his father. 

This didn't phase Luffy, in the face of death, Luffy simply punched Helmeppo with Gomu Gomu no Pistol. As Morgan rose back up to attack him from behind Zoro quickly cut him down. 

With both Morgan and Helmeppo lying defeated, the Marines started celebrating their victory.

Luffy, Zoro, and Koby dined at Rika's mother's restaurant where they then proceeded to plan their journey to the Grand Line. 

Koby expressed his gratitude towards the pirates for teaching him how to be confident but warned them against going ahead with their current plans. 

The Marines soon showed up and after thanking the pirates for defeating their captain, requested that they leave. Once Luffy and Zoro had left, the Marines asked Koby if he was going to go with them. Luffy then started detailing Koby's history with Alvida which led to Koby hitting him. 

But, Luffy punched back and quickly a fight broke out between the two, giving the Marines the impression that they weren't friends (A clever move by Luffy to help Kolby become a marine).

Nonetheless, before leaving, Koby requested to enlist in the Marines and promised he would take on any job given to him. 

Even though some soldiers still doubted his loyalty, the chief of marines accepted his request. 

As Luffy and Zoro prepared to leave, Koby arrived with the rest of the Marines to thank them. 

Neither group could have imagined they would work together one day as allies, but Luffy told Koby they would meet again. 

They all looked forward to the adventure waiting for them on The Grand Line.

Facts And Questions

  • The Wano Country Arc will expose how the Gomu Gomu no Mi ended up being possessed by the Red Hair Pirates before Luffy ate it. It's also going to uncover its actual identity as the Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika, a Mythical Zoan-type Devil Fruit. Consequently, this makes it the first overall Zoan-type Devil Fruit featured in the series.
  • After the Post War Arc, Luffy's childhood is explored more in-depth, and it's revealed that his time with the Red Hair Pirates prompted his grandfather Monkey D. Garp to send him away to live in the mountains. He didn't approve of Luffy interacting with pirates. However, while living there Luffy he first met Portgas D. Ace and Sabo, which led them to become sworn brothers.

What episode is the Romance Dawn arc in One Piece?

The Romance Dawn Arc in One Piece is episodes one through four of the anime.

Is Romance Dawn One Piece canon?

The Romance Dawn Arc is the first arc in the One Piece anime. It is also the first arc in the series overall.

Yes, Romance Dawn is considered canon. It is the first story in the series and sets up the basics of the plot and world of One Piece.

What is the Romance Dawn arc in One Piece?

The Romance Dawn arc is the first arc in the One Piece anime. It is also the first arc in the series overall. The arc introduces the main character, Monkey D. Luffy, and his quest to become the Pirate King. It also sets up the basic premise of the series, which is that Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates will search for the One Piece.

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