One Piece is one of the longest running shows out there. It is one of the Big Three Shonen and is the only one currently running in its original form. The show has been airing weekly for more than twenty years and is doubtless one of the most recognizable series in any media. Having nearly one thousand episodes, One Piece also has the biggest barrier to entry for any anime series out there.
It is hard to know where to start with One Piece. Besides its near countless episodes, many of its arcs are actually filler arcs. It’s more than a little daunting to see how everything might fit together in canon. In this article, we are going to be giving a definitive guide on how to get a near complete One Piece viewing experience.
Before that, there is one thing we need to know about how the story of One Piece is structured and presented. While every other major show divides its story into ‘Arcs’, One Piece takes things a step further by dividing its story into ‘Sagas’.
A Saga is basically just a ‘Super Arc’. Sagas are composed of many smaller ‘arcs’ that fans are familiar with. Hence, it makes the most sense to talk about watching One Piece in terms of watching each of its individual Sagas. Right now, the anime covers nine different sagas, with half of them taking place before a timeskip and half of them taking place after this two year time skip. With that, it’s time to get into the watch order!
Table of Contents
Quick Watch Order (Sagas)
East Blue Saga (Episode 1 – Episode 53)
Arabasta Saga (Episode 62 – Episode 130)
Sky Island Saga (Episode 144 – Episode 195)
Water 7 Saga (Episode 207 – 219, Episode 226 – Episode 290, Episode 293 – Episode 302)
Thriller Bark Saga (Episode 337 – Episode 381)
Summit War Saga (Episode 385 – Episode 405, Episode 408 – Episode 425, Episode 430 – Episode 452, Episode 452 – Episode 516)
Fish-Man Island Saga (Episode 517 – Episode 541, Episode 543 – Episode 574)
Dressrosa Saga (Episode 579 – Episode 625)
Four Emperors Saga (Episode 746 – Current)
Quick Watch Order (Movies)
One Piece: The Movie
Movie 2: Clockwork Island Adventure
Movie 8: The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta
Movie 3: Chopper’s Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals (2002)
Movie 4: Dead End Adventure
Movie 5: The Cursed Holy Sword
Movie 6: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island
Movie 7: Giant Mecha Soldier of Karakuri Castle
Movie 9: Episode of Chopper Plus: Bloom in the Winter, Miracle Cherry Blossom
Movie 10: One Piece Film: Strong World
Movie 11: Straw Hat Chase
Movie 12: One Piece Film: Z
Movie 13: One Piece Film: Gold
Movie 14: One Piece: Stampede
Quick Watch Order (OVAS)
OVA 1: Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack!
OVA 3: Strong World Episode 0
OVA 2: Romance Dawn Story
OVA 4: Glorious Island Part 1
OVA 5: Glorious Island Part 2
OVA 6: One Piece Film: Gold Episode 0
Quick Watch Order (Specials)
Special 1: One Piece TV Special: Adventure in the Ocean’s Navel
Special 11: One Piece: Episode of East Blue: Luffy and His 4 Crewmates’ Big Adventure
Special 12: One Piece: Episode of Sky Island
Special 3: One Piece: Protect! The Last Great Stage
Special 7: 3D2Y
Special 4: Episode of Nami: Tears of a Navigator and the Bonds of Friends
Special 6: Episode of Merry: The Tale of One More Friend
Special 5: Episode of Luffy: Adventure on Hand Island
Special 9: One Piece: Adventure of Nebulandia
Special 8: Episode of Sabo: The Three Brothers’ Bond – The Miraculous Reunion and the Inherited Will
Special 10: One Piece: Heart of Gold
Short 1: Jango’s Dance Carnival
Short 2: Dream Soccer King
Short 3: Take Aim! The Pirate Baseball King
Short 4: ONE PIECE 3D! Trap Coaster
1- East Blue Saga (Episode 1 - Episode 53)
This is the first Saga of One Piece and there is really no other place to start the series than from right here. This Saga is one of the most important in the series, and is responsible not only for setting up the world, but also for introducing us to our main cast of characters. This might also be called the ‘Prologue’ to the world of One Piece. Each of this Saga’s individual arcs will either flesh out or introduce a new member to Luffy’s crew.
Romance Dawn Arc (Episode 1 – Episode 4)
The very first arc of One Piece and arguably its most important, this first arc will help every viewer get their feet wet into the vast world of One Piece. We’ll be introduced to Luffy and learn something about what makes him tick. We’ll learn the secret behind his rather remarkable power. Lastly, this arc will also introduce Luffy’s first crewmate and one of the most popular characters in the entire show, Roronoa Zoro.
Orange Town Arc (Episode 4 – Episode 8)
The second One Piece arc picks up right where the first one leaves off and is pretty important because it introduces the last of our trio, Nami. This isn’t the arc where we learn much about her backstory, but we definitely get enough to get us all interested. Moreover, we also get introduced to Buggy, a recurring character who also happens to be the first other Devil Fruit user that Luffy ever meets.
Syrup Village Arc (Episode 9 – Episode 18)
This arc is also important for introducing our next Strawhat member, Usopp. In this arc, we will learn a lot more about his backstory before Luffy ultimately recruits him. This arc will also feature the first hard fight that Luffy has in the series against the formidable Captain Kuro. One other thing this arc is noteworthy for is being the first arc that starts to get a little darker from the other arcs we have seen so far.
Baratie Arc (Episode 19 – Episode 30)
This arc is doubtless the biggest and most action-filled arc up to this point of One Piece. This arc will introduce us to another new crew member, Sanji, and it will help us delve into his backstory. The setting for this arc is particularly interesting because it shows just how wacky and goofy the world of One Piece can be, as it takes place in what is basically a floating restaurant.
Arlong Park Arc (Episode 31 – Episode 44)
If the last arc was action filled, then this arc takes all of that a fair few steps further. This is definitely the arc where most people start to fall in love with the show. It has easily the most climactic fight in the entire series and introduces Arlong, who is also a step up in terms of villains from what we’ve seen before. This arc is also important because it gives us insight into what makes Nami tick, who despite being introduced early on, is still a bit of a mystery at this point.
This is also easily the darkest arc in the show up to this point. The stakes are higher and the consequences feel real. This arc is also where our lovable crew gets its first bit of recognition, with Luffy getting his first bounty of 30 million.
Loguetown Arc (Episode 45, Episode 48 – Episode 53)
This is the final canon arc in this saga and helps us settle down after the epic arc that came before it. This arc sees us go over to the place where Gol D Roger was executed, arguably the thing that kickstarted the whole series to begin with. The best thing about this arc is that we get reintroduced to many of the villains we had seen up to this point all come together to try and stop our crew yet another time.
2. arabasta Saga (Episode 62 - Episode 130)
The Arabasta Saga is what many people refer to when they say that One Piece gets good after ‘a while’. This is the saga that they usually all mean. Everything is taken up a notch. There is more character development, the stakes are higher, the animation is better and we even get introduced to a new crew member. This is officially the point where we can say that the One Piece prologue is over.
Reverse Mountain Arc (Episode 62 – Episode 63)
This small arc will officially mark our crew’s entry into the Grand Line. As it is only two episodes, not much happens in this arc aside from us meeting a rather lovable whale. We will also get introduced to characters that are going to get much more important later on.
Whisky Peak Arc (Episode 64 – Episode 67)
This arc is important because it introduces the first island our crew stumbles into in the Grand Line. More than that, the whole setup of the arc is interesting, with our crew entering a city that is a lot more than it seems. This arc will introduce to us the main characters of the entire saga, and will set up future arcs in the show. This arc is also a little funny because it shows Luffy and Zoro squaring off, even if it is under odd circumstances.
Little Garden Arc (Episode 70 – Episode 77)
This is definitely one of the more violent arcs in the entirety of One Piece and that only adds to its charm. We get introduced to our first giants of the series, Dorry and Brogy. This arc is actually so violent that it isn’t even part of the 4kids dub of the show. Still, it is more than worth your while to watch.
Drum Island Arc (Episode 78 – Episode 91)
This is a pretty neat arc because it shows us a change of scenery that many One Piece fans had doubtless been wanting for a while. It’s the first time we get an arc taking place in the snow. Besides just that, this arc brings along yet another crew member to our gang, Tony Tony Chopper.
Arabasta Arc (Episode 92 – Episode 130)
Named after the saga, the Arabasta Arc is the defining arc to this whole part of One Piece. This singular arc is likely responsible for getting millions of people into continuing with the show. In this arc, we get introduced to one of the series most beloved and recognizable villains, Crocodile. All in all, this arc is the conclusion to everything you have been watching for the last fifty plus episodes and it does not disappoint. This is also the longest arc so far.
3. Sky Island Saga (Episode 144 - Episode 195)
This saga has a lot to live up to. It has to follow up on one of the best sagas in the entirety of One Piece. This saga does that and more, and has one of the most interesting settings in the entirety of One Piece, taking place on what is more or less a floating island. By this point, I’m sure you’ve accepted all the quirks One Piece has and have come to love them.
Jaya Arc (Episode 144 – Episode 152)
This is more of a setup arc for the entire saga than an arc all on its own. In this arc, we first encounter the mystery of a potential ‘floating island’ when the log pose seems to be pointing straight up at the sky rather than at any reasonable direction. The arc takes place on Jaya, the fifth island so far on the Grand Line.
Skypiea Arc (Episode 153 – Episode 195)
This is where the majority of this saga takes place. The entire arc takes place on the floating island of Skypiea and features our lovable cast coming from riches before getting embroiled in a much more intricate plot than they could have imagined. This is also where we will have the next most climactic fight of the series, with the crew having to face a godlike figure known as Enel.
4. Water 7 Saga
(Episode 207 - 219, Episode 226 - Episode 290, Episode 293 - Episode 302)
This is the longest saga in the entire series so far and it more than justifies its long runtime. The Water 7 Saga also has a more complicated watch order, owing to the amount of filler arcs it has. Following our watch order guide is very necessary at this point to stick to canon. One of the most noteworthy things in this Saga is us saying goodbye to the Going Merry, the ship our crew have been using for the past 200 episodes.
Long Ring Long Land Arc (Episode 207 – Episode 219, Episode 227 – Episode 228)
This is definitely one of the more fun and lighthearted arcs in the series. It features the Strawhats having to fight another rival pirate gang in what is known as the ‘Davy Back Fight’ contest. This arc will introduce us to a character that will be much more relevant in future arcs, Admiral Aokiji. This arc also shows off all the notoriety our favorite gang are accumulating in the world, and is a delight to watch.
Water 7 Arc (Episode 229 – Episode 263)
This arc makes up the majority of this Saga and for good reason. All in all, this arc is very tonally different from everything that comes before or after, being more of a thriller with several plot twists than a standard shonen. This arc is also responsible for introducing us to Franky, our newest addition to the crew. This arc is also the first that sees us lose two members, Usopp and Robin, both for their own reasons.
Enies Lobby Arc (Episode 264 – Episode 290, Episode 293 – Episode 302, Episode 304 – 312)
This is definitely one of the more complicated arcs to follow, owing to the amount of filler it has. Still, this is an important arc, being that this is the arc where the crew tries to rescue Robin. This is also the first time our crew has a more direct confrontation with the World Government. However, the thing this arc is most known for is how just about every member gets a new power or ability. All in all, this arc is irreplaceable.
Post-Enies Lobby Arc (Episode 313 – Episode 325)
This arc is most well known for being one of the few times we see Ace in action in his confrontation against Blackbeard. In this arc, our crew gets yet another round of having their bounties increased. One other thing this arc does well is set up future arcs and sagas. This is the first time that the Four Emperors or the New World are mentioned.
5. Thriller Bark Saga (Episode 337 - Episode 381)
This is one of the more unique Sagas in One Piece if only because it actually only has one arc. Naturally, it makes sense to jump straight to that arc when discussing this Saga. This Saga also has two filler arcs but it’s best to gloss over those.
Thriller Bark Arc (Episode 337 – Episode 338)
This arc is somewhat different because it is a bit of a race against time. Our crew ends up on a ghostly ship where they end up getting their shadows stolen. They have to hurry to get them back before it’s too late. This arc introduces yet another crew member into the gang in the form of a talking skeleton called Brook. This arc also introduces us to two of the remaining Four Emperors that were still a mystery after the last arc.
6. Summit War Saga
(Episode 385 - Episode 405, Episode 408 - Episode 425, Episode 430 - Episode 452, Episode 452 - Episode 516)
The Summit War Saga will be the next longest One Piece Saga in the series, spanning easily more than 100 episodes. This Saga resolves everything One Piece has been building up so far, and is the last One Piece Saga before the timeskip to follow. All in all, this will have some of the most important moments in the entirety of the show.
Sabaody Archipelago Arc (Episode 385 – Episode 405)
This arc kicks off this Saga by setting up many of the stakes that are going to be important down the line. One of the most important things this arc brings us is that the Straw Hats officially cross the halfway point of the Grand Line -the Red Line. This arc is especially important because it hints at one of Luffy’s dormant powers that will only be fully fleshed out much later down the line.
Amazon Lily Arc (Episode 408 – Episode 421)
This is an important arc because it deals with an important subject matter. Luffy has just been handed his first meaningful defeat and he must now grow as a pirate if he means to keep fighting for his dreams. This arc also helps set up the Saga climax by having Luffy find out the whereabouts of Ace.
Impel Down Arc (Episode 422 – Episode 425, Episode 430 – Episode 452)
This arc sees Luffy make an important decision. Whether or not he wants to go and reunite his crew or head out to try and rescue Ace instead. He chooses the latter, and Impel Down is the name of the prison where he is kept.
Let’s just say this prison is a lot more than it seems. One of the best moments of this arc has to be Luffy teaming up with Buggy, a longtime enemy now turned into a reluctant friend and ally.
Marineford Arc (Episode 457 – Episode 489)
This arc features Luffy and his unlikely band of allies trying to rescue Ace after he was taken to the Marine Headquarters. It is a climactic arc, featuring many of the most powerful characters we have seen in the entire series all duking it out. This is a very important arc in the One Piece cannon, as it features the first major and significant death in the entire series.
Post-War Arc (Episode 490 – Episode 491, Episode 493 – Episode 516)
This is an important arc, even though it is much calmer than what came before it. Luffy is reeling from losing someone dear to him for the first time. This arc is very important as it gives Luffy’s character some much needed growth and development. This is also the last arc before the big timeskip.
7. Fish-Man Island Saga
(Episode 517 - Episode 541, Episode 543 - Episode 574)
The Fish-Man Saga is the first Saga after a two year timeskip. This Saga will feature the return of many of our favorite characters as well as showing off all the skills and abilities they have learned during this time. This is one of the shorter Sagas in One Piece, but it is crucial in getting things setup for what’s to follow.
Return to Sabaody Arc (Episode 517 – Episode 522)
This arc is important because it is the first time we see many of our favorite characters after the timeskip. This includes Nami, Usopp, Sanji etc. This arc also highlights just how much things have changed after the events of two years ago.
Fish-Man Island Arc (Episode 517 – Episode 541)
This is the first adventure we get after our crew is finally reunited. More than that, this arc also shows off many of the new powers our favorite crew members have after their years spent training.
8. Dressrosa Saga
(Episode 579 - Episode 625)
This Saga takes the case in One Piece for being the longest Saga in the anime. It is also notorious for being full of filler and pacing issues. As such, using our watch guide is almost a must.
Punk Hazard Arc (Episode 579 – Episode 589, Episode 591 – Episode 625)
The first of two arcs in this Saga, this arc is especially important because it is our first look into the New World. This is also the first time we get a look at several characters after the timeskip, namely Smoker, Brownbeard and Kuzan.
Dressrosa Arc (Episode 629 – Episode 746)
This is the longest arc in the entirety of One Piece, clocking in at over 100 episodes. This arc sees the Strawhats take on the Warlord Of The Sea in a rather climactic fight. This arc livens the world of One Piece by introducing us to yet another race, the Dwarves.
9. Four Emperors Saga
(Episode 746 - Current)
This is currently the last One Piece arc being covered in the anime. It looks to be the most ambitious arc yet and will be a treat to follow week by week.
Zou Arc (Episode 751 – Episode 779)
This arc sees the Straw Hats try to reunite with Sanji after they’ve been separated from him for so long. This also sees our crew have their first confrontation against the Big Mom Pirates.
Whole Cake Island Arc (Episode 783 – Episode 877)
This is one of the longest arcs in the entire crew and features our gang not only meeting Big Mom but also the Four Emperors, all to get Sanji out of a political marriage.
Levely Arc (Episode 878 – Episode 889)
This is currently the last completed arc in One Piece and features the Strawhats once again taking on the Big Mom Pirates. This arc is especially interesting because it’s where Luffy gets dubbed the ‘Fifth Emperor of the Sea’.
One Piece is a huge commitment but it is a commitment that has always been worth getting into. Through its many Sagas and arcs, any viewer will be enthralled by life changing characters and stories. We can only hope that our little guide made that journey a little bit easier.