by Aaron Anderson, FUNimation
Type the number 500 into your favorite search engine and your monitor will be flooded with links for death-defying automobile races, ridiculously-profitable corporations, and even long-forgotten one-hit wonders from the nineties. Thankfully, none of that boring stuff has anything to do with this blog. We’re talking 500 for a different reason. We’re talking 500 in honor of something very, very special. Something especially huge and amazing and totally mind-bogglingly awesome all at the same time. We’re talking about the straight from Japan simulcast 500th episode of One Piece!
Got your attention? Good. Now do a search for “shows with 500 episodes,” and you’ll see how rare it is for a series to hang around long enough to reach such an impressive milestone. Make no mistake; One Piece isn’t just hanging around, it’s getting better. The heroes get braver, the villains get meaner, and the fights just keep coming. I’d estimate that Luffy and his crew have survived at least 500 fist fights with some of the most sinister scallywags ever to be found sailing the Grand Line. That’s a heck of a lot of Gum-Gum Pistols!
In honor of this joyous occasion for all the Straw Hat stalwarts out there, I’m going to attempt to pick out the top five fights in the history of the One Piece Simulcast. It won’t be easy, and I don’t have a super rad pirate crew to back me up, but I’m gonna try my best to be as brave as Luffy when he went toe-to-toe with toxic Warden Magellan! Here goes nothing!
Fight No. 5 – Episode 414, All-Out Special Power Battle!! Gum-Gum vs. Snake-Snake: Luffy kicks his attack mode into second gear to save a precious statue, and the snake sisters start to feel the Straw Hat heat. At the battle’s climax, Luffy makes an impression on his opponents.
Fight No. 4 – Episode 480, Each on Different Paths! Luffy vs. Garp!: Luffy must defeat the man who taught him how to fight – his own grandfather – in order to save Ace. Battling his own flesh and blood won’t be easy, but a waxy ally is there to provide back up!
Fight No. 3 – Episode 487, The Insatiable Akainu! Lava Fists Pummel Luffy!: While Blackbeard and his men seek to sink Marineford, Jimbei and Luffy’s desperate attempt to flee is thwarted by Akainu’s fiery fists. The situation appears dire until a former enemy lends a sandy hand!
Fight No. 2 – Episode 436, The Showdown Has Come! Luffy’s Desperate Last Attack!: Luffy’s daring assault on the venomous warden of Impel Down leaves him struggling to stand up, but despite the lethal poison breaking down his body, the rubber-man kicks his rescue mission into second gear!
Fight No. 1 – Episode 482, The Power That Can Burn Even Fire! Akainu’s Ruthless Pursuit!: Despite Whitebeard’s order to retreat, Ace is drawn back to the battlefield by the cruel taunts of a Marine adversary. Luffy watches in horror as his brother makes what could be his last stand!
Well, there you have it: my top five One Piece simulcast episodes. I’ve watched more installments of this amazing show than I can count, and these five stood out to me for reasons that are sometimes hard to put in words. But that’s fine by me. I’m sure you can figure out your own reason for loving these episodes. All you have to do is watch.