By: Jose D. Pernalete
One Piece, the adored manga and anime series, takes avid fans on yet another enthralling journey in the Long Ring Long Land Arc. Serving as the fourteenth captivating story arc within One Piece and standing as the inaugural arc of the Water 7 Saga, it transports us to a peculiar and outlandish island where the Straw Hat Pirates find themselves deeply entangled in a relentless and unforeseeable competition known as the Davy Back Fight.
Tasked with the well-being of their crew members hanging in the balance, Luffy and his loyal comrades must skillfully navigate an array of arduous trials, confront adversaries of immense strength, and encounter enigmatic allies when they least expect it.
It’s worth noting here before we begin with our summary and review that this is one of the weirdest arcs in the series that is somehow actually canon. It does serve a purpose and many fans argue that there is a way deeper meaning to this whole madness than what it seems at first sight, with incredibly complex theories about it. But one thing is for certain, it is even more controversial than Skypiea, as it is regarded as a bad arc by many fans.
Back in the Deep Blue: A Strange Island Appears
Back in Mock Town, Bellamy and Sarquiss, under the control of Donquixote Doflamingo, are forced to fight each other as punishment for their defeat against the Straw Hat Pirates. Doflamingo dismisses them from his crew, emphasizing that only the strong and real pirates will survive in the new age.
Luffy and his crew then arrive at the peculiar island of Long Ring Long Land. Despite Nami’s warning, Chopper, Usopp, and Luffy venture out and discover an unoccupied house, a tall horse named Shelly, and two walking stalks of bamboo. They accidentally break the bamboo, causing Tonjit to plummet down.
Tonjit, who has lived on the bamboo stilts for ten years, reunites with Shelly, expressing joy that the horse waited for him despite his tribe leaving the area years ago. He also shares the unique geography of Long Ring Long Land, consisting of ten connected islands that can be traversed on foot during a yearly ebb.
Meanwhile, the Foxy Pirates trap the Going Merry and challenge Luffy to the Davy Back Fight. In this competition, members of each pirate crew participate in various events, with the winning team having the power to steal crew members from the losing team, including the captain. Foxy tricks an angry Luffy into accepting the challenge, unaware of the consequences.
The Straw Hat Pirates face off against the Foxy Pirates in a best two-out-of-three game, participating in events such as the Donut Race, Groggy Ring, and Combat.
The Davy Back Fight Rules:
Captains choose the contestants for each event, with no changes allowed once the game begins. The winning team can steal a crew member from the opposing team’s next event, providing an advantage. Crew members won in the contest must immediately pledge allegiance to their new captain. Cheating is prohibited, although the Foxy Pirates exploit this rule to gain an edge.
Differences Between the Anime and Manga: Canon vs. Filler
When comparing the Long Ring Long Land Arc in One Piece, it’s important to distinguish between the canon content and the filler episodes introduced in the anime adaptation.
In the canon storyline, as depicted in the original manga, readers are taken on an exciting journey as the Straw Hat Pirates engage in the Davy Back Fight against the Foxy Pirates. The Donut Race, Groggy Ring, and Captain’s Fight are all significant events that drive the narrative forward and contribute to the development of our beloved Straw Hat crew. These moments are the true essence of the Long Ring Long Land Arc and remain consistent across both the anime and manga mediums.
However, it’s worth noting that the anime adaptation includes additional episodes that can be categorized as filler content. These fillers, while providing extra entertainment for fans, deviate from the original source material.
We’ll focus here first on the “canon” parts of the arc and then proceed to talk about the other parts they added in the anime that expand the the Davy Back Fight
The Donut Race – A Battle of Ingenuity and Cheating
The Donut Race event in the Davy Back Fight brings an exciting and creative challenge for the Straw Hat Pirates and the Foxy Pirates. The teams must construct makeshift boats using three barrels and two oars. With their vessels ready, the teams race around the island, facing obstacles and enemy cheating along the way.
In the manga, Nami, Usopp, and Robin represent the Straw Hats, while Porche, Capote, and Monda participate for the Foxy Pirates. However, in the anime, the entire Straw Hat crew and most of Foxy’s crew join the race.
The Straw Hats initially take the lead, showcasing their resourcefulness and teamwork. However, Foxy resorts to cheating, using his Devil Fruit powers to slow down their progress. Despite the setback, the Straw Hats demonstrate their unwavering determination and refuse to let Foxy’s underhanded tactics dampen their spirits.
A poignant moment occurs when Chopper, who had been captured by Foxy in a previous game, is offered the chance to join the opposing crew. Chopper tearfully rejects the offer, expressing his loyalty to Luffy and the Straw Hat crew. This emotional scene prompts Zoro to deliver a stern but empowering speech to Chopper, encouraging him to stay strong and trust in his crewmates.
The Donut Race sets the stage for the Straw Hats’ comeback, as they are determined to win Chopper back and emerge victorious in the Davy Back Fight.
The Groggy Ring: Uniting Forces and Overcoming Obstacles
The Groggy Ring event adds a unique sporting element to the Davy Back Fight. In this challenge, teams of three must choose a “Ball” member, while the opposing team attempts to knock the ball into the goal. However, the use of weapons is forbidden, making this a test of skill and strategy rather than brute force.
Zoro and Sanji find themselves pitted against the fearsome Groggy Monsters, who resort to using weapons despite the rules. The biased referee turns a blind eye to the Monsters’ cheating, further complicating matters for the Straw Hat duo. Despite initial difficulties and internal conflicts between Zoro and Sanji, they eventually set aside their differences and form a powerful alliance.
Through their teamwork and determination, they manage to defeat the Groggy Monsters, winning the event and symbolically reclaiming Chopper as a member of the Straw Hat crew. This victory showcases the growth of Zoro and Sanji’s relationship and highlights the strength that comes from unity and cooperation.
Luffy vs. Foxy: The Captains’ Fight
The Captain’s Fight serves as the climactic event of the Davy Back Fight. This intense battle pits Luffy, the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, against Foxy, the captain of the Foxy Pirates. The fighting area is determined by a spinning cannon, adding an element of unpredictability to the encounter.
When Luffy and Foxy face off, the fight takes place on Foxy’s ship, which is rigged with traps and weapons that give him the advantage. However, Luffy’s resourcefulness and quick thinking come into play as he strategizes his way through the battle.
Usopp convinces Luffy to don a large afro wig, claiming it will increase his strength, though the actual effect remains unknown. Despite Foxy’s use of various weapons and even robotic battle suits, Luffy manages to turn the tide by reflecting Foxy’s beams back at him using a mirror. With a powerful punch, Luffy sends Foxy flying into the ocean, securing victory for the Straw Hat Pirates.
In the manga, Luffy claims Foxy’s flag as a trophy, symbolizing his triumph over the rival captain. In the anime, however, the stakes are raised when Nami strikes a deal with Foxy that the winner will take 5 crew members. Foxy, in a devious move, changes the terms to 500 crew members, expecting the Straw Hats to pay this price through their children.
Yet, Luffy’s victory surprises everyone as he takes not only Chopper and Robin back but also 497 members of Foxy’s crew and their flag. Although he later dismisses the captured crew members, this triumph showcases Luffy’s determination to protect his nakama at any cost.
Anime Only Events of the Davy Back Fight:
The Roller Race replaces the Combat as the final game in the original storyline. The Straw Hat crew participates in a race on roller skates, facing off against members of the Foxy Pirates. Despite initial setbacks, they manage to turn the game around and win back their crewmate, Chopper.
The Straw Hats and the Foxy Pirates engage in a game of dodgeball with spiked balls. While following certain rules, including the use of a giant robot battle suit, the teams compete to knock each other out. Robin, who was previously sitting on the sidelines, surprises everyone with her knowledge of the rule book and helps the Straw Hats secure victory.
Red Light/Green Light:
The crew members race up a path and must freeze whenever the person at the end says “Red Light.” The first participant to reach and tag that person wins. Despite being close to victory, Zoro’s untimely arrival results in Hamburg getting kicked right in front of the finish line, leading to Chopper being taken once again.
Slight Changes From Manga to Anime
In the manga, the Long Ring Long Land Arc is followed immediately by an encounter with Admiral Aokiji, one of the powerful marine admirals. The intense games and challenges of the arc set the stage for a climactic showdown with Aokiji, adding a sense of anticipation and excitement for readers.
However, in the anime adaptation, there is some filler content inserted between the Long Ring Long Land Arc and the encounter with Aokiji. While the additional episodes provide extra entertainment and extend the storyline, they also mean that viewers have to wait a bit longer for the much-anticipated confrontation with the formidable admiral.
This deviation from the manga’s timeline gives the anime the opportunity to explore new adventures and expand upon the arc’s events. It adds more depth to the story and allows for further character development and interactions. While fans may have to exercise a bit more patience to reach the encounter with Aokiji, the filler content offers its own set of entertaining moments and surprises.
So, manga readers can look forward to the immediate confrontation with Admiral Aokiji after the Long Ring Long Land Arc, while anime viewers can enjoy the additional filler episodes before diving into the highly anticipated encounter. Both versions provide their own unique twists and turns, ensuring an engaging and captivating experience for fans of One Piece.
The Unconventional Challenges and Rule-Breaking Tactics
One of the standout aspects of the Long Ring Long Land Arc is the introduction of the Davy Back Fight’s unique challenges. From the Donut Race, where makeshift boats are constructed from barrels and oars, to the Groggy Ring, a test of strength and teamwork, the events push the Straw Hat Pirates to their limits.
However, the Foxy Pirates’ unscrupulous tactics, including cheating and bending the rules to their advantage, create a constant sense of unease and heighten the stakes of each contest. This arc showcases Oda’s talent for crafting inventive and entertaining challenges that keep readers on the edge of their seats
Foxy the Pirate: The Divisive and Quirky Villain of the Long Ring Long Land Arc
Foxy, the eccentric captain of the Foxy Pirates, takes center stage as the primary antagonist in the Long Ring Long Land Arc of One Piece. However, Foxy’s portrayal as a villain is far from conventional, often dividing the fandom into those who either adore his whimsical nature or dismiss him as an inconsequential nuisance.
What sets Foxy apart from other villains in One Piece is his distinct lack of seriousness. Unlike the menacing and ruthless adversaries that the Straw Hat Pirates typically face, Foxy brings a quirky and comedic touch to the arc.
His over-the-top antics and playful demeanor give him a somewhat endearing quality that resonates with some fans. They appreciate his ability to inject lightheartedness into the narrative and find joy in his eccentric personality.
On the other hand, Foxy’s light-heartedness and the arc’s focus on his shenanigans can be a point of contention for those who prefer the more serious and epic aspects of One Piece. They argue that his inclusion detracts from the overall tone of the series and diminishes the impact of the story. Foxy’s emphasis on games and tricks may be seen as a departure from the grand adventures and deep themes that define the series.
In essence, Foxy’s divisive nature as a villain adds a unique layer to the Long Ring Long Land Arc. While some fans appreciate his whimsical presence and the comedic relief he brings, others find his inclusion distracting and out of sync with the larger narrative.
Ultimately, Foxy’s role may not be as weighty as other villains in the series, but he serves as a reminder that One Piece can embrace different tones and experiment with unconventional characters. Whether loved or hated, Foxy leaves an indelible mark on the arc, sparking lively debates and showcasing the diverse range of experiences within the One Piece fandom.
A Fun Arc With Unforgettable Moments
The Long Ring Long Land Arc in One Piece is a standout storyline within the Water 7 Saga, delivering an exhilarating and unforgettable adventure for both the characters and readers alike. With its unique Davy Back Fight concept and character-driven narrative, this arc keeps fans engaged and captivated from start to finish.
Throughout the arc, the Straw Hat Pirates face numerous challenges and obstacles, pushing them to their limits. The Donut Race, Groggy Ring, and the captivating Captain’s Fight all contribute to the high-stakes excitement and suspense that permeate the arc. Notably, the Captain’s Fight, with Luffy donning an afro wig and utilizing his wit to outsmart Foxy, stands out as a highlight, adding an extra layer of humor and creativity to the arc.
The character development within the Long Ring Long Land Arc is also praiseworthy. Chopper’s emotional journey and eventual growth, as well as Luffy’s unwavering determination and unyielding spirit, showcase the depth and complexity of the Straw Hat crew. The themes of friendship, trust, and unwavering camaraderie are beautifully depicted, further solidifying the bond between the crew members.
With its inventive challenges, rule-breaking tactics, and heartfelt character moments, the Long Ring Long Land Arc cements itself as an essential and enjoyable part of the One Piece series. While it may not reach the heights of some other arcs in terms of plot progression, the arc’s ability to combine humor, suspense, and character growth earns it a deserving place in the overall narrative.
The Long Ring Long Land Arc receives a commendable score due to its ability to deliver thrilling competitions, memorable character moments, and the iconic Captain’s Fight featuring Luffy with an afro. While it may not be the most pivotal arc in terms of the overarching plot, its entertainment value, humor, and exploration of friendship make it a must-watch for One Piece fans.
Final Score: 7.5/10
Is the Long Ring Long Land arc filler?
No, the Long Ring Long Land arc is not filler. It is a canon arc within the One Piece series. The Long Ring Long Land arc is part of the Water 7 Saga and is included in the original manga storyline by Eiichiro Oda.
What is the Plot of the Long Ring Long Land Arc?
The Long Ring Long Land arc in One Piece follows the Straw Hat Pirates as they compete in the Davy Back Fight on the peculiar island. Their crew members are at stake, and they face challenges like the Donut Race, Groggy Ring, and Captain’s Fight against the Foxy Pirates. The arc explores themes of teamwork, determination, and loyalty. It is regarded as controversial by some fans but delivers entertaining moments and character development.
Can We Skip Long Ring Long Land Arc?
Aside from the introduction of the major One Piece character Aokiji, the Long Ring Long Land Arc is not essential to the main plot. However, it does offer entertaining moments, character development, humor, and suspense, making it a worthwhile experience for fans of One Piece.