One Piece (Sky Island)

One Piece (Sky Island)

One Piece anime logo
One Piece Logo

Overview

Sky Island is the third arc of the One Piece anime, the first and second being East Blue and Alabasta respectively. The Sky Island arc covers episodes 136 – 206, which means it’s the longest of the arcs up to this point in the series. It’s also the best arc so far, but we’ll get into that later.

Before we get to the main portion of the arc in which the Straw Hat crew actually go to the sky islands, we first have a small arc involving a mysterious rainbow mist. The rainbow mist is a phenomenon that appears only around a specific island in the grand line.

What makes the rainbow mist so unique, however, isn’t actually the fact that it’s rainbow. Instead, it works as a portal which can send entire ships to a region of the sea known as Ape’s Concert. And no, I have no idea why it’s named that, there are no apes nor concerts there.

This region of the sea is known as a ship graveyard because once a ship enters Ape’s Concert, it will likely never return. The region is also an endless loop so going too far in one direction will simply make you end up exactly where you started. Further, time seems to stand still in this region of the sea.

Now that I’ve vaguely covered that mini arc, it’s time to get to the real sky island arc. You see, there’s an island known as Jaya which has a legend about an island in the sky somewhere in the nearby sea, however, this island has never been confirmed.

As it turns out, there are actually multiple islands in the sky and they’re collectively known as Skypiea. The two primary sky islands this arc will focus on are Angel Island and Upper Yard, also known as Shandora by the natives.

To get to these islands, Luffy and his crew need to ride a giant underwater explosion up into the clouds, because how else are you supposed to get there? Once there, they land on Angel Island where they discover the inhabitants have wings like angels and are led by a man who calls himself god Eneru.

"God" Eneru from the Sky Island arc of One Piece
Eneru

Essentially, god is the title of the leader of the Skypieans, and he resides on Upper Yard because it’s considered to be holy ground. Why is Upper Yard considered holy? Well, all of the other sky islands are made out of a special type of cloud, Upper Yard, however, is an earthen island from the Blue Sea down below.

I should mention here that the Blue Sea refers to the sea of the Earth, while the sky islands have what’s known as the White White Sea. This sea is made out of a special kind of cloud as well, but one that’s different from the kind that makes up the sky islands.

So anyway, Upper Yard is a regular island, but then how did it end up in the sky? Remember that giant underwater explosion I mentioned earlier? Upper Yard used to be the other half of the island known as Jaya until it was blown into the sky by one of these explosions.

Once, in the sky, Upper Yard, previously half of Jaya, was taken over by god and the skypians. The natives of Upper Yard lived in a city known as Shandora and refer to themselves as Shandorans. The Shandorans were kicked off Upper Yard, and have been fighting to get it back for the past 400 years.

So, some stuff happens and eventually Luffy defeats the god Eneru, as expected, and both the Skypieans and Shandorans begin a truce. God Eneru had to be defeated because he was actually a tyrant by the way. I’ll talk more about him in the character section, but he was going to destroy Skypiea for some reason.

After the events of the main Sky Island arc conclude, the Straw Hat crew plummet back down to the Blue Sea and land inside an impenetrable Navy fortress known as G8. Out of the entire Sky Island arc, this mini arc at the end was actually my favorite.

The Straw Hat crew must figure out a way to escape from the Navy fortress while also holding onto the gold they “stole” from Skypiea. Out of everything that’s happened in the series so far, this is the most pirate-like arc there is, and it’s only around 10 episodes long.

Characters

As usual, there are a large number of new characters introduced in the Sky Island arc, but today I’ll just be focusing on the four I think are the most important, Robin, Conis, Eneru, and Wyper. The first of the four, Robin Nico, was actually in the Alabasta arc, but I saved her for this post instead.

You may remember Robin as the right-hand woman of the antagonist of the Alabasta arc, Crocodile. At the very end of the arc, Robin decided to join the Straw Hat crew because she figured it might be interesting, and since Luffy saved her from being killed in the end.

Robin is an archaeologist who’s searching for giant stone tablets known as poneglyphs. The poneglyphs supposedly tell the lost history of the world and are spread throughout the Grand Line. All of the different poneglyphs are needed to uncover the lost history.

She also has devil fruit powers, making her the third Straw Hat crew member to have them, Luffy and Chopper being the other two. I don’t remember the name of the devil fruit she ate, but she’s able to create seemingly infinite body parts appear out of anywhere and anything.

Honestly, her power is pretty broken considering there doesn’t seem to be any limit. She could even incapacitate an entire army by herself if she wanted to.

Conis is the Skypiean who the Straw Hat crew meet when they first land on Angel Island. She lives there with her father and is the first friend the crew makes in this new region. However, she and her father betray the crew and hand them over to god Eneru out of fear for their own lives.

Much like Vivi from Alabasta, I’m glad Conis didn’t end up joining the Straw Hat crew in the end because there’s really nothing special about her other than the fact that she has wings (which don’t seem to be used for flight by the way).

Speaking of joining the Straw Hat crew, because Robin technically joined the crew in the Alabasta arc, there are no new Straw Hat members introduced in the Sky Island arc. I kind of assumed we’d be getting a new member in each arc, so maybe Robin does count as this arc’s member.

Nico Robin from the Sky Island arc of One Piece
Robin

Eneru is the primary antagonist of the Sky Island arc. He comes from a different sky island which he completely destroyed when he left and made his way to Angel Island and Upper Yard. It’s still kind of unclear to me why he wants to destroy all of the sky islands in the first place, though.

He basically just wants to go live in and rule over the Blue Sea, so I’m not entirely sure what destroying the sky islands has to do with that. Also, at the end of the arc he’s shown flying towards the moon, so I have no real clue as to what his end goal really was.

But, Eneru has a devil fruit power which not only gives him control over lightning, he is lightning. And, as some of you may know, any character who uses lightning-type attacks is almost guaranteed to be one of my favorites solely because of that.

As lightning itself, Eneru is essentially the most powerful being in the world. He’s definitely the strongest character we’ve met so far, and I’m actually going to say that we’ll never see another character over the course of this series who’s truly stronger.

Even the way in which Eneru was “defeated” didn’t really make sense, because he can’t be defeated. He was defeated by being hit by a giant gold ball, but it was already established that he could just turn into electricity and travel through gold so technically he could have just avoided the hit by doing that, but I digress.

As the embodiment of lightning, Eneru can not only use the shocking power of lightning, but also the heat and speed of lightning, making him the most versatile character in the anime. I mentioned that Robin was overpowered, but she can’t even physically touch Eneru.

From the very first time we meet Eneru and his devil fruit power was explained, I already knew how the arc would end. Since Luffy is rubber, he was just going to beat up Eneru anyway. Rubber defeats electricity after all.

However, once Eneru was able to heat up metal and use it to burn Luffy, it really showed just how powerful he is. He was able to use the secondary properties of his devil fruit power to work around his one and only counter, meaning he has no counter.

And, devil fruit power isn’t all Eneru has at his disposal. He’s also in possession of a power known as Mantra which allows him to read bodily movements. By doing this, he’s able to predict the movements of not only the person he’s fighting, but also everyone else all across Skypiea.

So, as I previously stated, Eneru is the strongest character introduced so far, and I really think it’s impossible for a stronger character to ever be introduced later. His defeat itself is a plot hole because there’s literally no way to beat him.

As a final fun fact about Eneru, his title of “god” is kind of a play on words considering the Japanese word for god is “Kami” and “Kaminari” is the Japanese word for thunder (lightning). At one point in his battle against Luffy, Eneru says something along the lines of, “I am lightning” and emphasizes the “Kami” in “Kaminari,” saying that he’s both lightning and god.

There’s your little Japanese lesson for the day.

Now onto the fourth and final character I wanted to mention, Wyper. Wyper is the leader of the Shandoran rebels who have been fighting to regain control of Upper Yard for the past 400 years. While the primary reason for their fighting is to reclaim their homeland, there’s a second, true reason as well.

Somewhere in the ancient ruins of Shandora there’s a giant bell which Wyper wishes to ring in honor of his ancestor’s wish. His ancestor wanted to ring the bell, known as the Fire of Shandora, in order to let his best friend (down below, on Jaya) know that he was in the sky.

Wyper is a secondary antagonist of this arc, but isn’t on the same side as either the Straw Hat pirates or Eneru. Because of this, there are at least three (up to five) different factions fighting against each other throughout the arc which makes for some pretty interesting dynamics.

As someone who doesn’t have devil fruit powers or the power of Mantra, Wyper instead uses sky island technology known as dials. Specifically, he has a lost dial known as a Reject Dial strapped to one of his hands. With this dial he can deal a massive amount of blunt force trauma.

As one final note, I’d like to mention that Wyper and the rest of the Shandorans have wings just like the Skypieans even though they’re originally from the Blue Sea. I though that maybe they developed these wings over the 400 years since their island was blasted into the sky, but this isn’t the case.

In a flashback to when the island of Jaya was whole, the Shandorans living in the Blue Sea still had wings. This seems to simply be an error in the story since at no point were the Shandorans’ wings ever mentioned, and yet I can see no reason for them having them in the first place.

Conclusion

Overall, despite being better than both East Blue and Alabasta, the Sky Island arc of One Piece is still a 6/10 just like Alabasta, albeit a higher 6/10. If the quality of the animation as well as the pacing of the series were improved, then it could easily have been a 7.

The fourth OP of One Piece is available here.

If you enjoyed this post then let me know by clicking the like button down below. You can also leave a comment down there if you’d like to share your thoughts on the Sky Island arc as well. Did you think it was better or worse than the previous two arcs?

Subscribe to my blog via email, or follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, in order to be notified every time a new post goes live. Out of these options, I highly recommend Twitter because I also tweet out about other improvement updates to the site which may be of interest.

My review of the next saga, Water 7, is available here.

Loading Likes...

Leave a Comment

Bitnami