One Piece (Punk Hazard)

One Piece (Punk Hazard)

One Piece anime series logo
One Piece

Overview

I don’t think many people would fault me for saying that Punk Hazard wasn’t exactly the best saga of One Piece. After the East Blue saga, this one is probably my least favorite so far. And, there are two main reasons for this.

First, Punk Hazard’s main plot is removed from everything else that has happened in the series so far. Second, Punk Hazard is really just a setup saga for the sagas which are to come later on. This means that we’re not invested in the arc from the start, and we’re not invested in the arc at the end.

But, while I don’t think Punk Hazard is all that engaging to watch, it’s a pretty important arc. This isn’t a filler arc which can be skipped like the Davy Back Fight against the Foxy Pirates — though I think that was actually more entertaining.

Luckily, the new information we get about the world of One Piece in this arc counteracts how boring it otherwise was. We learned more about one of the Warlords, we learned more about the country of Wano, and we learned more about the mystery of devil fruits.

New Characters

There are four new characters from Punk Hazard who I want to discuss. Two of them are new friends, and two of them are foes of the Straw Hats. But, what I think really makes these characters interesting are their devil fruit abilities.

Potentially for the first time, we’ve seen what are basically duplicate devil fruits. I guess you could make the argument that Marco’s Phoenix Zoan is very similar to Ace’s Flame-Flame fruit. However, the reason I won’t count those is because one is a Zoan and one is a Logia.

And, this arc also introduces us to the very first — that we know of — man-made devil fruit user. It’s possible that someone we’ve come across in the past used a man-made devil fruit, but if they did we don’t know at this point in time.

New Allies

Both of the new friends of the Straw hats are from the Wano kingdom, which is the same place Brook is originally from. This is a kingdom of Samurai — despite how Brook dresses — and at this point in the anime that’s all we really know about it.

The first of these characters is Kin’emon, a warrior of Wano. Just like how Brook is able to use ice-type attacks with his sword for some unknown reason, Kin’emon is able to use pseudo-fire-type attacks with his. His sword doesn’t actually create fire, but he can negate and slice through it.

Kin’emon is also a devil fruit user, though his devil fruit is oddly specific. If he places a stone on top of someone’s head, he can turn that stone into a winter coat. Sure, this was a helpful ability to have on the frozen half of Punk Hazard, but unless Wano is a Winter island, it seems pretty useless.

Momonosuke in his dragon form from the anime series One Piece (Punk Hazard)
Momonosuke in his dragon form

Momonosuke is the son of Kin’emon and was held captive on Punk Hazard with a bunch of other children. These children were being experimented on, and Momonosuke managed to escape — sort of. He actually went out in search of food and ended up eating a devil fruit.

However, this was no ordinary devil fruit, it was a man-made, Mythical Zoan type fruit which turned him into a (Chinese) dragon. Apparently, the island of punk hazard has been creating man-made Zoan type devil fruits and selling them on the black market. It also seems that a man-made Zoan can have the same “ability” as a real Zoan.

For example, as far as we know someone could have a man-made Human-Human fruit while Chopper has the real one.

New Enemies

But man-made devil fruit aren’t the only duplicates in this saga. Two of the antagonists have devil fruit abilities very similar to those we’ve seen before. So let’s start with the main antagonist of the arc, Caesar Clown.

Caesar is the former assistant of Dr. Vegapunk and has been secretly creating weapons of mass destruction on Punk Hazard for the past few years. But, what’s really important to know about him is that he has the Gas-Gas fruit.

This fruit is basically a combination of Smoker’s fruit and Magellan’s fruit, and is stronger than both of them individually because of it. In fact, he might even be strong enough to take them both on at once. However, his major downfall is that he can’t use haki of any sort.

Caesar Clown from the anime series One Piece (Punk Hazard)
Caesar Clown

Caesar’s assistant, Monet, has the Snow-Snow fruit, which is oddly similar to the fruit used by Aokiji. Obviously though, she’s nowhere near as powerful as Aokiji is. While Monet’s devil fruit isn’t man-made, she is a man-made harpy. It’s not exactly clear why she underwent this surgery though from what I remember.

I really want to discuss Monet at the end of the Punk Hazard saga, but at the same time I don’t want to spoil anything about it. So just know that her part at the end of the saga was probably my favorite thing in One Piece so far.

Dressrossa Setup

Alright, so I mentioned that Punk Hazard’s main purpose was to set up future portions of the main story. The introduction of Kin’emon and Momonosuke seems to be more setup for when we eventually get to Wano. I’m sure they play a major role there.

However, the more immediate setup is for the very next saga, Dressrossa. First of all, we get our real introduction to Doflamingo, the antagonist of Dressrossa. We’ve seen him before, most notably at Marineford, but we didn’t really know much about him then.

We’re also introduced to Doflamingo’s business, which is the underground network he’s set up for selling weapons. This black market is where you can purchase man-made Zoan devil fruits. So based on that I assume we’ll be seeing a lot more Zoan types in the future.

And, let’s not forget that on Punk Hazard the Straw Hats teamed up with Trafalgar Law to form an alliance going forward.

Conclusion

Overall I have to say the Punk Hazard saga of One Piece is a 6/10. It was certainly informative and, at least towards the end, fun to watch, but it was still one of the worst sagas so far. At least because of everything it set up Dressrossa should be a good one.

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