One Piece is widely regarded as one of the best shonen franchises despite being one of the oldest and longest-running series. Even after two decades of airing, the story still highlights the adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates. With huge world-building to intense combat and a large plethora of sagas, there's nothing more fans could hope for. It's not uncommon for long-running shonen series to compile multiple story arcs into a single saga.
In One Piece, all the sagas are interconnected and contribute to revealing hints about the final truth one by one. Each saga is interesting enough on its own, although it can be difficult to keep track of all the events with so much going on. Furthermore, with so many characters contributing to the development of the story, there's only one that can stand out the most among them. Delve deeper to find out the MVP of each One Piece saga and what they contributed during it.
East Blue Saga: The First Monumental Accomplishment of the Protagonist
East Blue Saga was the prologue of the story and introduced fans to at least half of the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy was introduced as an easygoing protagonist who aimed to become the King of the Pirates. As a pirate who had just started his journey, there were two main goals he had to accomplish: gather a crew and make a name for himself. To help Nami, Luffy went against a powerful and notorious pirate named Arlong. He was considered the strongest pirate in the East Blue Saga at that time and had taken over Nami's village for years. Luffy not only defeated him but saved Nami from his clutches, making her a full-fledged member of his crew. As a crew, Luffy got his first bounty of 30 million berries. It was an extremely important scene, as it marked the beginning of the long journey of the future King of the Pirates.
Arabasta Saga: Mr. Prince Saved the Day
Sanji is the most underappreciated and level-headed member of the Monster Trio. Unlike Luffy and Zoro, who are known for acting recklessly, Sanji likes to think things through before going into battle. Crocodile was the most terrifying opponent that the Straw Hats had ever faced. With most of the crew members and Princess Vivi locked up in Crocodile's prison, things weren't looking great for them. However, at that moment, Sanji came and rescued everyone. Furthermore, his Mr. Prince bit was ingenious, where he managed to distract Crocodile long enough to personally save the crew.
Sky Island Saga: Robin Uncovered a Secret Related to Roger
Robin was still a mysterious character at this time, so it was difficult to completely trust her as a full-fledged member of the Straw Hat Pirates. In the Skypiea Arc, she didn't have many iconic fights or cool moments as such, but she was nonetheless a key character in uncovering some of the biggest secrets related to the Void Century. As the only known person to be able to read the poneglyphs, fans would have never found out about Roger's visit to Skypiea or the ancient weapon without her, as Robin deciphered the location of Poseidon.
Water 7 Saga: Sanji Stopped the Buster Call
In the past, whenever Marines had to enforce the Buster Call, the results were always catastrophic. The criminals have never been able to defeat that attack regardless of how strong they were. This attack completely destroyed Ohara, haunting Robin for her entire life. In Enies Lobby, when Robin was about to be brought to "justice," the Straw Hats spared no effort in rescuing her and came very close. With nothing going their way, the Buster Call was enforced. However, it was Sanji who used his wits to stop the Buster Call for the first time in history. He managed to save his entire crew and his friends, successfully rescuing Robin in the process.
Thriller Bark Saga: Zoro's Best Moment to This Day
Zoro's iconic scene in the "Thriller Bark" saga needs no introduction to One Piece fans. When Sanji and Zoro came across another warlord, Bartholomew Kuma, they were powerless to stop him from attacking their captain. Therefore, Sanji and Zoro both offered their lives instead. Zoro ended up taking all the hits, saving both Luffy and Sanji. His reply to Sanji's question, "Nothing happened," is still a monumental moment in anime history.
Summit War Saga: Whitebeard Showed What It Meant to Be the Best
While he was alive, Whitebeard was known as the strongest pirate in the world, second only to the Pirate King. The Summit War was simply a charade to lure Whitebeard in. Although he died, it took an entire Navy and the betrayal of his men to defeat him. Even then, Whitebeard couldn't be brought to his knees; he died standing and announcing to the world that One Piece was real. As he grew old, his health deteriorated, and even then, he could shake the very earth.
Fishman Island Saga: A Glimpse of Luffy's True Power
After the time skip, the Straw Hats went through a massive power boost, and Luffy was no exception. He mastered all forms of haki, even being able to control Conqueror's Haki at will. On Fishman Island, fans got a first glimpse of the true power of the future Pirate King. The Straw Hats were against an army of 100,000 Fishmen, and Luffy was able to intimidate half of them using his Haki. Not only that, but defeating the major antagonist of that saga was no difficult feat for Luffy either.
Dressrosa Saga: God Usopp Showed His Might
In Dressrosa, all those who went against Doflamingo or didn't have any use for him were turned into toys. By turning into toys, they had their existence erased since all those who knew them would naturally forget about them. However, Usopp defeated the Devil Fruit user named Sugar, responsible for turning people into toys. Not only that, but once Sugar regained consciousness, she aimed for Luffy and Law. Usopp was able to launch an attack from miles away, using Observation Haki for the first time. He has yet to use Haki again, but that scene suggested there is more to come.
Whole Cake Island Saga: Brook Came Face to Face With a Yonko
In the "Whole Cake Island" saga, the Straw Hats had two goals. One was to bring Sanji back, and the other was to retrieve the Road Poneglyph from Big Mom. However, because the Poneglyph is so important, it was under constant surveillance and kept near Big Mom herself. While trying to make a copy of it, Brook came across Big Mom, and this turned into the first one-on-one battle with any of the Straw Hats against a Yonko. Brook not only managed to escape alive but also completed his mission of retrieving a copy of the poneglyph.
Wano Country Saga: Luffy Walked Past Two Yonkos Like It Was Nothing
The "Wano Country" saga is by far the most intense and incredible saga of One Piece so far. Luffy and the others have shown tremendous growth and continue to fight against two terrifying Yonko: Kaido and Big Mom. There have only been a handful of occasions where Luffy was truly serious, and this Saga showed one of those rare moments. Seeing his friends all injured and lying on the ground, he walked toward them, bypassing the two Yonkos who were standing in his way. Furthermore, his fight with Kaido and his Devil Fruit awakening are all monumental moments, easily making him the MVP of this saga.