Netflix’s One Piece season 1, episode 1 recap: “Romance Dawn”

One Piece. (L to R) Taz Skylar as Sanji, Mackenyu Arata as Roronoa Zoro, Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp in season 1 of One Piece. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
One Piece. (L to R) Taz Skylar as Sanji, Mackenyu Arata as Roronoa Zoro, Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp in season 1 of One Piece. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /

In the vast world of anime and manga, One Piece stands out as a true masterpiece. With its compelling characters, thrilling adventures, and intricate world-building, it has captured the hearts of fans worldwide.

Now, with the release of One Piece on Netflix, let’s dive into the first episode of the series, titled “Romance Dawn,” and uncover the captivating story that has enthralled audiences for decades.

One Piece season 1, episode 1 recap: The legendary beginning

“Romance Dawn” is where the epic journey of Monkey D. Luffy begins. Set in the fictional world of One Piece, it all starts 22 years ago in Loguetown.

The Marines, acting on behalf of the World Government, are determined to rid the world of the menace posed by pirates. At the center of this episode is Gold Roger, the notorious King of the Pirates, who faces execution in front of a massive crowd.

Vice-Admiral Garp solemnly declares Gold Roger’s impending demise. However, just moments before his execution, Gold Roger delivers a world-changing declaration.

He offers his treasure, known as the One Piece, to anyone brave enough to find it and encourages them to set sail. With these final words, Gold Roger becomes a martyr, and the Great Pirate Era is born.

One Piece season 1, episode 1 recap: The quest for One Piece

Fast forward to the present day, where we meet the fearless Monkey D. Luffy on his humble boat. His unwavering ambition is to become the next Pirate King by discovering the legendary One Piece treasure.

However, fate has other plans as his boat sinks, leading him into a perilous encounter with Lady Alvida and her pirate crew, as well as another group of formidable pirates. Amidst the chaos, we are introduced to Koby, a young man who becomes Luffy’s first friend.

Koby holds a dim view of all pirates, seeing them as scoundrels and thieves. Yet, Luffy, with his characteristic grin, challenges Koby’s perspective, setting the stage for a transformative friendship.

One Piece season 1, episode 1 recap: A glimpse into the past

To truly understand Luffy’s journey, we must delve into his past. A decade before, in Windmill Village, Luffy is an orphan with an unyielding desire to become a fearsome pirate and embrace the freedom it offers.

Netflix's One Piece season 1 episode 1 recap: Romance Dawn
One Piece. (L to R) Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp, Mackenyu Arata as Roronoa Zoro, Emily Rudd as Nami, Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Taz Skylar as Sanji in episode 108 of One Piece. Cr. Casey Crafford/Netflix © 2023 /

In a daring move to prove himself, he scars his own face with a knife in front of the town’s pirates, including their leader, Shanks. During this flashback, Shanks plays a pivotal role in shaping Luffy’s character.

After saving Luffy and his audacious act, Shanks inadvertently leaves behind the Gum Gum Fruit, a mystical fruit that grants Luffy extraordinary abilities. It is this event that sets Luffy on his extraordinary path.

One Piece season 1, episode 1 recap: New allies and foes

As the narrative unfolds, we find ourselves on Sixis Island, where the enigmatic Mr. 7 attempts to recruit the formidable swordsman Zoro into his organization, Baroque Works. However, Zoro resolutely declines, leading to a breathtaking swordfight that showcases Zoro’s impressive skills.

Meanwhile, in the East Blue, a mysterious redhead named Nami washes ashore next to a pirate ship. Desperate for help, she conceals a significant chest, which lures two curious pirates aboard.

Nami’s cunning nature is revealed as she outwits them and commandeers their ship, embarking on her own mysterious quest. Back to Koby and Luffy, they arrive at Shell Island with the intention of assembling a crew and setting sail.

Before entering the island’s Marine base, they share a meal, inadvertently crossing paths with Zoro, who carries the lifeless body of Mr. 7. Amidst these events, Nami makes another appearance.

Tensions escalate when a cocky Marine officer, Helmeppo, arrives, reminiscent of a Targaryen from House of the Dragon. Zoro’s combat prowess takes center stage once again as he swiftly dispatches the guards.

However, this act doesn’t escape the notice of Captain Morgan, Helmeppo’s father and the Marine division’s leader.

One Piece season 1, episode 1 recap: Uniting against adversity

While Captain Morgan appreciates Zoro’s skills, he insists on punishing him for assaulting a Marine officer. This decision leads to Zoro’s confinement in the yard for 7 days.

Meanwhile, Nami, who witnessed everything, disguises herself as a Marine and subsequently eliminates a threat. Elsewhere, Luffy, determined to free Zoro, infiltrates the base through the grates.

Luffy recognizes Zoro’s true nature and invites him to join his crew. Although initially reluctant, Zoro eventually accepts the offer.

During their escape, Luffy encounters Nami in the basement and sees through her facade. He also vows to acquire her map to the Grand Line.

This map, previously belonging to Morgan, becomes a valuable objective. Inside Morgan’s office, they stumble upon a hidden mechanism that conceals a safe.

Unfortunately, their covert operation triggers an alarm. Luffy, utilizing his extraordinary Gum Gum abilities, effortlessly retrieves the safe, leading to a daring escape.

As Luffy and Nami navigate their way out of danger, Zoro, now liberated, chooses not to walk away from the unfolding events. Eventually, this culminates in a showdown between Captain Morgan and the trio of Luffy, Nami, and Zoro.

True to the spirit of One Piece, our trio emerges victorious, commandeering a ship and setting sail once more.

One Piece season 1, episode 1 recap: The future of One Piece on Netflix

With One Piece making its debut on Netflix, fans old and new have the opportunity to embark on an incredible journey filled with adventure, camaraderie, and the pursuit of dreams. “Romance Dawn” is just the beginning of an epic tale that will continue to captivate audiences around the world.

Overall, season 1, episode 1 serves as an exciting introduction to the beloved series. As we follow the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, we can expect a thrilling and heartwarming journey that explores the boundless possibilities of the high seas.

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What did you think of One Piece season 1 episode 1? You can watch One Piece season 1 only on Netflix!