The Long Ring Long Land Arc, also referred to as the Davy Back Fight Arc, is the fourteenth story arc in the series, and the first in the Water 7 Saga of the manga and anime One Piece. It is also the first arc to be aired on Adult Swim's newly revised Toonami block. It focuses around a contest between the Straw Hat Pirates and the Foxy Pirates, called the "Davy Back Fight". It is also the setting of the fight between Admiral Aokiji and Monkey D. Luffy. Long Ring Long Land is the sixth island the Straw Hat Pirates encounter on the Grand Line.
The Davy Back FightEdit
Monkey D. Luffy and his crew arrive at the island of Long Ring Long Land, a bizarre island where everything, including the animals and plants, stretches in either length or height. Despite Nami's warning Chopper, Usopp and Luffy go exploring and find an unoccupied house, a tall horse and two "walking" stalks of bamboo. They break the bamboo and Tonjit plummets down. Tonjit has lived on the bamboo stilts for 10 years. He is delighted that his horse, Shelly, waited for him for so long although his folk are nomads and left the place years ago. He also tells the Straw Hats the geography of Long Ring Long Land, which consist of ten islands that are connected and can be walked between on foot during a big ebb every year. Tonjit's tribe changes the island every three years. After that he takes Shelly for a ride.
In the meantime, the Going Merry and the rest of the crew are surrounded by an unnamed pirate crew, stating that their Captain wants to play the Davy Back Fight with Luffy. Back at Tonjit's house, Chopper, Usopp and Luffy watch Tonjit riding Shelly just to see her getting shot by Foxy the Silver Fox, who asks Luffy to play the Davy Back Fight. In the Davy Back Fight, members of each pirate crew face off in different events in which the winner of the event can steal crew members of the losing team, even the captain. The Jolly Roger can also be taken and with it the dignity of the crew.
Foxy tricks Luffy who is angry for the unprovoked attack at Shelly and unknowingly accepts.
Basic Rules Of The Davy Back FightEdit
- The contestants for each event are chosen by the captains before the game begins and the contestants cannot be changed. Contestants can only participate in one event, though they can participate in two in the anime. Since the line-ups cannot be changed, the winning team can steal a crew member that is competing in the next event to give their team an advantage.
- If a crew member is lost in one event, they can be won back in the next event, but not in future Davy Back Fights after the current one is over, unless the captains of both crews involved agree to another Davy Back competition.
- All crew members that are won must immediately swear permanent allegiance to their new captain.
- Any form of cheating is not allowed during the contests, and the Foxy pirates use this to their advantage by having their referee play dumb when they cheat, putting the Straw Hats at a major disadvantage.
When Luffy's crew play against Foxy's crew, they play a best two-out-of-three game. The events that are played are Donut Race, Groggy Ring, and Combat. In the anime, the events played are Donut Race, Groggy Ring, Roller Race, Pirate Dodgeball, Red Light/Green Light, and Combat.
In this event, three members of each crew must build a make-shift boat out of nothing but three barrels and two oars. Each team then races around the island, trying to avoid obstacles and enemy cheating in order to make it to the finish line first. Each team is given an Eternal Pose so that they can find their way back to the island if they get too far away from the shore.
A team of Nami, Usopp, and Robin face a team of Porche, Capote, and Monda in the manga. In the anime, all of the Straw Hats and most of Foxy's crew participates. Though the Straw Hats manage to get in the lead, Foxy cheats and uses his Devil Fruit to slow them down enough for his team to pass them. Foxy takes Chopper to be part of his crew and while Chopper starts crying over how he doesn't want this and how he only went out in the sea with Luffy to be a Straw Hat, he starts saying he doesn't want this and refuses to be a part of Foxy's crew and starts crying more, prompting Zoro to slam his drink to the ground and yell at Chopper to shut up, stating it's shameful what he's doing. He tells Chopper he was the one who chose to go out to sea and not Luffy. They accepted the game and lost and tells Chopper he shouldn't be crying and as a man he should sit back, shut up and watch the rest of the games as they win him back. Nami scolds Zoro over his mean treatment to Chopper, however, Chopper realizes he's right and mans up, surprising Nami as Zoro declares they will win him back.
In this event, the teams of three from each pirate crew choose one of their members to be the 'Ball', and the other team has to try and knock the opposing team's ball into the goal once. This event forbids the use of weapons, as it is a sport, though other kinds of cheating are allowed.
Zoro and Sanji take on a team of 3 known as the Groggy Monsters. Chopper was to participate, but Foxy won him in the previous game. However, the Groggy Monsters use weapons and the referee pretends he doesn't see them. After much difficulty, mostly due to fighting between the two crewmates, and partly due to a bias on the referee's part against them, Sanji and Zoro team up and defeat the Groggy Monsters.
This event is a duel between the two captains. A cannon is spun to randomly determine the fighting area, and the goal is to knock the opposing captain out of the fighting area.
When Luffy and Foxy fight in this competition, the battle takes place on Foxy's ship, which is full of traps and weapons to give him the advantage. Before the match, Usopp persuades Luffy that wearing a large afro wig will increase his strength. Its actual effect, if any, unknown, but eventually, and despite his foe using several of the ship's weapons and even robotic battlesuits, he manages to defeat Foxy by reflecting his beams back at him using a mirror and punching him into the ocean. In the manga, Foxy's flag is taken.
In the anime, Nami made a deal with Foxy that the winner would take 5 crewmembers, but Foxy changes this to 500 crewmembers, expecting the Straw Hats to "pay" for this through their children since they do not have that many. Thus, when Luffy wins, he takes Chopper, Robin, 497 members of Foxy's crew and their flag, leaving only 3 people. He later dismisses the crewmembers he won and they all run back to Foxy.
The Encounter with AokijiEdit
After Luffy has beaten Foxy and taken their flag (replacing it with one of his "drawings"), it is revealed that he only fought for Tonjit and Shelly. Back at the house they run into a very tall and thin guy who is sleeping while standing in front of the house. After removing his sleeping mask, Robin is shocked as the guy turns out to be Aokiji, one of the three admirals of the Marines.
Aokiji states that he is privately on the island, does not seek a confrontation and only wanted to see where Robin ended up after leaving Alabasta. After that he helps out Tonjit to get to his tribe by freezing the path to the next island with the power of the Hie Hie no Mi. After Tonjit leaves, Aokiji confronts the crew as he sees them a threat for the world. The biggest threat he sees is Robin for her ability to read the Poneglyph and tells the crew that every organization Robin belonged to does not exist anymore and she is the only survivor each time.
Robin attacks Aokiji, but fails and Aokiji tries to retaliate with a strike from a sword he instantly made by freezing grass. Zoro blocks the strike and Sanji kicks the sword away, but both get caught by Aokiji, freezing Sanji's leg and Zoro's arm. Luffy tries a punch, but only gets his fist frozen on Aokiji's body. Aokiji freezes down Robin while Robin states she really did try to change and how she may have found her home and as she's frozen Aokiji tries to shatter her with a punch, but Luffy saves her. When Aokiji tries to stomp her, Usopp grabs her from Luffy's arms and runs to the ship along with Nami and Chopper to unfreeze her. Luffy sends Zoro and Sanji after them declaring he'll fight Aokiji one-on-one. Chopper and Nami tend to the frozen Robin in order to unfreeze her, and Zoro and Sanji use the ocean to heal their frozen limbs. Usopp says that they should go back for Luffy despite Zoro saying otherwise, which prompts Usopp to yell that they need to go back. He thinks that Sanji and Zoro don't care for Luffy's safety, which enrages Sanji and tells Usopp that Luffy demanded to be alone in the duel and they need to believe in him.
Luffy battles Aokiji but only ends up being entirely frozen. Aokiji spares Luffy due to his defeat with Crocodile stating they are even but wonders if Luffy only wanted to buy time for the others or really thought he could beat him. However he does not pursue the Going Merry stating that the crew will be destroyed by Robin sooner or later anyway. As he leaves he considers giving Luffy a message from Smoker, but states it would be too confusing (and Luffy wouldn't be able to hear since he's frozen). Luffy is later found by the rest of the crew and is, like Robin, defrosted. However, Usopp is exhausted by all this and wonders if more opponents this strong will just keep appearing on their journeys stating he thinks he can't handle the pressure anymore and they may be done for. Zoro says it doesn't matter since Luffy may have lost, but he became stronger from fighting Aokiji. The crew continues their journey three days later.
Anime and Manga DifferencesEdit
Manga: There are only three rounds in the Davy Back Fight, Chopper being lost in the first round, rejoining the crew after the second round, and Foxy's flag being taken after the third. Luffy was also given the option of choosing a shipwright, but he chose the flag instead. Sanji also gets mad at Luffy for not choosing the female shipwright, Gina. The first round of the Davy Back fight is only a race between two three- man boats, one for each team respectively. In the anime however, all of the Straw Hats and most of Foxy's crew participated. The first round also showed how the audience can help their team by hindering the other team. This was exemplified when Foxy's crew threw boulders and shot cannonballs at Nami, Usopp, and Robin's row boat. In return, the Straw Hats beat the ones that were hindering their crew (Sanji especially). Usopp also shows that he has knowledge of Davy Back Fights by wanting to sail as far away as possible from the island to avoid the crossfire. Usopp also openly uses the impact dial at first, unlike in the anime where he is initially pressured by Nami.
Anime: This arc, like the Loguetown arc, had many changes that greatly extended its duration. In the anime, Luffy agreed to a second set of three rounds, for a total of six. In the first round, all of the Straw Hats participated, and each group had a rowboat. Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji were all distracted by the Foxy crew while in their boats (through food, alcohol, women, and sweets) where as in the manga they were preoccupied on land. There were also several scenes that showed how Foxy's crew manipulated the rules. After the end of the first set, Luffy freed Shelly from the Foxy Pirates instead of Chopper, who rejoins after the third round of the first set, which is a rollerskating race rather than a battle between Luffy and Foxy. The first round of the second set is a variation of dodgeball, which was lost when Luffy swallowed a ball. Robin is captured by the Foxy Pirates because of that. The second round was "red-light green-light", in which Luffy lost Chopper again to the Foxy Pirates. In the third round Luffy and Foxy faced off on the ship, but instead of a single person bet, a 500 person bet was agreed to. Luffy defeated Foxy, then took back Robin, Chopper, and the Foxy Pirates' flag, along with the entire Foxy crew, except Foxy, Hamburg, and Porche whom he set adrift in a dingy. Luffy then dismissed the entire ex-Foxy crew who then set sail after their ex-captain in the Sexy Foxy.
Anime: Since there is the Ocean's Dream Arc filler in between, Tonjit is not saved by Aokiji but by his grandson Rittonto and Aokiji saves a group of people who have run aground on a desert island.
The anime did the arc differently than what was prescribed in the manga by Oda. Three more games, A Roller Race, Pirate Dodgeball and Red Light/Green Light, were added after the Groggy Ring event to lengthen the storyline. The Roller Race replaced the Combat as the finale of the original game. Foxy then offers the opportunity to have another three coin game, which Luffy accepts because he thought the previous games were fun.
On a circular track, the crew races each other in roller skates. There are five rounds, making the team to win three times the victor of this game. Each team has a lead runner that starts 30 seconds before everyone else who determines the winner of the round, and two other racers that both protect their lead runner and try to stop the other team's. In each round, the winner is the lead runner who is farthest ahead after a certain amount of time.
Luffy, Nami, Usopp, and Robin face several members of Foxy's crew in this game. In the first round, Luffy loses because he doesn't know how to skate. In the second round, Nami loses due to the whole team getting hypnotized and falling asleep for the entire round. However, in the third round, Zoro cuts down a Kiwi tree, using it to distract the Foxy runner Chiki and force him out of bounds, becoming disqualified.
In the fourth round, Luffy finally learns how to skate, using a move he saw Chiki use, punching the Foxy racer Jubei into a wall, allowing Nico to easily win the round. During all this, Nami steals Porche's baton, preventing the team from being hypnotized. When Foxy tries to cheat and use his Noro-Noro beam power to slow down Nico Robin, Nami and Usopp alternate yelling insults and compliments at Foxy, alternating him between joy and sorrow, as a distraction.
Going into the last round, the scores are tied at two each, with Luffy going against the Foxy Devils Point-getter Girarin. Right off the bat, Foxy uses his beam power, while wearing ear plugs to prevent being distracted by Usopp and Nami. As Luffy dodges each beam, Sanji noticed that the beam does not effect Girarin, and the Straw Hats try to figure out why. As the round goes on, Nami, Usopp, and then Luffy gets hit by the beam, giving Girarin a three lap lead, with only Nico Robin still free. With thirty seconds remaining in the round, Nico Robin uses her ability to hold Foxy's hands apart, preventing him from casting the beam, eventually forcing him to slow himself down. When the other Foxys try to stop Robin, Zoro intimidates them enough to back off, allowing Luffy to overtake his opponent, and win the round. Despite losing in the beginning, the Straw Hats manage to turn the game around and win Chopper back.
In a game of dodgeball, called Hit and DeadBall, who ever is hit by a ball thrown by the opposing team is out, unless they manage to catch it. However, in this version, spiked balls are used and the audience can participate if they catch the ball. There are many rules, all contained within a humongous rulebook (that Robin had to use two sets of arms to hold). Among other things, the rules allow for no weapons except for a giant robot battlesuit Foxy happens to have.
The entire Straw Hat crew, with Nami and Robin in the sidelines, participates in this game as does the entire Foxy crew. For the initial jump ball, Luffy and Chopper, in Jump Point form, snag the ball, and both manage to slam the ball into Foxy's face, however according to Rule #23, the face is safe. Nami hands the ball off to Zoro and Sanji, who manage to take out 9 people each. During this time, Nico Robin is sitting at the side lines, reading the rule book, but still managed to snag the ball and hand it off to Luffy and Chopper. Luffy knocks ten players out of bound, and his ball is picked up by the Foxy team. Chopper throws his ball in Arm Point, but Hamburg manages to stop his teammates from going out of bounds, and hands both balls to Big Pan. The first ball gets dodged by everyone on the Straw Hat team, except for Usopp, hitting him on the shoulder, along with 22 players from the Foxy team. This leaves the Foxy team with only 2 players left, Foxy and Hamburg.
As the two discuss how to win, Robin uses her power to drop the ball on Hamburgs head. At first, it seems Hamburg is out, but one of the refs declare that the top of the head is safe. Robin counters this, saying that on page 103 of the rulebook, Rule #54 states that the top of the head is out, leaving Foxy as the last remaining member on the field. Nami compliments Robin, then hands the ball to Sanji, telling him to end it. The Foxy Harem then proceeds to seduce Sanji into giving up the ball, and letting himself get knocked out.
At this point, Foxy brings out his Hit & Dead Ball Multi-item with the Dead Hit cannon. When Usopp contests this, Robin and the Chief Referee points out that Rule #322 states that Dead Hit-kun is the only weapon allowed. Trying to psych out the Straw Hats, Porsche pretends to hypnotize the team, having them close their eyes in defense, only for Foxy to shoot the ball at Zoro. This does not succeed and Zoro cuts the ball in half with his hands, disqualifying him under Rule #645, the ball may not be cut, giving Foxy a new ball. Only Chopper and Luffy are left on the field, Luffy holding one ball and Foxy holding the other. Chopper eats another Rumble Ball and goes into Guard Point, but gets hit by the ball ricocheting off an audiences belly while protecting Luffy. The ref tries to call him out, but Chopper claims that he was hit in the face, and Foxy pirates start chanting that the face is safe. The head ref agrees that the face is safe, but Chopper is still out of bounds, disqualifying him.
The game is down to Foxy versus Luffy, when suddenly all the Foxy pirates pull out fake balls. Sanji and Usopp question the ref, only to be dismissed saying that there is no rule against using fake balls. Luffy winds up to throw the ball, but he stretched his arm too far and the ball was taken out of his hand. The Foxy pirates start shuffling the real ball behind their back, preventing Luffy from knowing which is the real ball. At this, everyone launches their balls at Luffy, who catches every single one of them, but then gets hit in the face by the ball shot from Foxy's robot. Luffy swallows the ball, which is against the rules, which costs them the win. As a result, Robin is taken from the crew.
Red Light/Green LightEdit
As members from each crew race up a path, they have to stop when a person finishes saying the Japanese equivalent of "Red Light", which can be drawn out as long as they want. Anyone caught moving is out. The first participant to tag this person, who is at the end of the path, wins.
In this game, Tonjit acts as that person. From the Straw Hat crew, everyone except Luffy and Robin participates. Though they were about to win, Zoro (who had gotten lost) kicks Hamburg right in front of Tonjit, who he then tags. Thus, Chopper is taken once again.
- The Long Ring Long Land Arc is more of a recreational arc in the middle of two larger arcs that are Skypiea and the couple Water 7/Enies Lobby. However, it introduces one of the Marine's greatest forces with Admiral Aokiji and foreshadows Robin's mysterious past.
- "Luffy, doing everything to get his crew back" can be seen as an introduction to the "Rescue Robin" operation in Enies Lobby.
- Two important decisions are made for the Straw Hats Pirates on their next objectives which would foreshadow the events for the Water 7 arc: Nami suggesting to use the money they earned from the treasures found in Skypiea to repair the Going Merry, along with Luffy making an intelligent choice to find and recruit a shipwright for the crew (in the anime this takes place during the G-8 filler arc).
- The defeat dealt by Aokiji prompts Luffy to create new fighting techniques, that will be Gear Second and Gear Third used for the first time during the Enies Lobby Arc. However the defeat also had negative impact on Usopp who begins to question his strength in the crew. It later came to boiling point in the Water 7 arc following the beating he received from the Franky Family, his inability to protect the money to fix the ship, and the conflict with the Going Merry prompted him to leave the crew over his inadequacy as a Straw Hat member.
- Kuzan mentioned Luffy's grandfather as a man who did him a favor. Luffy was terrified at the mention of him that he did not want to tell Usopp who he is. It will not be until Post-Enies Lobby arc we learned that his grandfather was Garp who already made an appearance in a cover story.
- This arc was a take on a lightheartness of the story before going into a dark arc. Also this arc explores the relationship between Usopp and Luffy before the duel in Water Seven
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