Desperate for cash, the Straw Hat Pirates enter a secret race between pirate crews known as the Dead End Competition. There, they must battle against powerful people, including a former Marine-turned-pirate, Captain Gasparde, and the bounty hunter who wants to kill him. However, with Gasparde's deadly scheme, are all of his opponents doomed from the start?
The movie starts with a marine ship that is caught in a large storm with numerous cannons firing at a then unnamed pirate ship. The captain of the ship is told (after a brief discourse) that the ship they are firing at is the Going Merry, with its infamous straw hat jolly roger. Due to the stormy weather and Nami's exceptional navigational skills, the ship is shown sailing away unscathed, leaving the marine pursuant behind. The captain of the ship is then called by headquarters, and informed to keep looking out for pirates who are gathering in the area, and told to look out for a man by the name of Gasparde, "the marines indelible stain". The crew (as of the Jaya arc) is then shown chowing down on some food in a pirate filled bar. A mysterious man talks to the bartender then presents him with two 100 Belly coins, and the man is then taken by the bartender through a door.
Nami gets suspicious because she "smells money" and asks the bartender what is going on, and after a little coaxing he tells them there is a great but very dangerous opportunity through the door. As the crew enters the mysterious door they are surprised to see it is the opening to a large tunnel, the bartender leaves them with one last hint "the password is 2 100 Belly coins".
As the crew approaches the ending of the tunnel an old man approaches, Nami shows him the coins and he lets them through. Inside they find themselves in a large cave filled with pirates, their flags proudly displaying their crew.
Nico Robin finally recognizes the place (she was here before with another pirate crew) as the site of the Dead End Race, a very dangerous anything goes sailing competition which the winner can win up to 300,000,000. The crew is introduced to the favorites to win that year, 2 giants, a Fishman and former rival of Arlong, and the favorite to win-Gasparde, a former marine general who deserted after killing his crew. While Nami registers the crew for the race, Luffy get involved in a fight against Gasparde's crew along with an infamous bounty hunter by the name of Shuraiya Bascùd, as well as meets Gasparde himself which of course ends on bad terms.
The next morning the crew set sail along with many other pirate ships for the parade start which involves sailing off a waterfall, fighting off other pirates, and navigating sharp turns before even reaching the ocean, several pirate crews are wrecked,luckily the Straw Hats manage. However while checking the ship, they find a stowaway, a kid by the name of Anaguma whose come to kill them for the bounty though find that's impossible after witnessing the crew's strength and power and thus sails along with them for the race.
After a few more encounters one involving the pirate ship of Vigero the Hangman and sea kings, the Straw Hats arrive at Partia, the supposed finish line of the race. However it turns out to be a marine stronghold that quickly sinks any incoming pirate ships. Robin points out the log pose to be fake and unscrewing the plaque on the device proves her theory. Luffy realizes Gasparde rigged the race and the crew manages to escape the stronghold and track down Gasparde's ship using Chopper's nose.
Meanwhile onboard Gasparde's ship the Salamander, Shuraiya, the bounty hunter from earlier tries to attack Gasparde but first has to contend with Needless, Gasparde's first mate. Shuraiya manages to defeat him but finds he is no match for Gasparde whose eaten the Ame Ame no Mi and cannot be sliced or punched. Just when Gaparde about to finish him off, the Straw Hats arrive on the scene while Luffy shouts Gasparde's name and makes his way onboard Gasparde's ship, taking down his crew by using the combination of Gomu Gomu no Rocket and Pistol, very angered about what the former marine did. Shuraiya tries to intervene but Luffy knocks him out to keep from getting in the way. Luffy and Gasparde proceed to fight while Anaguma reunites with his grandpa and tries to get him to leave the ship. Instead he sends Anaguma on ahead while he claim he has one last thing to do.
Luffy fight with Gasparde is not going well but Sanji realizes something and goes to look for flour, coming across Anaguma's grandpa in the boiler room (where he worked) and realizes what he's about to do. Regardless Sanji goes topside, and gives Luffy the sacks of flour before rejoining the other Straw Hats. When Anaguma realized that his grandpa is still on Gasparde's ship, he begs the Straw Hats to go back but Zoro knocks him out and reveals that Anaguma is actually a girl. Meanwhile back in the ship, Grandpa overloads the boiler causing it to explode and sink the ship. Luffy manages to stay on the sinking remains as does Gasparde who shows Luffy that a cyclone is closing in on their position and that whoever wins can escape the ship and storm via lifeboats. The two strike one another with Luffy actually managing to hit him due to the counter-effects of the flour on Gasparde's syrup powers. Luffy then throws the remaining flour sack at Gasparde, coating him with it, and proceeds to pound on him until he launches him into the air with his bow gun attack.
Gasparde manages to grab onto the ship and tries for one more attack by covering himself in spikes and flying at Luffy. But Luffy hits him with his Bazooka attack and sends him flying into the cyclone. Luffy then collapses from exhaustion but is saved by Anaguma's grandpa along with Shuraiya. As they head for the nearby island, grandpa reveals that Anaguma was adopted and her real name is Adelle Bascùd, Shuraiya's little sister whom he thought was dead. Despite the awkward reuniting, the two come to accept each other.
The Straw Hats close in on the real Partia as the winners of the race but the marine ships from the beginning of the movie suddenly appear and go after them, forcing them to flee from the island and forfeit their prize money. They let Adelle, Shuraiya, and Grandpa off then wish them good-bye individually before sailing off with the marines on their tail. Despite not getting the prize money (much to Nami's disappointment, considering the fact that she proceeded to strangle Zoro because he asked if she did not care about the money), the Straw Hats continue on for their next big adventure.
|Mayumi Tanaka||Monkey D. Luffy|
|Kazuya Nakai||Roronoa Zoro|
|Ikue Ohtani||Tony Tony Chopper|
|Yuriko Yamaguchi||Nico Robin|
|Miki Sakai||Adelle Bascùd|
|Jūrōta Kosugi||Needless, Willy|
|Mitsuru Miyamoto||Shuraiya Bascùd|
|Daisuke Gōri||Bookie, Pogo|
|Tetsu Inada||Bobby, Marine|
- Since Robin is seen to be a part of the crew and the Straw Hats are traveling on the Going Merry and the crew do not know the new bounties, this movie must take place at some point between the Alabasta Arc and the Jaya Arc. Luffy also makes a statement about Gasparde's bounty being higher than Crocodile's, having defeated him recently. Furthermore, Robin asks if things are always as lively on the ship once Luffy resolves to fight Gasparde, indicating she has just joined the crew, which would put this closer to the end of the Alabasta Arc. Given its release date, and the lack of serious damage to the Going Merry, the most likely intended placement for it is between the Goat Island Arc and the Rainbow Mist Arc.
- The scene of the crew running into the Calm Belt is reused for this movie with the same Sea Kings once again being used. The last time this scene was seen was in the Warship Island Arc.
- The Marine base where all of the pirates were led was identified on the eternal pose as Navarone, the location of the G-8 Arc over a year later. Furthermore, Drake, who is second-in-command at Navarone during the G-8 Arc, is in command of the fleet pursuing the Straw Hats at the beginning and end of the movie.
- This film's ending follows directly into the next movie in the series, The Cursed Holy Sword.
- For a moment after Adelle points out who Biera is to Zoro after he boards the stolen paddleboat and puts down Adelle, who he had been carrying against her wishes, Zoro's mouth disappears.
- The end credits feature a cartoonish version of the Going Merry fleeing a Marine warship occasionally firing at it, which resembles the sequence from the first opening, We Are!, and another sequence from a future opening, Brand New World. It continues to show the Merry and warship in dogged pursuit, encountering a cyclone (just like in the movie, except represented by a cartoonish whirlwind with a kanji in the middle of it) and being blown off course before returning to the pursuit, the Merry reaching winter islands, and then Luffy finally using his Gomu Gomu no Pistol to punch the warship, causing it to apparently sink, but it stays afloat and resumes the chase even more aggressively. Then, Laboon is seen swimming into view at the end of the sequence in a cameo, with Luffy's painted-on Jolly Roger.
- The bartender appears again as a bartender in Shiki's palace in Strong World.
- The outfits the Straw Hats are wearing throughout the movie are the exact same ones they wear at the end of the Skypiea Arc.
- This was the final One Piece film to be transferred to 35mm film. The Cursed Holy Sword would mark the first film in the franchise to be transferred to digital.
- One Piece "Dead End Adventure" Site Promotional site for Movie 4.