Luffy's past is shown as we are introduced to his hero, the man who gave him the straw hat, Shanks. Shanks and his crew stand up to a group of bandits in the town as young Luffy is taken by the bandits' leader and thrown into the water, where he cannot swim due to his Devil Fruit, Shanks saves Luffy's life as a Sea Monster is about to attack him.
This is the first episode without an ending theme. As a result, the entirety of the credits appear during the opening theme, which can inadvertently spoil the appearances of certain characters for uninformed viewers.
Beginning with this episode, the anime takes a mild break from the Enies Lobby Arc to focus on the past adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates which caused them to experience character growth and bring them up to this point in their journey. These breather episodes flash back to early episodes of the series and feature comical Mugiwara Theatre shorts at the end to fill the last minutes of each episode.
As this episode (along with the next three) recaps events from before the series switched to high definition, much of the footage is upscaled. This is particularly noticeable because these episode were animated in the narrower 4:3 aspect ratio, and are therefore pillarboxed. This practice of pillarboxing the old footage in flashbacks continues from this point on, though sometimes, the animation crews will add decorative borders to hide the pillars, or will update an old scene by reanimating it in high definition.