The Skypiea Arc is the thirteenth story arc in the series, and the second and last of two in the Sky Island Saga of the manga and anime One Piece. The Straw Hats arrive on the sky island Skypiea in search of gold, only to find out that the island is in danger of being destroyed by the cruel "god" Enel.
Arrival at SkypieaEdit
Having ridden the Knock Up Stream, the Straw Hats find themselves in a sea of clouds (which, as they find out, has the same effect as normal water on a Devil Fruit user), but before they have a chance to relax, they are quickly attacked by a strange man in a mask who is riding on the clouds. The crew are unable to defend themselves, but they are thankfully saved by an old knight named Gan Fall, who rides on a bird with a Devil Fruit ability named Pierre. He points out to them that the reason that they could not fight back against the "Guerrilla" was due to the thin air, though immediately afterwards the crew says that they are starting to get used to it. Gan Fall gives them a whistle to summon him in case they run into more trouble, and the crew continues on.
They reach "Heaven's Gate", the entrance to Skypiea where they are told to pay 7 billion extol for the entrance fee, but the crew have no idea what extol is. In response, the gatekeeper, Amazon, basically tells them she does not care what they do, but does not warn them that if they pass without paying they will be marked as criminals, and the crew goes into Skypiea.
The ship reaches the shore of Angel Island, the main part of Skypiea, where they meet a girl named Conis and her father, Pagaya. They let the crew come into their house so they can introduce them to Skypiean society, but Nami decides to stay at the ocean and try out Pagaya's Waver, a device similar to a jet-ski that can move under its own power without any wind. While Conis explains the use of Dials, Nami ends up riding the waver to a nearby island with a huge forest. When Sanji points out that Nami is gone, Conis and Pagaya explain that the nearby island is known as Upper Yard. Upper Yard is a forbidden sacred ground where God Enel and his priests reside, and no one must ever set foot on it. This immediately sparks Luffy's interest, and he commands that they head out to "rescue Nami", but he makes it obvious that he simply wants to go to Upper Yard to explore and have an adventure.
At Upper Yard, Nami witnesses Enel's priests chasing a man who was searching for treasure on the island. However, before the priests can finish him off, Enel decides to act on his own and in a show of power, a massive beam of energy fires from the sky and disintegrates the treasure hunter. Gedatsu of the priests explains to the others that their time limit was up—another group of criminals has just appeared, a group of seven. From this, Nami realizes that they are talking about them, and rushes back to Angel Island.
Meanwhile, on Angel Island's beach, the crew encounters the White Berets, led by Chief McKinley, who act as Skypiea's lowest level of law enforcement. The White Berets explain that the Straw Hat Pirates are criminals, and that the punishment for illegally entering is to pay 10 times the entrance fee, or 10,000,000,000 Extols. Here, it is explained that there are 10 thousand extols per Belly, making the fee 1,000,000. The crew decides to wait for Nami to come back, but even doing minor things like snoring ends up raising the crime level. Nami eventually returns, but when she finds out about the fee, she rams the waver into McKinley while yelling that it is too high. In response, the White Berets launch an attack, only to be easily defeated by Luffy. This ends up raising them to Class 2 criminals that are to be dealt with by the priests.
The crew starts packing up to leave with Nami, Chopper, Robin, and Zoro at the ship while Luffy, Sanji, and Usopp get food and supplies from Pagaya's home. Suddenly, the ship is grabbed by a "Super-Express Speed Shrimp" that carries them to Upper Yard. Luffy, Sanji, and Usopp, lead by Conis, go to Lovely Street in order to get a boat to rescue them. Conis lends them her dial-powered ship, the Karasumaru, but before they leave, Luffy notes that she was shaking the entire time she was leading them. Conis reveals that she was the one who called the shrimp to take the ship and is intentionally leading them to Upper Yard—it is God Enel's will that they lead criminals to that island, and not following it will result in death. Upon hearing Conis say this, all of the townspeople run away. True to her word, Enel strikes and fires a massive beam of energy at her from the sky, but she is saved by the knight, Gan Fall. He explains that since both she and her father will be considered criminals, he will take them back to his house, which is out of Enel's range.
Despite this show of Enel's power, the three pirates continue on to Upper Yard unhindered.
Meanwhile, Nami, Zoro, Robin, and Chopper find themselves, and the ship, on top of a large Sacrificial Altar surrounded by shark-infested clouds. Using a vine, however, the crew swings over to land, except Chopper who stays to guard the ship (Zoro makes a Tarzan-like sound when swinging over, he also states to Nami that she could have done it well if she would have performed "the call" which is later also used by Luffy when he swings through the forest).
Luffy's group enters Upper Yard and they travel through the "Milky Road", a cloud river, avoiding several dangerous traps. Eventually, they reach a hand stature with the river branching off into four paths going through each finger, each labeled with a different ordeal: "Ordeal of Swamp", "Ordeal of Iron", "Ordeal of String", and "Ordeal of Balls". Luffy chooses the Ordeal of Balls, thinking that it sounds fun, and after a drop, they find themselves in an area of the forest with several cloud balls floating around. Each of the "Surprise Balls" contains a different object—some contain snakes, others explosives, others harmless flowers, etc. At this point, the priest Satori appears and attacks them, but they find that he is somehow able to read their minds using an ability called "mantra". After a long and difficult battle, they manage to get past his mantra by turning his own attacks against him. Sanji debuts a new move called Concasse which is enough to knock Satori out.
At Gan Fall's house, he explains to Conis and Pagaya how there is a constant war between the guerrillas, known as Shandia, and the Skypieans over control of Upper Yard, and as the previous "God" (more accurate, the ruler of Skypiea) he tried to find peace. However, once Enel took over, all notions of peace were abandoned.Meanwhile, the priest Shura arrives at the Sacrificial Altar to find that Chopper is the only one left to kill. In response, Chopper uses the whistle to call Gan Fall. Shura heavily damages the ship with his fire-based attacks, but before he can finish off Chopper, Gan Fall attacks. They seem to be evenly matched, until Shura starts his "Ordeal of String", which activates several dials that shoot out nearly invisible string to tangle up the foe. Gan Fall, Pierre, and Chopper end up falling into the clouds.
After looking around a bit, Zoro's group reaches a startling conclusion—Upper Yard is part of Jaya. Specifically, it is the location of the gold city mentioned in Liar Noland's tale. In other words, the gold city did not sink into the water, it was launched into the sky by the Knock Up Stream. At the same time, Chopper wakes up to find that he, along with Gan Fall and Pierre, are safe on the Sacrificial Altar. As it turns out, they were saved by a flock of giant South Birds.
At the tribe of the Shandia, a girl named Aisa, who also has the ability to use mantra, reveals that both Satori and Gan Fall were defeated. Taking this as an opportunity, Wiper, leader of the Shandia warriors and the one who attacked the Straw Hats earlier, decides to invade Upper Yard. He and the tribe's warriors battle with the remaining Priests. When Wiper comes across Luffy's group, he warns them to leave the island and not to interfere. The battle between the Shandia and the Priests seems to be even, until one of their strongest warriors, Kamakiri, is defeated while trying to rescue Aisa's cousin, Laki. Once Wiper hears about this, he orders a retreat.
Nami, Zoro, and Robin return to the Altar, and at the same time Luffy's group finally arrives. It's getting dark, so the crew decides to camp out in the forest—if they were found, they would have more room to fight and they would not destroy the Going Merry more. The Straw Hats pool all of their information together, and Nami puts the maps of Jaya and Skypiea together to form the image of a skull. Noland's logbook stated that the city of gold was in the skull's right eye, which they realize is referring to Jaya's geography. Thus, they decide to steal from the gold city before they go back to the Blue Sea. In order to celebrate, Luffy starts a huge bonfire, much to Nami's annoyance, since it will just get the priests' attention. Along with a pack of wolves, the Straw Hats dance around the fire as an "Eve of Gold Festival". At this point, Gan Fall regains consciousness. He explains to Robin that objects from the Blue Sea sent to the White Sea by Knock Up Stream are considered very valuable treasure. The most valuable was the dirt and soil called Vearth, which can rear plant life much better than cloud can, causing a religious reverence for it by the Skypieans. When Upper Yard was launched into the sky hundreds of years ago, it was considered a holy land, which led to a war with the native Shandia over control of the land.
After the party ends, Usopp goes to the river to urinate when he sees a strange figure fixing the Going Merry, but fog prevents him from seeing it clearly. In the morning, they find that all of the damage caused by Shura has been fixed and the upgrades done by the Saruyama Alliance have been removed. Not only is it odd that someone else would help them in the enemy's territory, but also that the person would know what the ship originally looked like. However, they decide not to focus too much on it, and once they get the ship off of the altar, Nami forms a plan. While Luffy, Zoro, Chopper, and Robin go to the city, Nami, Usopp, and Sanji will take the Going Merry and Gan Fall out of Upper Yard.
Meanwhile, Wiper punishes Laki because a bag of dirt, given to her by Aisa, was what got her caught in the first place. Kamakiri stops him, stating that he can still fight. Thus, Wiper decides to start one final offensive, telling his soldiers that anyone who is not willing to step over their wounded comrades to reach their goal shouldn't come. At Upper Yard, Enel reveals himself and meets with the priests, telling them that they will be free to use their ordeals on all of the island. As the Shandia and the Straw Hats both head into the island, the Survival Game begins.
The Survival GameEdit
Luffy's group set off for the gold city, only to encounter a gigantic python. Due to its attack, the group gets separated, with only Robin still on the right path. On the Going Merry, Gan Fall explains how dials can be used as weapons, demonstrating with his Impact Dial, which can absorb and reflect impact attacks. Meanwhile, the Shandia come across Shura and are immediately caught in his Ordeal of String. However, Wiper managed to avoid it and defeats Shura using a Reject Dial, a thought-to-be-extinct version of the Impact Dial that multiplies the attack power, but also damages the user. As the warriors split up and continue on, Enel releases his 50 Divine Soldiers, led by Yama, to fight them. At this point, Enel predicts that within a few hours there will only be five participants in the Survival Game, including himself, left.
Zoro ends up facing one of the Shandia warriors, Braham, but defeats him using his 36 Pound Cannon. At the same time, Luffy encounters Wiper once again. Though they seem to be evenly matched, Luffy is eaten by the giant python, interrupting the battle. Chopper ends up encountering Priest Gedatsu, who, after being defeated by the reindeer, gets caught in his own Ordeal of Swamp and falls to the Blue Sea. Robin encounters Yama at some ancient ruins and defeats him. On the Going Merry, Enel appears to tell Gan Fall that he has no use for the island anymore and is about to leave. When Sanji and Usopp attack him, he uses his Devil Fruit ability to electrocute them, rendering them both unconscious. Immediately afterwards, Satori's brothers Hotori and Kotori arrive to get revenge, but are defeated by Nami and Gan Fall. During all of these events, the minor Shandia warriors and the Divine Soldiers battle fiercely.
Meanwhile, Aisa, the Shandia girl who can use mantra, uses a dial boat to go to Upper Yard, but the ship shuts down and she is picked up by Conis and Pagaya. After Hotori and Kotori's defeat, Gan Fall leaves the ship with Pierre in order to find out what Enel meant, leaving Nami his Impact Dial. Immediately afterwards, Conis and Pagaya use a Milky Dial to form a shortcut to the exit and meet with Nami on the ship, giving Nami a new waver. While they take care of Usopp and Sanji, Zoro unintentionally ends up with a South Bird following him everywhere, because it thinks Zoro has food. In the snake's stomach, Luffy sees tons of gold and ruins, but cannot seem to find his way out, under the assumption that he's in a cave.
A bored Enel decides to participate in his "game" and attacks the Shandia warrior Kamakiri. However, his electric attack unintentionally knocks out all of warriors fighting along the river. It's two hours into the Survival Game and there are only 25 participants left. Enel comments that it's more than he expected, so he decides to even it up a bit to make his prediction come true.
During all of this, Robin reaches the city of gold, which has been separated onto different layers of clouds, to find that there is no gold, but she instead finds out that a Poneglyph is in the city—specifically, on the golden bell. However, the bell is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Chopper climbs a giant beanstalk he finds in search for the gold city, only to end up in the domain of Priest Ohm, who badly wounds him. On the Going Merry, Aisa tries to escape, but when Nami chases after her, the python appears and attacks them, because Luffy is hitting the lining of his stomach out of frustration. Using the waver to escape, Nami and Aisa end up even deeper in the jungle. At the same time, the South Bird, while trying to steal Zoro's backpack, carries Zoro through the air but drops him when the snake tries to eat him.
Wiper reaches Ohm's area when Gan Fall appears to explain that he has just been to God's Shrine and it's completely destroyed with Enel nowhere in sight, meaning there is no point in going there. Zoro ends up landing here, and Ohm declares that not one of them will escape his Ordeal of Iron. As they all fight, Nami and Aisa, along with a couple of soldiers, end up in the area too. Wiper attacks them, telling Aisa to get out of the way, but Gan Fall and Pierre save them, only to end up being eaten by the python.
As Zoro fights, eventually defeating, Ohm, the group in the python ends up meeting with Luffy. In the ruins of the gold city Shandora, Robin encounters Enel, who explains that he took the gold from all the buildings, but expresses interest when Robin mentions the gold bell. On the edge of the island where the Going Merry is, one of his soldiers warns them that Enel is planning on destroying the sky islands, and Enel attacks him, along with Pagaya, with his lightning attack, leaving Conis to go warn everyone on Angel Island. Enel then destroys the clouds above him and Robin, sending Zoro, Wiper, and the snake falling to where he is. Gan Fall and Nami manage to escape the snake, accidentally leaving behind Luffy, Aisa, and Pierre, and after Enel electrocutes the python, he announces that with three minutes until time is up, there are six survivors left. One of them will have to go. When he asks the remaining survivors who it should be, they unanimously decide Enel.
At this point, Enel explains why he wants to destroy Skypiea—people living in the sky is unnatural, so as God it is his job to keep the natural order. After that, he wants to take people with him to the "Fairy Vearth", a piece of Vearth of infinite size, where it is only natural for God to reside as opposed to the limited Upper Yard. In response, Gan Fall attacks him, only to be defeated, thus making God's prediction true, the 5 survivors being Enel, Wiper, Zoro, Robin and Nami. When Robin says that he cannot simply destroy the land haphazardly, since he wants the gold bell, Enel replies that he already knows where it is and attacks her, since he hates manipulative women.
Zoro fights back, but then Wiper uses Seastone to shut off Enel's Devil Fruit and uses his Reject Dial to kill him. However, with the Seastone off of him, Enel uses his ability to restart his heart and comes back to life. Enel defeats all of the fighters, leaving only Nami. With no hope to escape, Nami says that she will go with him, and she follows him, taking along her waver so she can escape at the right time. However, this proves to be useless, as Enel reveals his means of escape — the Ark Maxim, a flying ship using his powers as a source of energy, using the gold from the city as a conductor.
Meanwhile, Luffy's group manages to escape from the python and come across Enel's victims. After a barely conscious Robin explains the situation, Aisa explains that she can use her Mantra to lead Luffy to him. At Angel Beach, Conis tries to convince everyone to leave to island, but she is labeled a heretic. To prove her point, she loudly yells that she does not consider Enel as God, and everyone runs away to escape God's Judgement. However, when nothing happens to her, they realize that she is right—after all, Enel will be destroying the entire land soon, so there's no point in specifically killing one person. They panic and run away, but the White Berets managed to bring order to the evacuation, so Conis hurries back to Upper Yard to show the Straw Hats the way out of Skypiea.
Luffy finally reaches Enel, whom Enel fights. He is completely stunned, however, to find that his attacks have no effect of Luffy, because he's a rubber man. Not only that, but Luffy can bypass his Logia ability and hurt him. After calming down, Enel switches to a different mode of attack by heating up staff, teleporting around, and using his mantra to predict his moves. As the Ark Maxim launches into the air, Luffy manages to get the upper hand until Enel attaches a large ball of gold to the rubber man's arm and knocks him off the ship back onto Upper Yard. During the fight, Enel had used the Ark Maxim to start a process he called "Deathpiea" to form massive thunderclouds. By doing this, he can amplify his power enough to destroy the islands.
As Nami prepares to fight against Enel, using her Clima-Tact's thunder balls to deflect his weaker attacks, Sanji and Usopp finally wake up. When Sanji declares that he is going to rescue Nami, he forces Usopp to grapple them onto the ship. On the deck, Usopp distracts Enel while Nami prepares the waver to jump off, aiming for the patch of island cloud around the beanstalk, getting a hit in the process. But as Enel prepares to kill them both, Sanji gets in the way of the attack, allowing them to escape. Immediately afterwards, the ship starts to blow up, revealing that Sanji was wrecking the machines allowing Ark Maxim to fly. As Enel leaves to fix the problem, Usopp, who had actually used one of his devices to stick onto the side of the ship, climbs back up and jumps off with Sanji. Enel manages to keep the ship flying with emergency dials and begins to shower the land with thunderbolts.
Back in the ruins of Shandora, Luffy manages to recover and, along with Aisa and Pierre, runs towards the beanstalk. After leaving the other two with Robin, who had carried everyone back up to the surface, Luffy runs up the beanstalk with the gold ball still attached to his arm. At this point, Wiper, Zoro, and Gan Fall wake up, and Nami tells everyone to go to the Going Merry and uses her waver to try to reach Luffy and get him to leave too. As Wiper reflects on a story told to him as a child, which shows what really happened when Montblanc Noland came to Jaya, Luffy continues up the beanstalk and is eventually met by Nami. Nami tries to convince him to leave, but he replies that he has to ring the bell so Montblanc Cricket and everyone else will know that the city of gold is in the sky.
As Enel reaches the top, he unleashes his ultimate technique: Raigo. Using this, he destroys all of Angel Island, forming a gigantic hole in the clouds. When he reaches the Gold Bell, he creates another Raigo much larger than the first, meant to destroy all of Skypiea. Nami realizes that everyone is still near the beanstalk, so she sends down instructions to cut down the plant so that it will fall towards Enel. Despite Zoro's efforts, it remains standing, so, upon hearing why Luffy wants to ring the bell, Wiper uses his Reject Dial to fell the beanstalk. Using the waver's full power, Nami and Luffy blast up the falling plant and are sent flying towards Enel. However, Luffy pushes Nami onto a cloud and makes a detour into the Raigo.
As all of the Skypieans and Shandia pray for the real God to act, Luffy swings the gold ball around to draw the electricity from the Raigo into him and eventually breaks it apart. Despite Enel unleashing his full power, Luffy sends him crashing into the bell, sending a ring that could be heard everywhere. On the island of Jaya below, Cricket and the Saruyama Alliance hear the sound. At this point, Cricket explains the "monsters" at the beginning of the Jaya arc—it was theorized that these giants were actually shadows caste by people in the sky, and this is proven true by a giant shadow of Luffy in a victorious pose. Cricket breaks down crying, both because the city really existed and because he was glad that Luffy was alright. They then try to think of another dream to pursue. However, for the people of Skypiea, the ring means something else: the war between the Skypieans and Shandia is over.
As Enel and his ark, along with the bell, fall into the sea clouds below and the sky clears, everyone gathers on Upper Yard. The Shandia warriors begin to recover, Pagaya is revealed to be alive, and the ones who were forced to build the Ark Maxim were reunited with their families. At night, Wiper regains consciousness to find that he is being taken care of by Conis, Gan Fall, and his tribe's chief. Wiper tries to convince his chief that they have to fight the Sky People to take control of Upper Yard, but he explains that war is the farthest thing from everyone's mind. Wiper runs outside to see everyone celebrating.
Meanwhile, Enel has recovered and is back on his ark. However, he decides to let them keep their land as he heads towards the Fairy Vearth by himself, which, as it turns out, is actually the moon.
The next day, they find out that the bell was caught in the fallen Giant Jack, so the Shandia and the Sky People work together to pull it up, representing their unity. On the base of the belfry is a Poneglyph, which Robin deciphers to be information on the location of the ancient weapon Poseidon. With this, the Shandia find out that they have no need to protect it anymore so they no longer have to fight. To Robin's surprise, however, there is another message on the gold itself, from Gol D. Roger. From reading it, she realizes that the Rio Poneglyph is on Raftel. In order to thank the Straw Hats, they offer one of the belfry's pillars, which Robin accepts.
Meanwhile, Usopp managed to exchange several rubber bands, claiming that they were the same material that defeated Enel, for dials from the Skypieans. Inside the still-sleeping snake, the rest of the pirates steal several bags full of gold. When Robin appears with all of the people carrying the pillar, the Straw Hats think that they are attacking them for stealing the gold and that the pillar is a giant cannon, so they run away. Robin tells the Skypieans that it looks like they do not want it and she runs after them. The entire crew boards the Going Merry and, led by Conis and Pagaya, they reach "Cloud End" where they can return to the Blue Sea. As Gan Fall is once again made "God" of Skypiea, the Straw Hat Pirates fall to the Blue Sea, aided by an octopus balloon to slow their descent. They finally land on the ocean and continue their adventures: in the anime, they land in the Marine base of G-8; while in the manga they land in open sea.
- The Ordeal of Balls was changed to "spheres" probably to remove any unnecessary sexual innuendos. They still say "balls" when subtitled.
- In the FUNimation TV dub, the "ordeals" were changed into "IQ Survival Tests" (Sanji's Love Ordeal Included). While in the Viz Media manga, they were simply "challenges". The "ordeals" retain their names in the uncut DVDs.
- Skypiea's existence gives a new vision of One Piece World geography. As explained by Gan Fall and Captain McKinley, there are more sky islands. For example, at the end of the Sabaody Archipelago Arc, Kuma sent Nami off to Weatheria. Later, during the Dressrosa Arc, Urouge is seen resting in Ballon Terminal, a city located on a sky island.
- Enel's defeat doesn't prevent him from heading towards Fairy Vearth, leading to the mini-series Enel's Great Space Operations.
- Robin discovers a Poneglyph with a mark from Gol D. Roger. In Sabaody Archipelago, she asks Rayleigh about it, and he declares that the Roger Pirates had discovered the true history. Also, the ancient weapon Poseidon would be mentioned. In the Fishman Island Arc, Robin would discover that Poseidon was actually the Mermaid Princess' name during the Void Century. This would foreshadow Shirahoshi's connection to the ancient weapon.
- The huge amount of gold the Straw Hats found in Skypiea was ultimately used to finance building of the Thousand Sunny.
- The Skypieans offered the Straw Hats the golden pillar from the Belfry, but after a misunderstanding they ended up turning it down. During the Dressrosa Arc, it is revealed that it somehow found its way into the hands of Bellamy after he discovered the legend of Sky Island to be true. He gave it to Doflamingo to gain his good graces.
- This arc would be a turning point for Chopper, as he would learn to fight on his own and not rely on others and gain more bravery in his future fights.
- Usopp made use of the Dials by upgrading his and Nami's weapons with them making the Kabuto and the Perfect Clima-Tact.
- This is also the first appearance of Klabautermann. He would not be seen again until the Water 7 Arc, where his name and history would be revealed.
- This arc also introduced the ability Mantra, which was finally revealed in the Post-War Arc to be a form of Haki known as Kenbunshoku Haki.
- Shandora relates to the famous Spanish myth, the city of gold "El Dorado".
- This arc makes many references to some religions:
- The concept of Skypiea is similar to heaven, supported by the inhabitants of which all have wings like angels.
- Shura, Satori, Gedatsu and Ohm are referred to as "priests".
- Enel's and Gan Fall's titles are God or Kami (God in Japanese).
- The power of lightning is used both in Christianity and Greek Mythology.
- The Japanese word for lightning (kaminari) also stands for God.
- Enel's Divine Soldiers being similar to goats is similar to the term "Lambs of God".
- Enel refers to the night before his survival game, as the village's "Last Supper".
- Satori, Gedatsu, and Shura are all levels of Buddhism, while Ohm is the commonly used phrase to focus during meditation.
- It should also be noted that this is the arc where it is revealed that the One Piece storyline takes place around the year 1522.