So... how much do you guys remember from this anyway? I know I didn't remember much. So let's have a quick review on the events of the East Blue Saga:
Episodes 1-3: Alvida and Morgan
Inspired by a hardcore drinker pirate a young man with a straw hat sets off for the adventure of a lifetime to become pirate king and god of manga sales. Some sailors pull a barrel out of the water, the ship is attacked by pirates, the main character randomly breaks out of the barrel, befriends a whiny little kid with pink hair, eats some apples and beats the crap out of the pirates singlehandedly.
Luffy's re-introduction was pretty awesome and summed up his character and most of the show rather well. And... oh, right, Nami was there, too.
Later Luffy and Coby land on a Marine Base island and Luffy recruits Zoro because he needs to increase the manliness level of his crew. Together they trash the tyrannous Morgan and his little jerk of a son. Coby is left behind to clean up the mess and work off the repair bills.
While I do remember Alvida since she pops up randomly every 100 episodes or so, my reaction on seeing Morgan again was "Oh, right... That guy who's with Coby had a dad." It's weird to see how Coby started off. (and it's sad to realize that most characters had not even half the amount of character development he had)
Episodes 4-8: Buggy
Luffy and Zoro fight Buggy the Clown and his crew because Luffy needed a female sidekick and was stupid enough to trust that ginger bitch, Nami. Also they befriend a dog. And that's pretty much all that happens.
This arc sure had a big impact on the rest of the story but it still left me with a feeling of pointlessness.
Episode 9 - 18: Kuro
Instead of just selling the two ships they have and buy a new one, Luffy and his two companions decide to go to the next island and just ask someone to give them a ship. Yeah, right, guys... that's totally how it works.
They meet Usopp and learn about the heinous plans of Captain Kuro, a man of great wits who's plans never fail. Unfortunately Kuro failed to comprehend the following:
Luffy = main character = certain victory
In the end Usopp joined the crew and they got a ship. Personally, I find the design funny but never look a gift sheep in the mouth.
I had another "Ah, that guy!" moment watching that arc. Captain Kuro is one of the most forgettable villains of the show in my opinion.
To be continued...