As the Straw Hat Pirates near the end of their stay in East Blue, they decide to stop for supplies in Loguetown, known as “the town of the beginning and the end”. The name of the island is very appropriate since it acts as an epilogue to the East Blue saga and a prologue to Grand Line. Being the city where Gol D Roger was both born, executed and announces the presence of his treasure: the One Piece, this moment is personally vital for Luffy. Eiichiro Oda concludes the first saga of One Piece with very special moments for Luffy, Zoro and the Marines of Loguetown.
Stopping for supplies would be easy for most people, but Luffy and his crew always find a way to bring trouble and excitement. The problems of their previous outings in the East Blue then catch up with them than allies Baggy and Alvida seek revenge on Luffy for his indiscretions. The Marines also join the fray as Smoker and Tashigi go after Luffy and Zoro after the events of Loguetown.
The introduction of Smoker, the captain of the Marines, leading the soldiers of Loguetown, contrasts with those of Morgan and Nezumi. While patrolling the city, he accidentally bumps into a little girl who knocks her ice cream down. Smoker, stone-faced and intimidated, rubs her head and gives her money for “five scoops” of ice cream as a replacement. While he takes his job seriously, he also has an element of kindness and humanity that adds a refreshing balance to the Marines featured so far. He seems closer to what Coby would like to be.
Smoker’s sergeant, Tashigi, turns out to be a similar type Marine, but also very distracted. When Zoro meets her, he is very surprised because she is a reflection of his childhood friend and rival, Kuina. The fact that she is an avid swordswoman and very knowledgeable about the swords of the world adds to this strange connection.
When Tashigi helps Zoro search for two swords to replace the ones that were broken during his duel with Mihawk, she is shocked by his brazen disregard for danger when he throws a cursed blade over her arm, narrowly avoiding dismemberment. Zoro’s confidence and rapport with swords is evident during this sequence, so much so that he impresses the store owner, who offers Zoro his best blade. Tashigi’s relationship with Kuina and Zoro remains a mystery. Nevertheless, the probability of a future collision is high since it seeks all the legendary blades in the hands of the pirates.
The Loguetown arc ends when Luffy arrives at the execution platform and comes face to face with Buggy, who nearly kills him. Luffy, smiling at what could be the end of his life, is brilliantly saved by a perfectly timed lightning bolt. However, a conflict between the combined forces of Buggy and Alvida, the Marines, and the Straw Hat Pirates causes chaos in the town center.
After escaping the opposing pirates, Luffy and his crew head to the Vogue Merry to avoid any further conflict or arrest. Smoker pursues Luffy and crushes him in a powerful display of the first Logia Devil Fruit of the series, stating that not all Marines are pigeons and not all Devil Fruits are equal. Unprepared to deal with this kind of ability, Luffy finds himself at the end of his journey, albeit less deadly this time around, only to be saved by his father, who enters the series with a wave of wind. Disappearing as quickly as he appeared, Luffy is unaware of his father’s role, Monkey D Dragonin his rescue, but takes advantage of the situation to retreat to his ship.
The reappearance and alliance of Alvida and Buggy suggest that recurring villains and shifting allegiances will be present as the story develops and evolves. The inclusion of a large number of antagonists and recurring characters raises the story’s stakes by showing that the conflicts the Straw Hat Pirates are embroiled in are not unique cases. Additionally, weighting their actions through these recurring characters and Luffy’s bounty adds dimension to this absurd world by establishing certain forms of repercussions.
Loguetown is a fast-paced loop of themes and elements from the East Blue saga that shines with Oda’s mastery of painting a scene.. Once again, on their way to the Grand Line, the crew navigates through a storm, excited for what lies ahead. The fact that the arc and saga ends with the crew acknowledging their dreams as a crew as the Vogue Merry sails to the Grand Line is a cathartic moment. While the Straw Hat Pirates have already been on a grand adventure, this moment reveals that it was only the beginning of their wild and arduous journey.