9 Times Oda Blew Our Minds With Long Term Storytelling In One Piece

Laboon And The Rumbar Pirates

If there’s one thing you should know about One Piece, it’s that not a single detail should be considered insignificant. Remember that random character from 500 episodes ago? She’s being brought back and by the way – she’s super important.

Oda’s approach to the One Piece storyline is a testament to the power of slow-burn narratives. He sets up plot points early in the series that might seem minor at first but pays off in a big way much later on, showing an incredible level of planning and foresight. This dedication to long-term storytelling has allowed for complex character development and a deeply interconnected world, building a loyal fanbase eager to see how every piece of the puzzle will eventually fit together.

While One Piece is getting closer to reaching its conclusion, there are still so many burning questions left that need answers. But perhaps the answers have been under the reader’s nose the whole time. Did you catch some of these genius foreshadowing moments in One Piece?

1. Laboon And The Rumbar Pirates

Laboon And The Rumbar Pirates

The first strange obstacle the Straw Hat Pirates encountered at the Grand Line was sailing into the stomach of a magnificent whale named Laboon. Laboon has been waiting for over 50 years at Reverse Mountain for the return of the Rumbar Pirates, who befriended the giant, battered whale when they entered the Grand Line.

In the Thriller Bark Arc, the Straw Hat Pirates meet “Dead Bones” Brook, who would go on to join them as their musician. Brook was a member of the Rumbar Pirates, but the entire crew died from a poisonous attack by rival pirates. Thanks to the resurrecting powers of the Revive-Revive Fruit, Brook survived the poisoning. When he heard that Laboon was still waiting for the Rumbar Pirates, Brook began to cry.

2. Shanks Using Haki

Shanks Using Haki

One of the most epic moments during the early days of One Piece was Red-Haired Shanks saving a young Monkey D. Luffy from a Sea King known as Lord of the Coast. Back then, fans thought Shanks scared the monster off by staring at it intensely. However, when the concept of Haki was revealed in the Post-War arc, it turns out Shanks actually used a form of Haki called Haoshoku Haki to scare the monster away.

The Haki fighting style has become an important part of One Piece, on par with the Devil Fruits, so it’s amazing that the first example of it was shown off so long ago in Luffy’s origin story.

3. The Legacy Of Wano Country

The Legacy Of Wano Country

The Wano Country Arc has become one of the most important story arcs in the series’ history. However, the significance of Wano Country has been building up for quite some time now. The crossed swords symbol of Koushirou, the master swordsman who taught Zoro in his youth, re-appears again on the armor of a Wana Samurai. Shimotsuki Village, the dojo village that Zoro used to live in, is revealed to be named after Shimotsuki Kozaburo, a swordsmith of the Shimotsuki Family.

On the cover page for chapter 310, Luffy is wearing armor that has an image of a crane-like bird stamp. 507 chapters later, it’s revealed that the crane-like bird stamp is actually the crest of the Kozuki Family, a powerful family who used to rule over Wano Country. Finally, in the Thriller Bark Arc, Dr. Hogback describes his samurai zombie Ryuma as someone who harkens from the land of Wano.

4. Sanji’s Connection To The Vinsmoke Family

Sanji’s Connection To The Vinsmoke Family

Among the most shocking revelations about the Straw Hat Pirates, the reveal that Sanji has royal blood in him is easily in the top five. The Whole Cake Island Arc revealed that Sanji is the third son and fourth child of the Vinsmoke Family, making him the prince of the Germa Kingdom.

When looking back at the Alabasta Arc, Sanji actually alluded to his royal lineage by giving himself the alias of Mr. Prince when talking to Sir Crocodile.

5. Monkey D. Luffy’s Unbelievable Family

Monkey D. Luffy’s Unbelievable Family

As if it wasn’t crazy enough that Portgas D. Ace was Luffy’s brother, it turns out Luffy’s whole family tree is filled with unbelievable figures who play an important role in One Piece.

Who could have guessed that the Marine Vice Admiral who appeared in Koby and Helmeppo’s early days in Marine training was actually “Monkey D.” Garp? Luffy’s grandpa! Well, his love and snacks and falling asleep on the job might have given it away. As for Luffy’s father, Monkey D. Dragon, he was the mysterious figure who saved Luffy from Smoker’s wrath all the way back at Loguetown.

6. The Fish-Men

The Fish-Men

The Fish-Men have become one of the most important races to follow in One Piece. Arlong and the Arlong Pirates were some of the strongest foes the Straw Hat Pirates ever faced before venturing into the Grand Line. Arlong’s connection to Jinbe, a former member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea and now crewmate of the Straw Hat Pirates, was alluded to during his introduction arc. However, it wasn’t until the Fish-Man Island Arc that the red sun tattoo on Arlong’s chest was explained to be the jolly roger of the Fish-Men Pirates, which formerly included Jinbe as a crew member.

The Fish-Man Island Arc also shows why Arlong was arrested and taken to Impel Down, before being pardoned by Jinbe. The existence of Fishman Island was also casually mentioned all the way back at the Baratie Arc, when a cook talks about the origins of the Panda Shark.

7. Nico Robin And The Poneglyphs

Nico Robin And The Poneglyphs

Back when Nico Robin was the latest addition to the Straw Hat Pirates, fans wondered why her bounty was set so incredibly high (79,000,000 Berries). During the Long Ring Long Land Arc, former Marine Admiral Kuzan alluded to Robin’s tragic past while taunting her, then tried to eliminate her. In the Water Seven Arc, it’s revealed that Robin is the sole survivor of the destroyed West Blue island Ohara.

Ohara scholars were capable of deciphering the historic text of the poneglyphs that contained forbidden knowledge of the Void Century. Deciphering these texts is considered criminal by the World Government, which is why the Marines destroyed Ohara using the Buster Call. Since Nico Robin survived the attack, she is the only one left in the world who can still read the texts.

8. The Fearsome Reputation Of Kaido

The Fearsome Reputation Of Kaido

Kaido of the Beasts has been an incredible opponent for the Straw Hats in the Wano Country Arc. He delivered one of the worst injuries in Luffy’s life by knocking him out in one hit. Before Luffy felt the brunt of Kaido’s kanabo, the “Strongest Creature” was actually name-dropped all the way back in the Thriller Bark Arc.

When bragging about his zombie army to Luffy, Gecko Moria brings up the humiliating defeat he suffered from Kaido, which resulted in the loss of his entire pirate crew. While Gecko believed his zombie army would have won him the fight, the intimidating strength that Kaido has demonstrated so far in Wano Country says otherwise.

9. The Three Great Powers

The Three Great Powers

While the world of One Piece is often chaotic, it’s also one of order. Back at Arlong Park, the hierarchy of the world was alluded to when Yosaku explained to Luffy and Sanji about the Seven Warlords of the Sea, which consisted of pirates like Dracule Mihawk and the fish-man named Jinbe. 

In the Post-Enies Lobby Arc, Monkey D. Garp tells Luffy and his crew about The Three Great Powers that maintained peace across the oceans: the Marine Headquarters, the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and the Four Emperors. The Four Emperors have played a critical role in the Straw Hat Pirates’ journey into the New World, as they all reside in the second half of the Grand Line. Blackbeard, Big Mom, and Kaido are all figures that the Straw Hats have encountered or heard of before. However, the most interesting member of the Four Emperors is Red-Haired Shanks, Luffy’s childhood hero.