Timewise, Movie 4 takes place after the Arabasta arc, but before the Rainbow Mist arc. One clue to this is that Robin is already in the Straw Hat Pirates. Also, at the beginning, you can still see a wanted poster of Luffy with his first bounty of 30,000,000 berry. Towards the end of the movie, one of the people on Partia is already holding the new wanted poster in the amount of 100,000,000 berry. When the Straw Hat Pirates arrives on Ruluka, Luffy already has this bounty.
The Straw Hat Pirates, after once again being pursued by the Navy, ends up on an island called “Hannabal”.
The crew is in a bar. Luffy, of course, wants something to eat first of all. The crew walks down a hallway with the landlord of the restaurant and at the end of it they find a sort of meeting place for pirates. In total, there are more than 100 pirates staying there, resting, boozing, fighting, playing poker, and the like. They decide to eat in this pirate den.
Luffy steals the food the waiters are about to bring to the guests, and so a fight ensues between Luffy, the bounty hunter Shuraiya, and Gasparde’s pirate gang, and a fight begins. Gasparde himself, however, is not present.
After the fight, only Luffy, Shuraiya, and a single one of Gasparde’s men remain. The three jump to another level and meet Gasparde and his servant. Gasparde is a former navy admiral. He betrayed the navy and is now a pirate. Needless lunges at Luffy, but Gasparde orders him to stop after a short while and the two disappear through a back door.
On Gasparde’s ship, a young boy argues with one of Gasparde’s men, shortly after which Gasparde himself arrives on the ship. The boy wants to shoot him to extort medicine for his “grandfather”. Gasparde promises him that if he kills a small pirate with that gun, he can join Gasparde’s gang and get the medicine. So the boy runs back into town, almost bumping into Shuraiya.
The next morning, when the Straw Hat Pirates wakes up, they get the ship ready to go. Suddenly a very strong storm comes up and the crew takes the ship to the starting point of the race, through a cave at the end of which there seems to be a kind of channel that leads them up a mountain. There are many other pirate ships going up there, including Gasparde’s. Shuraiya has smuggled herself in among Gasparde’s crew.
The mountain gets steeper and steeper and when they reach the top, they fall down a huge waterfall. But the Straw Hat Pirates survives this reasonably intact. One after the other the enemy pirate ships destroy each other. Usopp also destroys a big ship behind the The Going Merry with his cannon. The ride gets rougher and rougher, but Luffy and Robin manage to keep the The Going Merry on course and so they make it through the channel. In the meantime, they have left Hannabal behind.
In the Going Merry’s bathroom, the boy from Gasbad’s ship wants to shoot Zoro, but the latter seems unimpressed and knocks him unconscious. Later he wakes up again and after a short conversation with the crew he wants to shoot someone again, this time Luffy. He fires a shot at him, but is completely surprised when the bullet bounces back and pierces the wall just inches from him.
Luffy & Co. are attacked by Bigalo with his pirate ship, but Sanji and Zoro jump on Bigalo’s ship and fight the entire crew. But they are interrupted. All of a sudden, a couple of sea kings show up and sneeze the The Going Merry and the other ship away.
Bigalo’s pirate ship is destroyed when Nami notices that the Eternal port they got from a vendor, instead of Partia, has Navarone (a naval base) as its destination. There are several soldiers and cannons posted in the mountains outside Navarone. The Going Merry turns and Luffy deflects one cannonball after another. Shuraiya tries to destroy the propulsion system on Gasbad’s ship with an axe, but Biera the Boiler Keeper stops him. Shuraiya goes on deck to fight Gasparde to kill him. However, he has to fight Needless first, and he beats him up pretty badly. However, Shuraiya doesn’t do too badly against him either. In the end, both are badly injured, but Shuraiya manages to defeat Needless.
Gasparde stands up, he’s ready to fight. Shuraiya runs at him, smashes through Gasparde’s head with his shovel, but it just flows back together, because he ate of a devil fruit, the candy fruit. Shuraiya is quickly beaten and is on the ground. From the Going Merry, Luffy pulls himself over to Gasparde’s ship. He wants to take on Gasparde.
Shuraiya wants to stop Luffy from fighting Gasparde, saying he would be too strong. But Luffy doesn’t want to listen and knocks Shuraiya aside. Luffy punches Gasparde, but suddenly can’t pull his arm out of his body. Gasparde slowly gains the upper hand because Luffy can’t fight back, he’s stuck. However, he is able to break free by using a Gomu Gomu no Terrorbash. Luffy uses more attacks, but they all seem useless against Gasparde.
The latter provokes Luffy by piercing the latter’s straw hat. It seems that Luffy is outmatched by Gasparde. But Sanji, who had gone on Gasparde’s ship, receives a sack of flour from Biera, which he is to give to Luffy. While Luffy manages to take out the enemy captain for a brief moment, Sanji comes from inside the ship and gives Luffy the flour sack. The Cook makes his way back to the Going Merry to tell the others about old grandpa’s plan. He wants to blow up Gasbad’s ship. The Going Merry sails to a safe distance and with a thunderous noise, Gasparde’s ship explodes and sinks. Luffy and Gasparde are still on the ship, but appear unharmed.
Now the fight of the two captains goes into the next round. They both charge at each other, but Luffy had a bit of flour on his hand and was able to weaken his opponent considerably. After noticing this, he even throws the whole bag at him, Gasparde is now vulnerable. Luffy doesn’t waste any time and prepares the final blow. With one last gum-gum bazooka, he manages to push his opponent out to sea and thus he has won.
The next day, the weather is nice again. The old man survived the explosion and rescued Shuraiya and Luffy. The navy has resumed pursuit of the Going Merry, but the crew manages to escape.
- Eiichiro Oda himself designed the characters Gasparde and Shuraiya.
- The DVD release date was July 21, 2003 in Japan.
- The then editor-in-chief of Shōnen Jump, Takahashi Toshimasa, died unexpectedly while in the newsroom working on the 4th One Piece movie.
- In the Japan TV Ranking from December 21 – 27, the film was in third place.