|This article contains information that only occurs in an OVA|
Romance Dawn Story is an animated version of the One Piece pilot Romance Dawn 1, but in a slightly different form. Thus, the Straw Hat Pirates already includes nine members and sails on the Thousand Sunny across the seas.
The 35-minute Original video animation was produced on the occasion of the “JUMP Super Anime Tour 08” (jap. ジャンプスーパーアニメツアー08), an anime festival that took place from September 21, 2008 to November 23 in ten major Japanese cities. The festival featured a number of specials on various Shōnen Jump titles (including Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball„,Bleach (manga)” by Kubo Tite and “Tegami Bach (note: needs link)i” by Hiroyuki Asada).
The story begins after the well-worn opening credits, which capture Gold Roger’s final moments and describe the beginning of the great age of piracy, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The Thousand Sunny is adrift in the middle of a vast ocean, and inside it is found the utterly exhausted Straw Hat Pirates, whose members are briefly introduced in turn.
What has happened is unclear at this point, but we do learn one thing: the only one who can save them now is their captain, Luffy.
This is followed by a scene change to just that. Luffy, aboard the Mini-Merry, is sound asleep, with a large island in front of him.
The action pans again, this time to an unknown band of pirates. From the crow’s nest, the pirates learn that a city lies ahead. The buccaneers plan to go ashore and plunder it. We end up back with Luffy, who is still asleep in the Merry, but wakes up at that very moment. A few seconds later a huge pirate ship rushes past him and the mini-caravel, which is violently shaken by the foamed waves.
Next comes a glimpse of the town, whose inhabitants are going about their daily lives peacefully, before the observation tower announces that a ship is heading for the island. However, since no civilian ships are registered for that day, it’s clear what this means: it’s a pirate ship, the town will be attacked in a few moments!
The islanders are in an uproar and immediately sound the alarm, the town is to be evacuated immediately.
As a young blonde girl who runs a pub on the island learns of the terrible news, she rushes into her room and retrieves her sword from there. She will not surrender easily, she wants to resist the pirates.
The last remaining islanders have gathered in the harbor, and now they learn that the approaching threat is the pirate gang of Gally with the Sicklebeard, who recently had a bounty placed on his head. While most of the citizens think of unconditional surrender in their fear and despair, the blonde girl joins them, her plan is to resist and chase away the approaching bandits. However, she is entirely alone in this opinion, so the majority prefer to surrender to avert worse disasters. The girl, named Silk, is then taken away by two men. However, she is able to free herself immediately afterwards.
In the meantime, the pirate ship with the large purple figurehead in the shape of a lizard finally reaches the harbour. The islanders are surprised to see the supposed captain of the ship standing on the figurehead, as they had imagined Gally to be much scarier – and where was his beard anyway? What the viewer knows – but the villagers don’t – this “Gally” is not the real one, but none other than Luffy. He had gone aboard the ship in the hope of catching something to eat and had started a fight with the pirate gang, which he managed to overpower single-handedly without any problems.
Afterwards the straw-hatted pirate goes ashore, he finally wants something to eat and finds it a little later, when he reaches the “Café & Bistro”, guided by his sense of smell. But he doesn’t get the chance to fill his belly yet, because the blonde girl Silk has it in for him. She rushes towards Luffy with her sword drawn and attacks.
Though Luffy is able to explain in a brief conversation that he is not the supposed Gally, he casually mentions being a pirate as well and at this word Silk goes into a rage again and attacks him with her sword. When he finally manages to make the girl understand that he’s not a pirate like everyone else who’s all about scavenging, but that he’s out looking for his friends and just wants something to eat, she finally calms down and entertains him. Silk also feels guilty for accidentally scorching Luffy’s treasure, his beloved straw hat, in her attack.
Over dinner, the two strike up a conversation and Luffy tells the story of his straw hat, how and from whom he got it, and that it is tied to the promise he and Red Shanks made to each other one day. Silk knows Shanks and gradually discovers Luffy’s good character.
The young girl then tells of her past, such as she is the daughter of a pirate, a foundling left behind by a band of pirates who raided this very village 15 years ago where she now lives. What follows is a flashback that highlights the events of 15 years ago. And even though she was the daughter of one of the pirates who raided the island, she was taken in and raised by the villagers, which is why she is immensely grateful to them. Because of this, she also sees her hometown as her treasure and wishes she never had to see the townspeople in mourning again, and should the situation call for it, she would fight for them as well.
As Luffy and her leave the pub a little later, Gally joins them with two of his men, by all appearances having somehow managed to free himself. The latter is now out for revenge on Luffy, of course, he can’t forgive him for calling his beard “funny”. More members of Gally’s gang have gathered and they immediately charge at the command of their captain. Thus the fight begins.
After the fight, Luffy remembers that he left the Mini-Merry on the pirate ship of Gally’s gang and rushes into the harbor to get it. Once there, he meets the mayor of the town, who asks him if he’s a pirate, to which Luffy, in typical fashion, naturally answers in the affirmative.
At the man’s command, countless villagers rush in, a large number of them armed. After a brief dissolve, we see a surprised Luffy, tied up with rope, surrounded by the cheering villagers who believe they have saved their town. Moments later, Silk also arrives in port to clear up the misunderstanding – but too late: Gally and his gang have also made their way into the harbor area; they have a clear path now that the supposed stone has been removed from their path. Although Silk still tries to oppose them, she is outmatched by Gally in a sword fight and goes down after a short skirmish.
The mayor pleads with the pirates to take the island’s treasure and supplies and leave so that no one need come to harm, but Silk doesn’t want that. She wants to fight to her last breath, for this town, her treasure.
When Gally hears this, he mocks her, saying that treasures are things like gold and jewels, wealth that can be used to buy a magnificent ship, for example. He and his gang burst into uproarious laughter, which makes those present nauseous, and so it is finally the mayor who speaks up.
They should leave Silk alone, after all, it was her smile that gave the islanders hope and confidence long ago, when they had virtually nothing left after the raid of 15 years ago. He repeated his offer from before: The pirates can take what they want, but they should leave Silk alone and not say a bad word about this village! Encouraged by these words, Gally has had enough. He leaves Silk and turns his attention to the mayor, whom he wants to destroy with his sword.
At the last moment, however, Luffy is able to distract Gally and bring him down with a gum-gum whip. The pirate picks himself up again and punches the (still tied up) Luffy in the face, which again has no effect. But he finally discovers one of the Straw Hat Pirate’s weaknesses, namely his beloved hat.
And he starts stomping on Luffy’s treasure, countless times stamping his foot on the straw hat. As the rage boils up inside Luffy, and he can only watch as Gally jumps around with his hat, Silk takes initiative, throwing herself protectively over the straw hat and deflecting the kick with her body.She knows how much that hat means to Luffy and yells at Gally not to dare treat other people’s treasures with such disrespect. Gally also becomes more flustered at Silk’s words, grabbing the young girl and punching her in the face with his fist, taking the straw hat back.
Knowing that Luffy can’t swim, he lunges and hurls the latter’s hat out to sea, where the current threatens to carry it out into the open ocean. Without hesitation, Luffy attempts to retrieve his hat using his rubber powers, but Gally pushes him into the sea in the attempt. Luffy sinks like a stone, and the crescent pirates raid the island in the meantime, eventually setting sail.
After a brief dissolve, the action finds itself back in the harbor, Silk was able to pull Luffy out of the water and he now wants to go after Gally and his gang to get back at him for what he did to the village and him.
He also encourages Silk to fight for her dream, who bursts into tears and says she wants nothing more than to give these pirates what they deserve, to which Luffy says he’ll take care of it. But at that very moment, a cannonball smashes into one of the rooftops with a loud whistle, and more gunfire follows. A veritable barrage is opened, in the wake of which countless of the buildings are devastated. Silk, who has to watch the whole thing idly, is shocked by the sight and goes to the ground in a state of dissolution. She couldn’t protect her home….Now it’s up to Luffy to keep his promise and read the riot act to the pirate gang, whose ship is now threatening to disappear as a tiny dot on the horizon. He makes a dash for one of the rooftops and catapults himself into the air over the town’s church and observation tower.
When one of Gally’s men reports that the Straw Hat Pirate is approaching their ship, the captain initially panics, but apparently gives the order to fire the approaching troublemaker – which eventually succeeds. In the middle of the vast ocean, Luffy is hit by one of the cannons and threatens to fall into the water, when suddenly an object can be seen in the sky above the pirate ship and the heads of its crew: it’s the Thousand Sunny, which had catapulted itself into the sky with a mighty coup de bust! Still falling, Luffy is able to cling to the ship and escapes falling into the cool water again.
On the Sunny itself, the reunion is not very happy. Crew and captain have not seen each other for 10 days. The latter was sent by the gang to get new provisions, after he had eaten all the supplies, that this was not the wisest decision, the members had to experience on their own bodies. Thanks to Chopper’s good nose that they found each other again at all! While the Straw Hat Pirates is still at loggerheads, Gally’s gang seizes their opportunity and opens fire on the Thousand Sunny.
But it’s Chopper who reigns first and is able to deflect the cannonballs with his double plush, but he goes down exhausted from hunger afterwards. The rest is up to the remaining 8 members to take on the remaining pirates. The fight turns out to be rather one-sided, so the Straw Hat Pirates is able to put the pirates in their place without any problems, and as Luffy and Gally finally face each other, the captain gets two wanted posters from one of his men, Luffy’s and his own.
Gally seems like a total rookie with his 5 million berry bounty compared to Luffy’s 300 million. The pirates realize they don’t stand a chance. They get down on their knees and beg for forgiveness, but they are not to get off that easily! The Straw Hat Pirates raid their ship, meaning they recover all the stolen treasure and even much of the remaining cargo. While the rest of the gang makes their way off the ship, Luffy stays behind, he still has a personal bone to pick with the pirates. So he says that it’s now up to him to trample Gally’s treasure underfoot, and by that he means his ship, which the Straw Hat Pirate sinks with a gum-gum giant axe.
But that’s not all, Gally gets his own personal grease. As Luffy pulls him out of the wreckage of the ship and holds him by the collar with one hand, he lunges far back with the other arm before chasing the Sicklebeard to the horizon with a massive Gomu Gomu no Pistol. That final blow was for Silk.
There is a final cut and we see the villagers gathered amidst a multitude of treasures. According to one resident, it was about twice as much as was taken from the villagers by the pirates.
The special ends with Silk’s words to Luffy: “Luffy, I hope you find your One Piece.
- In the opening credits of the special, you can see Gold Roger in animated form for the first time, without his eyes being covered by shadows as usual.
- Through the special it becomes clear that the pirate with the sickle beard is not called “Gally”, but Gally.
- Silk wears a Doskoi Panda apron for her first appearance.
- Pandaman also makes a small guest appearance again in this special, so you’ll find the veteran hero in the background when the village receives word that pirates are heading for the island.
- Even though Luffy used Gear 3, he didn’t shrink afterwards.