One Piece has been with us for 26 years and in this time Eiichiro Oda has delighted us with all kinds of arcs for the Straw Hats’ adventures. Alabasta, Thriller Bark, Enies Lobby, Marineford or the most recent Wano are examples of good work by the creator of one of the most popular mangas of all time.
However, there is a great consensus among the community when it comes to affirming that the Long Ring Long Land arc – also known as the Davy Back Fight arc – is a blur in the impeccable career of its author. Located just before Water 7 and after the events of Skypiea, this plot was published between 2003 and 2004, resulting in one of the most hated by readers.
The adaptation to anime format by Toei Animation did not have any better luck and was accused of skipping the canon established in the cartoons. Originally, the plot placed us on the island Long Ring Long Land where all its creatures are absurdly long and that is where the protagonists encounter the Foxy Pirates. Their captain proposes that the group participate in the Davy Back Fight, an old pirate game whose winner can choose the members of the opposing gang that he wants to add to his ship. The consequences are so serious that the possibility of appropriating the rival pirate flag is even granted.
So, throughout three absurd games full of traps, we see how the Straw Hats participate for a few chapters. Finally, Admiral Aokiji makes an appearance, showing off his terrible ice power and anticipating part of Nico Robin’s past. On a plot level, we are facing an arc with practically zero relevance, since no significant progress was made and Oda preferred to focus on humor.
Those who watched the anime even thought that they were watching another classic filler arc from the animation company, but they weren’t too far off the mark either. Till the date, The Long Ring Long Land arc is the one that presents the most modifications between anime and manga. Oda drew three different tests, but Toei launched six in what is the most radical change that lengthened what was a torture of episodes for viewers.
As if that were not enough, the place of the meeting with Aokiji was changed, as well as his relationship with the island. Other minor changes also occurred to result in an adaptation that left a bitter memory. The years passed, One Piece progressed and a very unique situation occurred, as Toei began reissuing past arcs with improved animation. A series of special chapters that sought to condense the main events of each island with a much more polished result, good examples of which are the East Blue Episode: The Great Adventure of Luffy and his Four Comrades or the Island Episode. Darling.
Taking advantage of the premiere of One Piece: Adventure in Nebuland On December 19, 2015, the Japanese company announced that they would issue the special episode of the Davy Back Fight on December 11. It would work as a promotional reason for Nebuland, as he was bringing the Foxy Pirates back to the fore, but the conditions for seeing it were incredibly restrictive. It would be viewed on Fuji TV as a condensed and enhanced format of episodes 207 to 219 of the anime.
To watch it, it was necessary to use Garapon TV, a TV program recorder for Japan that also allowed access to different audiovisual subscription services, but with two even more extraordinary features. A reservation had to be made to watch the episode on the device, but only the population of the Kanto region had access to it. Furthermore, said episode was broadcast only once and has never seen the light of day again.
A lost relic
Toei kept its word and we have not seen the special edition of Davy Back Fight again. There is no platform that contains this episode, it is not registered to be viewed anywhere and It is not even possible to see it illegally. The only hope for the community of One Piece is that someone in Japan decided to record the program and, eight years later, still has the episode saved on the Garapon’s 500 GB hard drive.
However, it is practically impossible unless you have marked that file as a favorite, since the system deletes the oldest ones once the hard drive is full. We might think that there is enough space for it not to have disappeared, but we must bear in mind that “Garapon TV is a system that constantly records and saves“, so hopes are rather low.
No way to watch even a second of the broadcast? The truth is that yes We can see a few moments that a Twitter user recorded on that night of December 11, 2015. A small window to the past that allows us to contemplate what that special one that we hope Toei will bring back to life one day looked like.
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