January 3, 2012
In a flashback"," a seven-year-old Luffy sits in a bar filled with the pirate crew of the ""Red-Haired"" Shanks", beggin him to take him out to sea. But the pirate captain refuses. A bandit named Higuma enters and orders several barrels of booze. Shanks offers him the last bottle but Higuma smashes it and humiliates Shanks. After the bandit leaves the bar, all of the pirates start to laugh. Luffy gets angry that Shanks did not fight back and in a huff eats a purple fruit lying on the bar. Shanks notices this and tries to make Luffy spit it out, but it was too late. Shanks tells Luffy that he just ate the Gum Gum Fruit, a Devil Fruit, and now he is a rubber man and won't be able to ever swim again. Later, Luffy gets attacked by Higuma and his bandits. He is about to be killed, when Shanks and his crew arrive and effortlessly defeat Higuma's men. Frightened, Higuma throws down a smoke bomb and makes his escape, taking Luffy with him. He flees out to sea in a boat. There he throws the non-swimmer into the water. As Higuma laughs at Luffy's plight, a Sea King appears behind him and devours him whole. The sea monster then goes for Luffy, but Shanks stops the sea monster as it takes a bite, and with one look, drives the beast away. Luffy clutches Shanks and starts crying, since Shanks' arm was bitten off by the creature. Shanks replies that it is fine, as long as Luffy is safe. As the pirates get ready to leave, Luffy decides he will become a pirate on his own, that he will gather a crew that will beat Shanks', and that he will become King of the Pirates. Shanks gives his straw hat to Luffy and tells him to return it some day, as a great pirate. Back in the present, Luffy slingshots into the sky to catch a bird. Instead he is caught himself. Zoro, now alone in their boat, tries to keep up, paddling. On his way he picks up three castaways from Buggy's crew. The bird, carrying Luffy flies over a town, where it is shot down by Buggy's men. Luffy falls down and lands right in front of Nami," who is running away from Buggy's crew for stealing their precious map to the Grand Line.