One Piece is a story that’s been coming together for decades. In order to keep the anime from outpacing the manga, and also making room for interesting “what if?” scenarios filler arcs are pretty plentiful in One Piece’s animated adaptation. These filler arcs range from simple episodic adventures to content that adds context for the anime’s many movies.
What makes One Piece special among anime is its massive overarching story that progresses slowly but surely, as its main character Luffy grows. Luffy’s relationships with himself and his crew are what holds the plot together so they should work in filler arcs that don’t add to the overall story as well, and according to IMDb, they often do.
10 Cidre Guild – 6
This filler arc follows a standard formula that’s been the norm for One Piece since it started. The crew’s ship needs something, so they stop at a mysterious island and end up having to defend themselves while there. This is the lowest rated filler arc on IMDb with an average score of 6, which is strange because it doesn’t do anything blatantly wrong.
The reasoning behind this poor rating is most likely because of its placement. The Strawhat Crew ends up in this predicament between the Whole Cake Island and Wano arcs. These two arcs have been built up to since the beginning of the time skip so breaking up their pacing probably didn’t sit well with fans.
9 Foxy’s Return- 6.5
It isn’t difficult to understand why Foxy returning would warrant low ratings from fans after a quick glance at his face. Foxy is cunning sneaky, and overall evil so seeing him again wasn’t exactly what fans had in mind. Not only did he reappear, but he had his own little side story as if fans were supposed to root for him.
This arc has one of the most time filler atmospheres of all the arcs in One Piece. The reasoning for this is mostly because it doesn’t really serve to help viewers learn anything. One Piece’s massive world is alive and can operate without the main characters, so good filler arcs usually show this side of the world. Foxy’s return arc doesn’t do this in any meaningful way.
8 Silver Mine Arc- 6.7
The Silver Mine Arc does a few interesting things as a filler arc. During the arc, viewers get necessary information for the One Piece: Gold film, and nice character moments featuring Bartolomeo. Bartolomeo is only really seen in the Dressrosa arc in the manga, but he’s also one of the funniest and fan-loved characters so it was nice to see him more.
Luffy and Bartolomeo get swept up in chaos and end up having to work in a silver mine and fight their way out to escape. The plot is pretty standard but the character moments are what make it worth the time spent.
7 Caesar Retrieval Arc- 6.7
Caesar is one of the most important side characters in all of One Piece who becomes the center of attention for multiple arcs because of his connection to Vegapunk and his scientific knowledge. After the events of Dressrosa, the Strawhats continue escorting Caesar since he’s their captive and leverage against Doflamingo and Kaido.
This arc shows off the relationship between Law and the Strawhats even more as it’s been developing since Punk Hazard, Caesar’s original arc. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard filler with funny moments.
6 Post Alabasta- 6.8
After the events of Alabasta, the Strawhat Crew sails towards their next destination. During this journey they tell stories about themselves and adventures they went on before their time as a Strawhat. It’s a weird choice in terms of pacing, as well as execution.
A lot of the stories are told awkwardly between the crew, and have no actual bearing on the overall story. One Piece doesn’t waste time with unnecessary exposition so these episodes stand out as strange among others in the series. This is what makes it obvious filler that exists to do nothing but fill time until the next arc.
5 Warship Island Arc-6.9
The Warship Island Arc is the first filler arc of One Piece. This might be the reason it’s ranked higher than a lot of others. The arc focuses on rescuing a girl named Apis and helping her return a dragon to its home island, while avoiding the marines.
Luffy and company go on this adventure between the end of the East Blue Saga and before they head to the Grand Line. The timing for this arc was a little anticlimactic since it was supposed to lead into the next major chapter of the series. Its messages and characters were interesting though, so it wasn’t a complete miss.
4 Ruluka Island 6.8
Ruluka Island has some of the higher average scores on IMDb, most likely because of the story it tells. The crew end up on an island while fleeing marines like usual, and are greeted with an island in turmoil. The residents live under fear of their leader who takes all their money to build a tower.
The arc stands out slightly because it carries the feel of early One Piece arcs where Luffy and the gang show off their unwavering will against evil. Luffy’s morals are simple, but he won’t let anyone trample over them, or the well being of the people around him. The arc has a lot of cool moments where characters show how strong they’ve gotten since joining the crew which adds to the sense of progression in a filler arc.
3 Little East Blue- 7
Little East Blue serves as a nostalgia check as well as a reminder of all the progression the crew has made. It doesn’t have much to show as a filler arc, but it does lead directly into the events of the film One Piece: Strong World. The crew finds an island that’s essentially a recreation of their home, East Blue. They enjoy themselves until they’re confronted by a group of pirates who they have to defeat.
The nostalgia factor led to a lot of fans ranking this arc highly as a filler arc. Watching the Strawhats indulge themselves in their favorite things after being away from home for so long was a treat for sure.
2 Marine Rookie – 7.5
The Marine Rookie Arc is what One Piece filler arcs should be more like. The arc’s premise is par for the course when it comes to how it starts, but what it does through its story is what makes it special. Luffy’s actions lead to the crew being in trouble like normal, so the crew has to invade a marine base and disguise themselves as marines to find food.
What makes this arc more interesting than most is that fans get a closer look at the inner workings of the marines and how they train their members. Showing details like this in filler arcs is a great way to make them more engaging and give viewers a reason to want to watch them, besides just filling time until the next arc.
1 G 8 Arc – 8
The G 8 arc is almost universally accepted as the best filler arc of One Piece. The reasoning for this is its story and dilemma. It follows the same structure as almost every other filler arc but what it does differently is show the story from the side of the marines as well. The marines have followed questionable forms of justice, as shown by Smoker’s change of heart during the series.
The marine in charge of the base the Strawhats invade has similar questions and a change of heart that slowly occurs through the arc. Characters also have defining moments during these episodes, showing that the writing for this arc went above and beyond, embodying what makes One Piece so interesting.