The story begins with a view of a civilian ship sailing leisurely through the ocean and an insight into the happenings on board, inside the main room many glamorous individuals are eating, drinking and dancing. The sailors on the deck are all going about their duties - bar a few, who spot a barrel floating in the sea and decide to use a grappling hook to bring it aboard - thinking it to be wine or something valuable.
Disaster then strikes when one of the sailors sights a pirate ship on the horizon, flying the flag of Alvida, a notorious pirate captain. On board her ship the pirates are readying themselves for an attack, and all but one are consumed by a bloodthirsty excitement - a young boy with glasses who appears to be there against his will. Alvida commences the attack and brings her ship alongside the cruise boat in order to board it. The young boy on her ship is reluctant to cross so she strikes him over to the other side where he smashes into a wall.
The pirates board the ship and defeat any of the crew who put up a fight. They then proceed to rob the guests of all their possessions, while a few of them raid the ships supplies. An orange haired woman who was seen in the main hall of the ship is covertly sneaking around and disabling anyone who asks questions. Meanwhile the young boy 'Coby' is searching below deck and trying to stay out of the way. He encounters the barrel that was pulled out of the sea by the ship's sailors just before the attack, thinking that his find may score him some points and lessen his captors cruelty - he begins to roll the barrel towards the upper deck. Before long he is stopped by a group of three pirates who jeer at him and take the barrel for themselves, assuming it to be wine. The biggest of the three opts to smash the top of the barrel with his fist, and as he launches the blow the top of the barrel explodes, and a man bursts out, knocking the pirate senseless and quickly dispatching the other two when they attack.
The man from the barrel introduces himself as: Monkey. D Luffy, the man who will become the pirate king. The young boy Coby is amazed by this - as the world has not known a pirate king for many years and it is a feat that requires impossible strength and resources. Coby tells Luffy of his situation and receives poor feedback, the barrel man bluntly calls him a coward and expresses dislike for him. By this time the pirates that Luffy had attacked earlier had long since reported to Alvida, and the huge pirate came crashing through the ceiling. The pirates have infested the boat and the situation is dire. Luffy jumps to the upper deck.
The pair are surrounded by pirates, and Luffy opts to run away, as he runs past the mast he grabs it with one hand, his hand remains on the mast but his body keeps running as his arm stretches. His pursuers can only watch in horror as his arm stretches to its limit, and his body snaps back at a ridiculous speed, knocking many of them down. After Coby finally confronts his fears, and Luffy takes a blow from Alvida's heavy iron club without sustaining any damage - Luffy proceeds (much to Coby's horror) to stretch again to perform an array of attacks that completely destroys the pirate crew, and blows Alvida away into the sea. Luffy explains that he has eaten a 'Devil's Fruit', a type of fruit which gives the user a special ability - in his case his body gained the properties of rubber, making him a rubber man.
The victory is short lived as the marines show up to arrest any pirates in the area, as Luffy is a pirate he chooses to escape via boat. He and Coby steal a small boat from the side of the cruise ship and set sail. As they crash into the water luffy briefly sees the orange haired girl that evaded the pirates earlier. Then they are out in the open sea. As the episode Luffy chooses to travel to the nearest island to recruit the first member of his crew - an infamous swordsman named 'Pirate hunter Zoro' (much to Coby's dismay).