The Early Years: ROMANCE DAWN Nehszriah

Version One

The first version of Romance Dawn is sometimes classified as “Chapter 0” of the manga, as it contains many key elements of the final version. It chronicles Luffy’s encounter with a village girl named Silk and a pirate named “Crescent Moon” Gyari.

Luffy is riding along lazily in his dinghy when he spots a pirate ship coming towards him. He becomes excited at the sight of another ship, one with a dragon’s head prow similar to a Viking warship.

Meanwhile, on a nearby island, a village is pondering over what to do about the pirate ship that is sailing close to the harbor. It belongs to a man called Gyari who had been gaining a reputation lately. The village, which has had a history of pirate raids, is leaning towards gathering all of their valuables together in order to appease the pirates. One young woman, Silk (Shiruku), claims that she would fight to defend the village, but the elder refuses her request.

Later, the ship lands and Luffy looks around, observing the now-desolate village. Gyari’s ship was the one he had spotted in the sea, and took over once boarded. Crescent Moon Gyari, along with his crew, is tied up due to their hostile nature. Luffy hops off the ship and walks around the village, wondering where everyone is. The villagers believe him to be Gyari, as they had not seen a photograph of him before. The village elder comes out and declares that demands will be met and directs Luffy towards a shop where he can eat. Slightly confused, Luffy complies and enters the establishment. Inside, Silk is waiting along with the shop owner. She attacks Luffy, who dodges and claims innocence.

While Luffy is eating, he then explains to Silk he is not yet a pirate, but wants to be one. He desires to become a “Peace Main”, which is a type of pirate that mainly goes on adventures instead of pillaging villages. He wants to create a crew of Peace Main pirates, which will be difficult considering the high number of destructive “Morgania” pirates in the world. He also tells the story of his childhood hero Shanks, who inspired him to become a pirate. Luffy ate the Gomu-Gomu no Mi as a child and is therefore unable to swim for the rest of his life. This ended up causing an accident at sea where Shanks lost his arm to a sea serpent. Before Shanks left for adventures unknown, he loaned Luffy his treasured hat.

Silk, seemingly touched by Luffy’s story, tells him that she is the abandoned child of pirates. The village had been attacked years ago and afterwards, she was found as a baby. The villagers took her in, despite her clear background. She says that the villagers are precious to her, as they held no grudge against her. They then go out into the street, Silk attempting to explain Gyari’s identity to Luffy.

Sure enough, Gyari and a couple members of his crew appear, having escaped from their ship. They attack Luffy, who is able to easily overpower their attacks. Luffy punches Gyari’s crew, extending his arm much to Silk’s surprise. He then bounces back a bullet that was fired at him, thus needing to explain that the Gomu-Gomu no Mi turned him into a rubber man—stretchable from head to toe. Gyari and his men are running away, however, not wanting to become involved with someone with that sort of ability. Luffy goes off to try and recapture them, but the villagers run up and take Luffy by surprise in order to capture him. They still believe he is Gyari and are quite proud of themselves.

Much to the villagers’ dismay, the real Gyari then shows up, wanting the village’s treasure to steal and Luffy to throw into the sea. Silk tries to fight back, but is easily knocked aside. The pirates take the loot and Luffy back to the wharf with them, the villagers watching their every move. They are worried about what is going to happen to Luffy, as they were the ones who tied him up.

At the wharf, Gyari decides that he is going to mess with Luffy and takes his hat. Luffy promptly demands his hat back, which Gyari throws to the ground to step on. Our hero freaks out and bites Gyari’s leg, but it does not stop Gyari from squishing the hat. He has Luffy thrown out to sea and boards his ship to leave port.

Silk, who had been watching the entire time, dives into the harbor to rescue Luffy. Upon getting him to the docks, he claims vengeance and runs off to a high rooftop. He uses the roof, as well as a nearby steeple, to catapult himself over the harbor and onto Gyari’s ship. He takes back his hat and destroys the ship, sinking Gyari’s treasure to the bottom of the sea.

Luffy watches as the ship sinks from his own dinghy, which had been conveniently located on Gyari’s ship. He returns to the town more treasure than was stolen from it and sets sail with a new jolly roger to his collection—Gyari’s. The scene fades as if a dream, remembered by an older Luffy who is captaining his own ship with many crewmates, including two who strongly resemble Silk and Gyari.

This version possesses obvious ties to the final draft, most prominently Luffy’s connection to Shanks. His eventual loss of an arm, passing of the hat and inspiration for Luffy is quite close to the final version. The concept of an adventurer-pirate is also established (though the Peace Main/Morgania classifications were never officially kept) and Luffy’s unorthodox interpretation of the term “treasure” has been laid out. Differences include the lack of Luffy’s trademark scar, Silk and her village and the ending where Luffy is clearly an experienced adult pirate. Luffy’s personality is more forwardly intelligent, compared to the veiled intellectual spurts that occur in the One Piece series.

Date Published
10/01/08 (Originally Created: 09/30/08)
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