The first episode, the start of a long-running adventure that tells the tale of a legend, a hero, a nemesis of all truly evil, a pirate. Not only a pirate either, but THE pirate, and maybe the pirate king some day. Luffy is probably my favorite character, and One Piece is absolutely my favorite anime... I might even further and label it my favorite of all and any animated shows and series and other forms of media ever made. It's just great, and it gets just greater the more you watch.
The story doesn't start out peacefully, it starts with a bang. Luffy (main character) pops up out of a barrel (in which he's been drifting around in the ocean for some time) and beats up all the bad guys, including the fat ugly Alvida (the captain bitch), though you'll have to wait till the end of the episode for this part to pop up.
He meets Coby on the ship, a kid that tells a terrifying tale of how he was going fishing one day when he accidentally stepped into the wrong boat, a boat that apparently was on its way to a pirate ship, so then he had been stuck there for two long horrific years.
Luffy tells him he's going to be the Pirate King and you can imagine the expression on his face when Coby realizes that even Luffy is a pirate. Actually you don't need to imagine, just watch the episode, or look below.
Wait, wrong picture, here it is...
Actually that's not the real expression, this one is at the end of the episode. Want to see the real expression? One Piece is just full of expressions, clever dialogue, creative personalities and admirable people, you better start watching it if you haven't already.
Luffy beats the shit out of Alvida. After beating the shit out of her crew.
The ship is still in the sea. I mean, it's not still, it's moving, but it's still there, see?
Here's a good portrait of the main character, Luffy!
Oh, you get to meet Nami too. She's escaping with a big bag of loot as always. What? More about that in a later episode.
Here's a random criminal in the water.
Episode recap? Luffy introduces himself brutally, gives an inspiring speech on who he is and what he's doing there and where he's going in life (to find a crew, to become the pirate king, because he wants to). You get a sneak peek at Nami who will be joining the crew later, and they leave the ship and live happily ever after. Coby stops being super-pessimistic and always saying "Impossible! Impossible! Impossible!" and actually stands up for himself... and decides to become a marine. Also, the pirate hunter Zoro is mentioned, and Luffy decides to make him the first member of the crew.
It's a great start, and looking at the latest episodes I'm amazed they managed to squeeze in this much at the start of the series. As it is now the series consists mostly of flashbacks, comedy filler & a lot of, well, filler. The anime caught up to the manga a long time ago, which is a shame, but it still is one of the best shows ever. Sail on!