This might be controversial, but hear me out, “Skypiea” is one of the best things to ever happen on “One Piece,” and the main reason is a simple one — it is the Straw Hats doing “Indiana Jones.” Really, the arc is all about the Straw Hats finding a mythical land, exploring ruins, and reaching a legendary city of gold and coming back home with a big treasure after beating a fascistic bad guy.
The arc has some of Oda’s best world-building, with an island in the actual clouds, oceans in the sky, weird creatures and politics of imperialism and colonialism! Plus, the villain is literally a god, like an actual god. And what is an arrogant god’s weakness? Our violent protagonist’s rubber fist, of course! Seeing Luffy punch Enel for the first time and the extremely goofy face the god makes is stupidly funny in a way only “One Piece” is capable of. This is also the arc where Nico Robin finally becomes a member of the crew and starts to care about them, which makes her next arc all the more heartbreaking and tragic.
“Skypiea” is a hugely important arc for the larger story, introducing everything from a new race of people, a new haki (and naming it, too), revealing more about the Poneglyphs and the Will of D, and much more. This is an arc that marks the end of an era for “One Piece,” where the story goes from a hang-out story to and epic tale, which makes this even more memorable. Plus, the story of Noland Montblanc and Kalgara is beautifully told, and the cathartic moment where Luffy punches the hell out of Enel and finally rings the golden bell after so many years, is one of the most emotional moments in the franchise.