In terms of One Piece secondary characters, Sabo is one of the more interesting ones. This quirky character has a rich history and is closely connected to a lot of the major characters, including Monkey D. Luffy and Portgas D. Ace. But, aside from Sabo’s interesting story, people often wonder just how important Sabo is for the story of One Piece and how long has he been a part of it. In this article, we are going to explore this question as we are going to tell you when Sabo first appeared in the series.
Sabo first appeared in a flashback in the One Piece series. This was shown in Chapter 583, titled “Gray Terminal – The Final Destination of the Uncertainty”, which was released on May 10, 2010, and is part of Volume 17 of the manga. Sabo had his anime debut in Episode 494, titled “Enter Sabo! The Boy From Gray Terminal”, which premiered on April 17, 2011, as part of Season 14 of the anime.
In this article, we are going to tell you about the events that surrounded Sabo’s first appearance in the manga and the anime. Sabo is, as we have said, a pretty important character in the series and he has very close ties to Luffy, which is why it is essential for us to explain everything. There are going to be spoilers in this article, so be ready.
When does Sabo first appear in One Piece?
As we have said above, Sabo is an exceptionally important character in the world of One Piece. Although he does not appear in every episode and is only introduced halfway through the series (roughly), Sabo is an essential character from Luffy’s past, and seeing his character development in the recent chapters, we cannot but deduce that he is a vitally important character, especially for Luffy’s story. That is why people keep wondering when Sabo actually appeared, as he was not present early on in the series.
Sabo, interestingly enough, debuted in a flashback scene; it was only later that his story actually got expanded and connected to the present. But, anyhow, his debut is shown in Chapter 583, titled “Gray Terminal – The Final Destination of the Uncertainty”, which was released on May 10, 2010, and is part of Volume 17 of the manga. Sabo had his anime debut in Episode 494, titled “Enter Sabo! The Boy From Gray Terminal”, which premiered on April 17, 2011, as part of Season 14 of the anime. Now, we shall see why Sabo’s story is so specific.
What is Sabo’s story in One Piece?
When Luffy was placed in the care of Dadan by his grandfather Garp, Sabo and Ace were already best friends and had amassed greater treasure through minor and major thefts when Luffy spotted them at the edge of Gray Terminal. Since he seemed to get in the way of their plan to become pirates with the treasure, the two captured the little one and tied him to a tree to kill him. But that turned out to be more difficult than expected since none of them had done anything like this before.
They also found out about Ace’s last victim, Polchemy, a pirate from the Bluejam pirate gang. The two take cover, but Luffy is caught by the pirates and kidnapped because he pretends to know neither Ace nor Sabo, but is bad at lying. After the two panicked and brought their treasure to a new hiding place, Sabo found out that Luffy had been tortured by Polchemy, but hadn’t spilled a word. Impressed by Luffy’s endurance and loyalty, Ace and Sabo stormed into Polchemy’s lair, freed Luffy, and together defeated Polchemy, who was then shot dead by his captain, Bluejam, for losing the money Ace had stolen from him and losing to two children.
It was then clear to the three of them that Sabo was no longer safe at the Gray Terminal – so he also checked in with Dadan without further ado. As a trio, they trained for the next time and provided decent meals on the hunt together. Luffy kept challenging the two but lost every fight. The three of them also ventured into the capital of the Goa kingdom, mixed up a number of petty crooks, and ate in a few of the city’s restaurants, only to then cheat the bill. On the street, however, they suddenly meet Sabo’s father, who recognized his son years after he ran away from home. Back in the forest of the Colubo mountain, the two friends confronted him, whereupon he confessed to having deceived them since he was not an orphan like the two of them, but an aristocrat who ran away from home.
When Ace and Luffy didn’t care, Sabo told them his dream: He wants to travel the world and write a book about it. When the other two also describe their dreams, the three then drank to their brotherhood. The three of them made the area unsafe for the following weeks and helped each other wherever they could. At Foosha Village, they welcome guests to the young and pretty Makino, who was very popular with the mountain bandits. Garp also snowed in in the meantime to spank them three times properly. After some time, Dadan finally found a note signed by Ace, Sabo, and Luffy: The three moved out and now lived in a shelter in the forest.
Living together came to an abrupt end when Sabo’s father tracked down his son with the Bluejam pirates and threatened to have Ace and Luffy killed so that his son would no longer have a reason to eke out his existence in the forest. In order to protect his friends, Sabo then gave up his dreams and agreed to go back voluntarily if his father spared his friends.
Back in town, Sabo wanted to prevent Ace and Luffy from being blamed for his disappearance, but he was powerless against the corrupt system in which Sabo’s father was easily able to pursue matters of his interest with a bundle of clear berry bills. Back home, Sabo learned that he had a little brother, Sterry, whom Sabo’s parents adopted to be theirs after the disappearance of their eldest son.
He eventually learned that the aristocrats were planning to burn down the Gray Terminal, with all the trash and people, to present a clean cityscape for the coming guest: a tenryūbito. Sabo tried with all his might to save the people of Gray Terminal but was stopped by the city’s troops. In the streets of the city, Sabo met a man in a cloak – Dragon – who heard Sabo’s words with horror that he had had enough of these abominable and inhuman conditions.
The day after the big fire, Sabo woke up at home and found himself in a hopeless situation: his father told him that no matter how many times he ran away, he would always bring him back. Seeing no way out, on the day the guest the aristocrats were expecting arrived, he simply stole a fishing boat, hoisted the pirate flag, and simply sailed out to sea with the intention of never returning. However, he soon crossed the course of the World Government ship that brought the Tenryūbito Jalmack-sei to the Goa Kingdom. The young pirate was very enthusiastic about the big ship and was unprepared when Jalmack-sei opened fire on him with a bazooka and destroyed his ship with two shots.
Dogura, who was watching from the shore, later tells Ace, Luffy, and the others that Sabo died. Unobserved by the passengers and crew aboard the World Aristocrat’s ship, Dragon rescues the badly burned boy from the wreckage of the burning wreck. He takes him to the rest of his Revolutionary Army, who anchor their ship off Shimotsuki. Dragon’s people take care of him on board and bring him back to life. However, when Sabo wakes up, he can’t even remember his name. The only thing left to him was the feeling that he would no longer be able to return to his homeland and to his parents.
During the Battle of Marineford, he is in a Revolutionary Army base and does not take part in the Battle of Liberation. Only when the battle and its outcome are reported in the newspaper and Sabo sees a picture of the dead Ace does Sabo’s memory return to his two brothers. Due to the shock, he loses consciousness for three days. Hack and Koala are by his side when he wakes up again. Sabo immediately wants to speak to Dragon.
As Chief of the General Staff, Sabo comes to Dressrosa with Hack and Koala to both stop arms shipments from the country being distributed around the world for warmongering purposes, and to win Aces Mera Mera no Mi in the Corrida Colosseum Battle Tournament to win. In the catacombs, for the first time in such a long time, he meets his brother Luffy, who is participating in the fighting tournament to win the Mera Mera no Mi, which Donquixote offered to Doflamingo as a prize for the winner. And… what happens next? Well, we’re not going to reveal all the details here; this was just a short preview of Sabo’s story, which only gets better so we advise you to start (or continue) watching One Piece to find out what happens after.