Why did Luffy go to Impel Down?

Impel Down arc is one of the most important arcs in the Summit War Saga. Let's discuss why Luffy entered Impel Down and how he escaped from it.

all the characters from one piece standing together

One Piece is one of the longest-running anime and manga series. The manga started publishing in 1997 and the anime came out in 1999. The story is given by Oda Eiichiro, who quickly stole the hearts of the public with his amazing art and story that tickles our fantasy.

The story revolves around Monkey D. Luffy, who gathers a bunch of crew members to set sail and explore the world.

While doing so, he also wishes to find the legendary treasure named "One Piece" and become "King of the Pirates". Luffy sets out on his journey, gathering a group of people to join his crew.

prisoners staring the mc

Impel Down Arc is one of the most important arcs in the series as it introduces us to some very important characters such as Jinbe. Also, this arc indicates the start of the greatest war in One Piece yet, the Marineford Arc. Here, we will discuss why Luffy voluntarily went to the place where most criminals want to stay away from.  

What is Impel Down?

Impel Down

Impel Down is an underwater prison consisting of Six Levels of Hell. Dangerous criminals from around the world are sent there to suffer for their crimes. It is also called the Underwater Prison of the Great Prison. Regardless of the name, Impel Down is literally the hell that no one wants to get into.

Depending on the prisoner's powers and their crimes, they are locked up at respective levels. Impel Down is the world's maximum-security prison from which even the strongest criminals cannot escape.

Who Escaped from Impel Down Before Luffy?


Shiki, the Golden Lion was the only person before Luffy to escape from Impel Down. He is the captain of the Golden Lion Pirates and a former member of the Rocks pirates.

He was considered one of the greatest rivals of the Pirate King, Roger. Twenty years before the Impel Down Arc, Shiki escaped from prison. Due to a momentary carelessness made by the Marines, Shiki was able to break free from his chains and escape from Impel Down.

However, in order to do so, he had to cut off both his legs. Since then he uses his swords as prosthetic legs instead of using the conventional prosthesis.

impel down
The levels are as follows:

Level 1: Crimson Hell
Level 2: Wild Beast Hell
Level 3: Starvation Hell
Level 4: Blazing Hell
Level 5: Freezing Hell
Level 6: Eternal Hell

How did Luffy Enter Impel Down?

characters discussing about escapingthe prison

With the help of Warlord Boa Hancock, Luffy was able to break into the premises. Although being a Warlord gives her access to Marine bases, Impel Down is something that even she can't help him get into.

Before the public execution of Ace, all the Warlords were summoned at Marineford to provide assistance during the impending War. Boa Hancock helped Luffy get there only by hiding him from security protocols.

Luffy met several old acquaintances there and even made new friends. Ivankov and Bon Clay were the ones who helped him the most, even daring to help him escape from Impel Down.

Why did Luffy go to Impel Down?

character's hands tied up with chains

Unlike most people who are captured and locked at Impel Down, Luffy willingly went to that hell on earth to save his brother, Ace from execution. It was the most challenging time for Luffy as he crossed one level after another to get to the bottom where Ace was being kept.

At level 4, the Blazing Hell, Luffy lost to Magellan and was locked up in the Freezing Hell at level 5. As Ivankov and Bon Clay helped him escape, Luffy made it in time to stop the execution.

Sadly, the War of the Best resulted in the victory of the Marines. Therefore, Luffy was unable to save Ace's life despite all the trials he put himself through.