Romance Dawn refers to two stories written by Oda before One Piece but set in a similar world. While a first-year junior high school student, he began sketching out ideas for a pirate-themed manga in a notebook, in pencil. Years later, as an assistant to Rurouni Kenshin author Nobuhiro Watsuki, he began refining his ideas into what would become “Romance Dawn”, and later, One Piece. All 3 versions were published in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, with the final incarnation published exactly one year after the first.
In the first version of Romance Dawn many things are different like Luffy in this doesn’t have the scar under his eye. And a girl is introduced by the name Shiruku, who looks similar to Nami that we know and carries a sword like Zoro. So you can see, how the characters we know now in One Piece came to be.
Take a look yourself at the Romance Dawn Version 1 made by Eiichiro Oda.
The connection between the Shanks, Luffy and the Strawhat is first shown in Romance Dawn first version, also note that even in the first version of Romance Dawn, Shanks has the Scar on his eye which was probably given by Blackbeard. Oda has it all planned ever since the first version.
The Romance Dawn series represents the evolution of Oda’s art style from his early works like Monsters to the artstyle used in One Piece. By the time V.2 was drawn, Oda’s overall style of drawing was much closer to that of the beginning of the series.
They also made an OVA named One Piece: Romance Dawn Story which aired on Nov 24, 2008.
The Straw Hat Pirates, searching for the great passage “Grand Line”, are in trouble when their food runs out! Luffy, searching for food on his own, finds a ship belonging to the pirate, Gary, and takes it over!! He lands at a nearby town…
Luffy was attacked by a young girl, Silk(Romanized name), who mistook him for a member of the other pirate gang. As the two eat a meal, they tell their stories. Meanwhile, Gary and his band are burning with anger at Luffy, demanding payment from the town’s defenseless citizens…!!
The animated version and the original one shot manga has major plot difference… as you have already read the chapter now try watching the OVA and see the differences for yourself.