A Friend Like Luffy

This post contains One Piece SPOILERS! 

Get you a friend like Luffy!

Here’s a little context: Luffy is the main character in One Piece, for those of you who aren’t into manga and anime. One Piece starts with Luffy leaving his hometown in the East Blue with one tiny boat and a barrel to set out to be a pirate. He ate the gomu gomu no mi fruit and so his body is rubber. But the side effect of eating the devil fruit is that you can’t swim, if you fall in the sea you will drop like a hammer. Luffy’s goal is to become the Pirate King and to master the grand line (and to find One Piece). So he gathers his crew who he thinks are strong or talented or just plain cool.

So far he has nine members but they were all gathered slowly and it’s kind of small compared to other crews in One Piece but their bond is strong. And that’s what I wanted to talk about today.

Let’s start with,

Nami and Zoro. 

Luffy met Zoro first. Zoro was a pirate hunter and Luffy convinced him to join his crew. He convinced him quite forcefully really, in a friendly way. Those two sailed around together until they met Nami. She’s a navigator and at the time she was in a sticky situation with the Arlong Pirates. The Arlong Pirates were Fishmen and they hated humans because of the discrimination they had faced and because of what had happened to Fisher Tiger although Arlong hated humans the most, to the point he became what he hated. To save Nami from the situation Luffy fought for her and won not just Nami’s freedom but the freedom of the whole island.

Ussop

They met him after Nami and he’s a sniper. He’s a liar although his lies tend to come true in the end.

Him and Ussop are kindred spirits, they’re always having fun together. That’s why it hurt so much when Ussop challenged Luffy to a duel because of the Going Merry. When Ussop lost it was so sad because he had to leave the crew. That story line really hurt me.

But when Ussop sincerely apologised and asked to re join the crew Luffy gladly let him, and they’ve been great since!

Next is Sanji but I’ll talk about him last.

So Tony Tony Chopper!

They met him on Drum island. He’s a reindeer who ate the hito hito no mi fruit which makes him take on properties of a human and it also allows him to transform. He was outcast with the reindeer because of his blue nose and when he ate the fruit he was outcast more by animals and humans. But then he met Dr. Hiluluk who treated him with kindness and gave him his name. A lot then happens and he’s eventually just left with Kureha, a spunky doctor who teaches Chopper everything about medicine.

When he meets Luffy and his crew, they first see him as food but when he talks to them Luffy sees him as a cool, transforming reindeer and asks him to join his crew.

Robin

She’s been running since she was a child because of Buster Call and because the knowledge she possesses could reveal some truths the government has been trying to keep secret.

When we meet her she’s with a shichibukai Crocodile. Luffy defeats Crocodile but it isn’t until Water Seven and Enies Loby that Luffy truly saves Robin. He asks her if she wants to live and she says yes. So despite the odds and despite the fact that he was going against the government Luffy and the crew save her. It was truly heart warming.

Franky

They also save Franky in Enies Loby but for different reasons. A cyborg wanted by the government. He also has a sad backstory. You know what? One day I’m going to be surprised if someone comes along with a happy backstory. Can you imagine? “I had a great childhood Luffy I don’t know what you mean”. But then by One Piece standards that might mean something terrible is about to happen to them.

Franky and the Strawhats (Luffy’s crew) start off as enemies so that was an interesting progression to watch. From friend to foe!

Brook

They meet him in Thriller Bark and Luffy asks him to join because he thinks he’s cool and unlike everyone else is not afraid of him and how he looks. Brook and Robin both also ate devil fruits. Brook’s gave him the ability of an extra life and then some. But he took a while to find his body so all he found was a skeleton, still dressed, and his afro still in tact. However he then spend years in isolation, as his crew was dead and he was stuck in Thriller Bark.

Like I said, not one happy backstory.

Jinbei

A former shichibukai, I think he might be the oldest member of the Strawhat crew. Oh wait no there’s Brook, no one will beat him.

He’s brand new but has the most experience. He has been in the Sunny Pirates, he has been a shichibukai, a royal guard and now he’s joined the Strawhat crew. A Fishman and wise he’s sure to add a lot to them.

His connection to Luffy? Luffy broke him out of jail and Jinbei then saved Luffy and brought him back from crippling grief when Ace died.

I like Jinbei, I never thought he’d join but he did!

And so back to Sanji! 

So when we met Sanji the first time his backstory was already sad enough. He almost starved to death with Zeff. Then recently Oda removed the rug from under our feet and revealed Sanji comes from this powerful family and his father conducted experiments on him and his three brother whilst they were all in the womb so that they’d be perfect soldiers. Only Sanji’s mother drank poison and thus Sanji was saved and is not a robot. Although I would argue Ichiji, Niji and Yonji aren’t robots, it’s just buried deeeeeeep within, otherwise they wouldn’t show any emotion at all, but they show anger and glee.

So this is what got me thinking about writing this post. Luffy deadass says that if Sanji does not rejoin the crew he will not… cannot become Pirate King. He needed him that much. He was willing to stay in one spot and starve if Sanji never came back. He refused to eat food unless Sanji prepared it.

It didn’t hit me the first time I read that but it hit me the second time. Imagine having a friend like that? Luffy’s dream to be the Pirate King is no small thing, he wouldn’t give that up for anyone but for him to say that to Sanji. Man, that got to me.

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This image belongs Oda Ei and not me. 

I’ve gone through these characters and their connection to Luffy. Through each of them I can see how loyal Luffy is, how caring, protective and determined he is. He never gives up and he helps them where they can’t help themselves. Are those not good qualities to have in a friend?

And he’s humble. When he needs to he does remind them he’s captain but he’s not above them. He’s always with them and they’re friends.

So yes, get you a friend like Luffy because such friends are GOLD!

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