Monkey D. Luffy (モンキー・D・ルフィ Monkī D. Rufi ), or "Straw Hat Luffy" as he is often referred to as, is a fictional character and the main protagonist in the anime and manga series One Piece created by Eiichiro Oda. He is the pirate whose body is made of rubber after he ate a devil's fruit and acquired the accursed ability.
In the anime and manga, Luffy is captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, a group of pirates he assembles himself as he quests to find the "One Piece" and become the King of the Pirates. His primary motivation throughout the series is to reach the goal with all of his comrades, a task he pursues no matter what stands in his way. While he is goofy and reckless, he gets quite serious when anyone is in serious danger, notably his crew, whom he considers his friends. Luffy has additionally appeared in all of the featured movies in the series and other media relating to the series, including several video games and specials.
Creation and conceptionEdit
Luffy's rubber-like stretching powers are a result of Oda's desire for the fighting style to be silly, so that no matter how tense a situation gets, the reader can relax without becoming stressed out. Oda tries to draw Luffy very straightforward about what he wants to be and how he feels.
He is portrayed as a carefree character with great ambitions and a huge appetite. He often thinks with his stomach and eats to the point of becoming comically fat. He is caring and generally good hearted. However, he is not naive and understands most situations more than he shows. Knowing the dangers ahead, he is willing to risk his life to reach his goal, and protect his crew.
He invites several people, such as Chopper or Brook, onto his crew generally for their personality but also because of his instinctual ability to be able to read people. His main reason has been stated a few times in the story. He needs several key jobs filled in his crew (ie: cook, navigator, doctor, musician, shipwright, and so on). Only one member of the crew invited herself on, Robin. She actually has no place on the ship, having no true abilities that Luffy requires. She is just a historian who Luffy accepted. Luffy stated in the beginning of the series that he wants about ten crew members, each with abilities that he feels necessary for his goal. He is rarely concerned with the consequences of his actions, doing what he feels even if it leads to retaliation by a powerful force. However, he is an extremely loyal captain, who has demonstrated at many points throughout the series that he is willing to risk his life for the well-being of his crew.
Eating the Gum-Gum Fruit gave his whole body the properties of rubber, which makes him virtually immune to attacks with blunt weapons or punches, unless they are excessively strong. Even bullets deflect off him harmlessly. The fruit also gave him the ability to stretch at will. Combined with the elasticity of his body, he uses that ability to accelerate parts or the whole of his body as if shot by a slingshot to deliver punches, kicks, headbutts, body checks, or simply for propulsion. But like everyone who consumed a Devil Fruit, Luffy is unable to swim and when drenched in sea-water quickly loses his strength.
After being effortlessly beaten by Admiral Aokiji, later in the series, Luffy develops two techniques to improve on his rubber abilities. The first of these he calls Gear Second. He activates it by accelerating the flow of his blood by using his legs as pumps. This makes his skin glow in a bright pink and steam, while increasing his speed, but drains his stamina and if overused makes him temporarily unable to move afterward. The second is Gear Third, which is activated by biting a hole into his thumb and blowing air into his bones. He is then able to move the air around his bone structure and strike with limbs comparable in size to those of giants. The side effect to using Gear Third is that Luffy temporarily shrinks to a fraction of his normal size after releasing the air for a length that corresponds to the amount of time he was using Gear Third. He is capable of using both techniques simultaneously.
Even further into the series, Luffy demonstrates the still innate ability to use Haki to make people or animals in his proximity faint, a very rare variation of Haki he shares with "Red-Haired" Shanks, Silvers Rayleigh, and Boa Hancock.
When Luffy was seven years old, a crew of pirates under "Red-Haired" Shanks used his hometown, Fuschia Village, as their base. Shanks inspired him to become a pirate and Luffy often asked him to take him along on their next voyage, but Shanks always refused. During that time, he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit and in a futile attempt to prove his maturity used a knife to scar himself under his left eye. While defending the Red-Hair Pirates' honor from a gang of mountain bandits, Luffy is kidnapped by their leader, Higuma. Higuma takes Luffy hostage and escapes to sea, throwing Luffy overboard when he is no longer of use to him. Luffy is then almost swallowed by a fearsome sea king. Shanks saves him from the creature, losing his arm in the process. When Shanks and his crew leave the island, Luffy decides to set his sights on becoming the King of the Pirates. Hearing Luffy speak of that ambition, Shanks entrusts the boy with his precious strawhat.
Ten years later, Luffy sets out to sea in search of One Piece, the treasure supposedly left behind at the end of the Grand Line by the deceased King of the Pirates, Gold Roger. During the first leg of this journey, crossing his home sea, called East Blue, he acquires his first ship, the Going Merry and a basic crew, consisting of the swordsman Roronoa Zoro, expert navigator and thief Nami, the liar Usopp and the first-class chef Sanji, together known as the Straw Hat Pirates. But he also meets opposition. After defeating the most notorious pirates of East Blue, Buggy the Clown, Captain Kuro, Commodore Don Krieg, and the Fish-man Arlong, he is placed on top of that sea's wanted list with a bounty of thirty million in the fictional world's currency, Berry.
He and his crew eventually arrive in Loguetown, the last harbor before the Grand Line, where Gold Roger was born and executed. There he first enters the sight of the navy's Captain Smoker and has a second encounter with a revenge seeking Buggy. Smoker, who as a boy had witnessed Roger's execution, watches as Luffy, bound to the execution platform, is about to be killed and, to his amazement, does the same as the former King of the Pirates, in that he smiles to the last second, in which he however is saved by a lightning bolt hitting his executioner. Deeply impressed with the young pirates attitude towards death, Smoker goes after him. They fight and Luffy is easily defeated, but manages to escape because of the help of his father, Monkey D. Dragon, whose identity and position as leader of a rebellion against the world government and the overall most wanted criminal Luffy will only learn about much later.
After entering the Grand Line, he agrees to bring the princess of Alabasta, Nefertari Vivi, safely into her homeland to stop a rebellion, incited by a member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, Sir Crocodile. On the way there, Luffy defeats member of the world government, King Wapol of the Drum Empire, and finds his crew a doctor in the person of Tony Tony Chopper. Once in Alabasta, he has another run-in with Captain Smoker. This time he is saved by his older brother, Portgas D. Ace, who went out to sea in search of One Piece three years before Luffy and has meanwhile become the commander of Gold Roger's greatest rival, Whitebeard's pirate crew's second division. But Smoker is persistent and follows Luffy straight into a trap set by Crocodile, where he would have drowned, if Luffy had not ordered Zoro to save him, and subsequently lets the Straw Hats escape.
Shortly after, he has his first fight with Crocodile, who delivers him a crushing defeat and leaves him in the desert to die. But with the help of Crocodile's right hand, the archeologist Nico Robin, he escapes death to face Crocodile again in the countries capital where he eventually defeats him. However, the world government, to whom the Warlord's betrayal and defeat is equally embarrassing, covers up the involvement of the Straw Hats and raises Luffy's bounty to 100 million Berry. And upon leaving the country, Luffy allows Robin to join his crew.
The new bounty quickly attracts the attention of Blackbeard, a former member of Whitebeard's crew, trying to make himself a name to obtain Crocodile's Warlord title. But Luffy and his crew escape to Skypia, an island floating ten-thousand meters high in the sky, where he liberates the island's inhabitants from the rule of the self-proclaimed god, Eneru.
After returning to the surface, Luffy defeats the pirate trickster Foxy the Silver Fox and encounters one of the navy's top fighters in Admiral Aokiji, who has a personal interest in Robin. Aokiji single handedly defeats the crew's top fighters but lets them escape to honor a promise and to repay a debt. But the lost fight has other consequences as it demonstrates the crew's vulnerability and Robin's danger to them.
The crew then travels to an island called Water 7, which is an island floating on water. There they meet shipwrights from all over the world. However, Robin leaves the crew to assassinate the president of the shipwright company. The Straw Hat Crew is framed, and Robin is then taken by the CP 9. The Straw Hat Crew then chases afte CP9 and ends up at Eneis Lobby, the World Government Center. The shipwright, Franky, also decides to join the fight. After countless fights, the Straw Hat Crew ends up beating the CP9 and claims Robin as an official crew member. They then travel back to Water 7, where they get a new ship called Thousand Sunny made by Franky. Franky is then somewhat forced to join the Straw Hat Crew, and became the crew's shipwright.
After the incident, the Straw Hat Crew then decides to enter the New World. Entering it, they discover the island ship Thriller Bark. There they meet Gecko Moria, one of the 7 Warlords, whose crew are hundrends and hundrends of zombies. The crew also meet a special zombie called Odz. Luffy chased after Gecko Moria, without knowing that his crew was beaten by Odz. Luffy is then transformed into Nightmare Luffy, a special Luffy that is incredibly strong because he gained many people's fighting ability. He then beats Odz and beats Gecko Moria using Gear Second and Gear Third together.
Appearances in other mediaEdit
Luffy has made several appearances outside of the One Piece anime and manga. He is featured in all the One Piece movies, as well as the One Piece original video animation. He appears in every One Piece video game and is playable in most. Along with many Shonen Jump characters, Luffy appears in a Shonen Jump special, where Eneru attacks Tokyo and Odaiba.Template:Fact Luffy appeared in Cross Epoch, a collaboration of Oda and Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, which crossovered both One Piece and Dragon Ball's universes. But even before One Piece had taken it's final shape, Luffy had already appeared in Oda's two short stories, entitled Romance Dawn.Template:Fact
In popular cultureEdit
Luffy has made cameos and has been mentioned in other TV shows, such as Yakitate!! Japan. It parodies One Piece, Kuroyanagi turns into a "Tenobi Man" as a reaction from trying Azuma's Ja-pan dumpling. To this effect, he dons a straw hat and starts stretching his arms like rubber to great lengths ("tenobi" means "stretching arms"). Luffy's face can be seen on a Weekly Shonen Jump binding in an episode of To Love-Ru. Luffy's Devil Fruit was referenced in the Japanese TV Drama show Trick.Template:Fact
Luffy has also appeared in the popular web comic Vg Cats. And in an online RPG called Dragonfable there was an enemy pirate monkey dressed up like Luffy, and was called L.D.MONKEE which is both backwards spelling of and a pun on, Monkey.D.LUFFY.Template:Fact
In 2008, Toei Animation sponsored the Pallavolo Modena Itallian volleyball team. To represent their sponsorship, Pietro Rinaldi's and Edoardo Ciabattini's traditional black uniforms were emblazoned with a large image one Luffy on the front.
Luffy has been ranked as the most popular One Piece character in a recent Japanese fan poll.T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews calls Luffy "likably goofy", and an idealist with an infectious optimism. In a review for the fourth One Piece movie, "Dead End Adventure", The Star Online describes Luffy as "an airhead and brilliant fighter."
- ↑ "Interview with Eiichiro Oda". Shonen Jump (Viz Media) (unknown issue).
- ↑ Watanabe, Roy. "Interview with Eiichiro Oda" (in Japanese). COMICKERS (October 1998).
- ↑ "Interview with Eiichiro Oda" (in Japanese). manganohi.jp. Archived from the original on 2008-02-04. http://web.archive.org/web/20080204191903/http://manganohi.jp/2007/12/9419.html. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
- ↑ Oda, Eiichirō (2001). "149. Rumble" (in Japanese). Hiruluk's Cherry Blossoms. One Piece. 17. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-873073-9.
- ↑ Oda, Eiichirō (2007). "460. Get Her Back Before Dawn!!" (in Japanese). Oz's Adventure. One Piece. 48. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874442-1.
- ↑ Oda, Eiichirō (2008). "502. The Tenryuubito Incident" (in Japanese). The 11 Supernovas. One Piece. 51. Shueisha. ISBN 978-4-08-874563-3.
- ↑ Oda, Eiichirō (2006). "398. Declaration of War" (in Japanese). Declaration of War. One Piece. 41. Shueisha. ISBN 4-08-874047-5.
- ↑ Oda, Eiichirō (2005). I Won't Die. One Piece. 8. Viz Media. p. 44. ISBN 1-4215-0075-2.
- ↑ Oda, Eiichirō (2008). "495. Gaon Cannon" (in Japanese). The 11 Supernovas. One Piece. 51. Shueisha. ISBN 978-4-08-874563-3.
- ↑ Oda, Eiichirō (2007). "434. Whitebeard and Redhair" (in Japanese). We Understand How You Feel. One Piece. 45. Shueisha. ISBN 978-4-08-874314-1.
- ↑ http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=145
- ↑ "Italian volleyball team sponsorship". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-10-01/italian-volleyball-team-put-one-piece-on-uniforms. Retrieved 2009-01-08.
- ↑ "THEM Anime Reviews 4.0 - One Piece the Movie 1: I'll Become the Pirate King!". http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=523. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- ↑ "Nice Piece of Work". The Star Online. http://www.star-ecentral.com/news/story.asp?file=/2007/1/28/movies/15425544&sec=movies. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
- ↑ Mike McFarland, Christopher Sabat (Commentators). One Piece: Season 1, First Voyage Disc 1; Staff Commentary on Episode 1 (DVD). Funimation Entertainment.