Luffy is the ultimate goof. He’s typical like many shonen anime characters, for example, he loves food. Luffy is simple-minded, some might say dumb. This simpleness leaves Luffy with an innocent heart. When he finds something too complicated to understand, he will call it a “mystery thing.” This leads him to ask silly questions. A running gag in One Piece is when Luffy encounters non-human species, he asks them “if they poop.” His naïve comments can cause misunderstandings. During the battle, his opponents often mistake his questions for insults and become enraged. In battle, he can unwittingly poke fun at his enemies. For example, he calls Buggy “big nose,” Alvida “the fat lady,” and Kureha “old hag”. Luffy’s goofy side only subsides when someone is in danger.
Luffy will forget people he’s encountered, or he only remembers them from the humiliating situations they were in. Another running gag is his ability to notice things with little resemblance (like Sanji and his wanted poster image). However, he can’t see similarities when they’re more obvious (like the fact that Sogeking is Usopp). Overall, Monkey D. Luffy’s goofiness is only part of his personality. He possesses confidence, a righteous heart, compassion, and other excellent qualities.
Ace is the foster brother of Monkey D. Luffy and son of the legendary Gol. D. Roger. Raised by Monkey D. Garp, Ace became the 2nd division commander of Whitebeard Pirates. Captured by the World Government, Ace was sentenced to death. His imprisonment lead to the Battle of Marineford. The war between the Whitebeard Pirates, Whitebeard, the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and the Marines was an epic clash. Their primary goal was to rescue Ace. After Luffy rescues Ace, the pirates retreat. Akainu insults Whitebeard, calling him a “loser.” He triggers an angry response from Ace. However, Akainu’s magma is superior to Ace’s fire.
Akainu tries to kill Luffy, but Ace intercepts it. Akainu’s pierces Ace’s abdomen, burning his vital organs. Ace bleeds out, as Luffy begs the medics to save him. Before he dies, Ace tells Luffy that his only regret was “that he could not see Luffy’s dream come to pass.” Devastated, Luffy cries and screams. He eventually goes silent, falling into a catatonic state. Ace’s death always brings me to tears. He’s not a tremendous character in the series, but we know through Luffy that he’s a great big brother. They clearly love each other. As a result, we develop affection for Ace. From a story standpoint, I think Ace’s death could have been easily avoided, and it largely served the purpose of motivating Luffy. That said, Ace’s death was one of the saddest anime scenes.
In 2013 I choose Monkey D. Luffy for my favorite male anime character. At the time he had a bounty of 400 million now it’s 1.5 billion. Since then, a new type of shonen protagonists has emerged. Gon from Hunter X Hunter is considered a “deconstruction” of the typical shonen hero. During the Chimera Ant arc, he almost kills himself due to the typical shonen heroes need to risk everything to save someone they care about. Izuku Midoriya is a highly determined shonen hero that was gifted with motivation and desire to be a hero. Unlike the typical shonen hero he has literally no powers at the start. In addition to that, Deku is analytical. Most shonen heroes are dumb. However, when they do show some kind of intellect it’s only in battle. Deku’s fighting prowess comes from hard work and studying. Finally, despite Deku recieving one of the most powerful Quirks, he’s never been the strongest in My Hero Academia, at least not yet.
Finally, there’s Tanjiro Kamado from Demon Slayer. Like Deku he’s smart but he also has sword fighting skills. Tanjiro has an emotional intellence that the others don’t. He’s more complicated. He’s motivated to stop demons, but once he kills them he has remorse for them. (Demon Slayer makes a deliberate effort to “humanize” the demons by giving them a back story.) This isn’t to say that Luffy doesn’t care about anyone or doesn’t have sympathy for his enemies but that he represents a different era of shonen hero that are less sophisticated. Regardless, I still pick Luffy as my favorite male a character. If I have more time with Deku or Tanjiro that might change but so far they haven’t surpassed the future Pirate King.
As we barrel towards this war between the two alliances, the action starts to intensify. Brooke runs Big Mom over with a bike pissing her off. At this point, the animosity between Big Mom and the Strawhats couldn’t get worse. Yamato meets Shinobu and Monomosuke. Franky introduces himself to Big Mom, showing no fear of the Yonko. He charges his Radical Beam, aiming for Big Mom. Franky is one of the most powerful Strawhat members, however, he isn’t used that often. Nami, who possesses far less power, seems more present. This is likely due to a bias on Oda’s part, which is unfortunate.
Anyway, the Numbers make an appearance. One of them is holding the robot that Chopper and Usopp are in. Franky quickly changes his target hitting one of the Numbers with his Radical Beam. Sensing an opportunity, Big Mom attacks Franky. However, Jinbei uses Fishman Karate: Whirling Tides Throw, and Robin use Mille Fleurs: Delphinium to roll her away. Meanwhile, Queen witnesses Luffy and Zoro heading towards Kiado. Transforming into his Brachiosaurus form he stops the duo from progressing. Luffy and Zoro notice that the skies are filled with flying Beast Pirates. Regardless, the Strawhat’s join together once again, as Luffy prepares to “kick Kaido’s ass,” as his crew “handles the rest.”
I’m getting more and more excited for this arc. A lot is going on, so Oda must set everything up. The previous chapter showed the Minks transforming into their Sulong moonlight. It’s going to take some effort on Oda’s part to balance the numerous fights that occur at once. Based on the pass I fully expect him to succeed.
I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of One Piece that this arc is currently in the process of setting up battles. One Piece chapter 983: Thunder continues to set up more possible scenarios. At the Onigashima brothel, Big Mom has switched her attention from Usopp and Chopper to Nami. Chopper is happy that they were able to provide a distraction to save Kinemon, however, now Nami is in trouble. Big Mom wants to retrieve Zeus one of the homies that Nami stole. They hope that Sanji could help them but he’s run off to protect the prostitutes. As she gives chase, Big Mom creates new homies from umbrellas and sandals.
Momonosuki, Zoro, and Kid
Meanwhile, things look dire for some of our heroes. Momonosuki has been chained to a cross. Orochi excites his men with the promise of his execution. Elsewhere, within the Keep, Zoro encounters several Gifters. All devil fruit users, Zoro has his hands full. However, I’m sure how strong each one is. Devil Fruit users vary in strength, so Zoro could slice through most of them. That said I would expect he probably will encounter one that’s too strong to be defeated easily. Killer and Kid are surrounded by some of the Beast Pirates. Kid lands a massive blow on some of them while they bicker about promotions.
Introducing Yamato, the son of Kaido
Luffy battles Page-One and Ulti briefly. Ulti’s angry with Luffy for the harm she caused Page-One. Luffy tells her that he’s going to become King of the Pirates. Beliving only Kiado can become King, she becomes enraged further. Leaping in the air, arching her back, she hits Luffy with a powerful headbutt, Ulti Skull Cannon. Luffy admits that the hit hurt, but is mostly fine. Realizing his strength, Utli, and Page-One uses their devil fruit abilities, Dragon Dragon Fruit Ancient Model: Pachycephalosaurus and Spinosaurus. Luffy grabs Utli by her horns and slams her into the ground. He strikes Page-One under the jaw with Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun. Ulti grabs him and prepares to use Ulti Meteor. However, she’s knocked by Thunder Bagua from Yamato. He grabs Luffy and runs, stating that he’s been waiting for him.
This chapter was largely set up until Yamato showed up. I imagine that despite his father, Yamato isn’t an evil pirate. It’s a common trope that the child of a villain isn’t willing to follow in the footsteps of their parents. Would he betray his father? I think it’s possible. The alliance still needs more help if they’re going to challenge Big Mom, Kiado, Orochi, and the Beast Pirates. I also think Charlotte Perospero may prove to be a potential wild card. I don’t think he will join the alliance, but help from the shadows.