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I know this is random but during my usual One Piece obsessing online I came across a lot of statements about Luffy describing him as a dumb, static character (coming from both fans and haters) and I felt like posting what I thought about this.

Luffy is a simple-minded, brash, enthusiastic character with a ton of energy to exert.
A generic Shonen main character following his dreams.
What sets him apart is Oda's revelation of his character beyond that first look and his usual attributes.
Zoro's Occupational Hazard by Zinfer

As the One Piece story develops, Luffy is forced to make more and more mature decisions as a captain and this has revealed a side of him that can only be seen in these situations. A hidden maturity that makes him such a facinating character to me.  Isn't that how true character is revealed in real life? It's not like someone changes with traumatic situations placed before them, that's when they show their true colors that would not have been seen otherwise.

So character-wise, Luffy is simple yes, but Oda reveals a mature and wise character that arises when faced with hardship.

As for development, Luffy is a beautifully developed character. What Oda does best in this regard is place characters in his path that teach him something (Shanks, Vivi, Zoro etc.). We see clear changes in his initial reactions to things based on acknowledgable influences from others.
It's not some magical transformation that happens with experiences (like in 90% of manga), it comes from observing others.

Basically. Character is REVEALED through hardship and challenges, while character DEVELOPMENT happens mostly by learning from others.
(once again, look at real life and tell me if this is the same for you)

Basically, Oda has character design and development down to a science and he does it like a magician.

Examples:
Luffy observes Shanks laughing off insult, showing he doesn't have to protect his pride from people who aren't worth the time.
- L character revealed- Ace spits on him as a little kid and he practically quotes Shanks to control his temper. Later at Mock town he takes a heavy beating from skeptics towards Skypea, once again showing that they aren't worth his time and being above their taunting.
--- ODA DOESN'T MAKE LUFFY A WISE CHARACTER BECAUSE HE'S HEAD-SMART, HE MAKES HIM WISE BECAUSE HE OBSERVES WITH THE HUMILITY TO LEARN
kissmanga.com/Manga/One-Piece/…
kissmanga.com/Manga/One-Piece/…
kissmanga.com/Manga/One-Piece/…

When Nami is sick and the crew stops at Drum Island they are turned away by the villagers. At first he just wants to fight to get them to help them, but Vivi shows him that showing humility and handling those situations delicately is how to be a wise leader.
- L character revealed- Luffy immediately follows her lead and bows to the villagers, begging for help. He also reveals this at Amazon Lilly when he begs Hancock to have mercy on the women she turned to stone.
kissmanga.com/Manga/One-Piece/…
kissmanga.com/Manga/One-Piece/…

After Luffy fights Usopp he is devistated and says that what he is dealing with is "heavy". Zoro tells him that this is his burden as captain and that he has to be strong or they won't have anyone to believe in.
- L character revealed- Not given any time to recover from the loss of his crewmate, Luffy is shoved into a conflict in which they are blamed for attempted murder. He takes charge and makes wise decisions despite the consistent heaviness seen in his expressions.
kissmanga.com/Manga/One-Piece/…
kissmanga.com/Manga/One-Piece/…

And there are so many other examples but I'll leave it at that.  
Luffy Scars by Zinfer


ANYWAYS!!!

You guys should also know I have started a new fanfic if you are not already aware! As a sequel to "For Nakama" I bring youuuu "Blue, Gold, and Pale"  in which I will struggle desperatly to touch Oda's god-like character writing.
www.fanfiction.net/s/8027838/1…
please come by and support ^_^

One Piece Group Nap by Zinfer

so what do you think about Luffy as a character? agree? disagree?
  • Reading: a western
  • Watching: my time pass by
  • Eating: too much
  • Drinking: hmmm
Add a Comment:
 
:icon0silverfang:
0silverfang Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013
Dude you are totally right.  One piece is essentially an observation of his character growth.  Brilliant piece.  Also Luffy has shown a bizarre ingenuity in battle to develop new techniques.  for example: his second gear and third gear.  He doesn't come across as someone who has a lot of knowledge on human physiology or the chemical properties of rubber yet he knew how to alter his physical state using his powers.  also he somehow knew that he could use the golden ball on his arm to disperse the massive storm cloud made by eneru in skypeia.
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:iconkagi-13:
Kagi-13 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
Thank you for this.
Reply
:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Student Digital Artist
my pleasure :D
Reply
:icontakoyakikarneval:
takoyakikarneval Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist
I barely cried when I read this... <_< [the things I could read...]
Oda is really a magician, One Piece isn't just a Manga or Anime or etc. it's like he'd tell some kind of own live.
I can't even understand how people judge him or the series for it's 'booooring', 'ugly drawn [sure not! o.O]' or 'stupid'. They simply don't understand what it means...
More less I can't comprehend how people think Luffy's a dumb chara [and not 'cause he's my fav-fav. chara >o<]. I really admire his strong, open just 'right' and a little egoistic character... He'd do everything for protecting his nakama and I think it's like everyone with true 'nakama''d act.
Hah... So hard to discribe, but One Piece, the guys and the whole story are unic <3

I love your post, really x3
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
thanks so much for your feedback. glad to hear you agree, and then some :)
yeah, I just love Luffy. (clearly since I made a huge post about him) he's keeps a complex and often angsty plot simple and good, while subtly being complex himself (if that makes sense)

yeah, One Piece has grown into something that is so much to explain. I'm proud to be around during its publication and to follow it as it grows
Reply
:icontakoyakikarneval:
takoyakikarneval Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist
No big deal, since I love him too, could write pages about all crazy stuff. Too much for a little comment!
I'm still a newbie with this fandom [since a year], before I didn't like One Piece. But I think if you just catch up the story you can't resist reading/watching it x3
Um... Did you also notice Luffy's voice in the lately episodes's become brighter?
Actually I thought it's just me, 'cause no one else believed me, but then my sister cried 'It's not Luffy!', so im curious...
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Are you talking about the sub or dub? and yay! Welcome to the fandom ^_^ I've been re-watching the entire series from the start with my sister who has hated it since I became obsessed (2006 I believe) and I think she's warming up to it.
I haven't noticed a voice change but I'm sure there's ways to find out for certain (yay google)
Reply
:icontakoyakikarneval:
takoyakikarneval Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist
Thanks! ^o^
I meant the sub, here One Piece is just subbed to Shabondy... [and isn't even airing T_T]
And I didn't found anything with google, that's why I asked. Maybe it's really just my imagination...
So much guys say they hate One Piece until they watch, no that's no accident! Accidents don't happen accidently~ <3
She'll fall in love with the series too, surely! >:3
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:icondamekage:
damekage Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Student General Artist
One of my favorite shows of Luffy's true character is his rescue of Robin. He declares ware on the government and rescues her because she asks for it. Showing that he would respect her decision even if she decided not to return to his crew.
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
yeah, so awesome. I loved that.
Reply
:iconjessenosabaku:
JessenoSabaku Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I think you are right. I feel Luffy's desires are simple, but simple desires do not breed bull-headed-ness.
Luffy lets his instincts guide him, and his life-lessons shape how he adapts to the situations he encounters. His crew wouldn't trust him just on blind luck--they see in him a deeper wisdom. I feel like every arc Luffy shows not only that he learns from his encounters, but that he has a deep understanding of human nature. I especially like how the arc when we're introduced to young Ace and Sabo ties into arcs like Aarlong Park, where Luffy's desire for freedom, learned from Sabo, makes him angry for the sake of Nami who's been trapped to write maps for Aarlong, and Aarlong thinks this is what it means to be a "friend."

And I like his simplicity at its barest, too. Like how he climbed onto the ghost ship and the first question he asked when he met Brooks is "Do you poop?" Having a captain with simple intentions is the best in my opinion, because the honesty of Luffy's aims give you some tangible honesty on his part--you know what you're getting from your captain, and even if you don't know what to expect from him, you can trust him.
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Yes, I love that! He's a character that's really easy to understand but with more layers than most characters cause Oda's awesome like that.
Reply
:iconcaptainryno:
captainryno Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
i will admit, he is brash and kind of childish, but he does have a few good moments. like in his fights most of the time. i mean, it takes years and years for people to figure out devil fruits, and sure it was the same for luffy, but i feel he did it alot faster. heck, during a fight with Eneru, i think he knew he wouldn't have gotten hurt from his lighting. i also love his fight with arlong cause he points out he can't do all the stuff his friends can do and he might have died without them, but he knows that he can do something they can't do either, like beating impossible odds. that's what i like about luffy.
Reply
:iconredroronoa:
RedRoronoa Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Even though I already commented on here some time ago, I'd just like to say this journal helped me out a lot.

Me and my friends were having a discussion about Shonen characters which then turned out to a mini-debate about how clever or dumb some characters are, and Luffy was in the list of the dumb ones.
They were throwing reasons out why Luffy is such a dumb, clueless character and how childishly stupid he acts, but boy after telling them some key points from your journal they completely took it back. x]
Soyeah thanks for that! :la:
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Awesomeeeee!!! This makes my day! *happy dance* thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know :D
I'm glad I could be of assistance ^_^
Reply
:iconredroronoa:
RedRoronoa Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaah, but I should be the one thanking you! ; w; If I hadn't read this journal the first time then my friends would of carried on thinking Luffy was another dumbass character. xD Either way I'm glad to see sharing the info made your day (And reading that it made your day, it ironically made mine too! ^^)
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:iconskarvon:
skarVon Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Student General Artist
i agree...
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:iconun-understandable:
un-understandable Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
I definitely agree with you on that. Cause Luffy is a growing character. And if it only takes one arc to drastically change one character's personality then I would have not continued reading the manga anymore. So yeah. I liked that fact that Luffy is still Luffy, but at the same time the decisions he makes are critical and well thought through (even if it's on a whim), showing that he's growing stronger in both physical and mentally.
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I'm glad you agree :) thanks for commenting
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:iconun-understandable:
un-understandable Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
You're welcome. =D
Reply
:iconstoryteller-me:
Storyteller-me Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
so true. i honestly feel that he is one of the most interesting characters out there.
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Student Digital Artist
im glad you agree :)
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:iconluffygirl07:
LuffyGirl07 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2012
Finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone agrees!!!!!!!!!!! :D :')
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:iconmoonlitinuyasha1985:
moonlitinuyasha1985 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012
I completely agree! This is why he's one of my faves!
Reply
:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
glad you agree, thanks for sayin so ^_^
Reply
:iconlepuppy7:
Lepuppy7 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
da himself has called luffy stupid, many times, and I agree with that, but the thing is that when Oda says that, he's not acutally saying that Luffy is a 'dumb' character. If judging by something like an IQ test or soemthing, Luffy is stupid. But he's incredibly much so not at all stupid.
I completely agree with this! And due to Luffy being smart about who he should look up to, trust, listen to, and learn from; Luffy is significantly smarter than most people.
And that's why so many of us look up to him and learn from him^^
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
exactly! glad you agree :) thanks for sharing
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:iconchibishay:
ChibiShay Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with everything you've said.

He's not even literally stupid; Luffy shows confusion at times but he seems to be quite intelligent.
He reminds me of someone with Aspergers, the same thing I have. People think we are dumb because we are simple, straight forward, and get confused easily. But really we are just smart in a different way than the norm.

Personally I can't do math to save my life, but as a Translator/Interpreter I can speak more than 9 real languages and have translated Irken.

Luffy is my hero, and he always will be. XD
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
very cool comparison, and I'm glad you agree :) thanks for sharing my smart aspergerian friend
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:iconchibishay:
ChibiShay Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem.
More people should be aware that Intelligence comes in many forms; and so does Stupidity. XD
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:iconsplitninja:
SplitNinja Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Luffy is definitely all that. He's worth looking up to.:D
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I totally agree
Reply
:iconsplitninja:
SplitNinja Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Mugiwara power!
Reply
:icontayl0saurus:
Tayl0saurus Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Damn right, from the start I always thought of luffy as being really wise even thou he acts childish.
Reply
:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
glad you agree, and when I started the series I was like "man that Luffy is so smart" and then he got hypnotized by Jango and I was like... "wait what!?" but then I think I figured him out to be just as you say
Reply
:icontayl0saurus:
Tayl0saurus Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yes, he like knows how to act in any type of situation.
Reply
:icondustbunniehailey:
dustbunniehailey Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I totally agree with what you are saying, i don't think a lot of people give Luffy the credit he deserves.
He's an amazing character that i just adore!
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I'm glad you agree :) he his a fantastic character
Reply
:icondustbunniehailey:
dustbunniehailey Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
he really is! he is by far in my top ten favorite anime characters!
Reply
:iconjaredofart:
JaredofArt Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I remember Smoker himself making some remark to Luffy back in Loguetown along the lines of "You're not as stupid as you seem." Luffy just smiled.
...Then again, I think that was an anime thing. It's been too long, I could be wrong.

I personally have always thought that Luffy is definitely smarter than he lets on. :nod:
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2012  Student Digital Artist
glad you agree, and I don't remember about that scene either but either way its implied that thats how Smoker see's Luffy. I wouldn't doubt he said that.
thanks for sharing :)
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:iconskeya:
Skeya Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Amen to that!




At least somebody say it loud! :heart:
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Haha, glad you agree
Reply
:iconopirou:
Opirou Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maaan I love you for posting your opinion. :heart:
I hope a lot of other Fans ( + Haters lol) are going to change their mind in this way :D
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Me to! Thanks :) glad you agree
Reply
:iconopirou:
Opirou Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Can I copy this and post a journal too ?
(Of course with credits to you. :D)
Reply
:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student Digital Artist
By all means :) go right ahead
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:iconopirou:
Opirou Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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:iconzinfer:
Zinfer Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
cool :) thanks for re-posting it.
Reply
:iconmerrickwaters:
merrickwaters Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012
yay someone gets that simple and stupid are not the same thing. He has no home training, or education, but those things are not the same thing as being stupid or dumb. What he is from what I can see is one of those people that can lock onto their goals, and everything else outside of those goals is white noise. People like that often come across to others as being stupid.
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May 18, 2012
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