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Submitted on
May 18, 2012


55 (who?)
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.

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.

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.

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.……

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.……

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


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.…
please come by and support ^_^

so what do you think about Luffy as a character? agree? disagree?
  • Mood: Bliss
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  • Watching: my time pass by
  • Eating: too much
  • Drinking: hmmm
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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.
Kagi-13 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
Thank you for this.
Zinfer Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Student Digital Artist
my pleasure :D
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
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
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...
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)
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
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.
Zinfer Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student Digital Artist
yeah, so awesome. I loved that.
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