With his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy hunts for the world's greatest treasure (known as 'One Piece') to become the next Pirate King. And boy has that search taken him a while.
Based on Eiichiro Oda's manga of the same name, One Piece has aired continuously since the late '90s, making it one of the most legendary anime shows of all time. And because of that, there’s a lot of characters to get familiar with over the span of its many, many episodes, including Netflix's new live-action adaptation.
Read on to learn about every member of the Straw Hat Pirates crew, what they do, what their dreams are, and more.
Monkey D Luffy, nicknamed Straw Hat, is the head honcho of the Straw Hat Pirates (unsurprisingly). He makes his debut in, you guessed it, chapter 1 of the manga and episode 1 of the anime. He is the son of Monkey D Dragon, the leader of the Revolutionary Army, and also the grandson of Monkey D Garp, a Marine hero.
Luffy is undoubtedly one of One Piece’s top fighters, and this all began when he accidentally ate the Gomu Gomu no Mi, a devil fruit, which gave him the ability to transform his body into rubber at will.
He has two ‘sworn brothers’ in the forms of Portgas D Ace, a fan-favourite character, and Sabo. Luffy has done a LOT over the course of One Piece, fighting the Seven Warlords of the Sea, World Nobles, Cipher Pol and the Four Emperors of the Grand Line.
So far in the live-action series, Luffy is even more charismatic than in the anime. Fans learn about his childhood in a slightly different way, explaining his rocky relationships with the East Blue marines.
More like this
Better known as Roronoa Zoro, Zoro is one of the Straw Hat Pirates’ swordsman and a Senior Officer of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet. He is essentially Luffy’s right-hand man and also one of the most powerful characters in the whole of One Piece. He was also the second most popular character in the franchise for over a decade, with multiple character popularity polls pitting him at #2 - right behind Luffy.
Zoro holds a bit of a unique position in One Piece as he’s the only crew member that Luffy wanted to recruit before even meeting him. He learns about Zoro from his friend Coby, who warns him about Zoro, but instead Luffy becomes excited about the possibility of having such a powerful individual as part of his crew.
Zoro's story changes slightly in the live-action series, with his original meeting with Luffy being nothing more than a chance encounter. He's reluctant to join up with a team, but he's all the better for it.
Usopp is the sniper of the Straw Hat Pirates and also one of the Senior Officers of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet. First appearing in chapter 23 of the manga, and episode 8 of the anime, he is widely regarded as one of the funniest characters in the series due to his foolishness and comical cowardice.
Originally, Usopp was actually going to be the vice-captain of the Straw Hat Pirates as well as the sniper, which would’ve changed the dynamic of the character and his position in the story quite significantly. In the live-action series, Usopp is intent on being the ships's captain, going as far as to design his own flag to fend off enemies.
Sanji is the cook of the Straw Hat Pirates. He’s the fourth member to be recruited, making his first appearance in chapter 43 of the manga and episode 20 of the anime. Sanji has an interesting background, being a former prince of the Germa Kingdom due to his family background as part of the Vinsmoke Family.
Unlike many of the other crew members, who seek fame and fortune, Sanji’s ultimate dream is to find ‘All Blue’, a so-called chef’s paradise. It’s said to be the location where all four of the different oceans meet, and where the rarest animals supposedly exist. He also has nosebleeds a lot in the show, which if you know anime, you know what that means.
Nami is the navigator of the Straw Hat Pirates, and is the second person to join the crew in the entire anime. Because of this, she makes her debut in just chapter 8 of the manga, and appears in the debut episode of the anime. Nami actually originally travelled with the Arlong Pirates, and merely joined the Straw Hats in order to rob them - this was in an attempt to buy back her village from Arlong. However, after defeating Arlong, she realised her place was with the Straw Hat Pirates after all.
Interestingly, the early designs for Nami show that she could’ve gone in a very different, mechanical direction - as a cyborg! Her left hand and right leg would have both been prosthetic, and she was to carry a gigantic battle-axe around with her. It’s undeniably a very cool design, but we’re happy with the Nami we got.
Chopper, or Tony Tony Chopper, or ‘Cotton Candy Lover’ Chopper to some, is the doctor of the Straw Hat Pirates. He is the fifth member of the crew to join, making his debut in Chapter 134 of the manga and episode 81 of the anime. Unlike the rest of the crew, Chopper is actually a reindeer - his devil fruit enables him to transform into a human hybrid or even a human at will.
You may wonder how a reindeer came to become a doctor on a pirate ship - well, he got his education on Drum Island by Doctors Hiriluk and Kureha, his parents. His dream is to become the world’s best doctor, travelling the world to cure anyone of any disease or ailment.
Nico Robin, also known as ‘Devil Child’ or ‘Light of the Revolution’, is the archeologist of the Straw Hat Pirates - she is the sixth member of the crew to join, appearing in chapter 114 of the manga and episode 67 of the anime. Nico actually served as one of the antagonists of the Straw Hat Pirates through the Arabasta Saga, during which time she served as the vice president of Baroque Works under the former warlord Crocodile.
Nico’s special ability as a result of the Hana Hana no Mi fruit is that she is able to reproduce her entire body (or just parts) on any surface she desires. She also is one of only two people in the entire world of One Piece that can read and transcribe Poneglyphs, something forbidden by the World Government, thus making her a great threat to their organisation.
‘Iron Man’ Franky is the shipwright of the Straw Hat Pirates, and also an absolute hulk of a man (look at those biceps!) He is the seventh member of the crew to join, making his appearance in chapter 329 of the manga and episode 233 of the anime. Similar to Nico, Franky and his gang (the ‘Franky Family’) were originally enemies of the Straw Hat Pirates during the Water 7 Arc. However, ultimately, the two groups become allies and Franky chose to band with the Straw Hat Pirates.
Franky’s dream is to create his very own ship and travel the globe with it - and he’s kind of already done this. He created the ship Thousand Sunny, and now travels with the Straw Hat Pirates in order to fulfil that dream. How sweet.
‘Soul King’ Brook is a bit of an unusual one - in that he is an eight foot eight skeleton dressed in some incredible clothing. He is the musician of the Straw Hat Pirates and is the eighth member of the crew to join, making his debut in chapter 442 of the manga and episode 337 of the anime.
You may be wondering, how is a skeleton walking and talking? Well, Brook was originally a member of the Rumbar Pirates until he died - however, his devil fruit, the Yomi Yomi no Mi had the power to resurrect him, but only once. His dream is a simple one but a great one - he just wants to reunite with his friend Laboon.
Didn’t think we could get taller than Brook? Well, meet Jinbe. Better known as ‘Knight of the Sea’ Jinbe, he is the helmsman of the Straw Hat Pirates, and is the ninth member of the crew to join, debuting in chapter 528 of the manga and episode 430 of the anime. He is a whale shark fish-man (yes, you read that right), and he’s also massively skilled in Fish-Man Karate.
So how tall is he? Well, he is nine foot ten - making him a ridiculous beast of a Fish-Man. His dream is to fulfil his former captain’s dying wish to create a peace between humans and fish-men. He was actually one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea at one time before eventually resigning - ironically though, he was cloned to replace the warlords after that.
You can catch One Piece on Crunchyroll. Sign up to Crunchyroll from $7.99 per month with a 14-day free trial.
Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10, PLUS a £10 John Lewis and Partners voucher delivered to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.