For years, One Piece has been leading the Japanese sales charts. Its story has captivated fans for more than 20 years and will most likely continue through the rest of this decade. Leading the fans through that charge and the next few years of storytelling is the series’ main character, Monkey D. Luffy.
Luffy has been a mastodon among all shonen protagonists, managing to both make fans laugh as well as inspire them. However, as endearing as Luffy can be, there are a few things about him that are just, well, annoying. This list will be breaking down a few ways that Luffy is an endearing main character and a few reasons why he’s just menace.
10 Annoying: Stupidity
More so than his Devil Fruit, his Straw Hat, and his wish to become King of the Pirates, Monkey D. Luffy’s greatest character trait is perhaps his unnatural stupidity. Luffy just doesn’t know things. He doesn’t comprehend how the world works, has a hard time comprehending what a plan is, and often chocks up everything that he doesn’t know as being a “mystery.”
While being simple-minded can be an endearing trait on a more gentle character, Luffy is actually responsible for a large group of people (even an entire pirate fleet). With that much firepower coupled backed by a person who doesn’t even understand how fire works, Luffy is easily one of the most dangerous people on the Grand Line.
9 Endearing: Selflessness
One of the traits that makes all of his stupidity a little more tolerable is how naturally selfless Luffy is. Luffy deeply cares about the people around him and is willing to do anything to make them safe and happy. While Luffy’s general life choices are questionable, his tendency to always choose the right thing are almost a supernatural power in their own right.
He didn’t rat out Ace and Sabo to Bluejam when he was being tortured. He easily gave up a chance to leave Amazon Lily to save a few strangers. He stopped eating, his all-time favorite thing to do, to prove his loyalty to Sanji. Luffy is a really, really nice guy.
8 Annoying: Selfishness
While Luffy has had incredible, shonen protagonist levels of selflessness, that can often be watered down by his various other instances of selfishness. This means always trying to steal his crew mates’ food. This means betting his crew during the Davy Back Fights with “Silver Fox” Foxy.
This means always choosing the most dangerous island to adventure on. There are obviously plenty of moments where Luffy has sacrificed his own needs for his crew but that inevitably always pays back to them helping out his own selfish dreams.
7 Endearing: Adventurous
A lot of Luffy’s choices can arguably be seen as “selfish.” However, one could also describe a lot of his erratic and mischievous choices as being “adventurous.” As a pirate, Luffy has a romanticized view of what the sea life is like and is looking to live out the boyhood dream of adventure.
That means living by no one else’s rules besides one’s own and hunting down experience after experience in One Piece‘s giant and colorful world. Luffy’s choices are grand and dangerous, but they are central to making the most out of his time on the sea. How meaningful and magical could the pirate life really be if all his crew did was hang around a resort?
6 Annoying: Recklessness
Throughout One Piece, Luffy has jumped into battle, tried to swim despite his Devil Fruit ability, and even catapulted some of his friends across the air. The man literally joined a high-profile fighting tournament during his invasion of Dressrosa and tried to adventure on an island that was on fire.
There’s a lot of romanticism involved in the pirate life, but not every memory may be as gilded as someone like Luffy may make it out to be. The lives of the Straw Hat Pirates have been endangered so many times that one just has to wonder why anyone even listens to Luffy.
5 Endearing: Fights For His Friends
As dangerous and wacky as Luffy the person might be, he’s always willing to direct that chaotic energy for his friends’ sake. Any One Piece fan can recall their favorite memory of Luffy rescuing a member of his crew, whether it was Nami from Arlong Park, Nico Robin from Impel Down, or Sanji from Whole Cake Island.
While the Grand Line is overrun with unpredictable waters, there is stability in knowing that a friend like Luffy is always ready to lend a helping hand and a sturdy fist. If Luffy is a dangerous force around his friends, then all of his enemies should be very afraid.
4 Annoying: Leadership Ability
Luffy being called the “Captain” of the Straw Hat pirates is almost a joke at this point in the story. While Luffy has certainly pointed the crew in a certain direction, his voice isn’t exactly prominent in their every day duties.
The Straw Hat meeting to reinstate Usopp was an incredibly complex and heartfelt moment; but despite the eventual decision, Luffy wavered in his leadership and appeared incredibly indecisive. Scenes like this and his general tendency to not actually give orders make Luffy less of a captain and more of a spoiled passenger.
3 Endearing: Friendly
What Luffy lacks in the stern voice of a true leader he more than makes up for in the gentle smile of a true friend. Luffy has genuinely tried to make friends with anyone and everyone that looks cool to him. He’s accepted people like Brook, Chopper, and Franky for who they are and has even tried to bring in talking trees and creepy zombies along with them.
He was able to befriend an entire community of warrior women and their icy Pirate Empress and was able to form an entire pirate fleet that included a guy who’s dedicated his life to hunting him down. It may be a rehashed, shonen protagonist ability, but it’s hard to see Luffy’s smile and not just get how people have joined his crew.
2 Annoying: Physics
One Piece as a whole has never really cared about physics or consistency and has never really given the impression that it cared in the first place. Luffy in the first place is the perfect embodiment of how weird science is in the One Piece world. Luffy has been able to eat large proportions of food, regrow his own tooth with milk, and even punch with fire.
Not only is the latter just a random ability that the series simply hints that he “inherited” it from Ace, but he was also able to use this ability underwater. Weird powers can become some of the coolest things in a shonen series, but not caring about logic at all just makes it hard to take any of the writing seriously.
1 Endearing: Sense Of Family
As stated earlier, Luffy is a pretty friendly guy, and a lot of that may come from his unique background. Ever since he was little, Luffy has always had a non-traditional family, whether it’s being raised by an Emperor of the Sea, taken care of by mountain bandits, or becoming a brother to Ace and Sabo. Luffy’s sense of family has never been built on biology but the sense of care given to an individual person.
This has made the Straw Hats one of the most sincerely loving groups in any shonen series and helped Luffy see past differences of all sorts. If anything, it’s insulting to say that Luffy just wants a family in life considering that he’s built a new definition for the word “nakama.”
One Piece's central character Monkey D. Luffy is either endearing or annoying. We argue both sides of the argument.