Monkey D. Luffy is a pirate through and through. It’s hard to imagine him striving for anything other than finding One Piece and becoming King of the Pirates, but it’s always great fun to ask those “what if” questions that spring to mind, especially with a series this huge in scale.
“I’m going to be the hero of the Marines” or “I’m going to put an end to the corrupted World Government,” doesn’t exactly sound like the Luffy fans love and know. Still, under entirely different circumstances, either of those may have been his main slogan. There are countless advantages for joining either the Marines or the Revolutionary, which would introduce a whole new Luffy and change the course of the seas.
10 Marines: Garp’s Training
Grandpa Garp, the Hero of the Marines, is tough love personified. He went so far as to name one of his moves, “Fist of Love,” which he dishes out on the defiant Luffy and Ace back when they were kids. Having planned to raise the two to become strong marines, Luffy and Ace stuck to their goals and became infamous pirates.
On the other hand, if Luffy were to follow his grandfather’s orders and joined the World Government, he would always be under Garp’s supervision and training. This would quickly open the doors for Luffy to unlock his devil fruit and Haki potential. Garp was able to transform the frightened Koby iinto one heck of Marine soldier who is now a member of the special forces unit, SWORD. Just imagine Luffy undergoing a similar route.
9 Revolutionary: Getting To Know Monkey D. Dragon
This was a shocking reveal by none other than Garp himself. Luffy’s father is the most wanted man in the world and the leader of the Revolutionary, Monkey D. Dragon. Throughout the series, that’s been running for over a decade, Luffy has only encountered his father once. Far back in Lougetown, Dragon freed Luffy from Smoker’s grasp, and even then, Luffy had not the slightest idea of who he was.
A lineage is a powerful tool used in many animes/mangas. Having the protagonist finally meet their long-lost family member is always a sight to behold. This rarely happens in One Piece, so to have Luffy and Dragon not only meet but work together would be a momentous occasion. It would be great to explore more of the Revolutionary as a whole, due to its brief appearance throughout the series. Still, it’s the father and son dynamic and the clash of dissimilar personalities, would make Luffy as a revolutionary very interesting.
8 Marine: Koby As A Comrade
Luffy joining the Marines would mean that he never met his beloved crew, which is unquestionably hard to imagine. Amongst the Marines, there aren’t any big-names that would likely befriend Luffy and see him as their friend. Initially, the only possible friend he could have is Koby.
Dating back to the very first episode/manga, Koby was freed from the Alvida Pirates by Luffy. From there, he pursued his dream of joining the Marines, and under Garp’s supervision, he became a good one. It would be compelling to see Luffy and Koby training together and slowly make their way to admiral status.
7 Revolutionary: Sabo As A Comrade
Sabo, the long thought dead brother of Luffy and Ace, returned out of the blue in the Dressrosa arc and was labeled as a general of the Revolutionary. Yes, everyone knew he was alive and was taken in by Dragon, but that didn’t stop his jaw-dropping return. Posing as Coliseum fighter Lucy, Sabo dominated the arena and gained Ace’s Devil Fruit.
Despite his return, there was that lingering question of “Where was he during the war on Marineford?” It was later revealed that Sabo lost his memories and only regained them after reading about Ace’s Death. If Luffy ended up joining the Revolutionary, he would have reminded him of their history, and together they would have made a threatening duo for the Marines.
6 Marines: War of Marineford
Whether Luffy became a Revolutionary General or the Admiral of the Marines, this war would still happen. Ace’s defeat by Blackbeard led to his capture by the Marines, and therefore the Whitebeard Pirates initiated an attempted rescue in Marineford.
Luffy’s bond with his brothers would trump his obligations. With some connections and inside knowledge of Marine operations, he could have constructed a plan to ensure of Ace’s escape. Would that have changed the fate of Ace? Maybe not, but the coup would have left the marines at a significant disadvantage.
5 Revolutionary: Decimation of Marineford
This would have been brutal. The marines had a tough time with the Whitebeard pirates alone, but if you add the Revolutionary army to the mix, the World Government would have toppled.
Hearing the news of Ace’s capture, Luffy and Sabo would have made his rescue a top priority while also giving the Revolutionary a perfect opportunity to initiate an attack. With the help of Monkey D. Dragon, Sabo, and his fellow generals, it would be a surprise if the Marines didn’t surrender before the war began.
4 Marines: Admiral Rank
There’s no doubt Luffy continues to get stronger, especially with his Gear Fourth form recently introduced. As of now, the Marines have labeled him as the fifth Emperor of the seas, so it’s easy to imagine Luffy ranking as nothing less than an Admiral.
Luffy might end up being the most carefree Admiral in the history of the Marines, but when a Buster Call initiates, he’ll be sure to wreak havoc.
3 Revolutionary: The Army And Their Operations
Despite showing up briefly throughout the long-running series, the Revolutionary has been successfully working in the shadows. An example of this was during the Reverie, the gathering of all significant leaders affiliated with the World Government.
Sabo and his fellow Generals underwent a covert operation during the event, and although it was unclear, there was a fatality. Whether that be Sabo and friends or any members of the World Government, the outcome would have drastically changed if Luffy were with them.
2 Marines: Im
The biggest mystery besides One Piece itself is the Leader of the World Government. Before Im’s reveal, it seemed like the Five Elders were the highest Authority of the World Government, but that wasn’t the case at all. During the Reverie Arc, the Five Elders bowed before the strangely shaped silhouette, asking her/him, “Which light should be extinguished from history?”
Luffy being a high ranking official in the Marines (still hard to imagine after watching nearly 1000 episodes of One Piece), may shed some light on this shadowy character.
1 Revolutionary: The Grand War
The Revolutionary vs. the Marines is going to eventually end once and for all. From the looks of it now, this war will happen regardless of Luffy’s inclusion.
At the moment, Luffy and friends are about to start a completely different war in the Land of Wano, making their advance to Onigashima to take down Orochi and Kaido. But you can’t help but wonder, if Luffy took the Revolutionary path, would they have made their advance on the World Government? With his father and brother by his side, it seems like a fitting end to the Marines.
Luffy's goal is to be the King of the Pirates, but what if he chose to be Marine or Revolutionary. Here are the perks for both sides.