By Jonna Miller
Today is June 13 (6/13), a very special day for One Piece because the numbers 6, 1, and 3 make a play on Japanese words that essentially mean “Straw Hat Crew.” Neat, right?
What better reason to dive into why the Straw Hats are the best crew in all the Blues? I’m Jonna, a resident One Piece fan at Funimation and frequent guest on the One Piece at a Time podcast, and I’m here to take you on this journey.
Before we start, know that we’re talking about the main nine members, and we’re not spoiling anything past where the dub is (Punk Hazard).
Obviously, the show’s MC has to be a big deal if he’s going to carry the story all the way to the end of the Grand Line. But what exactly makes Luffy the best captain out there?
Well for starters, the boy believes in dreams. This goofy, carefree, bundle of resilience has an unshakable loyalty to his convictions and those of so many people around him. How many other captains out there believe in their crew’s dreams as much as his own?
Our dashing, directionally challenged right-hand man who is determined to become the greatest swordsman in the world—Zoro may not appear as reliable as most other first mates or vice-captains, but there’s a good reason why he’s the best there is.
Besides being ridiculously strong, this dude is loyal as heck. And it’s not just the crew he’s loyal to. More than anything, he’s loyal to Luffy, which is really important should any of the Straw Hats ever step out of line. Luckily, I don’t see that happening, because the rest of the crew is equally awesome.
The notorious cat burglar stole our hearts with her determination. She was only a little girl when she made a deal to buy back her entire village from the very villain who killed her mother. That’s super sad, and also super gutsy.
While she often joins Usopp and Chopper in the scaredy-cat corner, she’s headstrong in all the best ways and uses her wit to get out of the worst situations. She’s made countless maps of the ocean, and as far as we know, she’s the only navigator in the world who is able to manipulate weather. That’s some sick power.
Usopp tends to get a lot of flak for being a scaredy-cat and for leaving the crew at one point. Even Usopp himself has insecurities about whether he really belongs in the crew.
But that’s exactly what makes him so impressive. He’s afraid of so many things, which makes him all the braver for choosing to stay and fight what’s in front of him. And the fact that he rejoined the crew just shows that he’s determined to be a part of it. There aren’t a lot of pirates out there who have chosen their captain twice.
If you think for even a second that Sanji’s attraction to women is a crippling weakness, you might be right, but just remember that all weakness is an opportunity for strength.
This dude is impervious to fire because the flames of his heart burn hotter. Oda-sensei said it himself. I know it might seem like a joke, but if you think about it, we’ve seen Sanji pull himself out of death’s door to help people who are in trouble. He’s strong because he cares, and you definitely don’t see that in the average pirate.
The cutest, fluffiest, dearest little doctor you’ve ever seen is unmistakably the most perfect doctor for the crew. Not only is he able to heal just about any ailment with his impressive knowledge of medicine, he also uses it to make himself stronger.
He created special drugs that allowed him to fight off enemies, and as a reindeer-turned-human who already struggles to fit in among people, turning himself into a giant beast to save his friends just goes to show his incredible selflessness.
It’s not hard to see why Robin is critical to the Straw Hats. She’s the only known person in the world who can read the language of the Poneglyphs which tell how to find the One Piece. And that’s probably the biggest one-up that the crew has over anyone else seeking the treasure.
But let’s not forget that Robin herself is a formidable fighter who can snap necks in an instant. Her enemies are all just lucky that she’d rather be reading books.
It’s pretty much decided that he’s the best shipwright in the world, but even if that weren’t the case, he’s still the best fit for the Straw Hats. After he built a ship that could sail around the world, he chose to join the crew so he could see his dream through to the end. Now that’s a stand-up guy. This hard-boiled inventor may be mostly made of metal, but we all know he’s a total softie.
Also, I still can’t get over the fact that he made himself into a backwards centaur.
He’s the talented musician that Luffy wanted on his crew, and a swordsman who’s worth his salt. You can’t deny that’s a pretty special crew member to have. While his killer tunes give him some crazy abilities, a friend in his past gives him a reason to reach the end of the Grand Line. Laboon.
Brook doesn’t have eyes or a heart, but the one thing he does have is a soul. And a little backbone.
There’s so much more behind what makes the Straw Hats a great crew. Hopefully you can take a little time today to watch some favorite episodes and share some love for this rowdy bunch.
Our teams are working hard every day to dub more episodes. Check out the latest set of One Piece dubs and more on Funimation, digital storefronts, and DVD!
And stay tuned for some updates on the One Piece at a Time podcast!
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