Thanks to the One Piece manga, Koby, the young boy whom Luffy saved from Alvida and who later became a respectable Marine, has become popular again in recent months. Thanks to the live-action series, Helmeppo has also become a topic of interest around the web, and in light of that fact, we are going to talk about Koby and Helmeppo in this article, as you are going to find out what the exact nature of their relationship is.
Koby and Helmeppo are not a couple, as far as the One Piece canon is concerned. Initially, they were enemies, as Helmeppo, being the narcissistic prick he is, had absolutely no regard for Koby, but when they started working together in the Marines, they actually became close friends, as they spent a lot of time together and they came to know each other much better in that regard. Helmeppo also seems to care for Koby, as he is ready to risk his own well-being later in the story to protect him. But, no, as far as the canon is concerned, there is absolutely no indication of there being anything more between them, and they are just very good friends.
The rest of this article will explore the relationship between Koby and Helmeppo while focusing on the very nature of their relationship and how it has been evolving, which is also the main and principal question of this article. If you’re not fully up-to-date with the events of One Piece, this article might contain some important spoilers, but we have to state that no new information will be presented here, as we will focus on old and well-known facts about the two of them.
Helmeppo and Koby are – as far as the canon is concerned – simply good friends
Koby is the first person Luffy befriends during his journey. A polite and kind boy, one day, he was kidnapped by Alvida while fishing, and from that moment on, he was forced to do more menial jobs for her. Luffy, however, urges him to pursue his dream of becoming an admiral and helps him escape.
After helping him free Zoro from Captain Morgan’s base, Koby enlists in the Navy and, after an initial reticence, makes friends with Helmeppo, Morgan’s son, and together they become students of Garp, Luffy’s grandfather. Of course, Koby’s story is far bigger than just this. We have to confirm that, but since this one concerns his early story, we won’t be spoiling too much here.
On the other hand, Helmeppo is the son of Captain Morgan. Spoiled and fearful, he behaves cruelly and arrogantly, aware of the fact that the citizens’ fear of his father would have prevented him from any consequences. After losing the support of his father’s authority with Luffy’s defeat of Morgan, Helmeppo decides to join the Navy and finds himself doing the menial jobs as a service boy in the company of Koby.
The two are assigned to Vice Admiral Garp. However, during the transfer operation, Morgan escapes on a lifeboat, shielding himself with his son. However, the boy rebels against his father, who allows him to return to his companions and resume training under Garp. During the training period, Helmeppo changes completely, acquiring a great sense of justice and honor.
As you can see, the two of them have a shared history, and they appeared early on in the story, during Luffy’s initial adventures and while he was actually gathering up his crew. Luffy helped Koby enter the Marines, while Helmeppo finally managed to break out of his shell and become a much better person than he was, especially when he escaped his father’s shadow. There was a small segment called Diary of Koby-Meppo, which actually best illustrates how much he changed, especially about Koby, whom he grew to respect a lot.
When the two of them begin in the Navy, Helmeppo begins to do menial jobs inside the base together with Koby, with whom he refuses to make friends. He was also enraged by the loss of the privileges he enjoyed and blamed Luffy for it so much that he put a nail on a totem, having the appearance of the pirate during a picnic in the company of Rica and Koby. After the initial hatred, he and the latter become friends. Later, when Morgan is taken in and handcuffed to the ship on which the two are serving, Helmeppo is stunned and thinks that his father will be executed.
When the latter is delivered to Garp, Helmeppo cries and tries to reach him, but Koby holds him back. When his father takes advantage of the fact that the vice admiral has dozed off in front of him to wound him, Helmeppo is amazed. Soon after, Morgan breaks the chains and takes his son hostage, fleeing on a lifeboat. He is speechless when Koby stands in front of the cannon aimed at the boat, fearing that Helmeppo will also be involved.
This gives him the strength to rebel, and although his legs tremble with fear of him, he points his finger at his father, who throws him into the sea. On board the vice admiral’s ship, Helmeppo kneels in tears with Koby, apologizing for what happened. Garp decides to take the two boys with him to headquarters.
Here, the two initially wash the floors, then are promoted to the rank of recruits and undergo night training: Helmeppo does abs on a bar and then fights against Koby using two shinai, being covered in bruises and bumps. Later, the two confront Bogard, having the worst of it. Helmeppo then stops being arrogant.
During a lesson for the new recruits, Garp asks them what they would do if they found a child and an old man stranded on an island full of wild beasts, but there was only room for two on the boat. Koby replies that he would go down to save them both, but Garp calls him an idiot and hits him on the head with an object, explaining that the old man’s days are numbered by now and should, therefore, abandon him. He then recalls that they became marines to protect the future of humanity, so it must be them and the children who survive as they have a future to write.
Later, Koby decides to train every night by throwing punches at the ship used daily as a punching bag by Garp. So he goes on every day until his hands bleed. One evening, while he is wrapping them, he reveals to Helmeppo that he knows very well that he is not suited for combat; therefore, he would have had to train two hundred times more because if he didn’t, he would not be able to protect people or become an excellent marine. He tries to stop him, but his friend doesn’t give up and asks him to promise not to reveal it to Garp.
The latter one day tells him that Koby is improving, asking him why he always has his arms wrapped up and thinks he is hurt. Helmeppo regrets that he had promised his friend that he would not tell him, but he tells him everything. As you can see, Helmeppo changed a lot, and he became a better person in the end; as for Koby, the two of them became amazing friends, great friends, so great that they are willing to risk their own lives to save the other, as Helmeppo later did.
But, no, they are not a couple, and there is no indication that there is anything more than friendship between the two.