We all know who Sanji from One Piece is, but just like most of the other members of the Straw Hats, Sanji had a role model early in his life that shaped his ideology and his view on life. In Sanji’s case, the leader of the Cook Pirates, Zeff, saved Sanji’s life and taught him how to become a chef and fight. In this article, we will talk about how Zeff lost one of his legs in the series.
After Zeff’s pirates attacked the cruiser where Sanji was working as an assistant in the kitchen, a storm sunk both ships. Zeff saved Sanji’s life, and they ended up stranded on a piece of rock without any food or vegetation. They had some rations with them, and Zeff gave all of them to Sanji (which the boy did not know then). Sanji believed that Zeff had kept the larger portion of food for himself and tried to steal it, but he found that Zeff’s bag was filled with treasure. He then realized that Zeff had given him all of the food and that at one point, to not die of starvation, Zeff cut off his own leg and ate it to survive. This happened in Chapter 57 of the manga, i.e., in Episode 26 of the anime.
The story we are going to tell you is, of course, going to be focused on Zeff, but we will also observe that it is connected to Sanji. Zeff wasn’t the kindest of mentors, but he was a proud and noble one, a pirate who would rather risk his own limb than deprive a child of food. And this article is going to show that. Of course, some spoilers will be present, so be careful how you approach the article.
Zeff cut off his own leg so Sanji could eat all the food that the two of them had
Now, since Zeff is a character whom we have not written about much here, allow us to tell you a bit about his past and how he even came to meet Sanji. More than twenty years before the beginning of the narrative, Zeff founded the Cook Pirates to find the All Blue and became a notorious pirate. Ten years later, Zeff entered the Red Line with his crew, where he wrote a diary in which he noted what happened during the journey. After a year in those waters, he returned to the East Blue.
Nine years before the beginning of the narration, his crew attacked the Orbit, from which Zeff ordered to take money and precious objects. A subordinate of his pointed out to him that a storm was coming, to which he replied that he had noticed. At that point, he noticed a sack full of food among the looted things, so the responsible pirate claimed that he had done it because he was hungry.
Zeff then kicked him over the ship’s wall, which then collapsed. He then grabbed him by the head, telling him that he always said never to steal anything edible.
At that point, Sanji, believing he was close to death, tried to attack Zeff with kitchen knives, who stated that if he wanted to die, he would oblige, so he kicked him. The boy then bit his leg, stating that his dream was to find the All Blue. Zeff kicked it away. At that point, one of his subordinates told him that the storm was worse than they had expected, so Zeff ordered everything to be loaded onto the ship and go.
However, a wave knocked Sanji overboard, so the pirate jumped into the sea after breaking a mast of the Orbit to grab onto it. He managed to save Sanji, with whom he was shipwrecked on an island. Two days later, the boy woke up, and Zeff revealed to him that his ship had surely sunk due to the wreckage around it. He pointed out that the island lacked vegetation and animals, with rocks overhanging the sea. He then told Sanji that they’d probably starve to death, asking if it made him cry.
The boy rejected the idea and said that when it happened, it was his fault, and for this, he would kill him. Zeff then told him not to scream. Otherwise, he would kill him and then eat him. He then went on to say that they would have to wait for someone: if they were lucky, the following day, they could leave the island. If unlucky, they would become skeletons.
He then left all the food brought by the waves to Sanji, to which he said that if he ate it in moderation, it would be enough for him for five days; but he lied to him, making him believe that in his own huge sack, there was even more food, while there were only precious objects and stolen loots.
Sanji, in fact, objected that his ration was at least three times greater, so Zeff replied that an adult’s stomach was different. He further said that they should help each other out, stating that he should thank him for sharing the food but that he shouldn’t expect mercy.
Zeff then told Sanji that they should each take one side of the island and that if he spots a ship, he should warn him. Without any food left, Zeff, when Sanji was not looking, cut off his own leg and ate it in order to survive. Sixty days after spending all of his food, Sanji joined him, so Zeff asked him what he had come to do there and if he had seen any ships. The boy discovered what was in his sack, so Zeff pointed out that it was ridiculous to have treasure but starve to death.
Sanji noticed that Zeff had been feeding on his leg, so he told him that he could no longer be a pirate, which he confirmed. He revealed that he had saved him despite the boy intending to kill him because they both had the same dream. When Sanji pointed out that his crew didn’t believe in the existence of the All Blue, Zeff stated that they were wrong and urged the boy to take the Grand Line.
He also said that without companions, he didn’t want to continue being a pirate and that in his life, he hadn’t been able to eat many times, but if he survived, he would open a restaurant to give food to anyone who needed it. Not long after that, they were saved by a passing ship, and Zeff decided to keep his promise. For this, he opened the Baratie, a place that became famous for the quality of its food and for its fighting chefs.