Who Is Shanks to Luffy in One Piece? (& Are They Related?)
A lot has been written about Shanks here on Fiction Horizon, but he is really such an amazing character that he wholly deserves all our attention. This article is also going to be about Shanks, as we are going to explain the relationship between Luffy and him in One Piece. Namely, Luffy and Shanks have a very close bond and Shanks is quite protective of Luffy, but it is essential to explain why that is and that is what we are going to do in this article for your enjoyment.
Luffy and Shanks are very close friends. Shanks has known Luffy since he was a child and has saved his life, which is also how he lost his arm. He tried to convince Luffy to not become a pirate, but still gave him Roger’s Straw Hat, one of his dearest possessions. As far as it is known, Luffy and Shanks are not related.
The rest of this article is going to focus on Shanks and Monkey D. Luffy, as we are going to elaborate on how the two of them are connected and why they share such a close bond. If you don’t know the whole story of One Piece, we have to warn you that there are going to be spoilers in the following paragraphs.
Who is Shanks to Luffy in One Piece?
Luffy sees Shanks as his hero, an idol in fact. He adopted some traits from the red-haired pirate captain. For example, like Shanks, Luffy does not pay attention to insults in any way. At first, Shanks didn’t take Luffy seriously as he was just a boy, chuckling at his wishes to become a pirate, calling him “Anchor”.
Later, when Luffy stood up for Shanks and his team to Higuma and later stated that he would assemble his own team, Shanks began to take him more seriously. Benn Beckman told Shanks that Luffy was going to do something on his own, which Shanks confirmed after noticing the resemblance between the young boy and himself when he was the same age as Luffy.
Shanks treats Monkey D. Luffy very well, as he claimed to Silvers Rayleigh in the Sabaody Archipelago. He sees in him his former captain, Gol D. Roger. Although he often teases him in Foosha Village, saying that he will never become a pirate and that he swims like an ax, etc., Shanks actually likes the way Luffy strives to become a pirate.
He inspired Luffy to become a pirate, and with his jokes awakened in the boy a whole dream – to become the Pirate King and find the world’s greatest treasure – the One Piece. This is why Monkey D. Garp blames Shanks for Luffy becoming a criminal. Also, on Whitebeard’s ship, Shanks claimed that Luffy was his bet for the New Age.
Shanks believes in Luffy and knows that he will surely achieve his goal, because of this belief, Red Hair even gave him his Straw Hat, which he inherited from his captain Gol D. Roger, and was very dear to him. Shanks longs to see Luffy again. However, while he had the opportunity to do so at Marineford, he turned the idea down as he would have broken his promise.
Shanks saw Luffy as a future pirate, and he was incredibly happy to learn about Luffy’s first bounty, even throwing another party, although he was moving away from the previous one, and was also worried about him after the Marineford War. He mentally addressed Luffy, saying that it was okay to cry and also that the Straw Hat could handle it.
It was also thanks to Shanks that Luffy ate his Devil Fruit: Red Hair brought back the fruit from a trip and planned to sell it; Shanks left it on the bar next to Luffy and turned away as the boy ate it, thinking it was dessert. Everyone was surprised when they found out about this, and Shanks started to panic.
Are Shanks and Luffy related?
A native of the West Blue, Shanks was found in a treasure chest that the Roger Pirates took after the God Valley incident when Shanks was a year old. Thirty years ago, when he was nine years old, Shanks was seen among the Roger Pirates with his partner Buggy. They were both reading the newspaper and Shanks was looking angrily at the news as they kept focusing on the Whitebeard Pirates.
At this point, he already had his straw hat, presumably Roger’s. After Roger’s death, Shanks formed his own pirate crew and became a captain. Thirteen years ago Shanks and his crew raided a World Government ship, which was being guarded by Who’s-Who, who was then a CP9 agent, and stole the Gomu Gomu no Mi.
Shortly after, Shanks arrived on Dawn Island, where he met a strange young man named Monkey D. Luffy. Intrigued by the boy and enjoying his stay at Foosha Village, he decided to make the island his crew’s base for a short period of time, which turned out to be a year. One day, while meeting his gang on his ship, a young Luffy, tired of being rejected by the gang, stuck a knife under his eye to prove his manhood to them, much to Shanks’ annoyance.
They later went to the Partys Bar, where Shanks was teasing Luffy about not being able to swim, and where Luffy accidentally ate the Gomu Gomu no Mi. That same afternoon, a gang of local bandits led by Higuma arrived and started insulting and harassing Shanks, who didn’t mind in the least. Luffy, on the other hand, became very frustrated that Shanks didn’t fight back, and later went to demand that Higuma apologizes to Shanks.
The bandit leader was very angry and was going to kill Luffy, until Shanks and his crew arrived. Higuma was forced to take Luffy hostage and then threw him into the ocean but was soon devoured by the Lord of the Coast. Luffy was going to be eaten as well, but Shanks rescued him at the last second, losing his left arm in the process.
As Shanks and his men prepared to leave the village, Luffy decided to form his own pirate gang, surpass Shanks’ and become the next Pirate King. They promised that they would meet again and Shanks left Luffy his Straw Hat (currently Luffy’s most prized possession) as a parting gift on the condition that he return it when he became King.
As you can see, there is no direct relation between Shanks and Monkey’s family. Shanks was born into a wholly unrelated family and he first met Luffy much later in his life. There is absolutely no familial relationship between them, at least as far as we know now. Oda might change things later on, but from what we know now – Shanks and Luffy are not related.