Whether it be Nami’s guile or Zoro’s unbending strength, every Straw Hat pirate is more than formidable on their own. Sometimes it may seem surprising that these highly-skilled individuals follow someone like Luffy; while the Straw Hat’s Captain is amazingly strong, he isn’t someone who fits into your typical idea of a leader. Luffy would much rather be exploring some crazy dangerous and haunted jungle than be the one standing back and handing out orders. Yet, Luffy’s leadership is the key to the Straw Hats’ strength.
Luffy leads through example with unwavering trust in his crew. This trust inspires and pushes his crew members to be more, to do more, and to reach further than any other crew while the example he sets fills them with the confidence needed to succeed.
10 Breaking Out Of Rubble
During the Enies Lobby arc, the Straw Hats make a deft defying leap onto a sea train as it jumps a half downed bridge, catching Franky at the same time before breaking through the walls of the final building of Enies Lobby where CP-9 and Robbin await. While Luffy and Franky seem just fine, both being highly resistant to physical attacks, the rest of the Straw Hats are buried in rubble and hurting.
Yet, Luffy’s supreme trust in his crew shines through as he yells “get up already, you’ve been through worse than that!” After a second of complaining from his crew, Luffy’s words do their job, and, in a hilarious scene, the crew breaks out of the rubble with gusto before blinking in surprise. Luffy, with a few simple words and a trainload of trust for his crew, easily inspires them to push past their assumed limits.
9 Chopper Being Brave
Chopper is as strong as any member of Luffy’s Ccrew, yet he is very young when he joins Luffy. So, in the first couple of seasons after he joins, Chopper is told to just do what he can for now. Yet, this cute little ball of fluff quickly steps up to the plate taking down more than his share of baddies, and this is all due to Luffy’s leadership.
Chopper continuously states that he wants to be brave like the rest of the crew, and this emulation is what leads Chopper to truly become a force all his own with the strength to repel even Big Mom when she attacks The Sunny in a rage.
8 Zoro Takes Luffy’s Pain
Luffy would do anything to save his friends and crew from their enemies, and this example leads Zoro to do the unthinkable. The Straw Hats have just defeated the Warlord Moria and Luffy is down for the count, having just pushed himself further than ever before to achieve victory. Zoro and the other Straw Hats aren’t in much better shape when the Pirate Warlord Kuma shows up intent on capturing Luffy.
Zoro and Sanji simply do not have the strength left, if at all, to take down Kuma, so Zoro offers himself to Kuma, instead. Yet, Kuma has other plans as he extracts all of Luffy’s pain and fatigue from his body and tells Zoro that, though this will likely kill him, if he takes Luffy’s pain, then Kuma will leave them all be. Zoro and his captain share a deep bond, and so Zoro, inspired by Luffy’s leadership and his own values, takes his Captain’s immense pain, and not only survives, but he remains conscious and standing.
7 Time Skip Training
Every single member of Luffy’s crew is devastated when they learn that Luffy not only tackled Impel Down and The War of the Best alone, but he also lost his brother Ace in the turmoil. Trapped on their respective islands after being flung around the world by Kuma, regardless of injuries or the danger involved, each crew member attempts to escape until they receive Luffy’s message.
After two years, Luffy has gone through his most difficult experience yet, but he remains the leader they all love and respect as he finds his strength and orders his crew to train for two years before they meet back up. This act of strength from their captain inspires them all greatly and, two years later, the crew that reunites is a hundred times stronger.
6 Luffy and Ace Inspire Jimbei
Jimbei is a strong and successful pirate all on his own. Yet, even he is inspired by Luffy’s leadership. Initially, Jimbei joins Luffy to help rescue Ace. Yet, as Jimbei fights alongside Luffy, he quickly comes to see Luffy for the amazing pirate that he is. While it takes Jimbei a long time to officially join Luffy’s crew, Jimbei begins, after the War of the Best, to make moves to protect Fishman Island, as well as set himself up to be able to join Luffy’s crew.
These actions put him in great danger with one of the Four Emperors of the Sea, but Jimbei is willing to meet that danger head-on if it means helping Luffy.
5 Luffy Inspires Princess Vivi
Vivi is an honorary member of the Straw Hat crew and the princess of Alabasta. In season two of the anime, Luffy and his crew work side by side with Vivi in order to free her country from a Warlords oppression. Luffy, though, can see where Vivi is mistaken, and, in typical Luffy fashion, he taunts Vivi until she explodes, and they engage in a short scuffle.
While this doesn’t seem like an inspiring act, he allows Vivi a way to vent while also teaching her an important lesson that any leader should realize. People die, and putting one person’s life on the line is selfish when they have friends to support them. Luffy inspires Vivi to be the leader she needs to be for her country.
4 Luffy Inspires Robbin To Live, Twice!
Luffy will stop at nothing to support and protect his crew and those he deems worthy of friendship or protection. This quality is exactly what inspires Nico Robbin to live not just once, but twice! Nico Robbin’s very difficult and lonely past left her thinking two things, that she could never have friends and that she could never live a full life.
Thus, once her dreams were seemingly crushed in Alabasta, she was ready to die. Luffy stubbornly refused to let her die and drags her out of a collapsing cave while telling Robbin that she can die if she wants after Luffy saves her. This led Robbin to join the Straw Hats. Then, while attempting to sacrifice herself to save her newly acquired friends, Luffy willingly declares war on the entire World Government in order to inspire Robbin to live. Luffy’s leadership inspired a woman who had lost all hope of survival long, long ago.
3 Luffy Inspires Ussop To Find Haki
Luffy’s trust in his crew sometimes inspires them in a different way. While battling Don Flamingo’s crew in Dressrosa, Luffy is about to be blindsided by a girl who can turn him into a toy with a touch. Ussop, knowing that Luffy’s only hope of survival is in his hands and knowing that Luffy relies on his crew to cover his weakness, pushes himself further than he ever has before to make a sniper shot across the majority of the island, thus unlocking the observation Haki inside of him, a rare skill that only three of the other Straw Hats have achieved.
2 Luffy Takes Out 50,000 Fishmen
The Straw Hats, in the Fishman Island arc, are staring down an army of 100,000 Fishmen, and even Zoro and Sanji are showing a bit of nervousness as they discuss the fact that each Straw Hat would have to take down 10,000 Fishmen on their own in order to win.
Luffy, being the leader that he is, steps through the bickering pair, and, in one of Luffy’s most badass moments, takes down 50,000 Fishmen with one massive flex of his Conquerer’s Haki. Suddenly, the Straw Hat’s nerves are settled, and this once daunting fight becomes a competition to show off their new moves and gear to the rest of the crew, with even Sanji and Zoro now planning on taking down 30,000 Fishmen each.
1 Luffy Inspires Franky To Build The Sunny
Franky, after his weaponized inventions led to the death of his former master, had given up on building ships and being an engineer—but then he meets Luffy. While Franky and the Straw Hats start as enemies after Franky’s crew roughed up Ussop, eventually they end up fighting on the same side against CP-9.
During this conflict, Franky sees the devotion Luffy and his crew have for each other which allows him to work through his issues and leads him to not only build an absolutely amazing ship for Luffy, but to join the Straw Hat crew himself.
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