Luffy often gets beaten up by his crew mates on the Thousand Sunny, but who really runs the ship?
The Straw Hat Pirates have officially been recognized as one of the strongest pirate crews in the world of One Piece. Given that they can survive the harsh seas with relatively few numbers, they obviously have what it takes to defeat the majority of other pirate crews. Even so, not every Straw Hat is equal in power. When it comes to raw power, their captain Monkey D. Luffy should be the strongest among them. He has proven that on various occasions. There are, however, certain situations where he doesn’t seem to be the case. Even after being proclaimed Emperor, he still receives a beating from his crew mates, which makes one wonder how the power hierarchy works among the Straw Hat Pirates.
The Straw Hat Pirates started with Luffy’s brave decision to sail the seas and build his very own pirate crew. The first member to join his adventure is no other than the No. 2 of the Straw Hat Pirates — Roronoa Zoro. They are then joined by Nami, Usopp and Sanji as they cross the East Blue. With a measly crew of five, the Straw Hat Pirates start braving the harsh seas of the Grand Line. They’ve slowly increased their numbers as they reach more shores. With Jimbei’s recent addition, the crew finally has ten members, and each one plays an important role.
The Power Levels Of The Straw Hat Members Are Quite Clear
The power levels of each Straw Hat member are quite clear when comparing them to each other. With his numerous Gears, Luffy has taken down opponents that rule over a certain territory. His feats are even recognized by the World Government, which has officially awarded him the title of an Emperor. Needless to say, he is the strongest member of the crew. Similarly, Zoro with his immense strength and sword skills, Jimbei with his Fish-Man Karate and Haki abilities, and Sanji with his flaming and anatomy-altering kicks are nothing to scoff at either. That being said, these four members form the Straw Hat Pirates’ main attack force.
The other Straw Hats also bring their own unique skills and abilities to the table, including the weakest two — Usopp and Nami. Usopp has impeccable aim, while Nami’s control over the weather is nothing short of miraculous. While it is clear that neither of them would last long if they seriously fought with Luffy, they have no problem beating and bossing their captain around. And it’s not just them; the other Straw Hats don’t seem to have any difficulty giving their beloved crew members a smack or two.
Everyone Can Beat Up Anyone
Another interesting aspect of the Straw Hat Pirates is that despite their clear power hierarchy, everyone is free to beat up anyone, not that it is encouraged or officially stated. Given their jolly nature, the members — especially Luffy — tend to make stupid mistakes. It is then up to the other crew members to straighten them out, usually through violence. Despite his position as the strongest member and the captain, Luffy is usually the one being reprimanded. While Nami is usually the one doing the reprimanding, she isn’t the only one who does. Even Zoro, who is arguably the most loyal to Luffy, smacks Luffy for his idiocy on occasion.
Of course, Luffy isn’t the only one who gets beat up. Zoro, Sanji, Usopp, Chopper and even Jimbei, who has just joined them, have tasted Nami’s wrath. This dynamic hasn’t changed even after Luffy has become an Emperor. In fact, Luffy’s most recent punishment came just after the crew leaves Wano. At that time, Luffy voluntarily chooses to take the harsher path of descending the waterfall over the official port. Nami then takes it upon herself to make sure that Luffy learns the error of his ways. When Jimbei attempts to brush off his new captain’s stupidity, the Fish-Man also gets a taste of Nami’s wrath.
Each Straw Hat Has Their Own Role To Play
Just like any pirate crew, the Straw Hat Pirates need specialists to ensure smooth sailing. Therefore, not only are the members skilled fighters, they each play another important role in their adventure. As previously mentioned, Luffy is the crew’s captain. Zoro is both the swordsman and first mate, while Sanji is the cook. Jimbei is their skilled helmsman and Nami is the reliable navigator responsible for mapping their journey and planning their route. Usopp is the crew’s sharpshooter, who provides long-range support in battles. Robin is a knowledgeable archeologist who helps the crew uncover the secrets of the world. Franky, the shipwright, is responsible for maintaining and upgrading the Thousand Sunny, the crew’s ship. Chopper is the doctor, and Brook is the musician that fills their journey with music.
It is mainly because of these roles that the power hierarchy among the Straw Hat members gets mixed up. For instance, Nami, being the navigator, leads the crew to direct the ship’s course. Her crew mates trust and respect her and her skills, each of them taking their station according to Nami’s lead. Given that she is the most knowledgeable about sailing, she knows the consequences of her captain’s stupid decisions — say, sailing down a waterfall — best. This is also true for the other members of the crew, though Sanji, Nami, and Chopper are usually the ones who have to keep their captain in check.
Even though Luffy often receives beatings from his crew mates, it doesn’t diminish his position and authority as captain. Similar to how he respects his crew members’ skills and authority, they also do the same for him. Luffy has the final say when it comes to making important decisions and, no matter how stupid those decisions may be, the crew ultimately follows his lead. That is exactly what happened when Luffy accepted Law’s proposal for an alliance without doing much research or critical thinking.
In the end, the reason Luffy gets constantly beaten up by his crew mates is that he only imposes his authority during crucial moments. He steps up whenever one of his crew mates is in danger — like when Robin is apprehended by CP9 or when Sanji leaves for Whole Cake Island, but most of the time, Luffy simply savors the joys that the world of One Piece has to offer.