Monkey D. Luffy, the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, has been sailing the world’s seas for over 1000 chapters now. He is now closer to achieving his dream of finding One Piece and becoming the Pirate King than he has ever been. Though Luffy set out to the sea all on his own, he gradually gathered a crew of talented individuals who are now one of the most renowned crews in the world of One Piece. The story behind each Straw Hat joining the crew is impactful enough on its own. Because Luffy gained their respect, they wholeheartedly believe that will he be the Pirate King.
Looking back at those moments, maybe the Straw Hats were the first ones to believe in Luffy’s dream. It must be that they saw a potential in Luffy that was hidden from ordinary people. Their desire to stay in the crew and help Luffy stems from that respect and the belief that Luffy will become the King of the Pirates someday. Luffy fought for his crew mates against a common evil creating an unbreakable bond. He allowed them to be whoever they want, and they, in turn, joined his crew not just to achieve their own goals but his as well. Here are the moments when the Straw Hats said that Luffy will become the Pirate King.
Zoro’s faith in Luffy has been unshaken since the very start. He was the first person to acknowledge that Luffy will become King of the Pirates. After his fight with Mihawk, Zoro was ashamed of his defeat. Therefore, to provide his mettle to Luffy, he raised his sword while lying on the deck from his injuries and told Luffy about his conviction while also referring to him as the future King of the Pirates. Another iconic moment was his encounter with Kuma at the Thriller Bark, where Zoro begged the Warlord to take his life instead of Luffy’s since the latter is destined to become the King of the Pirates.
If Zoro can be considered Luffy’s right-hand man, Sanji is his left. Sanji’s faith in Luffy goes beyond that of a captain and crew member relationship. Luffy helped him realize his dream to search for All Blue and offered him a place on his ship. In the “Zou” arc, when Sanji’s past was about to be revealed, Captain Bege apprehended Sanji on Big Mom’s behalf and offered to take Luffy and the other Straw Hats under an Emperor’s banner. However, Sanji vehemently refused, saying that Luffy is not a man who will settle with being someone’s underlying since he is the future Pirate King.
Ussop’s proclamation was extremely emotional. In the “Alabasta” arc, the Straw Hats faced an enemy fiercer than they had ever faced before. They were against a Warlord and has a massive crew of elite fighters. In the middle of all that chaos, Luffy went missing and Ussop was given the news that Luffy had died. Refusing to accept the death of his friend, Ussop announced that Luffy will become the pirate king; therefore, it didn’t make sense for him to die. Despite always getting scared of his enemies and having a lack of hand-to-hand combat skills, Ussop still went against a powerful foe just to prove his point.
Because of her past, Nami always hated pirates and believed them to be evil people with no bottom line. However, getting to know Luffy has been an eye-opener for her. After Luffy saved her from Arlong, she became the Straw Hats’ official navigator. Despite always being angry at Luffy, she trusts him the most in the crew. In the “Whole Cake Island” arc, Luffy and Nami were up against Big Mom’s strongest crew members, and she proclaimed Luffy’s future role. Another instance of her faith in Luffy was shown in the “Wano” arc, where Ulti hit her and threatened her to say that Luffy won’t be the Pirate King. Even covered with wounds, Nami reminisced about her past when she first asked Luffy for help, who saved her from a powerful opponent without hesitation. Therefore, ignoring the threat to her life, Nami couldn’t bring herself to say that Luffy won’t become the Pirate King because she didn’t believe that.
Having been kicked out of his group by his reindeer family and then hated by humans, Chopper never truly had a place he could belong. He was happy living with his foster father, who also passed away not long after. It wasn’t until he joined Luffy’s crew that he finally became a pirate and realized his dream. In the “Punk Hazard” arc, Chopper was eager to save the kids who were being experimented on by Ceaser. While trying to assure one of the kids, Chopper promised that even if Ceaser was a terrifying man, he would never win against Luffy who was going to become the future King of the Pirates.
Franky proclaiming Luffy to be the future King of the Pirates may be one of his most iconic scenes. As if going up against a Yonko wasn’t enough for the Straw Hats and their allies, another terrifying Yonko, Big Mom, joined the battle. Nami and Franky encountered Big Mom, who they were no match against. While Nami suggested running away, Franky refused to say she was just an Emperor, but proclaimed that Luffy would be King of the Pirates.
Being the strongest and the most respectable Fishman, Jinbe had a lot of responsibilities on his shoulder. Following Whitebeard’s death, he joined Big Mom’s banner to protect his people. However, when Luffy came to Whole Cake Island and reunited with Jinbe, he told him that he will be waiting for Jinbe in the Land of Wano. Wanting to join Luffy’s crew for a long time, Jinbe didn’t hesitate to put forth his request in front of Big Mom to leave her crew. Big Mom agreed to his condition at the cost of having a lot of years from his life. Interestingly enough, her powers only work on those who are afraid of her; therefore, she was unable to extract Jinbei’s life force. Jinbe said that he has no fear of a mere Emperor since he would become a crew member of the future King of the Pirates.
Much like most Straw Hats, Robin never found a place she could call home until she joined Luffy’s crew. She holds everyone in the crew dear to her, especially after they saved her from the World Government. In the “Wano” arc, Sanji was helpless against a female opponent and thus, could only call Robin for help. Robin was elated to see Sanji trust her so much. Therefore, seeing Black Maria insult Sanji and calling him a laughingstock didn’t sit well with Robin. She said that Sanji is not only a kind man but also someone who is worthy of being one of the arms of the future Pirate King.
The two-year separation was just as hard on any of the Straw Hats as it was on Luffy. They all focused on improving themselves so they could be more helpful to Luffy. In the meantime, Brook somehow became a rising star and was doing a live performance in the “Sabaody” arc. After the Marineford War, Luffy was believed to be dead since he disappeared from the public eye. Nonetheless, shortly post-time skip, Brook announced during his live performance that not only was Luffy alive but that he will also become the King of the Pirates.