The One Piece manga and anime series features an extensive cast of characters created by Eiichiro Oda. The series takes place in a fictional universe where vast numbers of pirates, soldiers, revolutionaries, and other adventurers fight each other, using various superhuman and supernatural abilities. The series' storyline follows the adventures of a group of pirates as they search for the series titular treasure.
The main character of the series is , a young pirate who wishes to succeed , the deceased King of the Pirates, by finding his treasure, the "One Piece". During the course of series, Luffy gathers himself a crew of misfits, named the , so far including the three swords wielding , the master thief and expert navigator , the cowardly marksman and inventor , the gourmet cook and martial-artist , the anthropomorphic reindeer and doctor , the archaeologist , the cyborg shipwright , and the living skeleton musician . Together they sail the seas in pursuit of their dreams, encountering other pirates, bounty hunters, criminal organizations, revolutionaries, secret agents and soldiers of the , and various other friends and foes.
When drawing One Piece, Eiichiro Oda was heavily influenced by the manga Dragon Ball and had the series in mind when designing his characters. Several characters have been stated to be based on actual people, such as Blackbeard (Marshall D. Teach) and Whitebeard (Edward Newgate) being based on the actual pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach). Some other notable examples includes Roronoa Zoro (François l'Olonnais), Sanji & Zeff (Red Legs Greaves), Jewelry Bonney (Anne Bonny), Scratchmen Apoo (Chui Apoo), Eustass Kidd (William Kidd and Eustace the Monk), X. Drake (Sir Francis Drake), Lafitte (Jean Lafitte), Bartholomew Kuma (Bartholomew Roberts), Captain Morgan (Henry Morgan), Alvida (Awilda), Basil Hawkins (Basil Ringrose and John Hawkins) and Bellamy (Samuel Bellamy).
The protagonists of the One Piece series are part of the Straw Hat Pirates, a crew of pirates founded and captained by Monkey D. Luffy. Starting out with Luffy alone the crew's number grows throughout the series as Luffy keeps recruiting new members. The name of their first ship is , however due to severe damage, the Straw Hat Pirates got a new ship called .
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Official Site: Toei Animation Company, Ltd.
Links: Wikipedia One Piece HQ One Piece Encyclopedia