The classic Japanese anime One Piece has a lot of inspiring themes, life-lessons and one-liners.
One of these themes that runs through One Piece is the theme of friendship and comradery. So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at selection of One Piece quotes about friendship.
Throughout the epic, Luffy consistently demonstrates a fierce loyalty for his band of pirates. Not only does he tell them that he would give his life for them, he consistently demonstrates this.
You get the sense that Luffy is an all-in kind of guy.
But isn’t that, in many ways, how we define a hero? Someone who has done the work to decide their mission in life and then had the power to go all-in?
And like those that have the ability to exhibit a high degree of self-actualization, Luffy also holds his team to high standards. He offers that sweet-spot balance of warmth and accountability.
In short, he is a great leader.
Let’s take a look at some of the One Piece quotes that demonstrate this.
One Piece Quotes On What You Would Give To Friends
This is in the context of a conversation with Bibi, who is doing everything to save Alabasta. But luffy demands more. He demands that his band of people put their lives on the line for one another. What is a life in the context of saving another?
Wouldn’t we all want that courage? Wouldn’t we all want that connection?
Luffy shows us in the next quote both that he has decided clearly on what he wants to concentrate on and what he does not. For all the things that he has decided not to concentrate on, he assembles a team, a band of comrades.
One Piece Quotes On Assembling a Team
This quote was spoken in the context of an argument with Aaron. It was in response to barbed comment from Aaron who told Luffy he was “a stupid, weak and foolish person who couldn’t do anything on his own.”
Luffy, rather than denying this or trying to rebuff the comment, acknowledges the criticism openly. He acknowledges that no man is an ocean, accepts that he needs help, and expresses gratitude.
The way he expresses this is especially interesting. He not only “acknowledges” that he needs help to get by in life. He says that he has “confidence” in his inability.
This suggests he has clearly thought about what his strengths and weaknesses are, and what he is and isn’t willing to put his energy into improving.
This is gratitude for a larger community and family is something you hear a lot in Japan and a lot in One Piece!
For sword-craft in particular, he has only one go-to man – Zoro!
This Luffy quote comes from a conversation with Zoro which went like this:
Zoro: “I’ll join your pirate gang… I’ll make the pledge. I guess that means I’ll be on the side of the baddies in fighting the navy.
But make no mistake, I have my own ambition.
I aim to be the world’s best swordsman. I don’t care if I’m considered pure or impure. I don’t care if I’m considered a notorious criminal or whatever. My name will roar in the world.
It’s you that invited me. If you ever give up, you can just commit hara-kiri and apologize to me.”
Luffy: “The world’s greatest swordsman!!! If you’re gonna be in the Pirate King’s crew, it would be an embarrassment if you were anything less !!!”
Here we get that sense of a leader that is both warm and has high standards. Not only is Luffy unwaveringly working to achieve his own potential, he also unwaveringly wants, and expects, those around him to do the same.
Once again, you get the sense that Luffy is trying to build something bigger than himself. He is trying to build a group, an organisation, that is truly world class. In this way, he’s setting up a virtuous circle between himself and others where each will influence the other to achieve a little bit more.
This idea is most clearly encapsulated in the famous Jim Rohn quote:
““You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”“
Luffy chooses to spend time only with people that hold themselves to high standards.
This is a home truth expressed by Luffy to the character of Sanji. Sanji owes a debt of life to the character of Zeff. In an attempt to repay this debt, he makes the decision to give his own life for Zeff and the fate of his restaurant.
Luffy, whose own life had been saved by the character of Shanks in the past, sees things differently. He believes the real way to “give back” is to continue living.
He drops this truth-bomb on Sanji at just the right time.
So where we see in other quotes here that Luffy expects people to be willing to die for each other, he doesn’t want them to die in vain. Luffy is not about empty gestures. He’s a big-picture pragmatist.
We see from the next quote that, far from expecting people to give themselves up easily to a terminal end, he expects them to fight with every inch of their being to live.
Luffy makes it clear here that he puts both the life of his friends, and his own self esteem, before the loss of an appendage. If that is not a reminder of what true loyalty means, I don’t know what is!
One Piece Quotes On Trust In Friends
Luffy also clearly exhibits a huge amount of trust in his companions. In this conversation with Rucchi, he shows both a dedication to protecting his friends from a terrible foe, but also an ability to trust they will look after themselves while Luffy is otherwise engaged.
Luffy has a deep respect for his team.
Isn’t that what we all want from our leaders?
It’s not just the character of Luffy that exhibits outstanding faith and love in the One Piece band of pirates. This quote from Nami shows her own dedication to the group.
It also points at the truism that life is not just about winning for yourself. It is also about being part of a group, of service to others, and connected with a larger purpose.
Indeed, Angela Duckworth in her research into what makes people stick with big projects or missions for the long haul identified “purpose” as one of the four factors that best predicted those that would fail from those that would not. The “purpose” was more related to the “bigger purpose” that a person’s work refers to in society.
Luffy’s band of pirates see themselves as being part of something bigger than just themselves.
This one is another beseechingly life-affirming quote from Luffy. Once again Luffy rejects the idea of someone giving their life for another unnecessarily, or as a kind of excuse for making an exit.
In this case, it is the character of Robin who is trying to give her life for Luffy and crew.
But Luffy won’t have it. He tracks her down and confronts her at the end of the battle and demands that she choose life.
This is a comic panel that anyone that is considering giving their life away on some kind of vague pretense should see.
The idea that you need to make yourself strong to protect others is a common theme in Japanese storytelling. It is, for example, a constant reference point in Demon Slayer and the Demon Slayer opening theme song Gurenge.
Although this idea is especially prevalent in Japanese culture, it is an idea that is quite universal.
One Piece Friendship Quotes – In Conclusion
It is clear that Luffy loves and cherishes his friends passionately. His enthusiasm for his own mission ignites all of those around him to be the best that they can be. Together they forge a virtuous cycle where each person inspires the other to be a little better.
Along the way, we see the dedication that Luffy gives to his little band, and the dedication he, in turn, expects from them.
In this way, One Piece gives us something of a template for how we should approach our own relationships, and, indeed, our own lives.
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