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Is there Romance in One Piece?

Romance in One Piece

“Yo hohoho, yo hohoho Yo hohoho, Yo hohoho, gather up all of the crew it’s time to ship everyone we knew! Sea wind blows, to where, who knows?”- If you want to know all the subtle or not-so-subtle romantic hints and interactions Oda has thrown into “One Piece” over the years you have come to the right place. We will focus only on the crew members. Make yourself comfortable on my ship and let’s get sailing.

Is there romance in One Piece? – the spoiler-free-version

The short answer: no. One Piece is not a Romance Manga and will never be. In several interviews, Oda has expressed his views regarding the topic. There is a post on the One Piece subreddit which provides a photo of an Interview from Jump Festa 2009 where Oda specifically said: “I don’t think there will be any romance among that crew.[…] One Piece isn’t a romance.”

He mentioned that the Straw Hat Pirates are more like a family and their bond is beyond romantic love. This perspective aligns with the series’ overarching themes of adventure, loyalty, and the pursuit of individual dreams. BUT, I wouldn’t be a professional shipbuilder/ romance enthusiast if I didn’t hang on to every little slither of hope. Oda said “I think”. And we all know what that means: maybe Oda will surprise us all. Or he will change his mind. It’s no secret that the actual completion date of the manga has often been a moving target. In an Interview with Shonen Jump 2003 he said that One Piece was about halfway through which was around the time of the Alabasta Arc. That was more than 20 years ago. So, if you want to hold on to hope and dive deeper keep reading

Romance in One Piece: The most shipped/discussed relationships among the crew

  • Sanji and Nami: This pairing is one of the most discussed among fans. Sanji’s overt affection and chivalry towards Nami, coupled with Nami’s occasional reliance on and care for Sanji, have sparked theories and hopes among fans for a deeper romantic connection. But let’s be honest, Sanji is simping for everyone and everything, so that makes it less special and after The Whole Cake Arc I personally think that ship has sailed without anyone on board – at least without Sanji and Nami.
    • Most iconic scene: There are several rescue scenes between them but one of the most iconic visual scenes has to be on Thriller Bark where Sanji saves Nami from a forced marriage with Abalon and catches her in a wedding dress. Several Arcs later Nami saves him from a wedding too – along with the rest of the crew – but still. If you WANT to put meaning into it, you can.
  • Zoro and Robin: The dynamic between Zoro and Robin is often noted for its subtlety and mutual respect. Fans are drawn to their mature and calm personalities, leading to speculation about a potential romance. In some scenes in the ship, they have been shown to hang out with each other, but it’s not romantic. They are purely friends.
    • Most iconic scene: In the water 7 arc Zoro runs around with three kids and desperately wants to avoid being seen by his crew members. While he struggles he gets caught by Robin and she tells him that the children suit him. In that scene, we see Zoro blush which is the only time in the entire Manga if I recall correctly.
  • Luffy and Nami: Some fans speculate about a deeper bond between Luffy and Nami, given their close friendship, trust, and the way they often rely on each other. This pairing is more speculative, as Luffy generally shows little interest in romance, I mean it’s Luffy. But these two have many heartwarming scenes together.
    • Most iconic scene: In the Arlong Park Arc when Nami completely loses it and is trying to destroy her tattoo of the Arlong crew with a knife, Luffy stops her and then she finally opens up to him for the first time. While crying she asks: “Luffy, help me”. And of course, he complies while putting her in charge of his straw hat which he treasures more than anything else.Nami and Luffy iconic moment.
  • Franky and Robin: Their interactions, especially in the Enies Lobby Arc, have led some fans to believe there could be a deeper connection, given their complementary personalities and shared experiences. But in the most recent Arcs, their friendship isn’t explored anymore. So a romance between them is even more farfetched. But you never know.
    • Most iconic scene: In a pivotal scene Franky and Robin are detained together by the World Government. Here, Franky makes a profound gesture of solidarity and trust towards Robin. He burns the blueprint of the ancient weapon Pluton in front of the CP9 members, which he had safeguarded for years. This act symbolizes his belief in Robin’s worth and the crew’s resolve to save her. In retrospect, it’s also one of the most important scenes in One Piece.

Romance in One Piece: Does the crew have love interest?

It’s not that unlikely that at least one relationship will form after their journey will come to an end. Let’s explore the love interests of each crew member.

Luffys love interest

Throughout the series, Luffy interacts with many female characters, but none of these interactions have been romantically inclined. Luffy’s interactions are typically platonic and driven by his friendly, straightforward nature. But he does have a love interest: Hancock, the Pirate Empress. She falls in love with Luffy during the Amazon Lily Arc. Her feelings are quite clear and strongly expressed throughout the series. However Luffy, true to his character, appears oblivious to her romantic advances and treats her more like a friend and ally. Her delusions about their possible relationship are hilarious to watch.

Most iconic scene: During the Amazon Lily Arc, Luffy is sent flying into the palace and ends up crashing into the bath where Boa Hancock and her sisters are bathing. Of course, Hancock immediately tries to turn him to stone with her Mero Mero powers. Thanks to Luffys lack of concern for superficial matters like Hancock’s beauty or status he is completely unaffected. It’s iconic. For Hancock, it’s a turning point. She starts to view Luffy differently, realizing that he is unlike any other man she has encountered

Zoros love interests

I never thought I would say this but while grasping for straws there actually came up three potential love interests for Zoro:

  • Tashigi
  • Perona
  • Hiyori

    Zoro and Perona: During the time skip in the series, Zoro ends up stranded at Perona’s castle. Their interaction during this period has been a subject of humor and light-heartedness in the series, leading some fans to speculate about their relationship. I personally think that Perona might have feelings for him because in the scene where he leaves the island, she tries to persuade him to stay and is pretty mad at him for leaving.

    Zoro and Tashigi: Tashigi is a Marine officer who bears a striking resemblance to Zoro’s childhood friend Kuina and has an interesting dynamic with Zoro. Their interactions are marked by a mix of frustration and respect on Zoro’s part, but these have not developed into anything romantic – yet. There are theories about a future, more meaningful confrontation or collaboration between Zoro and Tashigi, especially given their respective goals – Zoro’s desire to become the world’s greatest swordsman and Tashigi’s mission to reclaim all Meito (famed swords) for the sake of justice.

    Most iconic scene: They first meet in the Alabasta Arc and clash, which builds their relationship. The most iconic “shipping”-scene would have to be in the Punk Hazard Arc though. As they all try to escape the deadly gas, Tashigi finds herself overwhelmed and struggling to keep up due to the injuries and exhaustion she and her subordinates have suffered. Zoro swiftly picks up Tashigi and carries her to safety. When she fawns over his swords he spews: “Shut up and let me carry you, sword geek.

    Zoro and Hiyori: Zoro meets Hiyori in the Wano Country Arc and she basically clings to him from the first moment they meet. Hiyori quickly places her trust in Zoro, revealing her true identity as the daughter of Kozuki Oden and sister to Momonosuke, despite the risks involved. This immediate trust sets the tone for their relationship. Zoro also displays a protective stance towards Hiyori, especially when she is in danger.

    Most iconic moment: After meeting, they immediately spend the night together in a house. Zoro falls asleep with Toko pretty early and Hiyori joins them. They all sleep together like that and the anime weirdly lingers on the scene and shows her arm on his chest. Foreshadowing for us desperate shippers out there maybe? Who knows. The real iconic moment though, is in episode 943 where they run towards the rest of the crew and Sanji sees Hiyori clinging to Zoro. He gets extremely jealous and his face even transcends art styles.


    Does Nami have a love interest?

    Nami has a close relationship with everyone in the crew but it’s mostly platonic. She doesn’t have a love interest outside of the crew, but she has many many admirers. Unfortunately, she is subject to the most “fanservicy” scenes. Her boobs keep growing exponentially and even have their own iconic sound in the anime.

    Uysopps love interest

    Usopps love interest is Kaya. His stories play a crucial role in lifting Kaya’s spirits. His visits are something that Kaya looks forward to, and they share a bond over these imaginative tales. Despite the villagers often dismissing Usopp as a liar, Kaya believes in him and sees the goodness in his heart. This belief is crucial during the Syrup Village Arc when Kaya trusts Usopp’s warning about Captain Kuro’s true intentions. As Usopp leaves Syrup Village to join the Straw Hat Pirates, Kaya gifts him the Going Merry. This gift is a symbol of her support for Usopp’s dream. Even after Usopp departs, the bond between him and Kaya remains – at least in the Manga. Kaya is often shown following Usopp’s adventures and supporting him from afar.

    Most iconic moment: When Usopp decides to leave Syrup Village and join Luffy’s crew, he shares a heartfelt goodbye with Kaya. During this moment, he promises her that he will return to the village once he has achieved his dream. In the Live-Action on Netflix, they kiss before saying Goodbye. So far more than ten “lies” he told Kaya to cheer her up have already come true on his journey. So this promise has a lot of significance. He also bragged about having ten children by the way – maybe this will come true too.

    Sanjis love interest

    Sanji has had several interactions suggesting romantic interest – or pervert vibes – but none have developed into a significant or lasting romantic relationship. I mean it’s hard when the guy almost dies because he gets nosebleeds every time he sees a woman he likes. The most notable love interest of his is Charlotte Pudding. During the Whole Cake Island Arc, Sanji is arranged to marry Charlotte, the 35th daughter of the Charlotte Family. This marriage is part of a political alliance between the Big Mom Pirates and the Vinsmoke Family. Initially, Pudding appears sweet and innocent, and Sanji is genuinely smitten by her. However, it is later revealed that she has a darker side and is part of Big Mom’s plan to assassinate Sanji and his family. Their relationship is complex, with moments of tenderness, betrayal, and eventual understanding. By the end of the Whole Cake Island Arc, Pudding’s feelings for Sanji are clear, but the nature of their relationship remains unresolved as Sanji continues his journey with the Straw Hats. Although it is the most iconic romantic relationship yet in One Piece.

    Most iconic moments: Charlotte Pudding had previously been hiding her third eye, located on her forehead, as it led to her being ridiculed and ostracized in her childhood. She is sensitive and self-conscious about it, expecting rejection or disgust upon its revelation. When she does so after they say their vows Sanji blushes and responds with kindness and genuine admiration, calling her third eye “beautiful”, she is completely surprised, and she starts crying. After that scene Pudding changes her ways. Their goodbye is also heartbreaking and we get the first and only intentional kiss of a crew member in One Piece. Although – of course – you don’t see their mouths, only some exclamation marks and their feet, so fans are speculating if the kiss even happened. It did. And Pudding erased Sanjis memory of it.

    Choppers love interest

    Who would have thought – our little “raccoon” does have a love interest. It’s Milky. She appears during the Zou Arc and is a member of the Whale Forest Guardians. While there isn’t a significant development of a romantic subplot involving her and Chopper he is clearly head over heels for her when he sees her. When Oda was asked about Chopper’s crush on Milky he apparently said in Volume 90 of the SBS question corner: “She’s a very rare specimen and can breed with humans and reindeer alike. If Chopper really loves her… I can’t stop it. LOVE IS A HURRICANE!” (Source) I can’t tell if this is legit – please elaborate in the comments if you have more insight.

    Does Robin have a love interest?

    Just like Nami, Robin does not have a specific love interest in the series. Her character development and storyline primarily focus on her past, her abilities as a Devil Fruit user, her quest to uncover the world’s true history, and her relationships with her crewmates, which are based on deep trust and camaraderie rather than romance. Her personality is more mature and reserved compared to other crew members. She often takes on a more observational role. Some wild speculations ship her with various characters outside the crew, one of them being Monkey D. Dragon – Luffys father. Their relationship supposedly happened off-screen and is primarily based on their shared interest in the world’s political structure and history, rather than any romantic context.

    Does Franky have a love interest?

    In the beginning, when Franky is first introduced, he is often seen with two women who are part of his original crew, the Franky Family. These two women, Mozu and Kiwi, are known as the Square Sisters. They are part of the larger group of dock workers and ship dismantlers led by Franky in Water 7. Although they are his Fans, there is no Romance implied. That is the closest the story gets to a “love interest” for Franky.

    Romance in One Piece: Brooks love interest

    Brook does not have a specific love interest in the series. He often provides comic relief with his running gags, like asking to see ladies’ “pantsu”, which almost always lands him a smack on the head from somewhere. Nami is never far. But the jokes are more a part of his quirky humor than indicative of any serious romantic pursuit. Also Big Mum is completely infatuated with Brook, but let’s not go down this road. Who needs Romance when you have a really tragic back story and the cutest and most loyal whale on the planet?

    Jinbei doesn’t have a love interest

    Jinbei does not have a specific love interest either. His interactions with the crew and other characters, including the Straw Hat crew and other individuals they encounter, are based on respect, loyalty, and his strong sense of justice and honor.

    Picture of Elly
    I have read more than 1000 Romance Manhwa, Webtoons and Manga - TV-Series and books not included. So I hope to bring a deep and nuanced understanding of the genre to every review and recommendation. As a journalist with seven years of experience, I've dedicated my free time to exploring and writing about the intricacies of romance in various forms.

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