Monkey D. Luffy (モンキー・D・ルフィ Monkī Dī Rufi?), often addressed as "Straw Hat Luffy" (麦わらのルフィ Mugiwara no Rufi?), is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the One Piece franchise created by Eiichiro Oda. He is introduced as a boy who possesses elasticity powers from eating a devil fruit called the Gum-Gum Fruit and superhuman strength. One Piece revolves around his exploits in searching for the fabled treasure. Through his adventures he meets many others who share similar goals, organizing a diverse crew known as the Straw Hat Pirates. As Luffy's exploits are revealed to the World Government, he becomes one of the strongest pirates and protects his crew from villains who wish to harm him and his friends. Luffy is depicted as a carefree when at ease, but is quick to become serious in a fight. Luffy is able to concentrate his strength and power to use attacks, the most prominent being his signature Gum-Gum Pistol, an attack that uses elasticity from his hands. As the franchise's main protagonist, Luffy features in most of the episodes, films, television programs, and OVAs of the anime series One Piece, and many of the spin-off video games. Outside of the One Piece franchise, Luffy has had an appearance in the crossover manga Cross Epoch. He has also been the subject of other parodies, and has appeared in various special events and in Japanese pop culture. Due to the series' international popularity, Luffy has become one of the popular anime characters worldwide. Luffy's critical reception has been largely positive.
Personality Luffy is portrayed as a carefree and happy-go-lucky character with great ambitions and a huge appetite. He often thinks with his stomach and eats to the point of becoming comically fat. He is caring and generally good hearted. However, he is not naïve and understands most situations more than he shows. Knowing the dangers ahead, he is willing to risk his life to reach his goal to become the King of the Pirates, and protect his crew. He invites several people, such as Chopper or Brook, onto his crew generally for their personality but also because of his instinctual ability to be able to read people. His main reason has been stated a few times in the story. He needs several key jobs filled in his crew (i.e.: cook, navigator, doctor, musician, shipwright, and so on) that each crew member fulfills. Luffy stated in the beginning of the series that he wants at least 10 crew members, each with abilities that he feels necessary for his goal. Each members of the crew respect him in their own way despite his carefree personality. He is rarely concerned with the consequences of his actions, doing what he feels even if it leads to retaliation by a powerful force. However, he is an extremely loyal captain, who has demonstrated at many points throughout the series that he is willing to risk his life for the well-being of his crew.
Voice actors In the original Japanese version of the entire One Piece anime series (and later spin-offs in the franchise), Luffy has been voiced by Mayumi Tanaka. In the OVA Defeat the Pirate Ganzack!, Luffy was voiced by Urara Takano. In the numerous English versions, Luffy has been played by different voice actors because different companies produced the dubs. In 4Kids Entertainment's dub of the first five story arcs of One Piece, Luffy was voiced by Bella Hudson. In Funimation Entertainment's dub of the entire One Piece franchise, Luffy has been consistently voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard.
Luffy's elasticity powers are a result from eating the Gum-Gum Fruit, which makes him virtually immune to all blunt force attacks except especially strong attacks and attacks filled with Haki. The fruit also gave him the ability to stretch at will. Combined with the elasticity of his body, he uses that ability to accelerate parts or the whole of his body as if shot by a slingshot to deliver punches, kicks, head butts, body checks, or simply for propulsion. However, Luffy is unable to swim and when he is touched with sea-water, it quickly negates his powers. In addition to his powers, Luffy also possesses extreme endurance due to his training with Garp. Luffy's signature move is the Gum-Gum Pistol (ゴムゴムの銃(ピストル) Gomu-gomu no Pisutoru?, renamed "Gum-Gum Blast" in 4Kids' dub), a punch technique which he learned during his years of training. Another technique, developed later in the series, is Gear Second (ギア2(セカンド) Gia Sekando?, renamed "Gear 2" in Viz Media's manga translation), an attack that increases his strength and overall speed for a limited amount of time, but can strain his body afterwards. Gear Third (ギア3(サード) Gia Sādo?, renamed "Gear 3" in Viz Media's manga translation), another technique using air inflated into his bone structure to attack with massive limbs and strength, but causes him to shrink afterwards. He is capable of using both techniques simultaneously. Each of these techniques transforms his appearance. Luffy also develops his latent ability to use Haki (覇気?, lit. "ambition"). This ability renders people or animals in his proximity unconscious and can amplify the force of attacks and negate a devil fruit user's defense, allow physical contact and damage and can read a person's moves. He has a rare variation, the Conqueror's Haki (覇王色の覇気 Haōshoku no Haki?).  Eventually, Luffy masters the three types of Haki, and uses it in conjunction with his attacks.
Luffy first appears in the manga chapter "Romance Dawn" (Romance Dawn - 冒険の夜明 Romance Dawn - Bōken no Yoake?), first published in Japan's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine on August 4, 1997. He first appears as a young boy living in Windmill Village who befriends the pirate "Red-Haired" Shanks, intending to become one himself. Before the series' narrative begins, he accidentally eats the Gum Gum Fruit, gaining elasticity powers as a result and he is saved by Shanks from being eaten alive by a Sea King. Ten years later, Luffy leaves Windmill Village in search of a treasure known as the One Piece and to become King of the Pirates. Sailing alone, Luffy meets a swordsman named Roronoa Zoro, the navigator and thief Nami, the cowardly marksman and liar Usopp, and the womanizing chef Sanji, who also join on his quest. He also encounters and defeats several pirates in the East Blue, such as Buggy the Clown and the fishman Arlong. These actions cause him to be placed on the Marines' most wanted list . Luffy later accepts an offer to return the princess of Alabasta, Nefertari Vivi, safely into her homeland to stop a rebellion, incited by a member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea and leader of the crime syndicate Baroque Works, Sir Crocodile. Along the way, Luffy finds a reindeer doctor named Tony Tony Chopper in Drum Island. In Alabasta, the crew defeats Crocodile and Baroque Works and the civil war ends. Leaving Vivi behind, Luffy allows Crocodile's former second-in-command and archaeologist Nico Robin to become his ally. While visiting Skypiea, the crew gets drawn into a war between two races and Luffy defeats the god Eneru, ending the war. Luffy meets Admiral Aokiji, and is defeated after he learns about Robin's heritage. Luffy continues to face other enemies linked to Robin's heritage, such as Franky, a cyborg who eventually becomes Luffy's ally and the intelligence agency Cipher Pol No. 9, who causes Luffy and his crew to save Robin at Enies Lobby. Robin rejoins the crew after their battle on Enies Lobby - declaring war on the World Government in the process - and each member receives their bounties. The crew returns to Water 7 and after the Going Merry breaks down, they get their second ship, the Thousand Sunny; there, they meet Luffy's grandfather, Monkey D. Garp. When the crew come across Thriller Bark, they meet a skeletal musician named Brook. While there, they defeat the Warlord Gecko Moria, returning Brook's shadow in the process. After releasing the rest of the island's prisoners, Brook becomes Luffy's ally. The crew goes to the Sabaody Archipelago to coat their ship, but an incident involving the auction of the mermaid Camie eventually causes the crew to be separated during the encounter against Admiral Kizaru, and the Warlord Bartholomew Kuma. Luffy is sent to Amazon Lily, an island ruled by the Warlord Boa Hancock. Hancock eventually falls in love with Luffy and helps bring him to Impel Down, a prison, to save his brother Portgas D. Ace, who was imprisoned there after being defeated by Blackbeard. Luffy breaks into the prison and meets foes-turned-allies, such as Crocodile and Buggy, as well as new allies, such as the Warlord Jimbei and Emporio Ivankov, releasing the prisoners in the process. Luffy is nearly killed, but he and the convicts from the prison to Marineford. After arriving there, Luffy is drawn into a war between the Marines and Whitebeard's pirate crews. Luffy saves Ace, but Ace's love for Luffy causes him to sacrifice himself by receiving a fatal attack from Admiral Akainu. Luffy and Jimbei are evacuated from Marineford. When they return to Amazon Lily, Luffy looks back on his how he first met Ace. Shortly following Shanks' departure, Luffy is adopted by the bandit Curly Dadan. He also befriends Ace and Sabo during this time, but ends up losing Sabo in the process. Silvers Rayleigh trains Luffy to be his successor on Ruskaina and Luffy has the crew undergo training regimens. Luffy returns to the Sabaody Archipelago two years later and reunites with his crew. The crew are eventually separated again while sailing to Fishman Island. Luffy and the others meets Jimbei and the island's princess Shirahoshi, and are drawn into a battle for the island against fishmen Hody Jones and Vander Decken IX. Luffy and the crew, along with Jimbei, eventually regroup and conceive a plan to defeat Hody's troops and stop the ship Noah from destroying the Island.
In other media Luffy has made several appearances in other media, including, but not limited to, every One Piece licensed electronic video game to date, including Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars. In 2006, he is featured in the Dragon Ball Z/One Piece/Naruto crossover game Battle Stadium D.O.N.. Luffy, along with Son Goku and Naruto Uzumaki, made guest appearances in avatar form in the MMORPG Second Life for a Jump Festa promotion titled Jumpland@Second Life. In addition to his in-game appearances, Luffy has also been featured and mentioned in some songs. "Wanted!" features Luffy singing about himself as a wanted pirate. "Every-One Peace!" features Luffy singing about the One Piece. Luffy has made guest appearances in various Japanese television shows and manga. Luffy and several other characters would team up with the cast of Dragon Ball in a spinoff titled Cross Epoch. On April 3, 2011, Luffy and the other One Piece protagonists appear premiere episode of the Toriko anime series and the crossover manga chapter. In the Yakitate!! Japan manga, Kuroyanagi turns into a "Tenobi Man" as a reaction from trying Azuma's Ja-pan dumpling. To this effect, he dons a straw hat and starts stretching his arms like rubber to great lengths ("tenobi" means "stretching arms"). Luffy makes a cameo appearance in a Weekly Shonen Jump binding in an episode of To Love-Ru. The Gum-Gum was referenced in the 50th episode of the Gin Tama anime series. Luffy has also appeared in the popular web comic VG Cats. In 2008, Toei Animation sponsored the Pallavolo Modena Italian volleyball team. To represent their sponsorship, Pietro Rinaldi's and Edoardo Ciabattini's traditional black uniforms were emblazoned with an image of Luffy on the front. He was featured in the cover of the January 2010 issue from the Japanese fashion magazine Men's Non-No, becoming the first manga character to appear in the cover of such magazine. His new clothes were designed by Shinichi "Miter" Mita. Luffy was mentioned in the video game Half minute Hero for the PlayStation Portable, where the description of the usable item 'Straw hat' said it makes the user feel rubbery and want to become a pirate. In the manga Rookies, Luffy's image appears on a girl's cell phone strap during a graduation ceremony. There is also a reference to Luffy in the online MMORPG, Aika Online. In-game, there is an NPC wearing Luffy's style of clothes named "Monkey C. Lupis III" and even has a title above his head saying "Future King of Pirates". In the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, players who choose Limsa Lominsa as their starting city get to see an NPC pirate in the intro scene who wears clothes similar to Luffy.
Besides being featured in pieces of merchandise based on the One Piece, he has appeared in crossover figurines which show him along with Dragon Ball characters.
Luffy ranked first in all three Shōnen Jump character popularity polls. Funimation Entertainment's Mike McFarland and Christopher Sabat, both stated that they felt that Luffy was more likable than the Dragon Ball character Son Goku. Mayumi Tanaka, Luffy's Japanese voice actor, comically mentioned she feels sorry for making Luffy's voice due the fact she is a mother while Luffy is much younger. When asked about how she does Luffy's voice, Tanaka replies that she "strives for reality" during scenes that the character talks while eating or while touching his nose. In the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation Awards from 2008, Luffy was nominated for the category "Best Male Character". However, he lost to Alucard from Hellsing. He was also 22nd in IGN's Top 25 Anime Characters of All Time by writer Chris Mackenzie. The GumiGumi Gatling technique has ranked appeared in a Japanese survey that featured the most popular moves in manga and anime: it was second in the male category and fourth in the female category. Luffy's character has also been received positively by publications from several media. T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews calls Luffy "likable goofy", and an idealist with an infectious optimism. In a review for the fourth One Piece movie, "Dead End Adventure", The Star Online describes Luffy as "an airhead and brilliant fighter." Rika Takahashi from EX comments that Luffy's character with his stretching powers is what sets One Piece apart from "the old stereotypical adventure manga" and the many other "combat-oriented mangas [sic]", turning the series into "something new and interesting". On the other hand, Anime News Network (ANN) writer Zac Bertschy found Luffy remminiscent to Rurouni Kenshin's character Himura Kenshin due their personalities and attitudes. However, he still noted Luffy to be entertaining. Mania Entertainment's Bryce Coulter called Luffy a "great shonen hero". Carl Kimlinger from ANN comments that "Colleen Clinkenbeard's Luffy continues to grow on you".
Creation and conception
When Eiichiro Oda created Luffy, he wanted to strive for a "manliness" quality similar to those found in the Dragon Ball series created by Akira Toriyama. To make the readers relax without being stressed out, Oda added elasticity powers to Luffy for a comical effect. Oda tries to draw Luffy very straightforward about what he wants to be and how he feels. The devil fruit that Luffy gained his abilities from was originally called the Gomu no Mi (ゴムの実?, lit. fruit of rubber), but after the editor pointed out that a real rubber fruit existed, the name was changed to the Gomu Gomu no Mi (ゴムゴムの実?, lit. fruit of rubber rubber, renamed "Gum Gum Fruit" in the English adaptations).
Design Luffy is usually recognized by his straw hat, which is given to him by "Red-Haired" Shanks after being saved from an attack by a Sea King. In his Gear Second state, Luffy's body changes to a more darker skin complexion. In his early childhood, Luffy is first introduced wearing a shirt and blue shorts with a scar under his left eye. Throughout One Piece, Luffy is commonly seen wearing a red vest, blue shorts, and sandals. Eventually, Luffy replaces his vest with a red cardigan, and also starts wearing a yellow knot-tied belt.