Greetings, One piece fans! It is a good time to love One piece; the manga is coming out with some of the most amazing and lore heavy chapters every week and the story is finally starting to unfold.
At this point fandom is more active than ever, asking new questions and reasking old ones every day. Among these questions is one that many anime fans have been asking for years, ever since the protagonist of One piece, Monkey. D. Luffy first showed up in the pages of the Shonen Jump magazine.
Luffy’s mannerisms, his humor and his character have always reminded anime fans of another, hugely popular and titanic protagonist. These similarities have led to fans asking, Is luffy based on Goku, the protagonist of the Dragon Ball series.
It is this question that we will be looking into today, and I, as someone who has been observing both series for years, will be your guide.
Goku and Luffy
Now, many of the similarities that Luffy and Goku share are simply the defining elements of the shonen protagonist.
Such as their calm and careless attitude, their innocent and kind nature as well as their love for battle and devotion to their goal, these are all traits that all popular shonen main characters share.
But what needs to be understood here is the fact that it was through the character of Son Goku that Akira Toriyama first solidified these traits. Goku is the model shonen hero and all who came after follow his example.
Goku paved the way for characters like Luffy and Naruto to shine. So when it is true that most similarities between Luffy and Goku are coincidental, it is also true that these similarities are because of a formula that was popularized by Goku. Making it likely that even if Luffy isn’t intentionally based on Goku, there is still a connection between the two.
The influence of Dragon ball
Oda has himself, on many occasions, stated that Dragon ball is a huge influence on his work.
He has said that he uses the formulas that his friend Toriyama used in Dragon ball. Now, even though Oda has not directly stated that Luffy is based on Goku, the fact that Luffy too, is a loveable idiot who craves battle and is a genius in combat just like Goku is most likely not a coincidence. Oda may very well have modeled Luffy after Goku, at least in spirit.
Dragon ball came before the great shonen anime, so its ideas shaped the minds of mangakas like Oda.
The source material
It is practically common knowledge that Son Goku is based on Son WuKong, the monkey king, a legendary character in Chinese myths. Goku’s curious, child-like ignorance and even his character design is reflective of Wu Kong.
Now, it is stated nowhere that Luffy has any link to Wukong, but even his name, Monkey.D.Luffy sends a message. Luffy’s fighting style and the same personality as Goku and Wu Kong would make it appear as though there is a connection.
Even if Luffy was not based on Goku, Goku was still a link between Luffy and Wu Kong.
Both Luffy as Goku seem to challenge the world around them. They have a knack for not doing things like they are “supposed » to be done.
They are oblivious of how people perceive them, they do not care about love or women.
Their only concerns are food and their goals. Goku did all of this first, thus it is only natural for us to acknowledge that Oda knew of what Goku represented and consciously or unconsciously, chose to replicate that with Luffy.
Confirming that Luffy is indeed in some way based on Goku.
If you want to read an other kind of interaction between them, check our article Luffy Vs Goku !
Goku, as a character and as a protagonist, became so utterly popular that he was solidified as a blueprint of almost all shonen heroes that would follow.
Luffy too, was one of these successors. Oda shaped Luffy to be the perfect hero, pure and incorruptible, and Goku was his example. The way Luffy talks, his devotion to his nakama, his love for food and fighting, are all traits he inherited from Goku.
Whether or not Oda wished it, we fans know it. Luffy is based on Goku and in many ways a better version of Goku, of course only with regards to the world where his story takes place.
Luffy is the complete shonen hero, he has all of Goku’s qualities, yet has people around him who keep him from following Goku’s errors.
Thus. our answer is an obvious yes, Luffy is indeed based on Goku.