Monkey D. Luffy, the charismatic protagonist of the widely acclaimed One Piece and our favorite Captain, has captured our hearts with his determination, his value of friendship, and his art style of creating silly situations.
Carelessness or undercover genius, some might say. But have you ever wondered: What if Luffy was smart?
This time we continue our « What if » series of One Piece, with the possible alternate storyline with Luffy being smarter than he is now.
It’s a great pleasure to start this adventure with you, no matter if you are a fan of the series or just curious. As a fan of One Piece from 2008, I will do my best to make this experience an exciting one.
So, let’s cast off and sail through the delirious multiverse of One Piece!!!
How smart is Luffy?
Remember the picture of Luffy hiding behind a Marine with a crazy face and a finger in his nostril? That’s usually what some people think of when it comes to Luffy’s intelligence. But what’s coming next might surprise you.
Why Luffy isn’t dumb?
We already know how many times Luffy has led his crew into some very shitty – but hilarious – situations due to his carefree and seemingly stupid attitude.
Even though he can’t be compared to his fellow pirates, Luffy is actually brilliant in his own way.
This particular personality is an expression of his childish and innocent mindset. He is straightforward, way too gullible and honest, and sometimes crazy. As « stupid » as he is adorable.
Almost as childlike as a child could be.
Luffy is just too broad to fit the common sense of intelligence.
Let’s just say that his brain grew in a different way than normal, to adapt to his great destiny.
That doesn’t stop him from reading books when he’s bored or having Einstein-level insights.
Isn’t Luffy a genius at fighting?
On the other hand, there’s a field where his cleverness is undeniable: the battlefield.
Luffy is one of the most gifted characters in terms of battle IQ in the universe of One Piece.
Of course, his most notable fights are all about wear-and-tear confrontations. But, not everyone can properly exploit an average Paramecia-like Devil Fruit and come up with the incredible assets that “Gears” are.
Through battles, Luffy repeatedly tries out new ways of adapting himself to opponents’ skills and power, with the help of his durability, and overcomes them.
The most palpable case is his legendary and exhilarating fight with Katakuri, where he learned the Advanced Observation Haki in the middle of a fight.
This is enough material to certify his high battle IQ.
Now that his intelligence level has been stated, let’s figure out how busted will Luffy be with further smartness.
How formidable would a Smart-Luffy be?
In this part, we will take a look on 3 keypoints about smart-Luffy :
- How strong he would be.
- How strategic he would be.
- How notorious he would be.
Now, let’s develop it :
How strong would a Smart-Luffy be?
With enhanced strategic thinking skills, this version of our rubbery future pirate king would revolutionize the way he approaches every situation.
No longer relying solely on impulsive and reckless actions, he would more easily identify his enemies’ weaknesses and devise ingenious plans to overcome them in a less haphazard manner than before.
Every move would have been deadly to any weakling, and more effective against the fearsome and pure monsters of this verse.
Straw Hat Luffy won’t have to risk his life or suffer serious injuries as much before dealing the final blow.
How strategic would a Smart-Luffy be?
Remember how subtle Luffy’s fights against Rob Lucci and Doflamingo were?
With an intelligent approach to combat, our hero would become an unstoppable force capable of challenging even the most formidable characters, including the Emperors.
Why not even think of some manipulation tricks to fool his enemies and make them lose their composure? Then take advantage of their impulsiveness to defeat them.
In addition, this intelligent version of Luffy would use his crew’s unique abilities to coordinate battles.
As it stands, the Straw Hats’ strategies, if there are any, don’t really go like clockwork. There’s always a Murphy’s Law element that throws a wrench into the whole plan, which is usually Luffy!
This one will be different. He would orchestrate synchronized attacks and create strategic formations based on his allies’ abilities and collective strength.
Taking over strategic locations like Enies Lobby or Impel Down would have been much easier. In addition, the Straw Hats could form profitable alliances to increase their firepower in large-scale battles, just like in Wano.
Finally, Luffy would probably be more of a threat to the World Government, as he will continue to delve into the mystery of the Void Century to get closer to the One Piece. We sometimes forget that the last person on Earth capable of reading poneglyphs is Robin, from the Straw Hats.
How notorious would a Smart-Luffy be?
One of the most obvious possibilities about a Smart-Luffy is its bounty increase.
According to what has been said, each member of the Straw Hat crew would be a significant threat to the established dominance of the World Government.
In addition to their hopefully successful missions, each of them would have seen their bounty increase.
They would have survived at least one buster call and would be in high demand.
The most advantageous case would be Luffy becoming a Yonko faster to get enough credits to protect his Nakamas.
And since two heads are better than one, guess which alliance would be the most effective: the one with the Revolutionary Army, led by Monkey D. Dragon himself.
The most wanted guy in the entire anime would surely like to have his son by his side in their tactical operations and liberation drive. It would have been even more fun to see Luffy and his brother Sabo fighting and accomplishing missions together.
What if Luffy Was Smart ? Final words :
Even if the entire plot would have changed a lot, with Luffy becoming more efficient in whatever he does, a vital part of the series would have disappeared: the overload of fun.
One Piece is meant to share an adventurous vision of the world, and what’s adventure without danger, stakes and fun.
A smart Luffy wouldn’t be the wacky, stupid-ish, but dope-inspiring Luffy that we love; his feats would’ve been more expectable and less impactful than the current state of things.
Master Oda thoroughly elaborated the personality of Luffy, not to be perfect but compelling. That is the 500 million copies worth decision, a pretty good one, isn’t it.
Congrats, you made it through the seas of One Piece’s multiverse!
See you next time, but in the meantime, keep sailing Otakus !!!