Here’s a thing that I both respect and hate about Shonen anime – there is barely any romance, which is good because Shonen is fast-paced and action-heavy, and it doesn’t a romance subplot that’ll get lost amongst everything else going on. However, that also means that if a random coupling is shown, it will feel like it came out of nowhere and adds nothing. I prefer it when anime just focus on its thing, and One Piece does that extremely well.
I mean, seriously. I get that people want the protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy, to have the prototypical happy ending where he becomes the strongest, achieves his goals, and gets the girl. But like, it’s also okay if he doesn’t? It’s better than pushing him with Boa Hancock, of all people, who he has already rejected before. So, a Luffy and Boa wedding? That’s not happening anytime soon. People love the Luffy x Boa ship, but even Eiichiro Oda himself has said that he would never pair any of the Straw Hats crew together because they view each other as a family.
And honestly? Kudos to the mangaka that stick to their guns despite peer pressure from fans. I know there is probably a substantial amount of people in the fandom that would love to see a romance blossom between two characters that have been each other’s support. But it’s also pretty cool to see platonic relationships in anime get more of a spotlight instead. Like, just because two characters of the opposite sex hit it off well, doesn’t mean they have to have some form of romantic relationship. Yet, for some reason, the ship persists.
I like how One Piece has dealt with this issue. Keeping romance off the table completely, it made sure the focus was solely on the plot itself, and how that unfolds in the future. And that worked out pretty well for it, considering it’s stayed on top of the charts for more than 2 decades. So, in today’s Lore Analysis, let’s discuss why Boa Hancock and Luffy don’t need to be together for One Piece to flourish.
Luffy And Boa Hancock: Great In Theory, Not So Much In Practice
In all honesty, Luffy and Boa would have a cute relationship going on in any other anime. Like, they meet all the tropey requirements. He aims to be Pirate King and she’s considered the Pirate Empress. They were previously enemies, with Boa Hancock being the antagonist of the Amazon Lily arc. She later becomes his ally during the Summit War Saga. And between that time, she ended up falling in love with him.
Like, there is a substantial foundation here that could lead up to a romance, but that’s not the problem. The thing is, One Piece doesn’t need a romance subplot. It’s been going on for so long, and not once has it felt like it was lacking anything. There’s always something going on, whether it’s with the New Government or the Worst Generation. The world-building here is so vast, that you’re constantly discovering new characters, powers, etc.
And really, that doesn’t leave much room for anything else. In the end, One Piece is the tale of Luffy striving to become the very best while navigating his place as both a Pirate and a leader. He doesn’t need a romance, and he told as much to Boa Hancock when she confessed to him.
Why Eiichiro Oda Doesn’t Want The Straw Hats To End Up With Each Other:
I think that Eiichiro Oda being adamant about not having the Straw Hat pirate crew fraternizing with each other is a really smart move. Because that isn’t him swearing off romance in its entirety. It definitely leaves a space open for Luffy to find someone outside of his circle. But it keeps things balanced within the core group.
Face it, all of the members of Luffy’s group work so well because they are friends first. They do have the same understanding a family would, and that’s what you want to see when you start the series: a camaraderie where everyone has each other’s back.
To add romance between any of the characters here would only complicate things and get rid of the wholesomeness that fans have come to adore.