The Impostor Straw Hat Pirates were a group of pirates that attempted to impersonate the real Straw Hat Pirates in order to benefit from their reputation. They first appeared after the two year time skip. They disbanded when the truth about the impostors was revealed and all the members of the Impostor Straw Hat Pirates were either captured or buried alive, except for Albion and the Caribou Pirates, who escaped.
The impostors began their charade on Sabaody Archipelago, coincidentally around the time the real Straw Hat crew had decided to finally rendezvous. Using Luffy's reputation, Demaro Black sought to recruit a strong crew that he could use to conquer the New World and make himself Pirate King. His ruse went unchallenged due to the long absence of the original Straw Hats, allowing his crew to pass themselves off as the real ones despite looking virtually nothing like them. Black managed to recruit three pirate crews totaling 100 men, including ten men with high bounties. The two most infamous pirates to join were the rookie brothers "Wet Hair" Caribou and "Blood-Splatterer" Coribou, who have bounties of 210,000,000 and 190,000,000 respectively.
They were first seen on Sabaody Archipelago in the bar where Nami was drinking, trying to recruit people into their pirate crew. Black attempted to invite Nami over for a drink, ignorant of her identity. Nami brushed off his advances and the threats by his crew uninterested. At that point, the real Usopp used his new Pop Greens to disable the fakes. He and Nami left the bar whilst everyone was in the confusion. Nami released a batch of thunder clouds to shock the impostors after they were clear of the bar. Injured but able to stand, Black immediately sought revenge against those who had made a fool of him.
Elsewhere, the fake Zoro, Sanji, and Robin were being followed by the real Chopper, who mistakenly believed them to be the real ones. Recognizing him as the Straw Hats' 'pet' from his bounty poster, they decided to take him on in order to make their ruse more convincing. At that moment, an unknown group of people pursuing the real Robin suddenly kidnapped the fake Robin and the Fake Chopper, scooping them up into a large bag, under the impression that they caught the correct person.
In his search for Usopp and Nami, Black shot two people who looked vaguely similar to them. The real Luffy accidentally knocked him over and apologized, but Black took it as an insult and tried to force Luffy into begging for forgiveness, flaunting his stolen reputation to the actual Luffy without any idea of who he was talking to. Unwilling to make a scene, Luffy simply knocked them out using Haki. Upon recovering, Black learned that the fake Robin (whose real name was revealed to be Cocoa) was kidnapped. More concerned with getting revenge, he decided to abandon Cocoa, which drove Chopper away in tears, and gather his recruits to teach the people who insulted him a lesson. Nearby, a couple of Marines eavesdropping on their conversation saw Chopper run by, taking this as proof that they were the real Straw Hats. They reported this back to their superiors, and full action was mobilized to stop the fakes under the assumption that they are the real Straw Hat pirates.
At Grove 46, Black gave a rousing speech to his recruits, emphasizing that their purpose is to fight and die to make him Pirate King. Meanwhile, the fake Zoro and Sanji were sent by Black to find Chopper, only to run into the real Luffy. They brought him back to their boss. Black tried to make an example of Luffy, but was interrupted by Sentomaru, accompanied by several Marines and Pacifista units. The Pacifista easily decimated the gathered pirates, and Sentomaru beat Black in one hit, having the Pacifista expose the fraud for who he really is, much to the fury of the recruits. Black's crew fled away in fear, as there was nothing to protect them from retribution.
The remaining recruits then bear witness to the return of the real Straw Hats, who easily destroyed the Pacifistas and left. This left the remaining impostors to foam in their mouths from fear that their true counterparts have returned. Black and most of the allies he deceived were captured by Sentomaru, and were being brought into custody. However, the Caribou Pirates escaped, and took the rest of the fake Straw Hat members (without Cocoa and fake Chopper) and buried them alive. The Caribou Pirates then officially defect and became their own crew once again. Albion is the only other recruit to have escaped.
As they sought to impersonate the Straw Hat Pirates, the band of impostors used the said crew's jolly roger: a skull with Luffy's signature straw hat. However, as with the members' poor disguise, the symbol also differs from the original: the symbol is jet black with heavier eyelids and a smaller grin.
The Impostor Straw Hats dress in the style of the original Straw Hats, but the similarities end there. They look nothing like the originals, let alone act the part right. They are also lacking any of the skills of the originals and actually appear to be extremely weak in terms of combat ability.
As most people were under the common belief that the true Straw Hat Pirates died two years ago, these frauds took advantage of the situation and pretended to be them and staged their return to power so as to benefit from the real crew's reputation. They met their end and fell apart when the truth came out. The majority of them are presumed to be dead (being buried alive by Caribou) with the exception of the fake counterparts of Luffy, Chopper and Robin, all of whom were captured.
- "Three-Tongued" Demaro Black: Impersonating Monkey D. Luffy, he is a tall, fat, middle-aged man who shoots anyone who even remotely displeases him. He also flaunts his fake reputation and supposed heritage to justify his acts of cruelty. He has his own bounty of 26,000,000.
- Manjaro: Impersonating Roronoa Zoro, he is a man with a beer gut and swords resembling those used by low-ranking Marines.
- Chocolat: Impersonating Nami, she is an older woman, shorter and wider than Nami, with a big belly and an unusually large, oval shaped head.
- Mounblutain: Impersonating Sogeking, he is a big man wearing a bogus Sogeking mask with a beard.
- Drip: Impersonating Sanji, he is a thin man with an unruly haircut.
- Nora Gitsune: Impersonating Tony Tony Chopper, he is a fox wearing a hat and a painted mustache (a pet, as opposed to a doctor).
- Cocoa: Impersonating Nico Robin, she is an older short woman.
- Turco: Impersonating Franky, he is a tall, lankly thin man with a long neck, thick lips and no chin.
Brook does not appear to have a doppelganger in the Impostor Straw Hats, no doubt due to his relatively late addition to the crew and the Impostor Straw Hats working off of public information. Having not been part of their more famous escapades or publicly announced as a member until nearly the end of the impostors' reign, only those personally familiar with the Straw Hats would likely know Brook's connection to the crew. In addition, Brook's current musical activities, his world stardom, and the fact that he is a walking skeleton would make impersonating him extremely difficult.
Using Luffy's reputation, Black attempted to gather a strong crew in order to take on the New World. Only accepting captains with a bounty of at least 70,000,000, he managed to collect at least three crews whose forces totaled to a hundred pirates, ten of which have bounties. After Black's fraud was revealed, the recruits were furious at the deception. Caribou, Coribou and their crew, along with Albion, are the only ones who successfully escaped Sentomaru's brigade.
- "Wet-Haired" Caribou: A pirate captain and brother of Coribou. Famous for killing Marines, and a bounty of 210,000,000. Joined just to kill the Straw Hat Pirates from the inside.
- "Blood-Splatterer" Coribou: A pirate captain and brother of Caribou. Famous for killing Marines, and a bounty of 190,000,000. Joined just to kill the Straw Hat Pirates from the inside.
- "Gashed" Albion: A former pirate captain with a head and torso wrapped in bandages, a bounty of 92,000,000.
- Lip "Service" Doughty: A former pirate captain with large lips, a bounty of 88,000,000.
Typical for a band of frauds and impostors, the Straw Hat Crew's fake counterparts seem to be a relatively weak group. In fact, their recruiting of other powerful pirates and dismissing those they deem weak (any pirate captain who has a bounty of lower than 70,000,000) by relying on the infamy of the actual Straw Hat Crew (along with the high bounties that the real crew obtained), mirrors what Bellamy and his crew had done in Mock Town during the Jaya Arc. Black makes it clear that he intends to use their power rather than his own, further supporting that his own group is weak by comparison.
The fact that they were able to make it to Sabaody Archipelago suggests some degree of competence, provided of course that they aren't from the Archipelago or somewhere close by to begin with. Alternatively, Black's skill at manipulation may have been enough to get him through the Grand Line on the efforts of others. By impersonating the original Straw Hats, they benefit from the bounties the Straw Hats accumulated. Black's true bounty is only 26,000,000, a small amount by Grand Line standards.
The impostors' appear to possess little if any skill in combat. Several members, including Black, have been shown using flintlock pistols, but do not appear to be that proficient in their use, instead preferring to shoot indiscriminately. The fake Zoro is shown carrying three swords like his real counterpart, but they are cheap swords and he has not been shown using them. The fake Zoro is also shown to have low endurance, as the chase after Chopper left him winded. Black was knocked out by a single strike from the broad side of Sentomaru's axe, which did not appear to have been enhanced by Haki. The others fled as soon as their captain was brought down. The real Luffy was able to knock the four that confronted him (impostors of Luffy, Sogeking, Franky, and Nami) unconscious with a single burst of Haki, showing that they do not have strong wills.
All of the fakes at the bar failed to recognize the real Nami by her tattoo, suggesting a lack of observational skill, and did not even register two of the real Straw Hats as a legitimate threat even after making direct threats. Luffy likewise dismissed their intimidation as unwanted attention, and simply dealt with them in the most efficient and effortless manner possible. Still, the Fake Crew was intelligent enough to first set up a base on the Sabaody Archipelago and recruit additional members before embarking into the New World, and even set their recruiting standards fairly high, taking in pirates who were worth no less than 70,000,000 in bounty; also, they were aware of the Caribou's Devil Fruit being Logia after they witnessed a cannonball simply phased through him, suggesting some level of experience and knowledge. However, this intelligence is somewhat downplayed by the fact that the crew sent out fliers of their recruitment all over the place, which would undoubtedly attract the unwanted attention of Marines who were situated to the next closest island.
Despite the impostors' lack of fighting skills, their stolen reputation had enabled them to gather a crew of one hundred pirates consisting of three different crews. Ten of these pirates have bounties, the highest two averaging to 200,000,000. The Marines determined that an alliance between the Straw Hats and these pirates would be catastrophic, which suggests that at least some of the recruits are competent fighters. However, even the recruits are nothing compared to the real Straw Hats, being easily felled by a couple of Pacifistas while the real Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji were all capable of defeating the cyborgs with ease.
The crew (save for the fake counterparts of Zoro, Sanji, and possibly Robin) have an attitude similar to that of the Bellamy Pirates, bullying those whom they believe are inferior to them. They also seem to share the belief that a pirate's bounty is a representation of their overall strength, having set a recruitment prerequisite of at least 70,000,000 in bounty, despite the fact that half of the of the original crew (Nami, Sogeking, Chopper and Franky) have bounties lower than that. Their lack of any true skills, merely throwing the weight of their reputation around to get what they want, also mirrors the behavior of the World Nobles.
In addition, the impostors hold comradeship in very low regard, treating each other and their recruits as assets, not friends or family. After the fake Robin was kidnapped, Black ignored the loss and simply pressed on, more concerned about his revenge. Black was also willing to sacrifice Chocolat to Usopp's Pop Green in order to protect himself. Regardless, his crew seems to be loyal, despite knowing of his cruelty and cowardice, mainly due to the protection he offered them with his stolen reputation. However, once they were unmasked, they left his unconscious form behind to save themselves from the angry recruits, claiming that Black was the one who forced them to impersonate against their wills, and begged Caribou to spare them, revealing ruthless cowardice and disloyalty. They also started to foam in the mouths in shock when the real Luffy revealed himself.
As for the recruits, they appear to view the fake crew (who they believed to be the real deal) as their way to greater infamy, not unlike the way the Impel Down escapees flocked to Buggy once his reputation as a former member of the Roger Pirates and friend to one of the Yonko was revealed. Like the escapees, they even interpret Black's cowardly actions as heroic, although this falls through as soon as Black is defeated and his identity was exposed. However some forms of kindness can be found within the crew such as the friendship between Manjaro and Drip and Mounblutain attacking Caribou even knowing he is a Devil Fruit user and a bounty of 210,000,000 on his head in order to save Drip.
- In the real world, people would often imitate famous pirates in order to gain riches, power, or notoriety.
- Due to his naïve personality, Chopper believed the fakes to be the real Straw Hats. Usopp was not initially fooled, though he was shocked when confronted by Sogeking, his own alter-ego. Luffy was not fooled by his counterpart or the others accompanying him, but was fooled by the fake Zoro and Sanji, though he did question if they were in disguise as well.
- In the manga, the recruitment fliers have Luffy's family name misspelled as "Monky" in their first appearance, but it is corrected later on.
- Two of the eight impostors (Fake Nami and Fake Luffy) have made the mistake of boasting about their supposed bounty to the originals themselves.
- Each of the impostors' voice actors also voice the real Straw Hats, although none of the voice actors voice their respective characters.
- Fake Luffy is voiced by Sanji's voice actor.
- Fake Zoro is voiced by Usopp's voice actor.
- Fake Nami is voiced by Chopper's voice actress.
- Fake Sogeking is voiced by Franky's voice actor.
- Fake Sanji is voiced by Zoro's voice actor.
- Fake Chopper is voiced by Luffy's voice actress.
- Fake Robin is voiced by Nami's voice actress.
- Fake Franky is voiced by Brook's voice actor.
- Due to the absence of a Brook correspondent in the fake crew, Robin's voice actress is left out.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 61 Chapter 598 and Episode 517, The Impostor Straw Hat Pirates make their debut.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 61 Chapter 603 and Episode 523, The Impostor Straw Hat Pirates' fate revealed.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Eternal Log — Lip Doughty and Demaro Black's posters labelled "captured", while Albion and the Caribou brothers are not.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 61 Chapter 601 and Episode 521, Sentomaru defeats Black and reveals the crew's fraudulence.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 61 Chapter 599 and Episode 518, Luffy's Haoshoku Haki knocks out the impostors easily.