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Red Hair Pirates

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Red Hair Pirates
Red Hair Pirates' Jolly Roger
Statistics
Japanese Name: 赤髪海賊団
Romanized Name: Akagami Kaizoku-dan
English Name: Red Hair Pirates
First Appearance: Chapter 1; Episode 4
Captain: Shanks
Main Ship: Unnamed former ship; Red Force
Total Bounty: At least Beli Small94,000,000

The Red Hair Pirates is a strong crew ruling in the New World, led by their captain, Red-Haired Shanks, who is one of the Yonko. This crew is responsible for influencing two of the Straw Hat Pirates to become pirates, Monkey D. Luffy and Usopp.

HistoryEdit

PastEdit

Monkey D. Luffy and The Red Hair PiratesEdit

Luffy and Red Hair Pirates

Young Luffy and the Red Hair Pirates.

The Red Hair Pirates are the first pirate crew to appear in the manga series and second to appear (next to the Alvida Pirates) in the animated series One Piece. They are the main influences of both Luffy's (Shanks inspired Luffy) and Usopp's (wants to become a brave warrior of the sea like his father Yasopp) journeys.

Twelve years before the present storyline, they spent a year in Luffy's home town and became very good friends with him, which led to him wanting to become part of their crew. However, Shanks told him that he was too weak, which angered him. Shanks was also the one who unintentionally supplied Luffy with his Devil Fruit. When a group of mountain bandits hassled the crew in a bar, they did not fight back, but once they left, they immediately burst out laughing, saying that pirates are cowards. Luffy was angry at them for not fighting back, since he did not realize that there was no need to retaliate.

Later, after the bandits showed up again when the crew was away, Luffy overheard them saying bad things about Shanks and his crew so Luffy's temper flared up and he started insulting their leader, Higuma. The bandits easily subdued him and wanted to kill him. Then Shanks and his crew arrived and immediately took control of the situation, easily beating all of the bandits. However, the leader, Higuma the Bear, had escaped out to sea in order to kill Luffy, only to be eaten by a Sea King. Since Luffy could not swim due to his Devil Fruit, he began to sink into the water, but Shanks quickly saved him. Because the Sea King was about to eat Luffy, he dodged it but his left arm was torn off. Shanks shows no regret of this, even saying to Whitebeard he was making a bet on the New Age by losing it. He frightened the monster off simply by staring at it and saying "Get lost".

Later, when the crew finally decided to leave, Luffy said he did not want to join Shanks and his crew anymore. Luffy said that he would be a pirate on his own, to which Shanks then said that there was no way that he could become a pirate. Luffy immediately declared his intentions to become an even greater pirate than Shanks and to become the Pirate King, so an amused Shanks gave his signature straw hat to Luffy and said to give back to him once he surpasses Shanks as a pirate.[1]

Usopp's connection to the Red Hair Pirates is through his father, Yasopp. When Usopp was young, Yasopp left his family in order to go out to sea, as urged by his wife. Due to how he was raised, Usopp understood that his father left to pursue his dream and harbors no ill will against him—in fact, he wants to become a great sniper and a warrior of the sea like him.[2]

Arrival of the Pirate BrothersEdit

A short while before the storyline they met Portgas D. Ace, who thanks Shanks for saving his little brother. Shanks responds by throwing a party to celebrate, as he did not know Luffy had a brother.

Then a few years later, to the shock of a few of Shanks' weaker crew members, Dracule "Hawkeye" Mihawk pays Shanks a visit. The Shichibukai brings news that delighted the red-haired pirate; Luffy has gained a bounty of Beli30,000,000. Hearing Luffy had now come at last, Shanks throws another party despite being already unwell from his previous drinking session.[3]

Jaya and Water 7 ArcsEdit

Meeting WhitebeardEdit

Later on, Shanks sent a message to Whitebeard that was delivered by their newest recruit, Rockstar. Whitebeard refused to read it, since Shanks himself did not deliver it. The message's contents were unknown, though it seemed to somehow relate to Portgas D. Ace and Blackbeard since Shanks did meet with Whitebeard later to request Whitebeard to call Ace back. Shanks revealed it was Teach that gave him his scars on his face, stating it was not by a surprise attack. The World Government feared that the two crews may decide to form alliance with one another, but have simply decided to observe their actions for now.

Marineford ArcEdit

Ceasefire at MarinefordEdit

Red-hair at marineford

Older Red Hair Pirates at Marineford.

Later, in the Whitebeard War, they are seen upon reaching Marineford, as Shanks stops Admiral Akainu from killing Coby, and Beckman stops Admiral Kizaru from shooting his light laser, as they are about to stop the war. The crew stops Blackbeard from doing anymore damage, and announced the wars end.

Shanks and the crew are later seen at Whitebeard and Ace's funeral, where they grieve the loss of their fallen friends.

Jolly RogerEdit

The Jolly Roger of the Red Hair Pirates has a realistic looking skull with a pair of crossed sabres behind it. It has two red stripes with black outlines that cross diagonally across the skull's left eye socket, representing scars that the captain has.

Crew MembersEdit

The anime initially only showed Shanks' three named crew members (Benn Beckman, Lucky Roo and Yasopp), however there are at least 4 additional members who have been in the series since Vol.1 that were left out and at least two that appeared in Chapter 1 and early artwork that have not been seen since being in the manga. Since most of the crew were generic pirates in the anime these unnamed crew members have not appeared in the anime yet. However, some of the generic crew members that appeared in the anime in Luffy's flashback returned when Mihawk visited Shanks.

[v · e · ?]
Red Hair Pirates
Shanks Benn Beckman Lucky Roo Yasopp Rockstar
 ??????  ??????  ??????  ??????  ??????


Unnamed Crew membersEdit

  • There is a relatively thin member of Shanks' crew, with blond hair. His trademark features seem to be his nut-shaped hat with the crew's Jolly Roger on it, and his white gloves, objects he retain in both of his appearances. On his first appearance in Foosha Village, his hair was shorter, and he was seen smiling. At Marineford, he added to his attire a coat draped over his shoulders like a cape and a pair of sunglasses covering his eyes. His hair has grown longer, almost reaching down to his waist, and he has a stern facial appearance, maybe due to the circumstances. In his hands he carries what looks like a sword.
  • Another member is a bald man, with black spots around his eyes, similar to a panda. In his first appearance, he was just as tall as his other crew members, and was quite thin. At Marineford, he seems to have grown more muscular, and his size is enhanced, towering over most of the main members, except for Lucky Roo and another unnamed crew member. He has a scar running down the left side of his face, down to his muscular neck, and a monkey is seen perched on his shoulders. The monkey may be Monstar.
  • There is also a tall man with light brown hair and a dragon tattoo on his right arm. In Foosha village, he was already muscular, but was quite thin in size. At Marineford, he is bigger and the tallest one of the members visible, his hair is longer and his tattoo has changed shape: the dragon now faces the opposite direction, is bigger, and extends to the pirate's muscular neck. He retains the orange sunglasses and the sword he had in his earlier appearance.
  • Another member is a man with blond hair tied in a ponytail pointing upwards on the back of his head. In Marineford, like the others, he seems to have gotten bigger, and carries a sword on his right shoulder.
  • Another member that appeared at Marineford was a man with shaggy hair and pointy teeth giving him a lion-like appearance.

Crew StrengthEdit

Red Hair Pirates' Main Members' Current Appearances

The main members' current appearances.

The strength of the crew as a whole is unknown. But Rockstar, a recent addition to Shanks' crew, has a bounty of Beli94,000,000 and is still considered to be a rookie. While the bounties of every other crew member is still unknown, if Rockstar's bounty is any indication, their crew is summed up to be very powerful.

The first hint at the crew's strength came early on in the story from Luffy's past. The bandit leader Higuma tried to threaten Shanks with his Beli8,000,000 bounty, but Shanks was not afraid of the man and even put up with having a bottle of sake and his plate of food being smashed and spilled over him. Later on, Benn Beckman took on the bandit's men and wiped them all out with ease, telling Higuma that if he and the bandits wanted to take them on they should bring a warship as back-up. Moments later, Shanks did something shocking while rescuing Luffy from the sea - he scared away a Sea King just by staring at it, using a form of Haki.

When Dracule Mihawk, one of the Shichibukai, brought news of Luffy's rise to fame, the younger, weaker members of his crew appear to be terrified of the great swordsman and approached him with caution. However, the senior members (including Shanks, Benn Beckman, Yasopp and Lucky Roo) appeared to not be bothered at all by his visit. This is possibly because of their captain's friendly relations with him.[3]

Shanks does not fear Whitebeard, the world's strongest pirate, whereas some pirate captains quiver at the mere mention of his name. Rockstar also used his captain's name to convey to Whitebeard the importance of the letter he delivered to him.[4]

The final clue to the crew's strength is that the World Government greatly fears what would happen if the Red Hair Pirates and the Whitebeard Pirates joined up. Both Shanks and Whitebeard are among the Yonko. Right after their battle with Kaido in the New World, they sailed to Marineford in just one day. When Shanks and his crew finally showed up at Marineford, with words alone they were able to bring the war to halt. The captain was able to rescue Coby from Admiral Akainu's attack with only a clash of his sword and even the arrogant Blackbeard refused to engage Shanks' crew saying they simply were not ready to fight them yet.

ShipsEdit

Red Hair Pirates' Old Ship

The former ship of the Red Hair Pirates.

When the crew first arrived in Foosha Village, they were seen with a ship that was similar in design to the ship used by "Crescent-Moon Galley" during Romance Dawn version 1. Not much is known about its capabilities but it appears to be a standard pirate ship with no noteworthy features.

The ship was first seen in the manga during Chapter 1, and was first seen in the anime during a flashback in Episode 4. It was the first ship introduced in the series as well as the first pirate ship. It was on the figurehead that Luffy cut and scarred his face to prove he was a man to Shanks and his crew.

During the Whitebeard War, the Red Hair pirates arrived at Marineford by their current ship, the Red Force. This was first seen in Episode 488.

List of protected territoriesEdit

The Red Hair Pirates are known to have the following territories under their protection:

Other InformationEdit

Not much else is currently known about the Red Hair Pirates. Shanks used to be on the same crew as Buggy the Clown, and Buggy forever hates him for botching one of his treasure hunts by "making" him eat a Devil Fruit.

While the Red Hair Pirates appear in only small scenes normally at the end of arcs, they seem to be an ongoing background plot throughout the entire story. They are a very laid back group of pirates who are almost always seen partying and drinking alcoholic beverages whenever they make an appearance. They seem much friendlier compared to other pirates seen in the series: they hung around Luffy's hometown for roughly a year without complaints from the local villagers (aside from the ones that came from Mayor Woop Slap).

They have intercepted the attack Kaido, another Yonko, tried to make against Whitebeard. It is unclear whether they are actually fighting against each other or only blocking the path. Afterwards, the crew arrived at Marineford, with the intent of ending the Whitebeard war. By proposing a ceasefire with Fleet Admiral Sengoku, the battle was thus ended.

Most members also seem to wear capes.

TriviaEdit

  • A couple of the crew have a common tattoo on their bodies, it is seen on the arm of one member and then on the back of a shirt of another. The symbol however has not been seen since.
  • Perhaps in line with a "Shank" being a part of an anchor, it should also be noted that a number of his crew also had an anchor on their body (at least 4), a note since Luffy himself also bore a larger anchor on his shirt as a child.
  • The jolly roger of the Red Hair crew is similar to the flag of Calico Jack with three scars added to it. However, Calico Jack's flag is generally a fairly popular pirate reference, and since Oda has never addressed this issue, it is unclear if this is an intended reference or not. It should also be noted that the skull style present is a much more 'realistic' skull in comparison to most other crews.
  • Sometimes, Oda forgets to put the three scars on the Red Hair Pirates' flag, as stated once in an SBS.
  • According to Luffy, it was Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates who taught him the song "Binks' Sake".[5]
  • Luffy also claims that they need a musician because pirates sing. This is influenced by the Red Hair Pirates, because he says that Shanks and his crew were always singing.
  • When Shanks and his crew appear in intros and outros, they are usually the last (or one of the last) of the important characters that have appeared in the series to be seen if the outro/intro features the previously seen major characters in the series. This is considering the crew are some of the first characters actually seen in the series and their captain was responsible for starting Luffy's adventure off by giving him his Straw Hat.
  • The original ship of the Red Hair Pirates in One Piece seems to be based of the ship of Crescent-Moon Galley from Romance Dawn. Their later ship also continues this style.
  • In One Piece Yellow: Grand Elements the name of the crew is transliterated "Red Haired Pirates", but in the One Piece Green: Secret Pieces it's transliterated "Red Hair Pirates".

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • A Japanese coast guard vessel, pretending to be a pirate ship during an exercise was caught on video using Shanks' Jolly Roger.
Real pirates with similar flags.
The flag used by the Japanese coast guard during an exercise.
Red Hair Pirates' Jolly Roger
The flag as depicted in the anime.

ReferencesEdit

  1. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 and Episode 4, the Red Hair pirates and Luffy.
  2. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 3 Chapter 25 and Episode 9, Yasopp and Usopp.
  3. 3.0 3.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 11 Chapter 96 and Episode 45, Mihawk brings news to Shanks.
  4. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 25 Chapter 234 and Episode 151, Shanks contacts Whitebeard.
  5. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 50 Chapter 486 and Episode 378, Luffy talks about where he heard the song from.

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