One of the great things about the One Piece series is how intricate the world it’s set in is. Loosely based on historical colonial times, it’s familiar enough for readers to feel comfortable with, yet different enough to create a sense of magic and intrigue. Though originally written in Japanese, the manga hints that characters in the series also speak English, Spanish, French, and a handful of other languages.

It might not seem too farfetched, then, that some fans were curious about what nationalities the characters would have been had the story taken place in our world instead, and this is exactly what one reader asked the creator of the series. The answer they received wasn’t quite what some fans had in mind, though…

Shitsumon wo Boshu Suru, or SBS for short, is a corner featured in the One Piece manga where Eiichiro Oda, the mastermind behind the hit series, answers fan-submitted questions.

For SBS 56, Oda entertained the question of one fan who was curious about the “real-life” nationalities of Luffy’s crew.


D: If the setting of One Piece were the real world, what would the nationalities of the nine members of the Straw Hat Pirates be?

O: Hmm, well, just going off of their appearance:

  • Luffy (Brazil)
  • Zoro (Japan)
  • Nami (Sweden)
  • Usopp (Africa)
  • Sanji (France)
  • Chopper (Canada)
  • Robin (Russia)
  • Franky (America)
  • Brook (Austria)


Luffy could definitely fit the Latin American image, and considering my own country, the U.S., doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to bodyweight, I can’t say I’m too surprised by Franky’s nationality. But what exactly sets Nami and Robin apart as Swedish and Russian? Their hair? Or are big boobs a Japanese stereotype of the Swedish and the Russians that I’m only hearing about now? Curiously enough, Usopp doesn’t get his own nationality, but instead we have to guess where in the continent of Africa he might be from—maybe he’s South African? Your guess is as good as mine!

Earlier this month, these very results were hotly debated by Japanese netizens on the anonymous message board site, 2channel. Some users proposed that Luffy could be of mixed Japanese/Brazilian descent, considering the country has the largest overseas population of Japanese, while an overwhelmingly large number of posters were disappointed that Usopp was African instead of Indian or Italian. Many netizens weren’t sure of the reasoning behind Zoro being Japanese, either.

Were you surprised by any of the results? Give us a shout below!

Source: Kotaku US
Feature/top image: Near Pictures,, edited by RocketNews24
Insert image: 2channel, The Otaku’s Blog, edited by RocketNews24