The iconic rubber-limbed main character’s high school version is…surprisingly normal-looking.

The recent commercial collaboration between hit anime franchise One Piece and top instant noodle company Nissin Cup Noodle, called Hungry Days, has had us all in tears since they released the first video last year. The series shows the characters of the series as high school students trying to do their best to survive and succeed. We’ve seen the stories of Nami, Vivi, and Zoro, but the series’ main character, Monkey D. Luffy, has yet to make a full appearance in any of them.

Sure, we’ve seen him with his back to the camera, or caught glimpses of his hat, but he’d never shown his face. We’ve been living with the mystery for almost a whole year, but finally, finally, in the latest installment, we get to see what a normal-life, teenage Luffy would look like…and it’s…well, it’s surprisingly normal-looking.

This commercial, which is apparently the last of the series, features a huge Japanese sports day-style chicken fight breaking out in the school yard at the school’s Sports Festival. This being One Piece, the contest’s intensity is amped up with fantastic kinetic fighting techniques, plus explosions, fire, crashing water, and storms of dust being kicked up and school buildings crumbling in the background as the students battle each knock each other off of their classmates’ shoulders.

Popular characters like Whitebeard, Blackbeard, Marco and Ace all struggle with each other as this crazy battle unfolds. Everyone is clashing desperately like it’s life or death, and we’re all for it!

Fittingly, Luffy’s appearance comes at the very end. As Whitebeard collapses after a tough battle against Blackbeard, Luffy emerges from behind him, ready to deliver a miso-flavored cup noodle punch, shouting, “Eat this!!”

Wait a minute, that’s not Luffy! Who is this good-looking guy?! He’s totally normal-looking, and doesn’t look like he has a gummy bone in his body. He looks more like your run-of-the-mill, good-looking high school anime lead than a stalwart, limb-bending, intractable pirate.

For reference, let’s compare the concept illustrations from the commercials that were publicly released:

▼ Blackbeard? Yeah, looks like Blackbeard.

▼ Whitebeard, of course.

▼ And…who the heck is this?!

Well, each of the characters have been slightly redone in a different anime style, with softer features and a more youthful look, so it’s only fitting Luffy should also look as young and spirited…but there’s just something distinctly un-Luffy about him. Maybe he looks too young and innocent? A future pirate king, even reinvented as a high school student, should maybe look a little tougher than that, right?

Nissin says the fourth One Piece Hungry Days episode is the last, and we’re pretty bummed to see this cool commercial series come to an end. We’re glad we got to see Luffy, though, even if he doesn’t look like Luffy. Luckily, these aren’t the first characters to be reimagined in a new art style for a Nissin commercial, so maybe they won’t be the last, either!

Source: YouTube/日清食品グループ公式チャンネル
Top image: YouTube/日清食品グループ公式チャンネル
Insert images: YouTube/日清食品グループ公式チャンネル, press release

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