One Piece is full of characters with unique scars which often act as trademark features. However, Monkey D. Luffy, the protagonist of the series, probably carries the most recognizable scars of them all. He has one big X-shaped scar on his chest, and the other is a smaller stitched scar underneath his left eye.
There are many visible scars on Luffy's body, each with an interesting story of its own. His scars are proof of his determination and devotion towards his goal of becoming the future Pirate King.
In this article, however, we are going to get into details about how Luffy got his most prominent scar, the big X-shaped one on his chest. The story behind this scar is tragic, to say the least, and has impacted the world of One Piece greatly.
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the One Piece series.
Luffy got his X-shaped scar during the Marineford War in One Piece
During the war at Marineford, Luffy's brother Ace died trying to protect him from Admiral Akainu. The shock of seeing his brother die severely traumatized Luffy and broke his will to carry on. He went into a state of paralysis and shock. Luffy was frozen in one place with his mouth left open from crying in despair. This was a dark moment in the world of One Piece.
Akainu would have killed Luffy if it wasn't for the Fishman and Knight of the Sea, Jimbei, jumping in to save him. Jinbe carried his unconscious body away from the battlefield while Akainu pursued them relentlessly, destroying everything in his way with his magma devil fruit powers.
Jimbei tried to flee into the harbor to escape Akainu's magma attacks and jump into the water. Unfortunately, the water was frozen by Admiral Aokiji, blocking off their exit. During the fall, Akainu managed to catch up to Jimbei, who tried to attack him but could not land an effective hit. Akainu pierced his and Luffy's chest with a magma-induced fist. Luckily, most of the brunt was taken by Jinbe. However, this left a deep X-shaped burn mark imprint on Luffy's chest.
Jimbei and Luffy wouldn't have even survived this ordeal if it wasn't for Crocodile, Buggy, and the remaining Whitebeard Pirates helping them. Buggy helped transport Luffy and Jinbe to Trafalgar Law's ship, saving their lives and giving them a chance to escape.
The non-canon origin about how Luffy got the scar on his chest in One Piece
There is another version in the One Piece anime about how Luffy got his chest scar. However, this one came in one of the filler arcs of the anime. During Ocean's Dream Arc, everyone in the crew wakes up without any memories at all, except for Nico Robin. It is now up to her to figure out how to get back the memory of her crew members.
During this arc, Zoro and Luffy, having lost their memories, confront each other and engage in a fight. It is during this fight that Zoro lands a strong surprise attack on Luffy, slicing his chest and thus giving him the X-shaped scar.
Later in the series, Luffy's scar looks more like the after-effect of an explosion, which is in line with Akainu's magma punch. Zoro's sword attack would have led to a clean-cut scar but that isn't the case here. This dismisses the filler arc origin of Luffy's scar and further solidifies the canon story.