One Piece: Why Sanji doesn't hit women? Explained

Chivalry is one of Sanji
Chivalry is one of Sanji's distinctive traits (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

The record-breaking One Piece currently features the adventure of the Straw Hat Pirates on Egghead Island. Based on leaks and raw scans of One Piece chapter 1078, Sanji is among the protagonists of the new installment of the series.

Aiming to find the All Blue, a legendary place where all the seas join in a single one, Sanji joined the Straw Hat Pirates, becoming the cook of the crew. He is also a renowned fighter, ranking as the third strongest member of the Straw Hats, only below Luffy and Zoro.

Among Sanji's most distinctive traits is his chivalry; he swore to himself that he would never injure a woman, regardless of the situation. However, this idea has gotten him into trouble more than once.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to chapter 1078 and reflects the writer's personal views, which may be subjective in nature.

One Piece fans often wonder why Sanji refuses to hit women no matter what

The origins of Sanji's chivalry

Sanji and Zeff as seen in One Piece (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Sanji and Zeff as seen in One Piece (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Native to North Blue, Sanji comes from the Vinsmoke family, a bloodline that rules the Germa Kingdom. Vinsmokes also employ an army, the Germa 66, to work as mercenaries. This makes them rather infamous in the One Piece world.

Sanji has a strained relationship with his family, especially with his father, Judge Vinsmoke, a former member of MADS. However, he still owes them the genetic enhancements that he recently awakened, allowing him to greatly improve his combat effectiveness.

As recounted in a flashback in the Whole Cake Island Arc, Sanji rejected the Vinsmokes. After leaving them, he was adopted by Zeff, the owner of the Baratie Restaurant, who taught him both to cook and to fight.

Zeff truly became a father-figure to Sanji, even declaring to the latter that he considers himself to be Sanji's parent and that it is his duty to make sure him does not grow up to be someone he could come to despise.

Deeply moved by Zeff's affection towards him, Sanji matured immense respect for the former, considering him his true father. His chivalry is a result of the lectures that he received from Zeff about how men should never ever hurt women.

As such, Sanji has sworn to never let women be injured or even insulted in front of him. This idea is absolute, without distinction on the basis of how attractive or unattractive women are, and includes even life-or-death situations.

As stated in the SBS for Volume 50, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda revealed that it's not like Sanji has a "policy" of not kicking women; he can't just physically do that, because he follows Zeff's teachings without any compromise.

Sanji's mother, Sora, also played a significant role in the former's chivalrous attitude towards women. She was a kind and caring person who deeply loved her children. Believing that their sons should grow up to be normal humans, and not emotionless machines, Sora did everything she could to stop Judge's experiments on them.

Sora Vinsmoke as seen in One Piece (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Sora Vinsmoke as seen in One Piece (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Sanji's childhood was hellish, due to the wickedness of his father and his brothers. Sora's smile was the only moment of happiness that Sanji could hang on to. Years later, he regrets that he could not save his mother from the evilness of his father.

Sanji never understood how a kind woman like Sora could accept a monster like Judge, even at the cost of ruining her life. He now especially seeks to protect women because he remember how her mother was the gentle flower that saved him, and that he could not protect.

Sanji's behavior towards women throughout One Piece

Sanji protecting Nami (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Sanji protecting Nami (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Sanji's chivalry is absolute. Throughout the series, every time that he has come across a woman, he has always maintained the same protective behavior with women of the most varied appearances and ages.

His sympathy extends even to enemies. A testament to this, when he sensed Tashigi crying, Sanji went out of his way to protect her from Vergo, despite her being a Marine officer and thus a potential enemy.

During One Piece's Enies Lobby Arc, Sanji demonstrated that he was ready to bring his conviction to extreme consequences. Rather than hurt Kalifa, he preferred to put his own life in danger, allowing the CP9 agent to wound him.

Because of his chivalry, Sanji refuses to carry a grudge against women no matter what mean thing they did to him. He even forgives their actions, focusing on deeper meanings instead than on the harm he could have received from them.

Sanji immediately even forgave Nico Robin, who appeared to have betrayed the crew, and Viola, who deceived him and even violently beat him down, as well as Pudding, who cruelly mocked him. Moreover, when men hurt women, Sanji can become prone to rage.

When Vergo hurt Tashigi, Sanji immediately attacked him using all of his might, although his attempt was not enough to hurt the former. In Whole Cake, Sanji became furious at Niji when he found that he hit a girl named Cosette to the point of making her unconscious.

During the raid on Onigashima, Queen revealed that he had punched a girl for refuting him. Burning with rage, Sanji (who mistakingly thought that he was the culprit for the girl being hurt), went all-out on Queen, brutally beating him.

In the ongoing Egghead Arc, Sanji protected Nami from S-Shark's attacks. In a fit of rage, Sanji started a heated 1v1 battle with the dangerous Seraphim, determined to beat him to a pulp for having tried to hurt Nami.

Sanji's ideals are admirable, but they could backfire on him

Sanji should be more careful when applying his principles (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Sanji should be more careful when applying his principles (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Despite Sanji's chivalry being based on noble principles, it often ends up putting him in trouble. Sanji usually acts like a smart individual, but when in the presence of women, he loses all his coolness.

This behavior is funny, often leading to comical relief moments, but at times it can become rather annoying. Moreover, it's problematic, because on the battlefield Sanji would never attack female opponents and he would rather die than hurt them.

Sanji would defend himself from women only by blocking or dodging incoming attacks. This can work against weaker opponents, but can become a rather dangerous behavior against women with mighty capabilities.

Sanji's chivalry is absolute, which causes him to cloud his judgment, getting him into unnecessary trouble, risking his life and potentially those of his dear ones as well. On Onigashima, Sanji fell into an obvious trap, which could have cost him a lot.

Having heard of Sarahebi, one of Black Maria's subordinates, being harassed, Sanji immediately went in search of her. However, it was all as a facade staged to trap the intruders.

On this issue, Sanji prioritized saving a complete stranger (who later revealed himself to be an enemy) over the crew's goal of fighting the Beasts Pirates. Furthermore, he ended up trapped by Black Maria and her subordinates.

Sanji should start considering that not all women are the same; the fight with Kalifa had already emphasized that he takes his beliefs too far. Kalifa was not weak at all, being a Devil Fruit user and trained CP9 agent. She not only posed a threat to Sanji but to his friends as well.

Despite such circumstances, Sanji refused to fight her. As a result, Kalifa injured him. Sanji nearly died, forcing Nami to risk her life by taking Kalifa on. Hence, Sanji's refusal to take down an evil woman caused another woman to get hurt.

Nami eventually managed to win the fight against Kalifa, but not without suffering serious injuries. Due to his principles, Sanji endangered the life of Nami, who was not only a crewmate but a woman as well. Nico Robin was involved too, making Sanji's behavior even more questionable.

Because of Sanji's stubbornness, Nami could have died at the hands of Kalifa (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Because of Sanji's stubbornness, Nami could have died at the hands of Kalifa (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

As far as Sanji was aware, Kalifa might have been the owner of Robin's handcuffs, making her defeat potentially crucial for Robin's safety. Instead of reflecting on what truly was at stake, Sanji blindly pursued his morals. Everything went well, but the risk was massive.

The issue with Black Maria was very similar. While it emphasized Sanji's trust in Nico Robin's capabilities, it also highlighted how hazardous his conduct is. Black Maria hit Sanji until he called Robin, giving her his location and begging for help.

Thankfully, Robin was able to come in on time and save Sanji, as well as beat Black Maria. However, Robin had a hard time. To beat Black Maria, she needed to consume all of her energies, which caused her to fall exhausted after the battle.

Sanji's chivalry towards a woman once again endangered another woman. He should understand that the women he encounters on his adventures aren't necessarily good people. At times, they are wicked individuals trying to actively harm him and his friends.

In summation

Sanji's tenets are admirable, but their strict application at times put his friends in danger (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Sanji's tenets are admirable, but their strict application at times put his friends in danger (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Sanji's refusal to hurt women is a consequence of what Zeff taught him. Being not only his savior, but a real father-figure to him, Sanji strictly follows his teachings, respecting and protecting women regardless of the situation.

Sanji's attitude is very different towards males; he is aggressive, even easily insulting people. But due to his kindness, he will not hesitate to help males if they are in trouble. However, if the situation forces him to choose, he will definitely opt to help women.

At times, Sanji appears to be rather hypocritical. He didn't object to Luffy challenging Big Mom, and he even had no qualms about the assassination plot against the same person despite her being a woman.

Moreover, Sanji is characterized by a very excessive perviness. He literally tries to flirt with any attractive woman he sees. While apparently fun, this behavior can be rather unpleasant for the women subjected to it. Many One Piece fans have time and again criticized this aspect.

Ultimately, Sanji's motivations are very noble, but he should learn to better handle situations. More than once, his attitude got him into trouble rather than helping women out of it. He risked putting his friends in danger, including some women as well.

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