Eiichiro Oda's record-breaking series One Piece follows the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man who took to the sea intending to become the Pirate King. Luffy befriended several people along his journey, who eventually became his crewmates.
Luffy's crew is united by a bond of genuine friendship. However, given the depth of the world created by Eiichiro Oda, several other friendships in the series are just as intense and sincere.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1074 and reflects the writer's personal views.
From Brook and Laboon to Ushimaru and Onimaru, the major friendships that One Piece ever featured
1) Brook and Laboon
Decades ago, Brook was a member of the Rumbar Pirates, who befriended Laboon, a baby whale. They left her at the Twin Capes but promised to return after completing their journey. However, except for Brook, all the Rumbar Pirates died.
Because of the promise he and the other Rumbar Pirates made to Laboon, Brook feels obligated to meet with her. Concurrently, Laboon has been patiently waiting for half a century to meet them again.
This emotional reunion will likely happen at the end of the One Piece series, when Laboon will finally be able to hear the Rumbar Pirates' final song, which Brook recorded on a Tone Dial.
2) Kalgara and Montblanc Noland
Hundreds of years ago, Montblanc Noland from the Lvneel Kingdom arrived in Jaya, where he met the Shandians, who were affected by the Tree Fever. Noland stopped the Shandians' traditional human sacrifices and helped them survive the disease.
Kalgara, the Great Warrior of the Shandians, initially despised Noland's behavior. However, they soon became great friends, developing sincere respect for each other. Kalgara hoped to see Noland again and dreamed of visiting his island.
Unfortunately, the latter was killed by his fellow countrymen, who accused him of inventing everything about the Shandians. Noland bravely went to his death, swearing that he was telling the truth. In his final moments, he thought of Kalgara.
3) Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoro
Within the Strawhat Pirates, the bond between Luffy, the captain, and Zoro, his right-hand man, is the greatest and most spontaneous. They are a formidable duo, being the only two Strawhats to share certain strength-related achievements.
Despite Zoro being known as a frightening bounty hunter, Luffy immediately appreciated him. When the green-haired pirate joined Luffy, he made it clear that he would kill him if he ever hindered his dream. However, he soon became sincerely loyal to him.
Zoro has put his life on the line several times to save his captain from difficult situations. To the swordsman's devotion, Luffy retaliates with complete trust in the former's abilities. As such, they consider themselves as great friends with a "brother-in-arms" connection.
4) Gol D. Roger and Silvers Rayleigh
Roger, who became the King of Pirates, and Rayleigh, his right-hand man, were close to each other in strength and connection. In their first meeting, Roger asked Rayleigh if he wanted to turn the world upside down.
A few years later, they made those words a reality by finding the legendary treasure called "One Piece". Throughout their adventures together, Roger and Rayleigh developed a firm bond. The former even declared the latter to be his equal partner.
After Roger surrendered himself to the Marines, Rayleigh was unable to witness the execution of his great friend directly. Remembering the last words Roger spoke to him, Rayleigh spent the following night laughing, crying, and getting drunk.
5) Shanks and Dracule Mihawk
In the past, Shanks and Mihawk shared a world-renowned rivalry. Their ferocious battles echoed throughout the entire Grand Line. Even Whitebeard, the World's Strongest Man, acknowledged those clashes as legendary.
However, Mihawk has seemingly lost any interest in fighting Shanks after the latter lost an arm. Outside of combat, their relationship has become amiable. Despite their polarly opposite personalities, they get along well.
Mihawk and Shanks even partied and drank together to celebrate Luffy's first bounty. When the latter arrived in Marineford, Mihawk refused to fight him, stating that his agreement with the World Government didn't include clashing with his former rival.
6) Eustass Kid and Killer
Eustass Kid is the captain of the Kid Pirates. His right-hand man, Killer, is his first and greatest friend. Like Luffy and Zoro, Kid and Killer are both members of the Eleven Supernovas of the Worst Generation.
Kid and Killer are childhood friends who grew up together in the same rough environment, experiencing the same harsh situations. Their relationship is deep and shows a bond of mutual trust and carefulness.
7) Franky and Senor Pink
A powerful and eccentric cyborg, Franky became a member of the Strawhat Pirates as the crew's shipwright. During the Dressrosa arc, he confronted Senor Pink, an officer of the Donquixote Pirates.
Many years ago, Senor Pink's son, Gimlet, died suddenly, and his wife, Russian, ended up in a vegetative and emotionless state. Senor Pink started dressing himself like a baby, attempting to make Russian smile even in her condition.
Even after Russian's death, Senor Pink continued dressing like a baby. Several years later, Franky and Senor Pink, despite being enemies, developed a respect for each other. Moreover, Franky asked him to have a drink with him and tell him his story with Russian, should they ever meet again.
During the Egghead arc, Franky refers to Senor Pink as his "sworn brother" and, upon witnessing S-Shark using Senor's Swim-Swim Fruit, is sincerely worried about his condition.
8) Roronoa Zoro and Kuina
Being the second strongest member of the Strawhat Pirates, Zoro acts as the crew's first mate. A testament to his fearsome fighting capabilities, he is one of the Eleven Supernovas and can use the Advanced Conqueror's Haki, an ability that only the strongest can perform.
To fulfill a promise made to his childhood friend Kuina, Zoro aims to become the World's Strongest Swordsman. When they were children, Zoro never managed to beat Kuina, but she admitted that, once their bodies matured, she would one day inevitably lose to him.
They mutually promised that one of them would become the World's Strongest Swordsman. However, Kuina died in an accident. Zoro currently wields Kuina's sword, Wado Ichimonji, and vows to achieve his ambition not just for himself but also to honor her.
9) The Strawhat Pirates and Vivi Nefertari
Vivi Nefertari is the princess of the Arabasta Kingdom. The Strawhat Pirates met and decided to help her in the desperate struggle to protect her homeland from Crocodile's Baroque Works organization.
The Strawhats regard Vivi and Karoo, her pet, as honorary members of the crew. Having to help restore Arabasta, Vivi couldn't continue traveling with Luffy, Zoro, and the others, but her bond with them will remain forever.
10) Roronoa Zoro and Sanji Vinsmoke
Zoro and Sanji are the second and the third most powerful members of the Strawhat Pirates, respectively. Due to their completely different and opposite personalities, Zoro and Sanji often bicker, resulting in funny scenes.
However, out of the gags, there's little doubt that these two are Luffy's biggest pillars within the Strawhat crew. They care deeply about each other and are ready to put their lives on the line for each other and their other crewmates.
11) Monkey D. Luffy and Bentham
Bentham was first introduced during the Arabasta arc. As a member of Crocodile's Baroque Works under the alias of Mr. 2 Bon Clay, he fought against Sanji. However, after gaining respect for their comradery, Bentham decided to help the crew, even at the cost of sacrificing himself. When he met Luffy in Impel Down, he helped him again, risking his life to protect him from the fearsome Magellan.
Luffy, who refers to Bentham as "Bon-chan," will never forget the help the former member of Baroque Works gave him during his attempt to save Ace. In a very brief time, Luffy and Bentham developed mutual carefulness.
12) Koby and Helmeppo
Koby and Helmeppo are two Marine officers as well as members of SWORD. Both were directly trained by Vice Admiral Garp, the legendary Marine Hero. Initially, Helmeppo rejected Koby's attempts to befriend him.
After starting training together, they became good friends. A testament to their bond, after Koby was captured by the Blackbeard Pirates, Helmeppo pleaded with his superiors to go save him as soon as possible.
13) Shanks and Benn Beckman
Benn Beckman is the right-hand man for "Red Hair" Shanks. As such, the former is the man Shanks trusts the most. It was stated that their connection is akin to that between the Sun and the Moon.
Like Zoro with Luffy and Rayleigh with Roger, Benn is not only close in strength to Shanks but a great friend to rely on. Within the entire crew, Benn was the one who Shanks declared his sudden intention to partake in the rush for the One Piece.
14) Monkey D. Luffy and Usopp
Usopp joined the Strawhat Pirates after Luffy, Zoro, and Nami saved his town from the Black Cats Pirates. Having a connection with a member of the Red Hair Pirates, as well as sharing a similar level of maturity, Luffy and Usopp have been great friends from the start.
Due to the contrast between Usopp's cowardly nature and Luffy's carefree thirst for adventure, they had some moments of contrast. Still, Usopp supported Luffy at the crucial moment of his battle against Rob Lucci.
15) Ushimaru Shimotsuki and Onimaru
Ushimaru Shimotsuki was the last daimyo of Ringo before Kaido and Orochi's takeover. A selfless individual with an unwavering spirit, he was a powerful samurai.
Ushimaru's companion was a fox named Onimaru, who served him faithfully until he was defeated in battle against Kaido. Since then, Onimaru has stayed in Ringo, protecting the graves from robbers and collecting weapons for future revenge against Kaido and Orochi.
Admittedly, ranking the fortitude of great friendships such as the ones featured in One Piece is complex. With the series being characterized by its intertwined world-building and many unforgettable emotional moments, countless friendships are portrayed.
Of course, given the sheer number of friendships created by One Piece author Eiichiro Oda, not all of them can be included in this list. However, at least some still deserve an honorable mention.
The first thing that comes to mind is the bond that ties the Strawhat Pirates themselves, along with some characters they met along their journey, such as Momonosuke, Kinemon, Tama, and Carrot.
There are also some friendships that no one could see coming, such as the connection between Jango and Fullbody, Bartolomeo and Cavendish, as well as Portgas D. Ace and Yamato, and Zoro and Perona.
Some duos of characters, such as Gol D. Roger and Monkey D. Garp, as well as Kaido and Big Mom, have peculiar relationships. Despite their different allegiances, they share a common bond and sometimes they even teamed up.
These characters could be considered friends, but it's highly debatable. The same may be said for the connection between Gol D. Roger and Whitebeard.
Poll : Will Brook ever manage to meet again with Laboon?