Many anime characters have trademark features that make them immediately recognizable. One of the trademarks One Piece’s Monkey D. Luffy is known for is his straw hat. However, his most noticeable and memorable features are his scars. He has one scar below his left eye and a large X-shaped scar on his chest. But how did Luffy get these scars?
He got the spot under his eye when he was a child. He stabbed himself with a dagger to show Shank he was worthy enough to join his crew. The scar on his chest came from a fight with Akainu when he punched Jimbe, who was holding Luffy. Luffy was unconscious, but the hit was so powerful it left him scarred.
This article will explain more in-depth the events that led up to Luffy receiving both of his scars. Please be advised that this article may contain spoilers! Proceed with caution if you are not up to date with the One Piece anime series.
A Boy, a Dagger, and Pirates: Luffy’s Facial Scar
Scars tell a story. They are reminders of what a character has been through. Scars are often marks of battles that a character fought and survived. However, Luffy’s facial scar is not a battle wound. It was self-inflicted, but it is an exciting story and tells much about Luffy’s resolve even as a child.
Luffy got his facial scar before the start of the anime series when he was still a child. Luffy was raised by his grandfather Garp, but he came across the pirate Shanks and his crew in Foosha Village. Luffy knew that Shanks and his team had a strong rapport with the other villagers, and he saw how happy they were and how much fun they had.
Garp wanted Luffy to take after him and become a marine, but he had other plans. Luffy wanted to be part of Shanks’ pirate crew. He quickly became friends with the pirates in Shanks’ crew and kept begging Shanks to let him be a part of the crew. Shanks kept rejecting him, so Luffy took matters into his own hands.
He wanted to prove that he was brave and strong enough to become a pirate, so he took a dagger and stabbed himself in the face, directly under his left eye. The cut was deep enough to require stitches, which later left a scar on Luffy’s face.
He stabbed himself where he knew it would leave a visible scar but still avoided stabbing his eye. This scar represents Luffy’s bravery and innocence. He was brave enough to take a dagger to himself. He was innocent enough to believe it would make Shank include him, and he didn’t think about its lasting effects on his body.
X Marks the Spot: Luffy’s Chest Scar
Luffy’s second scar is an X-shaped scar located on his chest. The story behind this scar is deeper and was a more traumatic experience for Luffy than how he got his facial scar. He earned his chest scar in the events surrounding his brother Ace’s death.
Luffy had gone to Marineford to rescue his brother, Ace. However, they were stopped by Akainu. Ace used his body as a shield to protect Luffy, resulting in his death from Akainu magma-punching him in the chest.
Witnessing the death of his brother was so traumatic to Luffy that he immediately fell unconscious and was also paralyzed. This made him an even easier target for Akainu, who wanted to kill him simply because he was the son of Monkey D. Dragon.
Jimbei (or Jinbe, as he is known in the original manga) came to Luffy’s rescue and carried him away from Akainu. Unfortunately, Akainu caught up to them and magma-punched Jimbei so hard in the chest that Luffy also took the hit. Buggy then used his Devil Fruit Powers to rescue both Jimbei and Luffy.
Most One Piece characters are resistant to minor injuries. Still, damages severe enough to cause an explosion can do fatal damage to their bodies. Law came to the rescue and operated on both Jimbei and Luffy, saving them. But Luffy was left with another prominent scar.
Luffy’s chest scar represents his loss. It represents not only the loss of his brother Ace but also Luffy’s momentary weakness and how he could not save his brother.
There is also some debate among fans about where exactly Luffy got the chest scar. Some believe he got the scar in episode 223 in his fight with Zoro when Zoro cuts him with the Oni Giri. A smaller X-shaped spot does appear on Luffy’s chest then.
However, it likely heals up, as it is not shown later. Furthermore, the X-shaped scar Luffy is permanently left with is more jagged and looks like an explosion, which would be caused by the magma punch, rather than a clean-cut scar the Oni Giri would have left.
In What Episodes Did Luffy Get His Scars?
The anime doesn’t show precisely when Luffy got his facial scar. In the manga, this is the starting point of Luffy’s story. It is revealed in Chapter 1 of the manga. But it is skipped in the anime series, as Luffy is older and already has the scar when it begins.
However, the moment is later shown in flashbacks in the anime television special “Episode of Luffy: Adventure on Hand Island,” which aired after Episode 576 of the series.
While on Hand Island, Luffy discovers a sculpture of Shanks. This causes him to remember when he was a child and wanted to be a part of Shanks’ crew so severely that he stabbed himself below his eye.
Luffy got his chest scar from Akainu in episode 487 of One Piece, entitled “Akainu’s Tenacity: The Fist of Magma Attacks Luffy.” In the manga, this event occurs in Volume 59, Chapter 587.
In the anime series, the scene with Akainu, Jimbei, and Luffy was so intense that producers were worried that this event might be too emotionally for younger viewers, so the part with Buggy being pressured to save Jimbei and Luffy was added to deescalate the tension.