Despite her exceptionally advanced age and apart from her well-wrinkled faced, Kureha is a slender woman in her prime. Dr. Kureha dresses in a style more suited to women one-seventh her age. This includes a navel ring, a shirt that bares her midriff, a purple blazer and purple low-riding pants. She has a pair of small sunglasses that, when they're not over her eyes, she wears on her forehead even when she's using glasses. She wears bracelets and rings on her left hand.
In the past, she wore her hair in bunches with pink ties. Her pale yellow shirt had an alternating solid green line and purple dotted line pattern.
During the Drum Island arc, she wore pants with a pink design on the left leg and a blazer with a yellow line along the shoulders and down each arm. She wore a white shirt with a pink cherry blossom on the front and green sleeves and borders.
When Dalton informed her of the Straw Hats' bounties after Enies Lobby, her blazer and pants were solid purple. Her blazer had a fur collar and trim. Her belt buckle had either a sun or flower design on it. Her an orange shirt with a thin bull-head silhouette.
After the time skip, she does not look different from two years before. Her blazer had an orange flame pattern along the bottom and on the edge of the right sleeve. Her pants had the same pattern on the left leg. Her shirt had a top hat in front of an X (likely representing Hiriluk and Chopper respectively), which is the symbol of the Isshi-100.
She was later seen wearing a shirt with a heart.
Dr. Kureha has often been called a witch for several reasons. The first is her eccentric treatment of patients whom she will violently threaten if they do not follow her orders. The second is her forceful method of checking for injury for example deliberately prodding the ailing area, causing her patients pain and then having Chopper knock them out as a form of anesthetic. The next is her age, a 'too young' 141. The final reason is her reclusive nature. She hates being called "old" or a "hag" and her response is generally to punch or kick the offender across the room, and often begins conversations by asking if whoever she's speaking to wants to know the secret of her youth. Kureha seems to have a drinking habit, judging by the bottle of plum sake (梅酒 umeshu?) that she always keeps close at hand.
She is, however, a legitimate and extremely skilled practitioner of medicine, managing to cure a disease Nami had which was caused by a bug thought to be extinct.
Kureha takes utmost pride in preserving her supreme health and constitution in her prime despite being a centenarian. She would frequently misunderstood people asking her for the secret of her youth during conversations as shown with Nami and later with Wapol at Mary Geoise. Kureha takes great offense to people calling her old or any term directly related to being called an elderly and would violently assault them in retaliation as shown with Sanji and Luffy. Kureha is also sometimes referred to as being a pirate because she takes what ever she wants as payment for her medical treatments. She apparently likes pickled plums, as stated by Dalton.
Kureha also appears to incredibly thoughtful carefully deducting Luffy having the initial D would make him a dangerous man and being able to correctly say the Pirate King's real name as Gol D. Roger rather than Gold Roger. She then showed some familiarity with the Will of the D. which made her the first person in the series to mention it as most have no idea of its meaning.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Dr. Kureha possesses genius skills and immense medical knowledge as one of the finest doctors in the world. Her understanding of medicine and the art of healing is exceptional even among the medically advanced doctors of the Drum Kingdom as shown as she could not only live well beyond the normal human life expectancy unaided, but also retain an immensely robust health at the same time. She managed to create an antibiotic to cure Nami when she was bitten and infected by the ancient tick, Kestia, which was thought to be extinct, and as such, the cure would be difficult to find. She is also one of the few doctors around the world authorized to use the highly restricted drug, NHC10. She passed on many of her skills and knowledge to Chopper, who became a great doctor in his own right. She is also extremely good at telling temperatures, deducing Nami's exact temperature simply by poking her forehead with her index finger.
Physical Abilities Edit
Outside of her medical expertise, she possesses a significantly high level of superhuman strength and speed to match her vast longevity. She was shown to crush stone walls with ease and carry around and throw entire arsenal of heavy weapons effortlessly. She had immense resistance against the cold, as she is often seen walking through the extremely cold climate of Drum Island with very loose clothing. She could easily beat up Luffy and Sanji when both insulted her as as old, sending them crashing towards walls with powerful kicks.
- Doctor Stop! (ドクターストップ Dokutā Sutoppu?): A technique Kureha used for physical therapy. Whenever she sees a patient about to do something she believes might compromise her medical treatments or interrupt their recovery process, she 'stops' them by any means necessary whether it is to pin them down with her body or stomp them down into the ground. While her methods appear to be brutal and painful, she actually stops the patient from sustaining far worse injury than if she had let them go. For example, stomping on Sanji's damaged spine to immobilize him was a safer option than letting him fight which would have strained his injury to a point that may have prevented him from walking ever again.
Dr. Kureha had an odd relationship with Dr. Hiriluk, seeming to enjoy the camaraderie of a fellow "doctor", but dismissing most of his ideas as those of a quack. When she realized that Hiriluk is dying, she agreed (reluctantly) to his last requests: to make his life's work come to fruition and to train Tony Tony Chopper in medicine. During the time since Hiriluk's death, she trained Chopper in medicine, claiming she taught Chopper "everything she knew", and was fairly impressed by the young reindeer's skill.
Drum Island ArcEdit
Kureha is first seen with Chopper while seeking out and treating a child in Cocoa Weed. She noted inflammation in the child's limbs and diagnosed a bacterial infection in his bones. As payment she demanded various supplies and 50% of the bar's money, but when Tamachibi thanks her, she lowers it to 49%.
Luffy arrived at the castle doors and passed out. Kureha had Chopper bring the pirates in for treatment. She informed Nami, after she woke up, she had saved her from a rare insect bite that would have killed her in two days time. She then offered her a free pass at attempting to convince her assistant, Chopper, to join her crew, but warned her that convincing him to join would be difficult due to Chopper mistrusting others.
Soon, Chopper returned and announced that Wapol had returned as he could smell him. They peered outside and found Wapol and his men ready to storm the castle. Luffy challenged Wapol and nearly punched him off the mountain as Chopper had emotions stirred up inside him and recalled his past of how Wapol had killed his previous master. However, they were soon assaulted by Wapol and his men. Luffy, Sanji, and Chopper fought against Wapol until he unleashed his ultimate form. Kureha watched and told them she would fight if she was required to step in. When Sanji became injured, she stood next to him as they watched Luffy and Chopper continue the fight. When Sanji attempted to rejoin, she stepped in the way and swore an oath as a doctor to make sure she took care of her patients, even if it means restricting them from fighting.
Knowing that Chopper would do well to gain real-world experience, Kureha encouraged Chopper (by forbidding him from it) to leave the island with the Straw Hat Pirates. Standing on the ramparts of Drum Castle, she gave her wayward student a tearful send-off of gigantic proportions, setting off the "cure" that Dr. Hiriluk envisioned for the island: pink sakura snowflakes falling from the sky to warm the island's frosted heart. She apparently did not have her navel ring at this time. She was the first person in the current storyline to mention the Will of the D. and also the first to refer to Gol D. Roger by his real name, instead of Gold Roger hinting she may have met him in the past for her to know the pirate's real name.
Post-Enies Lobby ArcEdit
She appears again later in the story using a Lapahn to pull her sleigh. She is called by Dalton to look at the new wanted posters of the Straw Hat Pirates. She makes note of Chopper's wanted poster of 50. While Dalton suggests that the value is a mistake, Kureha states that she is simply happy to have seen his face. She does not appear to mind that Dalton has become the new king of Drum Island, even offering him a room in "her" castle. The two now appear to be friends.
From the Decks of the WorldEdit
In "From the Decks of the World", it is revealed that Dr. Kureha has taken command of the Isshi-20 and formed a medical academy at Drum Castle. Two years later, Kureha is seen with the Isshi-20, which has now increased to 100. Her castle seems to have become the island's medical center with her as the head-doctor. Their new doctor flag is made up of the "X" on Chopper's hat with Hiriluk's top-hat inside it; Kureha is also wearing a shirt with this symbol on it.
From the Decks of the World: the 500,000,000 Man ArcEdit
Dr. Kureha and Dalton later received news of the Straw Hats' accomplishment at Dressrosa.
After Mjosgard stopped Charlos from enslaving Shirahoshi, Kureha stood next to Vivi as Mjosgard promised to protect Shirahoshi during the Levely.
Translation and Dub IssuesEdit
In the 4Kids dub, the bottle of umeshu Dr. Kureha drinks from is changed to "bug juice loaded with sugar". She was also changed from being 139 years old (at the time) to "a young 99 and a half year-old". As opposed to her nickname "Doctorine" in the Japanese version, the 4kids dub changes this to "Dr. K", a possible reference to 4Kids' other series Cubix: Robots for Everyone, which also features a character named Dr. K voiced by Maddie Blaustein.
Anime and Manga DifferencesEdit
- In the manga she has a very dark shade of grey hair color instead of light white/yellow.
- In the anime she encounters a freezing Zoro on her way back to the castle, who she refuses to give him a ride in her sleigh for calling her an old lady.
- One Piece: Grand Battle! Rush!
- One Piece Grand Adventure
- One Piece: Gear Spirit
- One Piece: Gigant Battle! 2 New World
- One Piece: Burning Blood
- Grand Battle! Swan Colosseum
- Dragon Dream!
- Grand Battle! 2
- One Piece: Gigant Battle
- One Piece: Pirate Warriors
- One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3
- In an SBS, a reader asks Oda if Dr. Kureha will be alright on the next year as Oda discussed that in One Piece world, a normal human can only live up to 140 years, though she is already 141 years old; Oda said she is still superhuman (in the sense that she goes beyond other people), so she will be okay.
- At 141 years old, she is the oldest known human in the series.
- In the 4th Japanese Fan Poll, Dr. Kureha is ranked the 54th-most popular character in One Piece.
- Kureha has her own distinct laugh; she starts her laughs with "Hee" (i.e. Heeheeheehee!), reinforcing her similarity to a witch. However, in the anime, her laugh sounds exactly like the eerie laughter of Kitaro from the 2008 horror remake of the classic anime "Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro" called "Hakaba Kitaro". Masako Nozawa voices both Dr. Kureha and Kitaro as well as Kitaro from the 1968 and 1971 versions of the "Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro" anime.
- It has been noted that similar to other characters in the series, Kureha's appearance is based on a real world musician. In this case, she bears resemblance to Geddy Lee, from the band "Rush".