The Red Hair Pirates are the first pirate crew to appear in the manga and second to appear (next to the Alvida Pirates) in the anime. They are the main influences of both Luffy (Shanks inspired Luffy) and Usopp (wants to become a brave warrior of the sea like his father Yasopp) journeys.
The Jolly Roger of the Red Hair Pirates has a realistic looking skull with a pair of crossed sabres behind it. It has two red stripes with black outlines that cross diagonally across the skull's left eye socket, representing scars that the captain has.
The anime initially only showed Shanks' three named crew members (Benn Beckman, Lucky Roo and Yasopp), however there are at least 4 additional members who have been in the series since Vol.1 that were left out and at least two that appeared in Chapter 1 and early artwork that have not been seen since being in the manga. Since most of the crew were generic pirates in the anime these unnamed crew members have not appeared in the anime yet. However, some of the generic crew members that appeared in the anime in Luffy's flashback returned when Mihawk visited Shanks.
|Benn Beckman||Lucky Roux||Yasopp|
Unnamed Crew Members
- There is a relatively thin member of Shanks' crew, with blond hair. His trademark features seem to be his nut-shaped hat with the crew's Jolly Roger on it, and his white gloves, objects he retain in both of his appearances. On his first appearance in Foosha Village, his hair was shorter, and he was seen smiling. At Marineford, he added to his attire a coat draped over his shoulders like a cape and a pair of sunglasses covering his eyes. His hair has grown longer, almost reaching down to his waist, and he has a stern facial appearance, maybe due to the circumstances. In his hands he carries what looks like a sword.
- Another member is a bald man, with black spots around his eyes, similar to a panda. In his first appearance, he was just as tall as his other crew members, and was quite thin. At Marineford, he seems to have grown more muscular, and his size is enhanced, towering over most of the main members, except for Lucky Roo and another unnamed crew member. He has a scar running down the left side of his face, down to his muscular neck, and a monkey is seen perched on his shoulders. The monkey may be Monstar.
- There is also a tall man with light brown hair and a dragon tattoo on his right arm. In Foosha village, he was already muscular, but was quite thin in size. At Marineford, he is bigger and the tallest one of the members visible, his hair is longer and his tattoo has changed shape: the dragon now faces the opposite direction, is bigger, and extends to the pirate's muscular neck. He retains the orange sunglasses and the sword he had in his earlier appearance.
- Another member is a man with blond hair tied in a ponytail pointing upwards on the back of his head. In Marineford, like the others, he seems to have gotten bigger, and carries a sword on his right shoulder.
- Another member that appeared at Marineford was a man with shaggy hair and pointy teeth giving him a lion-like appearance.
The Red Hair Pirates are known to have the following territories under their control:
The exact strength of the crew as a whole is unknown, but since their captain is a member of the Yonko, they are recognized as one of the four strongest pirate crews in the world.
The first hint at the crew's strength came early on in the story from Luffy's past. The bandit leader Higuma tried to threaten Shanks with his 8,000,000 bounty, but Shanks was not afraid of the man and even put up with having a bottle of sake and his plate of food being smashed and spilled over him. Later on, Benn Beckman took on the bandit's men and wiped them all out with ease, telling Higuma that if he and the bandits wanted to take them on they should bring a warship as back-up. Moments later, Shanks did something shocking while rescuing Luffy from the sea - he scared away a Sea King just by staring at it, using a form of Haki.
When Dracule Mihawk, one of the Shichibukai, brought news of Luffy's rise to fame, the younger, weaker members of his crew appear to be terrified of the great swordsman and approached him with caution. However, the senior members (including Shanks, Benn Beckman, Yasopp, and Lucky Roo) appeared not to be bothered by his visit.
Shanks does not fear Whitebeard, who was another Yonko and known as the world's strongest pirate, whereas some pirate captains quiver at the mere mention of his name. Rockstar also used his captain's name to convey to Whitebeard the importance of the letter he delivered to him.
The true depth to the crew's strength is that the World Government greatly fears what would happen if the Red Hair Pirates and the Whitebeard Pirates joined up. Right after their battle with Kaido in the New World, they sailed to Marineford in just one day. When Shanks and his crew finally showed up at Marineford, they were able to bring the war to halt with words alone. The captain was able to rescue Koby from Admiral Akainu's attack with only a clash of his sword and even the arrogant Blackbeard (who strengthened his crew and had two Devil Fruits) avoided engaging Shanks' crew, simply saying they were not ready to fight them yet.
Charlotte Linlin also believed that with the combined military force of the Big Mom Pirates and Elbaf's army of giants, which is famed as the strongest in the world, would she have a chance to kill Shanks and his crew.
When the crew first arrived in Foosha Village, they were seen with a ship that was similar in design to the ship used by "Crescent-Moon Galley" during Romance Dawn version 1. Not much is known about its capabilities but it appears to be a standard pirate ship with no noteworthy features.
The ship was first seen in the manga during Chapter 1, and was first seen in the anime during a flashback in Episode 4. It was the first ship introduced in the series as well as the first pirate ship. It was on the figurehead that Luffy cut and scarred his face to prove he was a man to Shanks and his crew.
Not much else is currently known about the Red Hair Pirates. Shanks used to be on the same crew as Buggy the Clown, and Buggy forever resents him for botching one of his treasure hunts by "making" him eat a Devil Fruit.
They are a very laid back group of pirates who are almost always seen partying and drinking alcoholic beverages whenever they make an appearance. They seem much friendlier compared to other pirates seen in the series: they hung around Luffy's hometown for roughly a year without complaints from the local villagers (aside from the ones that came from Mayor Woop Slap).
They have intercepted the attack Kaido, another Yonko, tried to make against Whitebeard. It is unclear whether they are actually fighting against each other or only blocking the path. Afterwards, the crew arrived at Marineford, with the intent of ending the Whitebeard war. By proposing a ceasefire with Fleet Admiral Sengoku, the battle was thus ended.
One of the crew's protectorates is shown in The Stories of the Self-Proclaimed Straw Hat Grand Fleet mini-arc, which the Barto Club visited. After their arrival, the Barto Club burned the crew's flag in a daring act, much to the horror of the local citizens.
Aside from their protected territories, the Red Hair Pirates also frequent Yukiryu Island and use it as a hangout for drinking and partying away from civilization.
Most members also seem to wear capes.
Monkey D. Luffy and The Red Hair Pirates
Twelve years before the present story line, they spent a year in Luffy's home town and became very good friends with him, which led to him wanting to become part of their crew. However, Shanks told him that he was too weak, which angered him. Shanks was also the one who unintentionally supplied Luffy with his Devil Fruit. When a group of mountain bandits hassled the crew in a bar, they did not fight back, but once they left, they immediately burst out laughing, saying that pirates are cowards. Luffy was angry at them for not fighting back, since he did not realize that there was no need to retaliate.
Later, after the bandits showed up again when the crew was away, Luffy overheard them saying bad things about Shanks and his crew so Luffy's temper flared up and he started insulting their leader, Higuma. The bandits easily subdued him and wanted to kill him. Then Shanks and his crew arrived and immediately took control of the situation, easily beating all of the bandits. However, the leader, Higuma the Bear, had escaped out to sea in order to kill Luffy, only to be eaten by a Sea King. Since Luffy could not swim due to his Devil Fruit, he began to sink into the water, but Shanks quickly saved him. Because the Sea King was about to eat Luffy, he dodged it but his left arm was torn off. Shanks shows no regret of this, even saying to Whitebeard he was making a bet on the New Age by losing it. He frightened the monster off simply by staring at it and saying "Get lost".
Later, when the crew finally decided to leave, Luffy said he did not want to join Shanks and his crew anymore. Luffy said that he would be a pirate on his own, to which Shanks then said that there was no way that he could become a pirate. Luffy immediately declared his intentions to become an even greater pirate than Shanks and to become the Pirate King, so an amused Shanks gave his signature straw hat to Luffy and said to give back to him once he surpasses Shanks as a pirate.
Usopp's connection to the Red Hair Pirates is through his father, Yasopp. When Usopp was young, Yasopp left his family in order to go out to sea, as urged by his wife. Due to how he was raised, Usopp understood that his father left to pursue his dream and harbors no ill will against him. In fact, he wants to become a great sniper and a warrior of the sea like him.
Arrival of the Pirate Brothers
Years after meeting Luffy, they met Portgas D. Ace, who thanked Shanks for saving his little brother. Shanks responded by throwing a party to celebrate, as he did not know Luffy had a brother.
Sometime later, Dracule "Hawkeye" Mihawk paid Shanks a visit, much to the shock of a few of Shanks' weaker crew members. The Shichibukai brought news that delighted the red-haired pirate, which was Luffy gaining a bounty of 30,000,000. Hearing Luffy had now come at last, Shanks threw another party despite being already unwell from his previous drinking session.
Later on, Shanks sent a message to Whitebeard that was delivered by their newest recruit, Rockstar. Whitebeard refused to read it, since Shanks himself did not deliver it. The message's contents were unknown, though Whitebeard assumed that it was about Portgas D. Ace and Blackbeard.
Post-Enies Lobby Arc
Shanks met with Whitebeard later to request him to call Ace back. Shanks revealed that it was Teach that gave him the scars on his face, stating it was not by a surprise attack. The World Government feared that the two crews may decide to form alliance with one another, but simply decided to observe their actions for now.
Later, in the Whitebeard War, they arrived at Marineford, as Shanks stopped Admiral Akainu from killing Koby, and Beckman stopped Admiral Kizaru from shooting his light laser. Due to the presence of Shanks and his crew, the Blackbeard Pirates left Marineford and Sengoku announced the end of war.
Shanks and the crew were later seen at Whitebeard and Ace's funeral.
During the Timeskip
During the timeskip, the Red Hair Pirates fought against Eustass Kid and the battle cost Kid his left arm.
From the Decks of the World: the 500,000,000 Man Arc
- A couple of the crew have a common tattoo on their bodies, it is seen on the arm of one member and then on the back of a shirt of another. The symbol however has not been seen since.
- Perhaps in line with a "Shank" being a part of an anchor, it should also be noted that a number of his crew also had an anchor on their body (at least 4), a note since Luffy himself also bore a larger anchor on his shirt as a child.
- Sometimes, Oda forgets to put the three scars on the Red Hair Pirates' flag, as stated once in an SBS.
- According to Luffy, it was Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates who taught him the song "Binks' Sake".
- The original ship of the Red Hair Pirates in One Piece seems to be based of the ship of Crescent-Moon Galley from Romance Dawn. Their later ship also continues this style.
- In One Piece Yellow: Grand Elements the name of the crew is transliterated "Red Haired Pirates", but in the One Piece Green: Secret Pieces it's transliterated "Red Hair Pirates".
- The Red Hair Pirates are the only Yonko crew so far that does not have any known crew members that are Devil Fruit users.
- A Japanese coast guard vessel, pretending to be a pirate ship during an exercise was caught on video using Shanks' Jolly Roger.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 and Episode 4, The Red Hair Pirates are seen.
- ↑ One Piece Manga — Vol. 87 cover story: The Stories of the Self-Proclaimed Straw Hat Grand Fleet Vol. 9.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 11 Chapter 96 and Episode 45, Mihawk brings news to Shanks.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 25 Chapter 234 and Episode 151, Shanks contacts Whitebeard.
- ↑ One Piece Manga — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 (p. 2-3), Luffy cuts himself on the figurehead of the ship of the Red Hair Pirates
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 1 Chapter 1 and Episode 4, the Red Hair pirates and Luffy.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 3 Chapter 25 and Episode 9, Yasopp and Usopp.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 25 Chapter 234 (p. 14-15) and Episode 151.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 45 Chapter 434 (p. 2-17) and Episode 316.
- ↑ One Piece Manga — Vol. 59 Chapter 580, The Red Hair Pirates arrive at Marineford.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 60 Chapter 590 (p. 8-9) and Episode 505, The Red Hair Pirates attend Whitebeard and Ace's funeral.
- ↑ One Piece Manga — Vol. 83 cover story: From the Decks of the World: The 500,000,000 Man Arc Vol. 24.
- ↑ One Piece Manga — Vol. 83 cover story: From the Decks of the World: The 500,000,000 Man Arc Vol. 25.
- ↑ One Piece Manga — Vol. 90 Chapter 903.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 50 Chapter 486 and Episode 378, Luffy talks about where he heard the song from.