One Piece and life goals – realism in fiction

This is the second post in the “realism in fiction” series. In the first one I tried to describe the effect of having your story be as real life-like as possible, which is the most literal meaning of “realism”. I also talked about how breaking this sense of connection with real life in takes away from the feeling of the story. Here I want to talk about something different. I’ll focus on characters’ life goals and hopefully I’ll be able to make a convincing argument that this is directly linked to how realistic a story is.

Strawhats

I chose One Piece for this post because it is such a good fit for this topic (nothing to do with the fact that the manga is celebrating its 20th anniversary in a week, I swear!). The manga is very long and rich in detail for both the world and the characters, and it is well written too, allowing a meaningful discussion. Also it is a good excuse to feature Oda’s art on this blog ^^/

Perona Brook

Speaking of art, hope you don’t mind seeing a picture separating every paragraph, cause that is what I wanna do ^.^

Okay, let us start with simple examples, looking at the first members of Luffy’s crew. Luffy himself is famously going to become the pirate king, that is his motivation. It was rephrased as wanting to be the person with most freedom, which is supposed to clarify it, but it doesn’t. The “pirate king”, the “person with most freedom”, they are both completely abstract ideas. And it is very fitting that to become the pirate king Luffy seemingly needs to find One Piece, the McGuffin of this manga. You can easily wave all of this away as just an example of lazy writing. So how real is this motivation? Well in fact, it is very real. Almost anyone either experienced it or can understand how it feels, I think. “I want to become a great scientist!”, “I want to be famous one day!”, “I want to be a rock star!” and so on, all of those goals are almost as vague as Luffy’s. When you are a kid and you feel a desire to become something, you don’t necessarily imagine it in realistic (if any) detail. Neither does Luffy. He goes one step further though, refusing to learn what awaits him in the future (I am referring to the scene where he refuses to accept information about Raftel or One Piece from Rayleigh). In a way, his mindset is similar to that of a school boy who haven’t yet decided on his future occupation but is still thrilled about it and works hard to make it happen. So, on emotional level at least, Luffy’s goal is realistic and relatable.Luffy

Next is Zoro, the guy who wants to become the best swordsman. That is a clear and easily understood goal. It is similar to what an aspiring athlete would have. If you think about it, it is still a vague goal, at best it means something like “to defeat everyone who I think is stronger than me”. What matters for us though, it is very realistic and understandable.

Now we go to Nami. Her original goal was to get rid of Arlong. After Luffy granted this wish she joined him, and her official goal became to map the whole world. In reality though, she just seems to share Luffy’s dream of making him the pirate king. She also seem to enjoy the ride, same as the rest of the crew. Same story with Usopp, Sanji, Franky, Chopper and Brook. I’d argue their motivations are realistic too though. True, they might not be pursuing any real personal goals, but being part of Luffy’s crew, making miracles happen wherever they set foot to, seeing the world and having fun all the while, that seems like a worthy occupation. They are also all wanted people, so their options are limited.

makes me proud to be a freaking strawhat

Moments like this are what makes their motivations seem very real. I am totally with Franky there. These couple of pages were ones of my favourite in the Zou arc.

Okay, enough with the easy examples, let me start with real ones. First in is Edward Newgate, the Whitebeard. His life goal is to have family, as simple as that. This extended to having hundreds of people he called his sons and took care of, while not limiting their freedom. Point is, he had achieved this goal way back when Roger was still alive and Luffy hadn’t even been born. So, it is fair to say that he had no further goals, he just enjoyed his life. What about his crew though? I talked about how Luffy’s crew is kinda just in for the ride, they want to be a part of this grand adventure and to make Luffy the pirate king. Whitebeard did not had an ambition to become the pirate king, and everyone on his ship knew that. Knowing their leader’s history and abilities, Whitebeard’s crewmates couldn’t help but see that the main reason the Roger’s throne still is vacant is because their old man did not care to take it. At least that is what we know so far, of course there might be more to it.

Whitebeard

With all that said, I don’t think Whitebeard’s crew could operate the same way Luffy’s crew does. Whitebeard doesn’t do anything, his existence had been in stagnation for years. It is fine for him, and, sure, it is fine for those who just want an easy life free of worries. But his children are all fighters, they are pirates who had chosen to go against the government; it is hard to believe no one of them would have personal goals or ambitions of any kind. Or rather, it is hard to believe they could be satisfied living with no ambitions or goals. A famous example of a person who wasn’t satisfied is Teach, the arch villain of the series. He did have his own ambitions, and he realized them, which consequently made him an enemy of the Whitebeard.

Whitebeard 2

Another example of Whitebeard’s crewmate who had goals was Ace. His goal later in life was to hunt down Teach and make him pay for his crimes. That is a goal, and it also went against the desires of Whitebeard, although Ace still had his way. Ultimately this lead to the destruction of the whole crew and the death of Edward Newgate.

I feel this is an example where the story makes good use of the realistic life goals and their clashes. The motivations of every party involved in this conflict are clear and relatable, and you can see why it was inevitable, why it makes sense. You can’t achieve your ambitions while riding with a captain who has no goal, which is why Teach and Ace had to leave his ship (they did it in a different manner, of course).

Whitebeard pirates

I this this page is a perfect illustration why Whitebeard pirates are such an awesome crew

Let me give you a few more examples of this sort. Remember Donquixote family? Or Big Mom pirates? Or even Baroque Works? What strikes you about those pirate groups, compared with Strawhats? Among many things, the number of traitors those groups have spawned. The reason is that the goals of the leaders of those groups, as well as the means of achieving those goals, aren’t always supported by all their members. But, the people who disagree don’t necessarily leave those groups, in fact sometimes they can’t (as a reference, see resigning procedures that Big Mom installed). Same thing with the navy. Garp, Akainu, Sengoku and Fujitora all have very different goals, yet they are still working in the same organization. It doesn’t mean that they necessarily are going to betray each other, but that is a possibility.

Fujitora 2

I love that moment.

Doffy 3

Doffy was a fun character to have around too

Now we come to the point I wanted to make. Writing the story this way, where the personal goals of supporting characters matter and play into their actions, it is not just about realism, it is also useful for storytelling. It allows the reader to speculate about the actions of certain characters, making long term predictions. For example, you can speculate that Fujitora would eventually raise against the current navy/government system, in particular against the most inhuman practices (such as slavery, above-the-law position of celestial dragons, shichibukai system). You can predict that Garp and Sengoku would join him only if Fujitora will show clear intent to preserve marines as defenders of justice, otherwise they would fight against him. You can predict that Boa Hancock would be willing to side with the government against Fujitora, as long as she can keep government’s protection for her island. It is easy to assume that the Revolutionaries might aid Fujitora, while Stawhats might stay away from the conflict untill they are being dragged into it. All of this follows from the goals of those parties and their leaders. It might (and probably will) be all different in reality, the conflict might never happen at all, but it is still fun to speculate, being able to back up your ideas. This realism in how characters act on their goals is breathing life into the world, making it feel as if it has some internal laws to it that you can see if you look close enough. Compare it with, say, Bleach, where characters don’t really have realistic and meaningful goals, and when they do it feels like just another feature of their personality, rather than the driving force behind their actions. And, coincidentally it had been way harder to make meaningful long-term speculations about plot twists and character actions in that manga.

Doffy 4

That is also such a good page. Love how Tsuru treats Doflamingo as a boy who made a mess and has to take responsibility. And his arrogance plays into this role perfectly too.

So, this is great and all, but I didn’t mean this post to be just a praise of Oda’s writing. Let us talk about the Red Hair pirates. What are their goals? What is Shanks’s goal? Does he even have one? He seems to be in the same position as Whitebeard, a pirate who made it and who is not looking for any new progress. He seems like a person in stagnation, who does not aim for anything. Remember that scene, where Shanks is drinking on some island and Mihawk visits him to tell him about Luffy’s new bounty? I found that to be very depressing, cause it conformed what I thought about Shanks and his crew – they have nothing to do, they are wasting their time drinking because there is nothing else they need to be doing. That is a very sad life if you think about it. It is ironic that out of all yonko the nicest and the most likable one would be also the only one whose life goes on this depressing way. I can’t even imagine someone wanting to join Shanks’s crew at this point, cause they would have nothing to offer.

Sugar 2

Could have posted a picture of Shanks here, but opted for an actually scary pirate instead!

I don’t think that was the intent when Shanks was written, but there isn’t much that can be done about it. Oda will have to invent something huge to provide a meaningful goal for Shanks. And, if Oda doesn’t give him a goal and doesn’t address the fact that he has none, then it would make for a substantial hole in his writing. This is a consequence of the realism I talked about earlier, it can easily backfire like that. On the other hand, this aimless existence contrasts Shanks with Teach, who had been supercharged with motivation and goals, similar to Luffy. Maybe Oda can exploit this contrast somehow, who knows. Would be really interesting if he creates this battle of motivations, where Shanks would represent balance/stability/preservation and Blackbeard would stand for change/progress/conquer.

Teach 2

Same with Kaido’s crew. So far they all look like ruffians from Hokuto no Ken or something. Oda will have to come up with something to give them goals and motivation. The way he handled it for Big Mom pirates was rather cleaver and unique, but it would be harder with Kaido.

Before I finish I want to add one last bit. Of all the things Oda will have to deal with in his story as it progresses, one of the hardest things to write is  going to be change in Luffy’s goals (and consequently, in the goals of his crewmates). When he finds One Piece his main goal will be fulfilled. But being the protagonist he can’t enter the state of stagnation as Whitebeard and Shanks did. Instead, either the series will have to end or he would need to acquire a new purpose in life, or maybe both. And, it would be way better if this process happens gradually, so the readers can see this change coming and feel that it is natural. The manga had been slowly shifting from the personal adventure of a rubber boy and his friends to a grand world-wide epic, which deals with practical aspects of justice, good and evil and oh so many other things. It would be natural to expect Luffy’s goals to change and shift too. But, writing it in a manner that would make it feel natural is going to be a challenge, the high standards of realism that Oda had set up will be haunting him. Let us see how he does. Till the next time, see you!

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18 thoughts on “One Piece and life goals – realism in fiction

  1. I’ve been wanting to write a reply to this post but couldn’t get any time :(

    I agree that it is nice to have characters with goals but the goals of the characters don’t seem real enough for me to be impressive. What will Sanji do if there is no such thing as All Blue? Or if it wasn’t as impressive as he imagined it to be? The same with Zoro. There is no best swordsman competition being conducted anywhere and even if he does defeat Mihawk, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is the strongest swordsman in the world. Nami’s dream at least seems realistic. And the most ridiculous dream of all is Luffy’s. He doesn’t even know what he wants to do with One Piece. Let us say he found lots of gold and money. And then what? He would be bored and wouldn’t know what to do. He is better off never achieving his dream. He would be happy that way.

    I guess I am quite displeased with One Piece’s plot. It seems like no real progress has been made since he defeated Crocodile. It was fun the first time nut looking at the same thing unfolding in every arc is pretty annoying. For once I hope the Straw Hats find a country that doesn’t need to be saved. I loved Ace’s execution arc. We need more episodes like that. We need to spend more time on the marines, get to know the captains and other soldiers, watch them carry on some random missions, instead of wasting all our time watching Luffy save someone for the hundredth time >.< And for once I want Zoro to defeat the main bad guy. We have seen plenty of times that Luffy and Zoro are probably equally powerful. So why should Luffy be the one basking in all the glory? I guess I should pick more seinen anime instead of shounen.

    • Don’t worry, I know how busy you are ^^/ I’m happy you found time to write one =)

      I don’t think those goals are important by themselves, rather they are like little tools that let Oda shape the evens of hi story in a meaningful way. And especially it is another way for him to let the readers guess what is coming next =) I think that is one of the big goals Oda has in mind when he writes his manga, he wants the readers to ponder on what will happen. The manga is almost perfect for weekly reading, each chapter gives you something new that you can use to change your predictions. Just to contrast it with other shonen manga, One Punch Man is perfect for binge reading, 10 chapters a day is a great pace for that manga; Naruto is fine either way, it doesn’t really follow its own logic all that much so making predictions is pretty hard; Bleach is purely random, in Fairy Tail it is always the nakama power. And so on, most of the manga aren’t really written to allow careful theory making. Even HxH doesn’t give you a fair chance to guess what is coming next because of how it is structured. Oda, on the other hand, specifically puts hints everywhere, tells readers what they have to know way before this knowledge would be required to understand what just happened.

      Just to give an interesting example, remember how Ace died protecting Luffy? This was completely unexpected, the whole arc was clearly moving towards a happy end. And it was all because Ace gave in to Akainu’s taunts. But it was in fact possible to predict. That episode where Akainu provoked one of Whitebeard’s allies to attack him was like a Chekhov’s gun, someone could have guessed that Akainu would use the same tactic again and in a bigger way. That is I think Oda’s way of writing =) That is why it is so important to keep character’s goals realistic, cause people use them to guess what those characters would do.

      What you said about Sanji and others is true, but they clearly want to make Luffy the pirate king and this goal they follow wholeheartedly =) Zoro might be a bit different from others, cause his goal is actually realistic. He would need to beat Mihawk and Shiliew and that would be pretty much it. Although, there is still Shanks. See where this is going? (^.^) This is why I like those realistic-ish goals, cause they let me expect Zoro vs Shanks fight and the resulting conflict within Strawhats crew ^^/ It is an unrealistic prediction, but it is fun to think about.

      I hope the Wano country arc would be all about Zoro and other swordsmen. Though I hoped this arc would be all about Sanji and so far I am not entirely satisfied (sorry for those minor spoilers I keep giving away ._,).

      You know, it is funny, I was reading some parts of the OP manga recently and I was thinking how awesome it must have been to read or watch all those completely different arcs one after another. And then you say “no real progress has been made since he defeated Crocodile” xD I guess I like it so much cause I don’t really care about the main plot or the fights, I want to see more of the world and I like those little nice stories that always happen around strawhats. I really like that scene when they go up the reverse mountain. It is so crazy that the ocean would flow up a mountain, but it does =) It is just how this world feels to me, young and powerful and crazy, a world where you should expect to find dinosaurs and giants and floating islands and elephants walking through the ocean for 1000 years. Another one of my favorite moments is Brook’s flashback, it is like a sad fairy tail you would tell to a child, pirates that sang till only one was alive to play piano till the poison took him as well. And it makes Brook so much more interesting too. Or that moment with Fujitora, where he joined Zoro and others in pushing birdcage, I love that kind of thing, when a strong person lends his help in a humble way. And everyone else followed of course, it is so predictable yet sweet, I liked that ^.^ Though all of that lasted like a few pages at best, and I bet it was like 10 minutes of grunting and puffing in the anime that were just meant to fill time (if that use Bleach/Naruto-style approach to manga adaptation that is). See, all of those things have nothing to do with plot progression, maybe that is the reason I feel so positive about this manga =)

      • ( _ _ )

        I think sports anime usually do this. The protagonist will have a goal and most of it will be about how the guy goes about achieving them. Most of them are predictable too. I guess since I already saw this plenty of times, One Piece being predictable doesn’t impress me that much. In fact, I feel that it is too predictable and it makes me lose interest in the show.

        I knew Ace had to die ever since he was first introduced. Him losing to Luffy is not something Oda wanted to show and the only other option left was to kill him off. That way it won’t be weird if Luffy surpassed him, since Ace’s time stopped when he died and he could no longer become any stronger. Luffy on the other hand has his entire life to try and become strong.

        I don’t see a reason for a Zoro Vs Shanks fight to occur o.O Why would Zoro pick a fight with Shanks. If anything, I am sure Luffy will be the one defeating Shanks. Or did something happen in the manga that I don’t know about? I would love to see Shanks lose to Zoro though.

        I am not exactly happy with the way the things are going right now either >.< Let me wait and see if it gets better.

        No. It was more like over an hour of grunting and pushing the bird cage ._. When it becomes that ridiculous, it loses it's charm. It might be interesting it it spanned a couple of paragraphs but if you have to watch it for several hours, it gets boring. I spent over 263 hours watching One Piece so far and that is a ridiculous amount of time. And having to watch the same plot unfold every single time is so annoying o(-.-)o

        • One Piece is predictable in the long run, but I think Oda does a pretty decent job with short term twists and connections. Like, no one could have expected that Minks would be hiding Raizo and that their leaders and the previous shogun of Wano were all part of Roger’s crew. Those are nice details and they have consequences for the future story, hundreds chapters ahead. Or, as another example, no one knows what World Government’s secret Doflamingo meant when he claimed it could have allowed him to rule the world and that it could have been obtained with Ope Ope no mi. And even long term events aren’t always predictable. Like, I don’t think anyone has a reasonable theory about how Luffy vs Kaido will go down. We can hardly guess how Luffy vs Big Mom will end, being just a dozen chapters away from the end of the arc ^^’ And no one has any clue what Reverie arc will be about. That is pretty good for a shonen series, I’d say =)

          Well, if Zoro doesn’t challenge Shanks, how can he claim to be the strongest swordsman? =) Shanks is Mihawk’s rival and he is a Yonko where Mihawk is only a warlord. So, makes sense for Zoro to set his eyes on Shanks after he defeats his master and maybe Shiliew. By the way, I heard a very interesting theory about Zoro vs Shiliew, it says that Shiliew would kill Diamond Jozu, eat his devil fruit and then fight Zoro. That would allow Zoro to finally “cut diamond”, something that was referenced all the way back at Alabasta during Zoro vs Daz Bones fight. That fight doesn’t seem as interesting as Zoro vs Shanks though, but hey, I don’t care about most One Piece fights so I don’t think my vote counts here ^^/
          And no, I am trying to avoid mentioning any major plot points that haven’t been animated yet, all the stuff I talk about is based on what you saw in the anime :P

          xDDD So maybe I was right to go for plot summary instead of watching the whole thing? >:P Thought manga is worth reading I think, even though it is that long. I have a lot of fun with every new chapter, and even reading old ones is usually pretty interesting.

          • Okay. But I think we we shred all the small differences, at the core, the story is the same. There are small details I like too. Like how Kuma overpowered Zoro so much that sal Zoro could do was beg him to let Luffy live and take his pain in exchange. There was no reason to believe Kuma would have kept his word and yet he had no choice but to do it. Zoro promised Luffy that he wouldn’t lose until he defeated Mihawk and yet he lost to Kuma, begging him to spare Luffy’s life since he has no chance of winning is pretty much a defeat. But they are all small details thrown into the plot. I want an arc that is actually different from the other arcs. Or better yet, I would love it if the Strawhats had to be the bad guys for once.

            I still don’t think Zoro would fight Shanks. He knows Shanks is important to Luffy and he wouldn’t try to harm him, even if it means having to throw his dream out of the window.

            Reading the manga sounds better. I would take less time than watching the anime. I would have dropped One Piece a long time ago if it isn’t one of the anime my family members want to keep watching >.<

            • Yeah, that is what I mean, One Piece is pretty varied on small time scales but it of course is pretty simplistic in the grand scheme of things =)
              Good example is Sanji, I think. We can safely say that by the end of the series he will have a happy end one way or another. But how exactly he will find the All Blue is up for speculations. A really good speculation that I heard is that Strawhats will eventually destroy Red Line, creating a place where all oceans meet, thus making All Blue real. There are like 2-3 different small hits that allowed people to come up with this. Whether or not this is true – no one knows, but the fact that we can speculate about that events shows that the details of the story aren’t that obvious =)

              That was an interesting scene =) You can say that Zoro meant he will not lose in a sword fight ever again, that would make more sense. It was a stupid promise anyways :D
              If Zoro doesn’t fight Shanks I’d say it would be pretty weak of Oda. Unless Shanks dies before Zoro has a chance to fight him, that is. Zoro had been pumped up with his grand goal in life, more so than anyone else other than Luffy, so it would be a let down if he doesn’t go out of his way to achieve that dream. Zoro doesn’t have to kill Shanks or anything, of course, but I think it should be fine for him to go against Luffy’s wishes to prove he is the best swordsman. And it would be pretty boring if the crew doesn’t have any more conflicts.

              Not surprising =) I heard the Seducing Woods took like 10 episodes in the anime xD That is crazy to me.

              • Okay. It is still not enough for me though ._./ Or maybe I should also just read the synopsis of each episode and be done with it XDD

                Yup. It is a stupid promise but Zoro did promise and you can say that it is all good and he hasn’t lost to Kuma because it wasn’t a sword fight. But it would just be cutting corners.

                The crew might have more conflicts but I don’t see Zoro being the instigator of the conflict. He is the most loyal of them all. He was also the first one to get pissed off at Usopp when he fought with Luffy. It might be boring but I can’t see Oda making Zoro fight Shanks ._.

                The seducing woods part is not over yet and it has been going on for such a long time. Jeez >.<

  2. You can suggest that to your family, I can imagine that being a fun way to pass time together (^. ^)/

    You are right, he has to keep that promise since he gave it. I just don’t understand the role it is going to play is all =) It would have been better if he promised to start training harder each time he lost or something, that would have better reflected the nature of that conversation Zoro had with Kuina. I also recently read this back story and I find Kuina dying to be a top tier lazy writing .__. I have a slight hope Oda will fix it somehow, but I am probably being delusional here. It would have been cool if she managed to become the best swordsman in her own way, proving that having muscle isn’t all there is to being a swordsman.

    Well, Zoro also said back then that if Luffy lets Usopp walk back like it was nothing, he himself would leave the crew. This time we have the exact same situation with Sanji, I wonder how Zoro would react this time ^^/ Also when Zoro joined he said something along the lines “if you will stand in the way of my goals I’ll cut your stomach open to say sorry” (that is the translation I read, sounds pretty good ^.^). The situation with Shanks would be a perfect callback to these words. And Shanks was introduced as a swordsman from the first chapter, so wouldn’t be surprised if Oda thought that up all the way back then. Would be cool =)
    Just to be clear though, as far as I know I am the only one who thinks that this fight might happen, so you are right not taking me too seriously xD

    The story will get better after that, stay strong!

    • -____-

      Yup. That is a pretty stupid promise. There is no way he would never lose to anyone else. Life isn’t all that pretty, even in One Piece. It would be fun if Zoro got defeated by a swordsman sometime and has to deal with breaking his promise.

      I don’t think Zoro would be pissed at Sanji. Usopp was fighting with Luffy for the sake of a ship while Sanji walked away because he didn’t want to hurt the Strawhats. There is a huge difference between them. Sanji plans to deal with his own mess and come back too, another thing that is completely different from Usopp.
      Zoro did say that he will kill Luffy if he got in his way. I feel like he has changed since then. Remember what Mihawk said when Zoro got on his knees and begged him to train him? ‘He probably found something even more precious.’ He was willing to beg his sworn rival to train him for the sake of his crew. I just don’t see him hurting Luffy to attain his goal.

      I will o(>.<)o

      • It would have to be quite a fight though =) Zoro never had to struggle in his fights ever since the time skip, so I wonder who is going to finally pose him a challenge. It would be pretty cool if he fights with Kaido, but I think everyone is sure Luffy is going to do it. Somehow most of the powerful swordsmen we know are good guys. Even Fujitora, who seems like a perfect opponent for Zoro, is too likable to be a serious enemy I think.

        I don’t know, he was pretty pissed when he was explaining their situation to the rest of the crew. And Sanji didn’t actually needed to leave the crew, he could have refused and dealt with the consequences when they come. It is exactly the same situation as with Robin, Sanji should have known how this kind of solo action ends. I wouldn’t blame Zoro if he gets angry at Luffy for overlooking Sanji’s fault there.

        Yeah, that is true. But his pride is one thing and his goal is another. He can swallow his pride for the sake of a friend, but I don’t think he can give up on his goal for that. In a sense he is trying to become the best for Kuina’s sake, so giving up of that goal, for him it would be like betraying her. He can’t place Luffy before Kuina, I don’t think. So far he never had too. Training under Mihawk was serving towards both Kuina’s and Luffy’s wishes.

  3. Tbh I’m surprised you didn’t mention Law and Sabo’s goals/ past goal. As Law’s was to get revenge on Doflamingo because of Rosinante/Corazon’s death. And I’d like to think that is quite an interesting yet common goal; revenge. I guess Revenge could fit under Wrath, of the seven deadly sins. And it is something that is common whether it be a death or not. And Sabo’s goal is to keep his only alive brother, Well… alive. This is also quite common, I guess, but less thought about in this world we live in because, Well for a start, we don’t have bounty on our heads and we don’t normally think about death on a daily basis… or someone dying? It’s unlikely we’d die since we don’t have a bounty on our head or have murdered others. And for Shanks’ goal. I reckon it could be something to do with Luffy, possibly the same as Sabo’s; to not let Luffy die. But that’s just a theory.

    • Right =) That is why I didn’t mention Law’s goal, cause he have already fulfilled it. Now it is quite a mystery what he is going to do. He has to join in the war against Kaido, that is a matter of survival for him. But after that, what will he do? Will he become a Shichibukai and acquire his own land? Or will he try to find Raftel before Luffy does? Or will he ally with Luffy to help him become the next pirate king? That is what a lack of clear goal does to a character, you can’t make any sensible predictions =)

      I don’t think Sabo actually has a goal of keeping Luffy safe. If it was his goal he would have joined the crew I suppose, hat would allow him to be close to his brother. I think Sabo trusts Luffy’s power and luck. He would come help if he is needed, but that is it. I think his goal has to do with the World’s Nobles. He probably wants to stop them from abusing their power, which is why he remained with revolutionaries even after he regained his memories.

      It is a bit harder with Shanks. The dude doesn’t do anything, unless there is a dire need for him to intervene. So far there were three such occasions (if I remember right) – first when he saved Luffy from bandits, second when he stopped Kaido from attacking White Beard and the last when he ended the summit war. I think all three speak about his humane nature, but not so much about his goals. Those are still a mystery =)

      • I guess you are right in what Sabo’s thinking, I guess Shanks is quite hard to predict because he hasn’t had much screen time, in a way, so it’s hard to predict a character you hardly know.

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