Shanks is undoubtedly one of the most important and closest people in Luffy’s life. Describing their relationship in simple words is not completely possible but it can be said that Shanks is Luffy’s idol, the person he looks up to and wants to surpass one day.
Disclaimer: This article will contain information revolving around Luffy and Shanks and might contain spoilers for some audiences. Readers are advised to proceed at their own discretion.
Monkey D. Luffy, the protagonist of the series, is the captain of the notorious Straw Hat Pirates crew and is also known as the infamous Straw Hat Luffy. Needless to say, Luffy and his pirate crew got their name because of the straw hat that Luffy wears and has on his person all the time. Interestingly, this hat is not just an accessory that Luffy has as it holds great value to Luffy. The Straw Hat previously belonged to Shanks.
When Luffy was just a kid, incapable of defending himself but having high spirits, Shanks, also known as Red-Haired Shanks, would often visit Dawn Island and would often run into Luffy. Luffy looked up to Shanks and wanted to become a pirate himself. So, Luffy would often pester Shanks to let him join his pirate crew, known as the Red-Haired Pirates. But since Luffy was just a kid, Shanks always refused.
At some point, Luffy tried to stand up for Shanks and almost lost his life because of it. Fortunately, Shanks saved him but lost his left arm in the process. This made Luffy admire him even more. When Shanks said his last goodbye and refused to let Luffy join his crew, he entrusted his straw hat to Luffy and made him promise to bring that back to him once he becomes a great pirate.
Luffy gained and learned a lot of things from Shanks. Although he wanted to become the next King of the Pirates, following in the footsteps of Gol D. Roger, the King of the Pirates, he is not Luffy's idol. Luffy never knew the guy, but only heard stories about him and how great he was. He did, however, learn everything he knows about being a pirate from Shanks and hopes to become a great pirate like him.
Shanks gave Luffy his way of life and taught him what a good pirate is, and also accidentally gave Luffy his Gomu Gomu no Mi, Rubber-Rubber Devil Fruit. Recently it was revealed the Gomu Gomu no Mi is in fact a mythical type Zoan devil fruit, known as Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika (Human-Human Fruit, Model: Nika). There are now speculations that Shanks planned the whole thing and made it seem like Luffy ate the devil fruit by accident. Still, these are just speculations.
As things stand now, both Luffy and Shanks lead an infamous pirate crew and are known as the Emperors of the Sea. Needless to say, Luffy has made great progress and has become a great pirate without any doubt. That being said, there is a lot that he needs to achieve before he can finally meet Shanks again and return his hat.
A. Shanks, popularly known as Red-Haired Shanks, is the captain of the infamous pirate crew, Red Hair Pirates. Shanks is one of the strongest pirates in the universe and is also one of the Four Emperors who reside in the New World.
A. Yes, in a way, Shanks is Luffy’s friend, but their relationship goes much deeper than that. To Luffy, Shanks is more like an idol, an inspiration he looks up to. Shanks is more like a mentor to Luffy who thought him what it is like to be a pirate.