The Ukrainian Military Randomly Quoted Monkey D. Luffy and I Think My Brain Just Died
Seriously, I've used its last functions to write this article.
There are certain combinations of things you never expect to see. Sometimes, when they collide, it’s fun, like Disney and Final Fantasy. Other times, it is rather disturbing—or, at the very least, reality-rending in every possible way. I am talking, in this particular instance, about the Twitter account Defense of Ukraine, which is the official account of the Ukrainian Military. And they have just quoted Monkey D. Luffy — the protagonist of One Piece, future King of the Pirates, and my dearest boy.
But wait, it gets weirder. And worse.
Just … see the post for yourself, first.
Now. I am 10,000% hoping that Ukraine wins this war—or, better yet, that Putin magically forgets his ego and Russia retreats. But it makes me very uncomfortable that my favorite series was used by a military force as a way to celebrate how many people it has killed. Enemy soldiers in a war, yes, but people are still people. Luffy would agree with that. Although he gets excited about how many baddies he’s beaten up, he doesn’t go around saying, “Yippee, I killed nearly 60,000 people!” Even when he were mowing down Navy soldiers at Enies Lobby or something. And “eliminated personnel” feels like a very cold way of saying it, too.
What’s weird to me is the One Piece fans in the comments who are like, “Yay, this is awesome!” Yes, Luffy would 100% kick Putin’s ass if they existed in the same universe, and it’s a lot of fun to even think about. But I don’t think we want to support any official governmental voice using One Piece as real-world war propaganda, regardless of side.
Now that we’ve got the bummer part out of the way, we can get to the much funnier point. Because my reaction, as well as tons of other fans’, was: “Wait … I don’t think Luffy ever said that.”
This is apparently a quote from Stampede—a standalone, non-canonical One Piece film, and definitely the worst of the post-timeskip films to boot. If we don’t want to go the “chiding for picking a non-canonical quote” route, plenty of One Piece fans (including myself) completely forgot Luffy ever said it. I’m honestly still not totally convinced he did. And I re-watched Stampede only two months ago! The quote is most cited by a whole bunch of “inspirational quotes” lists that don’t bother citing any of their material, including one (1) Pinterest post and a Ranker list.
One Piece has been mainstream in its home country, Japan, since its infancy. It does feel like within the last five-ish years, the world at large has caught on. To grab such a random quote, though, I cannot escape the image that whoever is in charge of the Ukrainian military Twitter was just scrolling on Pinterest for inspirational quotes. That image at least makes me feel less uncomfortable for a second.
(featured image: Toei Animation)
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