A scarless child Luffy falling for Shanks' trickery in One Piece 1029

Wait. Why Doesn’t Luffy Have His Signature Scar In ‘One Piece’ Episodes 1029 and 1030?

Weirdly disorienting, innit?

One Piece Film: Red still doesn’t have an official US and Canada release date beyond “fall.” Fortunately though (to some extent—as the climax of the Wano arc, thus far, is left in the balance), we at least have some backstory to enjoy. Episodes 1029 and 1030 of the One Piece anime dive into the background for the film. That backstory involves an extended look into the earliest period of Luffy’s childhood that we’ve seen so far. So early, in fact, that one of Luffy’s most distinctive features is missing: the scar under his eye. It’s very bizarre to see. You almost feel like the animators must have just…forgot, somehow. But there’s a deliberate reason it’s not there.

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Why Luffy doesn’t have his scar

Episodes 1029 and 1030 take place as Shanks and the Red-Hair Pirates, including Shanks’ daughter Uta, come sailing into Luffy’s hometown, Windmill Village. The famous flashback of Luffy and Shanks’ history, which exists in both the manga and the anime, takes place after this. In fact, it takes place as Shanks and his crew are preparing to leave Windmill Village. Luffy’s already hung out with them a bunch.

In the show’s timeline, it’s in that period of imminent departure where Luffy gets his scar and Shanks loses his arm. Luffy gives himself the scar in a last-ditch effort to prove to Shanks that he’s tough enough to join his crew. Assuming episode 1029 is canon, in some regard, we know that Luffy began badgering Shanks with this request very shortly after meeting him. So poor little Luffy has faced months of denial. He was desperate. Knife-to-the-face, scar-giving desperate.

Still, the reason Luffy’s look in 1029 and 1030 is so striking is because we’ve never really known a scar-less Luffy. In fact, in Eiichiro Oda’s manga, literally the first thing Luffy does is give himself the scar. The same panel when we first meet Monkey D. Luffy is the one panel where he doesn’t have the scar. Hell, Luffy gives himself the scar before he even eats the Gomu-Gomu Fruit. The scar is arguably the first defining feature of Luffy which Oda presents us with.

Speaking of—Luffy is therefore Devil Fruit-less in these episodes, too. He eats the Fruit shortly after he gives himself the scar, while hanging out with Shanks and crew at Party’s Bar. So his horrid swimming abilities aren’t Devil Fruit-related in the slightest. They’re 100% Luffy. This follows the manga, but not the anime. For some reason, the anime says outright that Luffy was a good swimmer beforehand. This was absolutely not the case in Oda’s original, and what’s therefore canon-trumping.

Anyway, it’s after that when Luffy is abducted by the mountain bandits and Shanks loses his arm to save him from a Sea King. And it’s after that when Shanks gives Luffy his beloved straw hat and sails away. So everyone has all their body parts and none of their scars in episodes 1029 and 1030. But will they be getting some emotional scars in 1030? Yes. Yes, they will.

Image credit: Toei Animation


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Author
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.