As a Tokyo-based writer, I will introduce you to various aspects of pop culture such as manga, anime, movies and music. I want to spread the joy of Japanese pop culture around the world.
Hello, me fellow anime enthusiasts! This is Mokugyo, and here I am with another Anime Study for Manga.Tokyo!
In Japan, the professional basketball league has started in September, 2016 for the first time in Japanese history. It will be called B.League and it has a brand new logo! I hope this professional league leads to stronger basketball teams in Japan. I might as well start playing some basketball. I want to get taller, too!
— B.LEAGUE（Bリーグ） (@B_LEAGUE) October 13, 2016
In this article I would like to introduce the height relationship between Japanese people and ONE PIECE characters. How tall are Mugiwara crew’s members? What impression do their heights give to Japanese people? Their height can tell you something about their role in the story as well.
— ONE PIECE.com(ワンピース) (@OPcom_info) August 6, 2016
The height of the Mugiwara crew members have been officially released. Let’s take a look:
Monkey D Luffy: This boy who is aiming to become a pirate king was 17 years old at the beginning of the story. He was 172cm tall at that time. Two years, he got a little bit taller and is now 174cm. How do you think about it? Do you think he is tall or short? The average height of Japanese males in their late 10s to their early 20s is 168cm to 171cm. Luffy is a little bit taller than the average Japanese male. This is to allow readers to empathize with him easily. They selected his height so that it wouldn’t make people feel feel he is too short or too tall.
Lolonoa Zoro, Luffy’s number one, was 19 years old and 178cm tall when he met Luffy. In 2 years, he gained 3cm and he is now 181cm tall and 6cm taller than Luffy.
— ONE PIECE.com(ワンピース) (@OPcom_info) June 26, 2016
Nami, the navigator, was 18 years old at the beginning of the series and 169cm. Two years later, she gained 1 cm and she is now 170cm tall. The average height of Japanese females in their late 10s to their early 20s is around 157cm. She is 13cm taller than the average woman in Japan. If Nami walked in the streets of Tokyo, she would definitely stand out with her tall figure and fine posture. Eiichirou Oda, the author of ONE PIECE, loves girls with good posture. That’s why he made Nami to resemble his taste in women. Also, Nami, in this story, is not the damsel in distress, but she fights alongside the characters. That’s why her height is not so different from the rest of the members such as Luffy’s and Usoppu’s.
Usoppu, the sniper, was first appeared as a 17-year-old boy. He was 174cm at that time. Two years later, he became 176cm, 2cm taller than Luffy. You can tell that he is around the same height as Luffy.
Sanji, the chef, was 19 years old when he first appeared. He was 177cm then. In two years, he gained 3cm: he is now 180cm. He is as tall as Zoro. Zoro and Sanji often argue with each other. The position of their eyes are at the same level when they argue thanks to their height.
— ONE PIECE.com(ワンピース) (@OPcom_info) August 13, 2016
The average Japanese male is shorter than 180cm. For this reason, being taller than that gives you a certain status. For example, young male actors use ‘being 180cm tall’ as a come-on phrase. Japanese females often describe their ideal partner as ‘180cm tall or more with a high salary’. 180cm is closer to the ideal height. Zoro and Sanji always rank higher at popularity votes. Their perfect heights may be part of the reason.
The members of the Mugiwara crew introduced so far are all between 169cm and 178cm at their first appearance, and they were all 17 to 19 years old. The first part of ONE PIECE features a story in which Luffy aims for the Grand Line with his crew. That’s why their heights and ages are similar.
Chopper, the human-animal ship doctor that is very cute, is 90cm tall. He is of course the shortest among the members. However, Chopper can change his size with a rumble ball. He can be the shortest and the tallest among the members.
Enough with the young! Let’s look now at the adult members of the crew!
— ONE PIECE.com(ワンピース) (@OPcom_info) August 27, 2016
Robin the archaeologist, is 188cm tall! She is far taller than the average height of Japanese men! She is taller than Zoro and Sanji. She was 28 years old when at the time of her first appearance. Robin is approximately ten years older than the members we saw so far.
Franky, the shipwright, is even taller than Robin! He was 34 years old and 225cm tall when he first appeared! He grew to be 240cm tall in just two years. Since he is a cyborg, he is able to customize himself. He is getting bigger and bigger!
Brook, the musician, is 266cm tall! In two years, he rose to 277cm. He died when he was 38 years old. but was later revived as a skeleton by Yomi Yomi Fruit. He was 88 years old when he first appeared. He is taller and older than all the members introduced so far. This is indicating that Luffy is willing to accept members regardless of their species or their age.
Let’s take a look at other popular characters of ONE PIECE.
Portgas D. Ace who is like a brother to Luffy is 185cm. As he is a senior, he is taller than Luffy by 10cm. This height difference makes it easy to tell that he is Luffy’s senior.
Sabo who is also like a brother to Luffy and ate the Mera Mera Fruit after the death of Ace is 187cm tall. He is as tall as Ace. Ace and Sabo are both popular. It seems many popular characters are higher than 180cm. Sabo is 22 years old.
Trafalgar Law, a former member of Royal Shichibukai who has a distinguished cap on his head, is 191cm. Law is very tall. Law is now 26 years old.
— ONE PIECE.com(ワンピース) (@OPcom_info) May 30, 2016
All the Royal Shichibukai members are tall. Boa Hancock, a Mero Mero fruit’s ability holder who has a crush on Luffy, is 191cm, the same as Law. She is 31 years old. Hancock fell in love with Luffy who is 10 years younger and more than 10cm shorter. I guess for Hancock Luffy is cool regardless of his height.
Donquixote Doflamingo who had a serious battle against Luffy at Doressrosa is 305cm tall. Marshall D. Teach, the kurohige who ate the Yami Yami Fruit, is 344cm tall. Bartholomew Kuma who made Mugiwara crews fly from Shabomdy Island is 689cm! Gekko Moriah who governed Thriller Bark is 692cm!
Luffy doesn’t hesitate to go against people who are taller than him. His David vs Goliath battles make you want to cheer for him. I guess that’s why the enemy characters are often so big.
I hope you liked the article and that you now understand the relationship between the average height of Japanese people and that of ONE PIECE characters. What do you think about the the role of height in anime characters? Have you noticed anything similar? Let me know in the comments below.