One Piece 1×07 “The Girl with the Sawfish Tattoo” unearths the heartache Nami went through to become the woman we know and love. It also shows that even though she’s gone through a lot of pain, she’s not lost. She has Luffy, Zoro, Usopp, and Sanji. And by asking for help she turning a new leaf. Luffy’s accepting her plea for help is also him turning a new leaf and becoming the captain we always knew he could be.
Young Nami & the Trauma She Went Through
Nami has had trauma over and over again in her life to the point where I don’t know if she’s ever had a chill moment. When she was tiny she lost everything and was adopted by a soldier along with her sister. And when she was a preteen, Arlong came around and made the adoptive mom choose her death for their survival. Nami followed that by joining Arlong and starting on her journey for revenge. But that journey took a while and by the time she met Luffy she already had a jaded worldview. It was a justified view. But jaded nonetheless.
With all of this knowledge, we can look back and truly appreciate how far Nami has come. Because pirates destroyed her life. Pirates imprisoned her and left her feeling like she had nothing. Even her own sister in town turned their back on her because they thought she’d joined the bad guys. And throughout One Piece we have seen her bond with her new crew and let go of some of the anger that she is absolutely justified in having. She’s not as irredeemable or lost as she thinks herself to be. And Luffy will do everything he can to help her stand up and face her demons.
Nami isn’t alone anymore. And her asking Luffy for help signifies that she understands that. It takes an enormous amount of strength to admit that you need help. But there, on her knees and knowing that her village was being attacked, she reached out to a friend and he accepted. This was even after she betrayed him and the crew. He helped her. And it’s moments like this that will help define the kind of person Nami will be from here on out. She learned plenty of lessons when she was a child and while dealing with Arlong. Now she’s learning another one. Found family can literally be…well, found anywhere, and not all is lost.
Luffy Getting His Own Iconic Hat Scene
Luffy didn’t plan to put the hat on Nami’s head like Shanks did for him all those years ago. But when the moment came, when someone was in need, Luffy stepped up. Admittedly it was a bit cheesy. Even down to him walking down the road and yelling that of course he’ll help her. But I can also admit that this is just how Luffy is. He’s over the top, dramatic, and delightfully weird. And he knows it and is more than okay with it. In a way, it’s admirable because I wish I was that open with what I want to do in my life and the kind of person that I want to be. But unfortunately, I’m not Luffy and I never will be. But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from him.
All throughout season 1 of One Piece we’ve seen Luffy grow. He went from this idealistic guy in a barrel to a captain who understands the power that he holds. Yes, he is here to make their dreams come true. But he’s also there to help give his found family and crew guidance and direction. If he wants to be the King of Pirates, he needs to understand the responsibility that comes with it. And I think by “The Girl with the Sawfish Tattoo” he’s finally starting to understand that this is more than a merry adventure or something he fantasized about when he was young. These are real lives that depend on him and he’s going to answer their call for help.
What Luffy did in 1×07 also makes me think about choice and forgiveness. He had absolute faith in Nami that she wasn’t a lost cause and that she needed help. And unlike other shows that I’ve watched, he didn’t ruminate on Nami’s betrayal. Neither did he spurn her when she asked for help. By saying that he would help her, he forgave her and decided the kind of man that he wanted to be. A man who helps and lifts others up. But a man who forgives and understands that life circumstances lead people down paths they never thought they would take. Again, it just makes me admire Luffy so much as a character and want to know more about him in the long run.
“You Have to Know When It’s Time to Let Them Go.”
I really like the conversation between Garp and Zeff in “The Girl with the Sawfish Tattoo.” It’s time for Garp to let go. In the same way that Zeff lets Sanji go, Garp has to do the same thing. The world isn’t what it used to be. Back in their day, pirates were a completely different thing. Bow there are pirates like Luffy out there doing grand things. Pirates that want to go on seafaring adventures but also save the day and make sure that people achieve their dreams. And no matter how tough Garp tries to make himself seem, I think this conversation with Zeff gave him perspective in a way that no one else has because they have lived the life of a world with pirates pre-Luffy.
That’s not to say that everything’s going to be perfect and the Marines won’t be of use anymore. The Marines will always be there to protect and there will always be a place like Garp’s restaurant. If anything, pirates like Luffy and the gang are going to revolutionize what it means to be a pirate. It’s not just all pillaging, stealing stuff, and having a huge bounty on your head. And don’t forget the killing. Luffy is proof that being a pirate is so much more. Being a pirate is about family, honor, and making your dreams come true. That’s why Zeff was so adamant that it was time for the older generation to let go.
A new generation will also keep those like Arlong in check. And just to be clear, Arlong has a right to be mad. His people were treated like garbage. But just because you were treated a specific way doesn’t mean you have to turn around and become just like you’re oppressor to people who weren’t even the ones who hurt you. That’s why Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates are going to be pivotal in keeping the seas and the lands by it safe. And while they’re doing that, they’re going to spread new ideas about what piracy is all about. And as we know, ideas catch fire. And Luffy, for how much of a goof he is, just wants people to follow their dreams. Who wouldn’t want to follow that example? I know I would. And there are plenty of other pirates out there who will follow in his step.
This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the actors currently on strike, One Piece being covered here wouldn’t exist.