It is hard to imagine what your favorite shonen hero looks like all grown up. Fans may make fun of guys like Ash Ketchum for their youth, but it's easier to stay a teenager than to become an adult in manga. The key to a shonen living a long life comes down to how long its characters can stay young, but fans do get curious from time to time.
So, it is a good thing the man behind One Piece teased his take on Monkey D. Luffy as an adult already.
Yes, Luffy may be a perpetual teenager, but he doesn't have to stay that way. Eiichiro Oda has a long way to go before One Piece is done, so there is no telling whether the series will end with Luffy grown up and sailing the seas. However, there is precedence for such an ending, and you only have to look at Oda's rough drafts to find it.
Way before One Piece was made official, Oda published a few versions of the story with Shueisha. The first draft is known as Romance Dawn (Version 1), and the story's final page features a grown-up take on Luffy.
As you can see above, the pirate isn't shown in full, but he looks very similar to another character. Luffy is seen lying down on his ship when his crew confirms land has been spotted. The older hero then lifts his straw hat from his face, giving fans a profile shot. Luffy appears to have longer hair when it is older, and his facial hair makes him look like Shanks' twin brother.
Of course, there is no way of knowing whether their design still fits with Oda's One Piece. Romance Dawn was just a prototype of the artist's real series, but its depiction of Luffy was not radicalized in One Piece. Yes, Oda did tweak some things about the boy, but much of him was left to same. So, there's a solid chance Luffy could look like this in canon should Oda decide to age the captain up when One Piece ends.
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has been collected into 87 volumes, with a few chapters yet to be included. It has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author, and is the best selling manga series worldwide with 430 million copies sold worldwide.
Do you think One Piece should end with Luffy getting aged up? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!0comments