Hump Day Husbandos: Sanji Vinsmoke (One Piece)

Hump Day Husbandos

Order up — Sanji Vinsmoke is the topic of today’s Hump Day Husbandos article! I’ve steadily been making my through the cast of One Piece, and today I want to talk about the greatest chef in the world of this classic series — as well as the left-hand man of the future Pirate King. Sanji is a really interesting character with a fantastic backstory and personality, and just like the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates, I love the man a lot!

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Hump Day Husbandos: Sanji Vinsmoke (One Piece)

Who is Sanji?

Sanji Vinsmoke was first introduced as a chef working for the seafaring restaurant known as Baratie under the head chef Zeff, a man for whom Sanji has the utmost respect — however, their relationship wasn’t always like this.

When Sanji was young he was working as a chef for a different ship, when suddenly they were attacked by pirates led by Zeff. Both ships were destroyed, and both Sanji and Zeff were washed up on a tiny bit of land in the middle of the ocean. Zeff split up the rations that had managed to wash up on the island with them, but as time went on and hunger drove Sanji to the point of desperation he was about to attack Zeff and steal his share of the rations. But suddenly, Sanji realized that Zeff had actually given all the food to the young boy, and managed to stave off his own hunger by eating his own leg. 

This experience gave birth to a new belief in Sanji: that he would never refuse to feed a starving person, no matter who they were — good, evil, rich, or poor. Luckily, a ship appeared and spared the two from death, and for the next nine years, Sanji would work under Zeff as a chef. Working under Zeff allowed Sanji to gain an incredible amount of experience not only in cooking but also in his physical abilities. During his time as a pirate Zeff was known as “Red Leg Zeff” because of his incredible leg strength, which was then passed on to Sanji; a fighting style that allowed Sanji to never fight with his hands, as they were only for cooking. 

Shortly after Luffy and the Straw Hats’ arrival in Baratie, Sanji joined their crew to become the left-hand man and chef of the crew. Sanji’s dream was to find an ocean he had only ever heard about in books — the legendary All Blue, the place where the East Blue, West Blue, North Blue, and South Blue all meet, which is said to be home to every fish these oceans have to offer. The dream of all seafaring chefs!

Sanji Vinsmoke

Why we love Sanji

All of the Straw Hats have an intrinsic part of their character — something that, no matter what, they will always stick to and never lose faith in. Sanji has a few of these. As we’ve already seen, he will always feed someone who is starving, no matter what — and he refuses to fight using his hands, as they are solely for cooking. 

The thing that Sanji is most well known for, however, is his undying love for beautiful women and his refusal to hurt them — again, regardless of whether they are friend or foe. Although it was more for the sake of comedy, Sanji’s refusal to join Luffy quickly becomes something he would reconsider after learning that Nami is a part of the crew. 

This part of his character isn’t just a comedy piece though, as it also makes for some really great character moments throughout the story. In the most recent arc of the manga at the time of writing, Sanji is in a rough situation and calls Nico Robin, a fellow member of the Straw Hats, to come and rescue him. Considering it’s usually Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji who are considered the strongest fighters in the crew, it was a really nice twist to have a strong male character be rescued by an equally badass character — and one who happens to be my personal favourite, to boot.

Sanji Vinsmoke

Why you’ll love Sanji

As we learn more about Sanji in the later arcs of the story, we come to understand more about his upbringing and exactly why it is that he always wanted to become a chef. I want to avoid spoilers here as this was still a fairly recent arc in the story at the time of writing — but just know that Sanji had it rough, and it’s only in the few parts of his childhood where he was able to spend time with his mother that he learned about the wonderful feeling of cooking for someone you love. That’s where he found his dream. 

Something I think can go unnoticed about Sanji is his empathy, and if you pick up on this I’m sure you will come to love him. Numerous times throughout the story Sanji is the one to encourage others, whether it be making someone feel like they aren’t alone, holding characters back to save the pride of others or simply biting his tongue at another’s request. He’s just a good guy and deserves all the love we can give him.

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Conor Evans
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