15 One Piece Characters Based On Real People



  • One Piece characters, such as Alvida and Yamato, draw inspiration from real historical figures, like Awilda and Yamato Takeru, adding depth to the story.
  • Captain Lafitte of the Blackbeard Pirates is inspired by real-life pirate Jean Lafitte, showcasing Oda’s attention to detail and historical references.
  • Characters like Capone Bege and Emporio Ivankov have clear real-life inspirations, such as Al Capone and Tim Curry, adding a sense of familiarity to their personalities and appearances.

One Piece is, without a doubt, one of the most imaginative and unique anime in existence. Its creator, the talented Eiichiro Oda, used his vast imagination to create a distinctive and memorable cast of characters, some of them being heavily inspired by real people.


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As with many other creators, Oda drew inspiration from the surrounding elements, which led him to create many characters inspired by real historical figures or famous actors. Below, we will discuss some of the best examples of this phenomenon found in Oda’s masterpiece.

Spoiler Warning: Beware of major plot spoilers for One Piece!

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One Piece

$8 $32 Save $24

Release Date
October 20, 1999

20 seasons (ongoing)

Toei Animation

Updated by Stefania Ikeda-Stavridi on January 1st, 2024: We have updated the list to include five new entries based on legendary characters, from princes to mafia bosses. We’ve also added more relevant information and famous quotes from each character.

15 Alvida – Awilda

Iron Mace Alvida And Ally Of Buggy

One Piece Alvida - Awilda

The Iron Mace, Alvida shares intriguing similarities with the Scandinavian pirate princess Awilda. While it’s not confirmed by Oda, there are notable parallels between the two. Alvida, initially portrayed as a brutish and imposing figure, undergoes a significant transformation after losing to Luffy and consuming a Devil Fruit, becoming more attractive and graceful.

Who is the most beautiful woman of all?

In Scandinavian folklore, Awilda was also a pirate captain famous for her fierce nature. However, she fell in love with a prince, and her demeanor softened, and she quit her pirate ways. Similarly, Alvida came to respect Luffy a lot, but her feelings were not of love, choosing to ally herself with Buggy.

14 Laffitte – Jean Laffitte

One Of The Captains Of The Blackbeard Pirates

One Piece Laffitte - Jean Lafitte

Lafitte, a captain in the Blackbeard Pirates, draws clear inspiration from the real-life pirate Jean Lafitte. The parallels between the two extend beyond the shared name. Both Lafitte and Jean Lafitte began their careers as protectors of the law, with Lafitte serving as a former West Blue policeman and Jean Lafitte playing a significant role in the Battle of New Orleans, aiding in ending the war.

But it matters not what you think of me.

However, their shared trait lies in their grand ambitions. Both men, driven by aspirations of wealth and freedom, turned to piracy as a means to achieve their goals. Notably, while Lafitte lost his law enforcement role due to his bad temper, Jean Lafitte abandoned it for the allure of greater riches and autonomy.

13 Yamato – Yamato Takeru

Son Of Kaidou And An Honorable Samurai

One Piece Yamato and Yamato Takeru

Yamato shares intriguing similarities with the legendary Yamato Takeru, even though Oda hasn’t confirmed a direct inspiration. Beyond the common name, both characters play princely roles. In the series, Yamato, initially introduced as a woman, makes the choice to identify as a man, influenced by the noble samurai ways displayed by Kozuki Oden.


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As the offspring of the formidable Kaido, one of the Four Emperors, Yamato’s lineage echoes that of Yamato Takeru, who was both a prince and the son of an emperor. Moreover, Takeru was known for using crossdressing without hesitation as a strategic measure for assassination and infiltration.

12 Capone Bege – Al Capone

The Mafia Boss Of The Worst Generation

Collage of Capone Bege on the left, and the real Al Capone on the right, both wearing their iconic hat and smoking a cigarette

Capone Bege draws unmistakable inspiration from the infamous Al Capone. This mafia boss turned into the captain of the Fire Tank Pirates and proved to be both an antagonist and ally to the Straw Hats. The parallels between Bege and Al Capone extend beyond the obvious choice of name; their appearances and character traits mirror each other.

Straw Hat’s crew huh…? You’re not going to be easy to deal with.

Bege’s backstory echoes Capone’s notorious history, particularly in the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre theme, where both figures eliminate rival gangs. Notably, while the real-life Al Capone met an early demise, Capone Bege continues navigating the seas in One Piece’s world.

11 Rayleigh – Sir Walter Raleigh

The Dark King And Right Hand Of The Pirate King

One Piece Rayleigh - Sir Walter Raleigh

Rayleigh bears intriguing similarities to the historical figure Sir Walter Raleigh. Both men are seasoned, charismatic individuals with a wealth of experience. Rayleigh, known as the Dark King, was the former Pirate King’s right-hand man, showcasing his strength and wisdom.

Maybe nothing in this world happens by accident. As everything happens for a reason, our destiny slowly takes form.

Similarly, Sir Walter Raleigh was a skilled and accomplished figure in the Elizabethan era, renowned for his diverse talents. He was also the one to introduce tobacco and potatoes to England. In a similar way, Rayleigh brought more information on the One Piece. Despite the lack of confirmation, both men share more than just a name.

10 Gol D. Roger – Olivier Levasseur

The One And Only Pirate King

Gol D. Roger and his inspiration the pirate Levasseur

The infamous King of the Pirates, Gol D. Roger, is the most prominent criminal in the world of One Piece. During his time as a pirate, Roger achieved the impossible and traveled with his crew to the legendary Laugh Tale Island, where he hid his biggest treasure, the One Piece.


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Roger’s cheerful attitude and hidden treasure were inspired by a French pirate named Olivier Levasseur. While Roger’s historical counterpart was not as famous as the King of Pirates, he did indeed hide a treasure that had not been recovered yet.

9 Jewelry Bonney – Anne Bonny

The Only Female Supernova

Jewley Bonney from One Piece and the pirate Anne Bonny

Out of the eleven young pirates known as Supernovas, one of them is notable for being the only female member. Jewelry Bonney, the captain of the fearsome Bonney Pirates, is a fierce woman who has proven herself to be a dangerous opponent. She is relentless in battle, using her abilities to turn herself or others into younger versions of themselves to her advantage.


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The female member of the Worst Generation took inspiration from one of the most notable female pirates of all time, Anne Bonny. Just like her One Piece counterpart, Bonny ruled the seven seas with help from other notable young pirates. Sadly, she died while pregnant in prison after being caught, a fate unlikely to befall Jewelry.

8 Emporio Ivankov – Tim Curry (Frank ‘N’ Furter)

The Revolutionary Army Commander And Horu Horu No Mi Devil Fruit User

Emporio Ivankov and Tim Curry As Frank N

The Queen of the Kamabakka Kingdom, a commander in the Revolutionary Army, and one of the most eccentric characters in One Piece. Emporio has always been a unique individual, even in a show with such a diverse cast as this one. This is mostly due to his ability, which allows him to transform himself and everyone he touches into the opposite gender.


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Ivankov’s signature outfit, a red leotard paired up with fishnet stockings and a cape, was inspired by the character Frank Furter. This man was interpreted by the brilliant horror actor Tim Curry, of whom Oda is a big fan. Emporio’s makeup and purple hair are also directly inspired by Tim’s role in the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

7 Rocks D. Xebec – Roche Braziliano

The One Who Wanted To Be King Of The World

The silhouette of Rocks D Xebec and a paiting of Roche

Long before Luffy began his adventure, a cruel and imposing pirate, Roc D. Xebec, ruled the seas of One Piece’s world. Little is known about this villainous pirate, as the World Government has tried hard to keep information about him out of the public’s hands.

One of those rare pirates with the initial of D… though he is no longer alive to speak of it.

Nonetheless, we know for a fact that Rocks was one of the most ruthless pirates in the world, a trait directly taken from his real-life inspiration, Roche Braziliano. This Dutchman was infamous for the atrocities he committed during his time as a pirate. Like Xebec, Braziliano disappeared without a trace after confronting the law, although it is said that Roche did not die and simply fled to Brazil.

6 Sanji – Steve Buscemi (Mr. Pink)

Black Leg Sanji And Chef Of The Straw Hats

Sanji in his red suit and Mr. Pink as seen in the movie

One Piece fans could not imagine the Straw Hat Pirates without their reliable and powerful chef, Sanji Vinsmoke, by their side. The young cook is one of the most stylish and well-dressed characters in the franchise, as he is most often seen wearing a perfectly tailored suit.

I heard the sound of a woman’s tears falling.

A few years back, Oda Himself confirmed to the fans that Sanji’s stylish looks were inspired by Mr. Pink, a character played by Steve Buscemi in the critically acclaimed film Reservoir Dogs. This can be seen in the refined clothes they both wear throughout most of their on-screen appearances. Nevertheless, unlike most other characters, Sanji’s behavior has nothing to do with the person who inspired his looks.

5 Edward Newgate – Edward Thatch

The Man Closest To One Piece

Edward Newgate and Edward Thatch

Also known as Whitebeard, Edward Newgate was once feared for being one of the most powerful beings in the world. He was feared by pirates and World Government officials alike for his superhuman resistance and monstrous strength. Yet, behind his brutal attitude in battle, he was a kind and caring man who wanted only the best for his crew.

I’m only one man with one heart… Call me a demon or a monster, but I won’t remain the strongest forever… If I can bring one young life into the future, isn’t that enough?

This duality was directly inspired by the most famous pirate of all time, Blackbeard. Edward Thatch was notorious for acting like a bloodthirsty warrior when he was battling someone. When the battle ended, Blackbeard was reported to be a completely different person, respectful and refined. They both tragically died in battle, leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.

4 Franky – Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura)

The Cyborg Inventor Of The Straw Hats

Franky and Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura

Franky is the charismatic and hard-to-miss mechanic of the Straw Hat crew. He is a gigantic man who was forced to become a cyborg after a tragic accident at his previous job. Fortunately for the man, he is also a genius who used this devastating moment to transform his body into a living weapon. He is also a hyperactive man with a tendency to speak in English at random.


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By looking at Franky’s hair, Hawaiian shirt collection, and eccentric behavior, we can only think of Jim Carrey in his role in Ace Ventura. Just like Franky, Ace is always looking for inventive ways to get out of a tough situation.

3 Big Mom – Charlotte De Berry

Queen Of Totto Land And The Only Female Emperor

Charlotte Lin Lin and Charlotte de Berry

Not many women in One Piece have the same recognition and respect as the only female member of the Four Emperors, Charlotte Lin Lin. She was a cruel and sadistic individual who enjoyed tormenting those whom she saw as beneath her. Still, behind her cruelty, Big Mom hid a kind woman who wanted to create a better world for every race.

No candies? Destroy that Fishman island!

Her real-life counterpart is the female pirate Charlotte de Berry, a young woman who began her criminal career after killing an officer who condemned her husband. This English woman was known for the many tragedies that occurred to her, like having to eat her husband after a shipwreck. Both are notable female pirates whose lives were not what they expected them to be.

2 Zoro – Francois L’Olonnais

The Three-Sword Style Fighter Of The Straw Hats

Zoro and l'Olonois holding their swords

Zoro is much more than a simple swordsman looking to be the best. He is Luffy’s right-hand man, a warrior capable of defeating titans like King, and an honorable warrior. He is also one of the best sword fighters in the show, with his three-sword style being able to cut Kaido’s nigh-impenetrable skin.

Scars on the back are a swordsman’s shame.

To create this iconic green-haired pirate, Oda took inspiration from a famous French pirate named Francois I’Olonnais. He served the Spanish crown for many years until he decided to become a pirate and fight against the government he once served. This backstory, as well as his proficient sword skills, is what gave Oda the idea of what kind of person could be Luffy’s second in command.

1 Nico Robin – Uma Thurman (Mia Wallace)

The Devil Child And Archaeologist Of The Straw Hats

Nico Robin and Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace

Robin is the brain of the Straw Hat Crew because her childhood was spent studying the vast collection of books found on the Island of Ohara. She possesses an inquisitive mind, pushing her to discover the many secrets of the world she lives in. She is also a stylish woman, carefully choosing outfits that will be both comfortable and practical.

My dream just had too many enemies.

Oda, who is a huge fan of the famed director Quentin Tarantino, based her appearance and strong resolution on the character Mia Wallace from Tarantino’s revered film Pulp Fiction. When Robin first appeared in the show, this inspiration was significantly more obvious, as both women wore similar clothes and shared the iconic bob haircut.


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