Vinsumōku Sanji is third in command of the Straw Hat crew, right after Luffy and Zoro, with whom he forms the Monster Trio. He first appeared during the East Blue Saga in the Baratie arc when he won the audience’s sympathy with his cooking and martial skills, as well as his beliefs.
This character with an unusual appearance and a specific fighting style showed in just a few episodes that he deserves the title of chef in the crew of the future pirate king. However, his achievements do not end there. During his journey with the Straw Hat crew, Vinsmoke Sanji faced various challenges where he showed qualities that make him one of the best characters in the One Piece manga and anime.
There are many reasons why he is a great character, but in this list, we have highlighted the top 10 greatest reasons why Sanji is the best Straw Hat.
10 Sanji is a gentleman and a protector of women
Sanji’s love for women is something that fans have noticed since his first appearance. In more than a thousand chapters, Sanji has not missed a single opportunity to express his affection for a lady. As one of the strongest members of the crew, he will attack without fear, however, Sanji refuses to hurt the girl, no matter who she is. He showed this in the fight with Kalifa, as well as in the encounter with Black Maria. However, the fact that he does not attack women does not mean that he considers them weak, quite the contrary. In situations where he couldn’t fight due to personal beliefs, he asked Nami and Nico Robin for help. Of course, despite all that, Sanji’s misbehavior cannot be forgotten. In both manga and anime, Vinsmoke Sanji was creepy while watching the girls, and the nosebleeds were pathetic. However, despite this, he was still a true gentleman most of the time.
9 Sanji’s fighting style is very unique
The world of One Piece is full of characters with all kinds of skills and Sanji is one of them. Unlike characters like Luffy who uses Devil Fruit, or Zoro who uses swords, Black Leg Sanji, as his name suggests, uses only his legs. He learned this technique from the Red Leg Zeff, and eventually Sanji receives the nickname Black Leg. In addition to being able to match some overpowered characters without using any other body parts or weapons, Vinskome Sanji also mastered some incredible skills. One of the most important black leg style techniques is Diable Jambe. This technique was first used by Sanji in the fight with Jabra. After the crew split up fighting Kuma, Sanji ended up on Okama Island where he learned the Sky Walk. It allows users to push themselves off the air itself with strong kicks, allowing them to travel through and remain in midair for an extended period of time. The most interesting part of Sanji’s fighting style is the reason why he doesn’t use his hands in battle. Namely, Sanji learned from Zeff that the hands are the cook’s most important tool and that he must not hurt them at any cost. Of course, the black leg style is not Sanji’s only weapon. This Straw hat also has other abilities such as observation and armament haki, but also the Raid Suit which is unique to the Vinsmoke family. Sanji also managed to earn a wanted poster which after the Wano arc is 1,032 billion berries. Because of this, he is surely the best member of the straw hat crew.
8 He is the best cook on the sea
Aside from his incredible martial arts skills, what makes Sanji the best of the Straw Hats is his cooking skills. In more than a thousand chapters, there were enough moments where Sanji proved himself worthy of the Straw Hat crew. The reason why Sanji’s meals are legendary is his love for cooking which he has had since childhood. He developed a love for cooking while still living in the North Blue with the Vinsmoke family when he cooked for his mother. Even though those dishes were not good, his mother still praised them which meant a lot to Sanji. Living in East Blue, Sanji continues to chase his dream which becomes achievable when he meets Zeff. This cruel captain is also the best chef featured in the manga and anime. Meeting Zeff gave Sanja a teacher who can help him achieve his dream. Traveling through the Grand Line with the Straw Hats, Sanji learns new skills. He proved to be the best chef on many occasions, but his greatest culinary achievement was in the Whole Cake Island arc. Sanji managed to recreate the wedding cake and thus satisfy Big Mom and save everyone from a life-threatening situation.
7 Sanji’s strategies have saved the crew many times
Although it didn’t seem like it at first, Sanji is definitely one of the smartest characters in the Straw Hat crew. Throughout the anime and manga, Sanji has shown himself to be a great strategist. The first time we saw it was in the Arabasta Saga when he tricked Crocodile by pretending to be Mr. 3 and when he managed to free the crew as Mr. Prince. In the Skypiea Arc, Sanji saved the crew with his ingenuity. Although he couldn’t harm Enel, he was able to save Nami and Usopp from certain death and sabotage the Ark Maxim. He showed his intelligence once again in the Enies Lobby arc. He was the first to follow Robin on the train, where he helped the crew a lot. He was also the one to inform Nami of the situation. His greatest success in this arc was when he closed the Navy’s Gates of Justice and allowed the Straw Hat Pirates to escape.
6 In hopeless situations, Sanji risked his life for others
As a member of Monster Trio, Sanji is one of the strongest members of the crew and the one who makes sure they stay safe. When any danger arises, he, Luffy, and Zoro will be the first to attack no matter how hopeless the situation. Thus, Vinsumōku Sanji repeatedly found himself in danger in order to save his allies. Throughout the manga and anime, Sanji has risked many times for the well-being of the Straw Hat crew. He risked the most in the Dressrosa Arc when he saved the others from Doflamingo. When this warlord threatened to kill Nami, Chopper, Brook, and Momonosuke, Sanji appeared as a knight in shining armor and demanded that Doflamingo withdraw his attack.
5 Sanji’s loyalty is underappreciated
When it comes to loyalty in One Piece, most fans first think of Zoro who would kill a crew member for Luffy. However, this does not mean that the other Straw Hat pirates are not loyal, as Sanji has proven on several occasions.
One of the most legendary scenes in the One Piece manga and anime is Zoro’s sacrifice in the Thriller Bark arc. However, what many forget is that Sanji was willing to do the same for his captain. If Zoro hadn’t physically stopped him, Sanji would have been the one to take Luffy’s pain.
4 He takes care of all the crew members
The battlefield isn’t the only place Sanji takes care of his crew. First of all, as a cook, he tries to ensure that the crew is always full. It’s not easy at all with a captain like Luffy, but Sanji somehow manages to satisfy his appetite. Above that, he’ll rather starve than let his friends be hungry.
Sanji also can see when something is wrong with his friends. When he saw Robin disappearing in the Enies Lobby arc, he tried everything to find her.
That’s not the only situation where Sanji was considerate of the female crew members. Regardless of whether they are on a ship or in battle, Sanji will always make sure that Nami and Robin are okay. This does not mean that he forgets his male friends and we often see how he takes care of them in his own way.
3 Sanji is one of the kindest characters ever
To say that Vinsmoke Sanji is kind would be an understatement. Through over a thousand chapters, this noble has proven to be by far the most sympathetic character in the One Piece manga and anime.
The first time we see his kindness is in his Introductory arc when he decides to feed Gin and the rest of Don Krieg’s crew, knowing that they will attack them.
That’s not the only time he saved his enemies. In the Whole Cake Island arc, when he found out that Pudding, on Big Mom’s orders, intended to kill him, he didn’t seek revenge. Instead, Sanji praised her beauty and protected her from Charlotte family.
Another moment when Sanji put aside what people had done to him was when he decided to help his family. From birth until the moment he escaped, Sanji was bullied by his brothers and father. Despite all this, when Sanji heard that Big Mom was going to execute them, he decided to help.
Big Mom, although the main villain of the Whole Cake Island arc, was also one of the people Vinsmoke Sanji helped. Even though she intended to kill the Straw Hats, Sanji still recreated her Wedding Cake and fed her.
2 Sanji’s backstory is one of the best and saddest in One Piece manga and anime
Sanji’s story is one of the saddest but also the best in the entire manga and anime. It differs from other backstories because it is divided into two parts.
The first part of Sanji’s past was already shown in the Baratie Arc. Here we learn about the first unpleasant encounter between the Red Leg and the young chef, as well as Zeff’s heroic sacrifice for the boy with whom he shares a dream. After a long period of starvation, an unbreakable bond is formed between these two characters. Since then, Zeff has been taking care of Sanji and teaching him about cooking and fighting.
Sanji’s second backstory is shown in the Whole Cake Island arc a few hundred episodes later. Namely, Sanji was born in North Blue as the third son of the Vinsmoke family, the royal family of the Germa Kingdom.
Sanji’s father Judge Vinsmoke wanted to genetically alter his unborn children which Sanji’s mother Sora disagreed with. So she tried to prevent it, however only Sanji was saved. This led to him being bullied constantly and his father eventually imprisoning and declaring him dead. After six months in the dungeon, Sanji escaped to East Blue.
1 He gave up his happiness to save those he loves
It has already been said that Sanji’s character is one of the kindest in the One Piece manga and anime, but with this, he outdid himself. In the New World, Big Mom is one of the most powerful and cruel characters. Knowing this, Sanji knew that if he disobeyed Big Mom and father Judge that they would kill the Straw Hats and Zeff.
To prevent this, he decides to return to the family he hates. In order to protect his loved ones, he went so far as to fight Luffy to prove to him that he was leaving the crew permanently. Of course, Luffy didn’t let his friend just leave and did everything to save Sanji.
Agreeing to live a life of constant misery and be killed for the sake of those he loves, Vinsmoke Sanji shows himself to be the best member of the Straw Hat pirates.