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The Red Hair Pirates are one of the most prominent pirate crews in the anime and manga series One Piece. They're led by "Red Hair" Shanks, who is one of the strongest pirates in the series, one of the four to hold the title of Yonko, the four pirate Emperors who rules the New World. They're the least known of all of the Yonko crews so far, but Shanks himsel fis a close friend and role model for the protagonist of the series, Monkey D. Luffy, which also means that their crew could be considered an ally of the Straw Hat Pirates, albeit loosely and they haven't teamed up as of yet. Their ship is called the Red Force.
It's known that the Captain, Shanks, was one a big rival of Dracule Mihawk, the current greatest swordsman in the world. The two of them fought many tiems, and it's been speculated by fans that this means that Shanks was the previous greatest swordsman in the world, but so far this has yet to be confirmed or denied.
Their known members consists of Shanks, Luffy's inspiration for becoming a pirate, Yasopp, the father of Usopp, who is the sniper of Luffy's crew, first mate Ben Beckman, and one of the most recent recruits Rockstar, whose the one that Shanks sent to Whitebeard to try and procure a meeting. There's at least 5 other human members, who have yet to be named, and an unnamed monkey who is always seen sitting on the shoulder of one of the unnamed human members.
It's unknown exactly when Shanks first formed his crew, but it has to have been sometime between 24 years ago, (the execution of Roger and disbanding of the Roger Pirates), as he never knew any other crew until they disbanded, and 10 years ago, (when Shanks meets Luffy at Foosha Village), because he clearly had his crew by this point. At some point after Roger's death, Shanks sailed to find crew members, and ended up at Syrup Village, and found Yasopp. Since Ben Beckman wasn't with him in this exact moment, i t has been inferred that Yasopp was the first person who joined the crew, although that's not entirely certain yet. As for all of the other members, it's completely unknown when and how they joined.
The first time in the story when the Red Hair Crew are seen is when Shanks visits Foosh a village when Luffy is 10 years old. Shanks and the crew are drinking at Makino's bar when Luffy comes. Shanks offers him apple juice, he accepts it, and they all laugh at him. But then a gang of bandits comes in and because Shanks and his crew ordered the last of the alcohol they wanted, the leader of the bandits smashes a bottle over Shank's head. Shanks does nothing to get revenge for this, and this enrages Luffy, feeling like a pirate should always stand up for himself, no matter what. Later on, Luffy confronts the bandits, and gets captured. Not long later Shanks and the crew comes to rescue him, and they effortlessly defeat the bandits.
A little while later, Luffy is about to get eaten by a Sea King, and Shanks saves him, using his Conqueror's Haki to scare it away, albeit loosing his arm in the process. This experience is what inspired Luffy to become a pirate. He delcared to be King of the Pirate. Because of this, Shanks gives Luffy his straw hat, and told him to keep it until the day that he becomes King of the Pirates.
- Straw Hat Pirates (Unofficial, but Luffy and Shanks have a very good relationship with each other, so it stands to reason that if one of them in trouble, the other would probably be willing to show up to aid them).
- A couple of the crew have a common tattoo on their bodies. It is seen on the arm of one member and then on the back of a shirt of another. The symbol however has not been seen since.
- Perhaps in line with a "Shank" being a part of an anchor, it should also be noted that a number of his crew also had an anchor on their body (at least 4), a note since Luffy himself also bore a larger anchor on his shirt as a child.
- Sometimes, Oda forgets to put the three scars on the Red Hair Pirates' flag, as stated once in an SBS.
- According to Luffy, it was Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates who taught him the song "Binks' Sake".
- The original ship of the Red Hair Pirates in One Piece seems to be based of the ship of Crescent-Moon Gally from Romance Dawn. Their later ship also continues this style.
- In One Piece Yellow: Grand Elements the name of the crew is transliterated "Red Haired Pirates", but in the One Piece Green: Secret Pieces it's transliterated "Red Hair Pirates".
- The Red Hair Pirates are the only Emperor's crew so far that does not have any known crew members that are Devil Fruit users.
- The crew seem to have no female members that have appeared before or after the time skip.
- Interestingly, the four main members (Shanks, Beckman, Roux, and Yasopp) each hail from one of the four seas.
- Despite being the first crew of an Emperor to be introduced, being present in the story since the beginning of the series, it is the crew of an Emperor with the fewest members whose names and identities are known.
- A Japanese coast guard vessel, pretending to be a pirate ship during an exercise was caught on video using Shanks' Jolly Roger.
Devil Fruit Users