The real pirates who inspired the characters in ‘One Piece’
(Credit: Netflix)

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The real pirates who inspired the characters in ‘One Piece’

One Piece, the renowned manga and anime series created by Eiichiro Oda, has captured the hearts of millions with its rich storytelling, unique characters, and high-sea adventures. The Netflix live-action adaptation also received widespread acclaim.

However, what many new fans may not realise is that Oda drew inspiration from real-life pirates when creating some of the most intriguing characters in the series. Many are based on real pirate legends, from the charismatic ‘Calico’ Yorki to the enigmatic Marshall D Teach.

The series will be returning to Netflix with a second season featuring ​​Iñaki Godoy, Emily Rudd, Mackenyu, Jacob Romero Gibson, and Taz Skylar as the core members of the Straw Hat Pirates. And with them, we will be meeting more fearsome and bonkers pirates who can either be allies or enemies of the main crew.

Here are five of the most interesting pirates in One Piece, who were based on real pirates.

‘Calico’ Yorki is inspired by ‘Calico’ Jack

The cheerful and carefree ‘Calico’ Yorki, captain of the Rumbar Pirates, finds his inspiration in the real-life English pirate ‘Calico’ Jack. Known for his adventurous spirit and flamboyant attire, ‘Calico’ Jack, born John Rackham, operated in the Caribbean during the early 18th century, eventually gaining notoriety for his association with infamous pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Yorki appears in the Thriller Bark Arc. Interestingly enough, Calico Jack is played by Will Arnett in the smash-hit indie comedy gem Our Flag Means Death.

Jewelry Bonney is inspired by Anne Bonny

Jewelry Bonney, the gluttonous and formidable pirate captain in One Piece, draws inspiration from Anne Bonny, an Irish noblewoman turned pirate. She became a notorious pirate in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. Known for her fierce nature and connection with Calico Jack, Anne Bonny’s real-life exploits are still the stuff of legends.

Jewelry Bonney is introduced as part of the Eleven Supernovas during the Sabaody Archipelago Arc. She later reappears during the Marineford Arc and the post-time skip storyline.

X Drake is inspired by Sir Francis Drake

The undercover marine and member of the Worst Generation, X Drake, is inspired by the legendary English pirate and explorer Sir Francis Drake, who was involved in slave trading, among other misdeeds. Drake’s daring circumnavigation and naval victories against the Spanish Armada serve as the foundation for the character’s espionage and combat prowess.

X Drake was first introduced during the Sabaody Archipelago Arc as one of the Eleven Supernovas. He plays a significant role in the Marineford Arc and later becomes involved in the Dressrosa Arc and the Wano Country Arc.

Charlotte Linlin/’Big Mom’ is inspired by Charlotte Badger

The formidable ‘Big Mom,’ ruler of Totto Land, finds inspiration in the mysterious two real-life pirates: Charlotte de Berry and Charlotte Badger. Although historians debate Badger’s true status as a pirate, her association with a ship mutiny lends an air of intrigue to the origins of ‘Big Mom’, who is a major antagonist in the Whole Cake Island Arc, where the Straw Hat Pirates venture into her territory, Totto Land.

Eustass ‘Captain’ Kid is inspired by William ‘Captain’ Kidd

Eustass ‘Captain’ Kid, the bloodthirsty and arrogant leader of the Kid Pirates, is inspired by the Scottish pirate William Kidd. Kidd’s privateering-turned-piracy career, marked by a penchant for torturing people and a controversial execution, serves as a foundation for the brash and fearless nature of Captain Kid.

Kid is introduced as one of the Eleven Supernovas during the Sabaody Archipelago Arc. He plays a prominent role in the Kidnapping and Rescue of Nico Robin during the Sabaody Archipelago Arc and is later involved in the Punk Hazard Arc and the Dressrosa Arc. Additionally, he plays a significant role in the Wano Country Arc.