Monkey D. Luffy is currently 19 years old, on his way to hit the 20-year mark. While he was on Foosha Island, he was just seven years old and he was 17 when he started his journey. He grew to be 19 years old after the two-year time skip and it has been implied that he would be hitting 20 years in an upcoming arc.
In the rest of the article, we are going to give you more details on Luffy’s age throughout different periods of his journey. Since Luffy’s age hasn’t changed much, as you can notice, this article is going to be focused on explaining the timeline of One Piece and how Luffy has changed along with that timeline.
How Old Was Luffy on Foosha Island?
As the son of the rebel Monkey D. Dragon and grandson of the equally famous naval hero Monkey D. Garp, Luffy lives as Shanks’ protégé in Foosha Village, for whose gang he was a kind of mascot.
He wanted to become a pirate from an early age; so much so that when he was seven he tried to gouge out his left eye to walk around with an eye patch like a real pirate. He still has the scar under his left eye from this project.
He eats from the Gomu Gomu no Mi after Shanks and his gang have taken the fruit into the bar. When he stands up for his great role model and starts an argument with the mountain bandit Higuma, he gets into trouble and is finally thrown into the sea by him.
Shanks rescues him there, since Luffy can no longer swim after eating the devil fruit and also threatens to be eaten by Kinkai no Nushi, and sacrifices his left arm.
Before leaving, Luffy Shanks promises to assemble a strong pirate troop himself in order to become the king of the pirates with them.
To always be reminded of this promise, Shanks gives him his straw hat. Luffy’s grandfather Garp is not at all enthusiastic that Luffy was so influenced by Shanks and when he is eight he drops him off with Curly Dadan, in whose care he had already given Ace to the three-year-old Ace.
The encounter between the two is not exactly friendly at first, because Ace spits in little Luffy’s face. Luffy doesn’t let Dadan’s tough methods get him down either and decides to win Ace as a friend.
Luffy was seven years old during this period, and he was seven years old when he ate his Devil’s Fruit. This period was important for his backstory, but it was presented as a flashback prologue that expanded on Luffy’s story, but not the main narrative. When left for the sea, Luffy was 14, still living on Foosha Island.
How Old Was Luffy When He Began His Journey?
At the age of 17, Luffy sets out to assemble a strong gang with whom he wants to travel the oceans and – as he promised Shanks – to look for the One Piece. When Luffy finally leaves his home, his boat leaks on the way. He escapes into a locked barrel and drifts around waiting on the sea, where he finally drifts to an island on which Lady Alvida’s base was.
In the anime television series, he is fished out in his barrel by the crew of a cruise ship on the high seas, just before it is attacked by Alvida’s gang. Luffy realizes that he would be completely lost on his own.
Therefore, he wants to look for a gang of at least ten strong members who swear allegiance to him as captain. The first thing he does is look for a swordsman with Zoro as a strong comrade, whom he can trust in every situation, and with Nami a gifted navigator who is also a talented thief. Other members of his gang are Usopp, from whom he has already heard a lot through his father Yasopp, and the Smut Sanji.
Together with them, he then makes a name for himself on the Eastblue.
So, when Luffy began his journey to find the One Piece and become the best pirate in the world, he was 17, which was still very young to go on such a journey but hey – it’s One Piece.
If you remember, Ace was just 14 when he went out to sea, so Luffy being 17 seemingly makes more sense. Luffy was 17 during the whole pre-time skip period, despite a large number of chapters / episodes.
How Old Was Luffy After the Time Skip?
At one point during the plot, Luffy and the gang decide to break up and go train individually, which leads to the disbandment of the Straw Hat gang and to a two-year time skip, which saw Luffy return, now two years older, i.e. being 19 years old.
After these two years, Luffy is seen with a red woolen vest with four buttons above it (which shows the X-shaped scar covering most of his chest, evidence of the near-fatal attack inflicted on him. by ex-Admiral Akainu), and a yellow scarf around his waist, somewhat reminiscent of Roger’s outfit.
He hasn’t grown significantly (he is just 2 cm taller), but he has turned out to have become more muscular due to his Herculean training and is much stronger. The fruit of this workout can be seen to the extent that his neck is slightly thicker with more pronounced deltoids and a larger chest as well.
In addition, he tries to appear discreet with the help of a fake white beard and sunglasses, so as not to be spotted by the Navy (which ultimately failed due to the abilities of the Pacifistas).
This costume most often leads to funny situations.
During the Dressrosa Arc, Luffy wears a dark blue shirt with orange-yellow patterns reminiscent of flowers or suns. During the tournament at the Coliseum Corrida, he brought out the beard-glasses disguise (and renamed himself “Lucy”). He will also very briefly wear a goldfish disguise with a bun, in order to enter the Royal Palace.
So, after the time skip, Luffy returned to being two years older than before. Luffy is still aged 19 in the Wano Country Arc, but since we now know that several months have passed since the first time skip plot, we assume that Luffy might celebrate his 20th birthday sooner rather than later.
Why Is Luffy Aging so Slowly?
Now that we’ve gone over all the important facts and numbers, we have to answer the biggest question of them all – why is Luffy aging so slowly? Namely, the One Piece anime has been around for more than 1,000 episodes, which have been on the air since 1999, i.e. for more than twenty years without any breaks. The manga has been around even longer, debuting back in 1997.
So, how does a character who’s been around for more than 20 years age just two years? We’re not counting the time on Foosha Island, since that’s evidently a flashback story. Eiichiro Oda was once asked the same thing and he said that even though the story was very long (both in the manga and in the anime), it was actually a single narrative and temporal continuity.
So, the main reason why Luffy has aged only two years is that only two years have passed since the beginning of his journey, in-universe. Time flows much slower in-universe than in real life, which explains the slow aging. As we understand, several months have passed since the time skip, meaning that Luffy might be hitting the 20-year mark very soon.
And this concludes the story of Luffy’s age. As you can see, Luffy actually did age, unlike many other animated characters – both in anime, and in the West – but the aging is still disproportional to the manga’s and anime’s run, but that was explained with the in-universe plots being told continuously, despite them taking longer to finish in real life.