Apr 28, 2008
The latest chapter of One Piece introduces a whole load of new characters, who are essentially the peers of Luffy and Zoro in terms of notoriety. And a couple whose notoriety exceeds theirs. Most have obvious historical references in their names but a few are bit tricky.
CAPONE “GANG” BEGE
We’ve had colour pages with the Straw Hats dressed as gangsters, and they are dressed that way in the next One Piece film, and with “The Fire Tank Pirates” we get actual gangster pirates in the manga.
Obviously the name is a reference to Al Capone. Not sure about the Bege part. A Google Image search for ベッジ gives us pictures of chairs designed by Alexander Begge. So your guess is as good as mine, if not better.
Physically, Capone has a passing resemblance to The Penguin from Batman.
“BIG EATER” JEWELRY BONNY
This cowgirl looking glutton of a female pirate appears to be a reference to female pirate Anne Bonny and possibly Billy The Kid (William H. Bonney).
“THE MAGICIAN” BASIL HAWKINS
Another easy reference, Hawkins being the surname of the hero of Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins. Possibly it may be a reference to John Hawkins, the 16th Century English Admiral, but Treasure Island seems a more obvious reference. Whether the Basil name is a reference to something remains to be seen.
EUSTASS “CAPTAIN” KIDD
The English spelling is given as EUSTASS, though the katakana is the same as for Eustace. This is a return of the same pun that lies behind Ace’s tattoo. Oh, and he appears to be an ass.
Another obvious reference – William Kidd, the Scottish sailor who set out to prey on pirates, but ended up on trial of piracy himself.
Physically, Eustass Kidd has a passing resemblance to The Joker.
“ROAR OF THE SEA” SCRATCHMAN APOO
Apoo looks to be a musically themed martial artist pirate. Oda seems to be drawing a connection between kung fu fighting stances and turntablism, as Apoo’s fighting stance could be read as either.
Oh and he has piano key teeth. Like 88 Teeth did in the Daffy Duck cartoon “The Great Piggy Bank Robbery”, that parodied Dick Tracy. There’s definitely a Dick Tracy note to One Piece in the distinct and often grotesque appearances of it’s villains. I believe that comes from Oda’s love of Kinnikuman though.
No idea if his name is a reference to something specific.
“RED FLAG” X DRAKE
Named for English naval hero/Piratical menace to the Spanish – Francis Drake.
“THE DEMON MONK” UROUGE
This one took a bit more research. This article was my first clue, and some Google language tools and then translating the junk English it gave me into something I could understand led me to come to the conclusion that UROUGE is a mangled version of Aruj aka Oruc Reis aka Barbarossa I aka REDBEARD, the 15th century Turkish corsair.
,Urouge is a Sky Island native, with wings similar to Ener’s priests.
“THE MASSACRE MAN” KILLER
I don’t think we’ve got any name references going on here with this South Blue Native.
“SURGEON OF DEATH” TRAFALGAR LAW
His name would be a reference to The Battle of Trafalgar. His symbol is another variation of the grinning face that Ace has on his hat and Doflamingo’s New Era Pirates have put a slash through on their flag.
Oh and one of his crew has a bear head like Panda Man has.
As yet unseen, the former pirate who is 100 times stronger than the “Supernova Eleven”, is obviously a reference to Sir Walter Raleigh, the English explorer.
Raleigh’s partner shares a name with herb used for treatment of blood problems. Her appearance I’m sure is a reference to a real person that I can’t pin down. There’s something of a resemblance with Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace in how she holds her cigarette and her page boy haircut, but I think that was a reference to something else itself.