I don’t think he is dumb but he is just being simple-minded.
The crew of the Straw Hat Pirates is one of the most diverse, powerful, and entertaining groups in all of anime. It makes sense that many of us want to join up with them, even if it means risking our lives facing off with the World Government.
With that said, would you really want to join Luffy’s crew if you had the choice? (After all, if they’re so great, why are they always getting into trouble?) One powerful character from the series wasn’t so sure. His name is Trafalgar Law, and he originally wanted to join the Straw Hat crew until he saw Luffy’s intelligence in action.
The short answer is no; Luffy is not dumb. Luffy has a lot of moments where he’s not the most intelligent character in One Piece. He falls for tricks on multiple occasions, and is often simply carried by his other crewmates to victory. But there are plenty of times when Luffy is actually really smart, too!
To understand how I can say that, you have to look at how his intelligence is portrayed in the series. It’s true that Luffy is a bit of an idiot, but his “dumbness” is portrayed as a childlike innocence and is not meant to be taken literally. The fact that he is a skilled fighter and captain of a famous crew demonstrates that his mental faculties are, in fact, very sharp.
However, there are times Luffy are actually dumb:
- When he ate the Devil Fruit and didn’t realize it would give him powers.
- When he tried to beat Arlong by himself.
- When he was fooled into thinking that Usopp was a liar, when really Luffy just couldn’t understand what Usopp was saying.
- Luffy didn’t know how to swim until he was 10 years old.
- When he got lost in the forest for three days straight because of a stupid bird.
- When he went back for Ace’s execution despite being told not to do so (and then getting caught).
- The time when Zoro got stabbed by Mihawk and Luffy said “You can still fight!” without realizing how serious Zoro’s injury actually was.
- The time that Smoker tricked him with an exploding balloon animal because Luffy had no idea what the word ‘balloon’ meant at the time.