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One Piece is one of the longest-running manga series of all time, so as you might expect, there are a ton of characters throughout it. Arguably, many of the best characters are the side ones who may not be part of the Straw Hats with Luffy and the gang.
One particular fantastic side character and favorite of mine is Sabo, a layered and intriguing character with an instrumental past and intriguing future, as you’ll see in this Sabo One Piece guide. Sabo is one of the few childhood friends of Monkey D. Luffy and, therefore, a massive part of his past. Sabo also plays a significant role in the present of the One Piece series as a high-ranking figure in the Revolutionary Army.
Despite his placement in the army that opposes the World Government, he hasn’t appeared often enough in the series to date, at least for me. I’ll show you precisely why this is in our Sabo One Piece guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
Sabo is one of only two childhood friends that Luffy had before the start of the One Piece series. Along with Ace, Sabo was the best friend of Luffy until they went their separate ways as kids.
As an adult, Sabo is the second-in-command of the entire Revolutionary Army, attempting to take down the corrupt World Government alongside Luffy’s father, Monkey D. Dragon. As a high-ranking official in the army, he has the title of the Flame Emperor and an immense bounty on his head for his defiance. Even many years after their childhood, Sabo still supports Luffy to an extent.
Sabo is one of the many pirates in the One Piece series, but his role is vastly underrated and more critical to the storyline than many others. This is despite the fact he isn’t one of the members of the core Straw Hat Pirates that are at the heart of the story in the manga and anime series.
Instead, Sabo is a member of the Revolutionary Army, a complicated force that is in a strange position in the world. Though they are pirates attempting to take down the World Government, it is hard to nail down whether or not they are clear-cut good guys or not, falling into that gray area.
That said, Sabo is a dear friend of Luffy’s and someone who occasionally appears in the manga and anime series, sometimes even to help out. He plays a significant role in the famous Dressrosa Arc, as well as a couple of animated films that show off different sides to him.
His peaceful, mediator personality helps him to be an excellent foil to characters like Luffy, his fellow childhood friend Ace, and even Luffy’s dad, Monkey D. Dragon, who Sabo currently works for. Sabo has an intelligent head on his shoulders and is one of the fan-favorite side characters who arguably doesn’t get enough screen time in the series.
Sabo is a blonde-haired pirate who starts the series as a young kid in flashbacks. The bulk of his appearances that matter are in the present day, where he is a young adult. Here, fans can see that he has blonde hair that goes down to almost his neck that is sometimes covered up by a top hat when in his Revolutionary Army uniform.
He wears an intriguing army outfit reminiscent of the Victorian Era, with the fluffy nature of the cloth around his neck. He generally wears a blue undershirt buttoned up with a long black coat over it. He then has some jeans on his legs, making for a simple but regal appearance that has an intriguing contrast with the anime style of his face and hair.
Key Moments in One Piece
You’re in the right place for those looking for more information about Sabo and a quick rundown of his appearances in the One Piece series to date. Here’s everything you need to know about the key moments he has had so far in the series, but you should keep in mind that these following few sections will contain some serious spoilers.
Considering how long One Piece is, these spoilers will be for moments throughout the well over 1000 chapters of the manga to date, including the fate of some characters. With that warning out of the way, let’s look for the fans who don’t care about spoilers.
Before manga readers and anime fans see Sabo in the series as a kid, he grew up with a pretty well-off life as part of the World Government’s nobility in the Goa Kingdom. However, he didn’t have any desire to be part of that and ran away from home at ten years old, leading to his encounters with both Monkey D. Luffy and Ace.
The trio becomes the best of friends, with Sabo being the mediator between Luffy and Ace’s two hot personalities. In this way, he was like the kinder older brother that Luffy had during his childhood years. Unfortunately, it didn’t last as long as the boys would have liked.
After some time passed, Sabo had to continue on his run to get away from his family, but it led to a tragic crash in the sea where he was lost and eventually saved by Luffy’s father, Monkey D. Dragon. Unfortunately, this accident came at the cost of his memories for the next ten years as he started a new life as part of the Revolutionary Army.
From this point forward, he wasn’t seen in the core story of One Piece until well into the plot.
Ten years after leaving Luffy and Ace behind, the amnesiac Sabo regained his memories upon learning of Ace’s death earlier in the One Piece series. This traumatic experience brought back his childhood memories but all too late, as he couldn’t do anything to save Ace.
Because of this, he makes a vow to himself to protect his other brother, Luffy, and support him the best he can as the now second-in-command of the Revolutionary Army. This leads him to the Dressrosa Arc, where he finally reunites with Luffy in a heartwarming and emotional moment.
The goal that Sabo has during this arc is to help Luffy and the Straw Hats take down the Donquixote pirates who rule over the nation. This is mainly because Sabo wishes to rescue the Devil Fruit that Ace had and consume it for himself. Luffy even gives his blessing for him to inherit his powers.
To this point, Sabo takes on the Lucy disguise that Luffy had and enters the arena to earn the Devil Fruit back, eventually doing so and even playing a massive role in taking down the Donquixote pirates. In the process, he has a life-changing battle against Burgess to get revenge for the death of Ace and finally makes his peace while learning how to control Ace’s Devil Fruit powers.
That is the bulk of his appearances in the series to date. He only appears every once in a while with little updates about what’s happening with him and the rest of the Revolutionary Army, even in the Final Saga of the series. As of now, he is currently using his Flame Emperor status to command the army in battle to take down the World Government.
Special Abilities Explained
Sabo has several significant abilities as one of the most vital members of the Revolutionary Army. He was already an exceptional fighter on his own prior to consuming a Devil Fruit, as he was able to become second-in-command of the army and take down many foes.
This is due to the powerful Ryusoken fighting technique that he uses in combat in coordination with the metal pipe he has used as his signature weapon since childhood. The claws or grip attacks that he uses in battle allow him to take down opponents that have unique powers he wasn’t able to use in the Dressrosa Arc.
However, since the Dressrosa Arc, he has gained two primary special abilities: that of the Flame Emperor status in the army and the Mera Mera no Mi Devil Fruit that Ace one had.
Mera Mera no Mi Devil Fruit
The Mera Mera no Mi is a Logia-style Devil Fruit and one that Ace originally held. It took time for Sabo to adjust to his new powers, but they allowed him to transform various parts of his body into fire-elemental attacks, such as turning his arms into a flame punch and so on.
There are even full-on attacks that Sabo uses that were taken directly from the skills that Ace would use in battle. The difference, though, between the two is that Sabo is still learning how to be an effective fighter with the Mera Mera no Mi Devil Fruit.
In addition, he uses his unique Ryusoken fighting technique to mix with his flame powers to allow him to pull off abilities that Ace wasn’t able to do. This powerful Logia Devil Fruit has allowed Sabo to take down some serious foes with an ease that is fitting of his rank.
Flame Emperor Army Rank
Speaking of the rank that Sabo has in the Revolutionary Army, this is also where he excels in terms of his abilities. With his status as the second-in-command of the army, he has a plethora of resources at his disposal that allow him to try and take down the World Government and help others like Luffy.
There are even those in the world who consider him to be even more dangerous or at least more influential on the world than the leader of the Revolutionary Army, Monkey D. Dragon. With the people and army at his command, Sabo is able to make massive decisions that shape the world behind the scenes of One Piece.
Though he isn’t often present in the core story, the events he participates in and the fights he has have a ripple effect across the entire world, affecting everything else that is happening with the core cast of characters in the Straw Hat Pirates.
Anime Voice Actors
Sabo has a complicated situation when it comes to the voice actors who have played him in the past, at least in the English dub. I know that many One Piece fans grew up watching the English dub of the beloved series, as it was the more readily available version of the anime adaptation.
If that’s you, you’ll find that there are three main English voice actors to date for Sabo. The first one was Morgan Garrett, who took on the voice of Sabo when he was a kid in his debut episodes in the anime as well as the movie that featured him as well.
Understandably, his voice actor changed in both the English and Japanese dubs when it came to the Dressrosa Arc and the adult version of Sabo. In the English dub, he was voiced by Vic Mignogna from 2017 to 2019, but this is where it gets a little complicated.
Mignogna has had a lot of controversy surrounding him in recent memory, even as a prolific and talented voice actor, so he is understandably no longer the voice of Sabo at this point. That honor goes to Johnny Yong Bosch of Lelouch from Code Geass and many other anime series.
On the Japanese side, it was a cleaner situation. Junko Takeuchi voiced the young version of Sabo while the older version of him is currently expressed by Toru Furuya, who has been his consistent voice since his adulthood debut in the series. You may know the older voice actor from his iconic roles in the past, such as Amuro in the original Gundam, Yamcha in Dragon Ball, and the original Tuxedo Mask in the 1992 Sailor Moon anime.
Despite not having as much screen time in the manga and anime as some of the other prominent One Piece characters, Sabo has a hand in just about everything. As such, he has considerable relationships, both positive and negative, with many of the characters in the series.
However, of the most notable negative ones, we have his own family. His father, Outlook III, and his mother, Didit, are pretty high figures in the Goa Kingdom and hunted him down for a long time, trying to get him to return home. His relationship with them is overwhelmingly negative, leading to his current state.
Luffy and Ace are his closest friends and the people he truly considers family. For Luffy, he is like the kinder older brother that Luffy always wanted and the mediator for Ace, his fellow brother who he looks up to but also tries to be the foil to.
Then there is Monkey D. Dragon, who is somewhat like a father figure to Sabo and the boss he follows to the ends of the earth. There is no one else he respects more, serving as his second-in-command over the entire Revolutionary Army.
There is also his hostility with Jesus Burgess worth mentioning, as the person that Sabo blames for some of the heartache (no spoilers in this section) and wishes to take down.
Lastly, there are two possible love interests for Sabo. The beautiful Rebecca has some strong scenes with Sabo during the Dressrosa Arc that certainly have some fans shipping the two together, and it makes decent sense. On the other hand, there is Koala, a fellow soldier in the Revolutionary Army who works directly with Sabo. The two deeply care for one another, so perhaps there is something there, too.
Question: Is Sabo Luffy’s brother One Piece?
Answer: Yes, Sabo is considered the older brother of Monkey D. Luffy in One Piece from when they were kids.
Question: Are Sabo and Ace’s Devil Fruits the same?
Answer: Yes, Sabo and Ace’s Devil Fruits are essentially the same. However, Sabo uses his powers slightly differently.
Question: Why did Sabo leave Luffy and Ace?
Answer: Sabo most likely left Luffy and Ace as kids due to his influential parents coming after him, which he intended to stay away from.
Question: Is Sabo stronger than Ace One Piece?
Answer: This may be somewhat controversial, but, no, I don’t think Sabo is stronger than Ace at this time in One Piece. This is mainly because Sabo is still learning to use his Devil Fruit powers. However, I believe Sabo will become stronger than Ace before long, just not yet.
Which Revolutionary Army Member to Check Out Next
Sabo is one of the strongest and arguably underappreciated characters in all of One Piece. Not necessarily from the fans, though, but from the fact that Sabo is underused throughout the series to date. His part as one of the Revolutionary Army’s critical leaders and Luffy’s childhood brother should, hopefully, lead to more vital scenes for him in the Final Saga of One Piece.
However, the same can be said for a particular other Revolutionary Army member. Even after all this time, it feels like there is still so little understood about Monkey D. Dragon, the father of Luffy and the man leading the charge against the World Government. If you’ve always wanted to know more about what’s happening with him, you’re in the right place to learn more.