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Like Zoro, he is more perceptive than he seems, and often tells people what they need to hear instead of what they want. Hence, he is seen as one of the more hardened members of the crew and can often be as scary as Zoro at times. Unlike Zoro, however, he is not afraid to show his emotions when the moment calls for it, and is entirely capable of crying or losing his temper, which results in Sanji's short fuse and subsequent beatings of most villains (and Luffy). In fact, a running gag has appeared since Sanji's fight with Jabra, during which he stated that when he gets angry, he "heats up". After this fight, when Sanji gets particularly angry at a villain, he appears to burst into flames. This occurs against both Absalom and Duval, though the latter example appears only in the anime. It is also seen when Luffy states he is friends with Boa Hancock, a beautiful woman, when she appears to prevent a marine ship from sinking the Thousand Sunny.
Though Sanji seems like one of the more hardened members of the crew, he does not object to acting foolishly on certain occasions, like dancing with the more immature members of the crew (Luffy, Usopp, Chopper and Brook), or acting childishly excited in certain situations (like when they first visited Skypiea). He is also one of those who believes that afro's give power.
He has a habit of separating himself from everyone else, such as times like:
- When Luffy, Usopp, and Carue were fighting Mr. 3, Miss Golden Week, Mr. 5, and Miss Valentine Sanji got back to Going Merry and found Mr. 3's hide-out instead, fooling Crocodile to think he is Mr. 3.
- When Mr. 2 Bon Kurei came on board Going Merry, Sanji wasn't there, making him the only member left of the Straw Hat Pirates whose identity was not known to Crocodile.
- When he and Usopp were going to save Nami from Enel, he took a detour first to destroy the inside of Enel's Ark.
- In Water 7 he leaves the group after finding Nico Robin and is not seen until the Puffing Tom's departure.
- When everyone else was fighting the two hundred captains at Enies Lobby, he went to close the Gates of Justice instead.
- In Punk Hazard, he leaves the group of Straw Hat pirates in order to save Tashigi from Vergo.
He does admit that he is not perfect. He convinced Usopp to let him fight Jabra, because of their differences in abilities. He admitted that he was stronger than Usopp in terms of physical strength, that they both had things they could not do and things they could do and because of that, they can help each other.
Sanji is also able to think one step ahead (especially during dangerous situations) before anyone else does making him quite clever. A suitable example would be when Nico Robin was captured by the CP9, he somehow knew (or was able to deduce) that the CP9 were going to take Robin to the station. He was seen at the station hiding before the CP9 even got there. When these events go as he planned, he has a habit of saying 'Bingo!'.
He is very amorous, constantly flirting with any attractive woman he sees, earning him the nickname "ero-cook". In fact, he claimed that Nami was 98.72% of the reason he joined Luffy's crew in the first place. Since, and a while after, returning to Sabaody Archipelago after his two years on Momoiro Island, Sanji became even more perverted, making lewd faces when he so much as thought of beautiful women (primarily his crew mates, Nami and Robin) and acting strangely when he got close to 'real' women, causing others to question about his health. He's also known to show jealousy towards others when their luck with women appears better than his. An example of this being his reaction upon learning that Luffy spent his two years during the time skip on Amazon Lily, as well as his reaction to Momonosuke continuously being allowed to go places with Robin and Nami that Sanji himself would be prohibited.
He has sworn to never let women be insulted or injured while he can still stand, regardless of how attractive (or unattractive) they are, even in life-or-death situations. This is often problematic in his fighting as he cannot attack female opponents as he would rather die than hurt them (though that does not mean he will not resort to blocking their attacks). He even went out of his way when he sensed Tashigi crying, simply to protect her from Vergo, despite her being a marine. All of this is apparently the result of a strict upbringing. Conversely, Sanji is very abrasive and insulting to many other males throughout the series.
Sanji considers himself handsome and charming, often comparing himself to a fairytale prince. So far, this trait has not been noted by others. He tends to be brought sharply back to earth by the more cynical people around him (such as being called the "Prince of Dumb ass Kingdom" by Zoro, prompting Sanji to attack him).
One of Sanji's most prominent characteristics is a strong respect toward food and the preparation of food in the kitchen. Since food and sustenance play a crucial role in maintaining life, he strongly believes that a chef's work must be treated as though it were sacred. Prior to being stranded on the rock with Zeff nine years ago, Sanji thought food was dispensable, and tossed out any that had gone bad. In fact, he was disgusted by how his fellow chefs would eat leftovers from customers. However, after being starved on the rock, he came to regret his maltreatment to food. As a result, he has a strong tendency to become hostile towards those who waste food or regard it in any way that is less than his respect for it. Thus, he has a habit of beating up anyone who steals food from the fridge (mainly Luffy). It has been dictated on many occasions that Sanji puts the quality of food before everything that is not vital, even his instant infatuation with any woman he sees. A strong example of this was shown in the anime-only G8 Arc, where he snapped out of an infatuation with Jessica after she questioned his culinary skills, and demonstrated his superiority (but when she recognized his skills and told him he was welcome in the kitchen, his infatuation returned). This is precisely why Sanji, in his first appearance, proceeded to beat Fullbody. He also is shown to fully believe that anyone who wishes for food should be given food, be it a customer or a criminal, such as giving the starving Gin food despite the other chefs refusing to serve him.
During his time on Momoiro Island, Sanji showed his resentment to putting on a dress and losing his manhood. He bluntly declared to Ivankov that he is a man among men who was born to love the ladies and not to be friends with them. To this end, Sanji resisted becoming an okama for two long years.
After two years of living with only okamas, Sanji was overwhelmed in the presence of beautiful women. Whenever he saw one, he was instantly infatuated with them and put on a extremely perverted face. He was also plagued by uncontrollable nose bleeds, which alarmed most of his crewmates when he had a really massive one and flew outside of the coated ship. As a running gag, when he saw overwhelming beauties like Boa Hancock or Princess Shirahoshi for the first time, he instantly turned to stone, but after recovering from the latter situation, he went back to the way he was around women prior to the timeskip. Zoro later addressed Sanji by a new nickname "Nose Bleed" during the battle against the New Fishman Pirates, something that usually angers Sanji. When Sanji's heart was placed in Nami's body during the Punk Hazard Arc by Trafalgar Law, Sanji was so overexcited by this that it angered Nami due to his perverted behavior and it also caused him to have nose bleeds while inside her body.
Since a young age, Sanji has a habit of saying "shit" or "shitty" when describing something. While the Japanese word for feces, "kuso", is not specifically an expletive, Sanji's manner of speech makes the term sound brash. For example, he might call a person he especially does not like a "shitty bastard" or something along those lines (such as his personal nickname for Zeff, "shitty geezer"), but he also described something pleasant to him, like being alone with Nami, as "shitty fantastic" and "the shitty best".
Sanji appears to have some fear or aversion to insects. During the crew's search for the South Bird, he continually backed away from the various insects in the forest to the point he was afraid to touch them.
Sanji respects Luffy as a captain, but often gets angry at him for eating too much and showing disrespect for the aesthetics of cooking; he also dislikes Luffy imitating him. However, he does care for Luffy as he is shown dragging his captain out of the water more often than any of the other crewmembers. He recently gains envy of Luffy after finding out that Luffy landed on Amazon Lily while he was in 'hell'. And like Zoro, he volunteered to give his life in exchange for Luffy's to Kuma which Zoro knocked him unconscious to stop him from interfering.
He is constantly in physical and verbal fights with Zoro (who he refers to as 'marimo' or moss ball because of his green hair) over their differences and is nicknamed Shitty Cook and Prince of Dumbass Kingdom by Zoro. Despite their rivalry, the two respect each other's abilities. During the Little Garden Arc, Sanji and Zoro unknowingly took on the same challenge of dinosaur meat hunting that the two legendary giants Dorry and Brogy started 100 years ago. From that, and the inhuman amount of power the two possess, their rivalry is similar to legendary status. However, though he spends a lot of time arguing or competing with Zoro, Sanji is not beneath admitting Zoro is right during those rare occasions where Zoro has seen the bigger picture than everyone else (such as Usopp's rejoining). He also tried to stop Zoro from sacrificing himself to Kuma to save everyone else by letting him take his life (though the swordsman knocked him out first before he could do so).
Nami and Robin
He is rather protective of the female crewmembers and Nami likes to take advantage of him, exploiting his extreme servility. Even when her manipulation of him is brought to his attention, he claims to be happy to do so. He does occasionally get on Nami's nerves when Sanji makes a love comment during serious moments. When Robin joins the crew he acts toward her in a similar way, but unlike Nami she usually responds to his advances with politeness. When Sanji had his body swapped with Nami, he was overjoyed at the turn of events, and despite having his body returned to him later he was left with disappointment. While he does go out of the way to protect them he is not immune to getting sidetracked by other pretty women.
Sanji is good friends with Usopp, and seems to understands him quite well. Despite this, he occasionally beats him and Luffy up when they do something immature, like eat too much food or goof off in serious situations. He also tried to stop Usopp from leaving the crew, and didn't hesitate to attack Luffy to prevent him from telling Usopp to leave the crew over an emotionally heated argument, proving his commitment to his friends and the crew.
Sanji originally wanted to cook Chopper, and continues to refer to him as their "emergency food supply" to tease him. However, he does consider Chopper a good friend, and will give him or Usopp advice when they need it.
When they first met on the Sea Train bound for Enies Lobby, Sanji kicked Franky in the face for what he did to Usopp, before learning how much the situation had changed since then. After Franky joins the crew, Sanji shows respect to Franky for his shipwright and engineering skills as Franky made him a great kitchen and dining room, though he gets irritated by Franky's habit of crying excessively after hearing sad stories.
He gets easily annoyed at Brook's immature attitude for burping and farting during dinner, but is not above joining Brook in perverted thoughts and cheers.
Sanji had a habit of getting on everyone's nerves while at the Baratie. However, he parted with everyone on good terms despite this and the entire cooking staff was upset by his departure. They have kept an eye on him ever since and used him to promote their restaurant when his bounty was released. Also, while most cannot see it, he has a deep respect towards his mentor, Zeff, who selflessly gave all his food to the young Sanji back when they were stranded. As a result, during his time on the Baratie, he exhibits little to no hesitation in beating customers who spoke ill of Zeff's former status as a pirate.
Despite being enemies, Gin also considered Sanji as a friend because he showed him the only act of kindness he ever experienced. Gin was unable to bring himself to finish Sanji off and left on the vow that the pair would try and meet again on the Grand Line if it was ever possible. Sanji is the first person to ever show kindness to Gin, by giving him free food when the pirate was starved and penniless. As such, Gin ultimately cannot kill Sanji, despite his own reputation as a "Man-Demon", and Krieg's orders.
Like the first six of the Straw Hats, Sanji became good friends with Vivi. She eventually became one of his three main love interests along with Nami and Robin and flirted with Vivi to the same degree, but while Nami reacts with anger and manipulation to his advances and Robin reacts with politeness, Vivi usually acted with confusion as to what he was doing. Like the others, he was saddened when they left her.
Duval initially hated Sanji for resembling his wanted poster. He was wounded in the back by someone who mistook him for Sanji. However, after a defeat during a fight with him, Duval became friends with Sanji because Sanji reshaped his face to make him look handsome. The downside is that Duval's love for his new handsome face gets on Sanji's nerves.
Sanji also developed a friendly (of sorts) relationship with the entire populace of Kamabakka Kingdom, not unlike Luffy's own with the Kuja of Amazon Lily, after being sent there against his will by Bartholomew Kuma. Ironically, this bond initially started out as "hell" for Sanji, but later improved overtime as he assimilated (to his chagrin) with their lifestyle. This relationship further bettered upon meeting their then-newly freed leader, Emporio Ivankov, who aided Luffy during the Whitebeard War two years ago. Upon receiving Luffy's disguised message for his crew to lay low and strengthen for the next two years, Sanji spent the period fighting the 99 Okama Kenpo masters to retrieve their recipes for Attack Cuisine. Having succeeded in his task, Sanji was granted a lift back to the Sabaody Archipelago. In response to their pleas for him to visit them again, he gave them the finger and proclaimed he would never return, though he also asked them to thank Ivankov on his behalf.
When exploring Fishman Island, Sanji eventually met Princess Shirahoshi. Despite Chopper's pleads against this due to him losing blood at the sight of other mermaids he was instantly turned to stone upon gazing at her. Afterwards Sanji showed to adjust well to her presence, reacting the same way to her as he usually does around Nami and Robin. Shirahoshi seemed unsure and afraid towards his affections, but, because she was good friends with Luffy, she trusted him well.
When exploring the island of Dressrosa, upon in pursuit of a fairy who took Zoro's Shuusui, Sanji met a flamenco dancer named Violet who had a grudge on a certain sniper. Naturally, Sanji offers his assistance without hesitation. Not long after that, it was revealed that Violet was one of Doflamingo's underlings, but in spite of being beaten up, Sanji believed that she was serving against her will, and still wanted to help her. She doesn't believe him at first, but realizes that he's being sincere after she uses her Devil Fruit powers to look into his mind. Consequently, she betrays her underlings and urges Sanji to leave Dressrosa, using her powers to show him that he fell into a trap and giving him a Transponder Snail to warn Law, and also gives him a map to get to the hidden SAD factory.
Sanji became acquainted with the G-5 marines. They seem to respect Sanji quite a lot, especially because he saved Tashigi from the "fake" Vergo. Also much to Zoro’s surprise, they obey his orders to the point that they let him be in command during the fight against Caesar Clown and his subordinates. They refer to him as bro.
Due to Sanji's principles, anyone who treats women and food in a disrespectful manner will earn Sanji's wrath. As revealed during his initial encounter with Duval, Sanji supposedly has many people who bear grudges against him from his time at the Baratie.
Like all the Straw Hats, he is wanted by the Marines. Fullbody especially has a personal vendetta against him for what happened at the Baratie. However, this has never been taken seriously; Sanji ruins his date with a woman named Moodie when he corrects Fullbody on the type of wine he and his date were consuming. Fullbody decides to put a fly (Batchee) in his own soup to ruin the restaurant's reputation and to get back at Sanji. However Sanji's continuously smug attitude leads Fullbody to smash the table he is sitting at, prompting a fight with Sanji. He is later shown to have lost horribly, being held dangling from his neck and lectured about wasting food. Fullbody, with his ego in tatters, is later shown fleeing the Baratie, post to witnessing the attitude and fighting abilities of the staff after the pirate Gin breaks out of Fullbody's ship and walks into the restaurant.
Sanji considered Absalom his mortal enemy for many reasons (kidnapping Nami, seeing her naked, trying to marry her) but mostly due to stealing Sanji's childhood dream of eating the Suke Suke no Mi and using it to peep on girls.
However, his biggest enemy is Bartholomew Kuma who sent him to an Okama island for 2 years while sending Luffy to Amazon Lily. Out of the crew, he is the only one who is still bitter about the separation, in spite of learning the truth about Kuma, in spite of Kuma's reasons for it, and even in spite of the dramatic increase in ability it provided.