Even decades later, One Piece continues to dominate the anime and manga charts. The One Piece world is sprawling and incomprehensibly vast and the series boasts more than 1,100 characters. Throughout the journey, the series has provided fans with a variety of characters to cheer for. This includes blazing and lovable protagonists like Monkey D. Luffy and Portgas D. Ace to terrifying antagonists like Kaido and Blackbeard.

Smoker in One Piece | Crunchyroll

Every character in One Piece has left a mark on the series in some way or the other, but only a few have arrested the fan’s attention enough to mark their position as fan favorites. One of the most unexpected fan favorites happens to be Smoker the White Hunter.

Fans Are Convinced Smoker Has The Largest Fandom

Smoker and General Tashigi
Smoker and General Tashigi | Crunchyroll

An X user, @iammusashi456 posted that the highest selling volume of One Piece is Volume 67, which set a new national industry record with a first printing of 4.05 million copies.

The colored cover background fades from dark blue to purple to white with black stripes, and the title logo is peach and tan gold. The author’s name is written in yellow-orange.

On the front, Luffy is at the bottom. The four bodyswapped Straw Hats are on both sides of him, while the bodyswapped Smoker and Tashigi are above. To their right is Kin’emon’s severed head while to their left is Monet, whose wing takes up a large portion of the left side.

On the spine, Smoker (in Tashigi’s body) is featured, which might have contributed to the large sale of the volume.

Smoker the White Hunter is a Marine officer and the commander of the G-5 Marine Base. He was promoted to the position of Vice Admiral at some point during the time skip. He has been Tashigi’s superior and mentor since their initial introduction in the series.

He is one of Luffy’s frequent rivals. Despite their opposition, he assisted Luffy during the Arabasta arc. The two of them also temporarily teamed up during the Punk Hazard arc. These temporary alliances lasted only long enough for the two groups to defeat their common foes.

Why Is Smoker a Fan Favorite?

Smoker and the Marines
Smoker and the Marines | Crunchyroll

While Smoker’s fighting abilities are distinct and his appearance is unique, that’s not what sets him apart from the rest of the faction. From his initial introduction, Smoker proves that he is more than just another Marine enemy. When he unintentionally spills a little girl’s ice cream, he immediately gives her money to buy another one, which shows that behind his brooding appearance, there’s also a kind man.

While Smoker’s allegiance to the Marines makes him an antagonistic force, he’s something of an anti-hero. While he still seeks to capture the Straw Hats and pirates in general, he doesn’t allow a blind doctrine of “justice” to get in the way of his personal perception, unlike many of his fellow Marines. He does not see the world in shades of black and white.

A classic example of this is when he fought in the Battle for Marineford. When Ace and Whitebeard, the main forces opposing the Marines during the war, are killed off, Smoker notices that his fellow Marines aren’t satisfied with the deaths of their main rivals. Even with their objective complete, he grimly observes that the rest of his colleagues are hungry for blood.

Just like how Luffy is not inherently bad because he’s a pirate, Smoker does not blindly follow every order he is given. Smoker is satisfied that the incident isn’t covered up by the World Government when the notorious Donquixote Doflamingo is defeated and imprisoned. Perhaps, this is why Smoker is so popular among the fans.

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