When it comes to legendary characters from anime, one that always comes to mind is Nami from One Piece, a female character that has cemented herself as one of the best in the anime world. And now, the voice actress for the English dub, Luci Christian, is here to speak on her incredible growth over 1000+ episodes.
One of the Straw Hat Pirates, Nami has been around since the first episode of the anime, and her character arc has been a central focus throughout the series. From her early days as a skilled thief and cartographer to her joining Luffy's crew, her development has been marked with challenges that have shaped her into the strong character she is today.
When speaking with CinemaBlend to celebrate the addition of more English dub One Piece episodes to Crunchyroll, we asked what it was like to voice a character such as Nami. She has changed so much from a thief that only looked out for herself, to someone who currently took a little girl, Tama (known commonly as O-Tama) under her care in a big-sister role when the Wano Country arc began.
Luci Christian said that Nami's journey throughout the epic journey she has been on is equal to her heart growing "three sizes," such as the Grinch:
I think that's a super sweet sort of development for Nami. That's a very mature development for her...I mean, I think part of the Straw Hat journey for Nami is her heart grows 3 sizes, right? She's able to sort of learn to trust and have a family and trust that people are gonna have her back, and it doesn't all have to be on her, and it starts to be where she has the capacity to start taking care of other people. And all of that. And O-Tama is just like this perfect little receptacle.
Many anime out there have established themselves as celebrated additions to the genre, from newer additions such as Attack on Titan to classic ones like Sailor Moon, all the way to the most successful – Pokemon and all its anime series’. But nothing is quite like One Piece, an anime that follows the Straw Hat Pirates on their quest to find the legendary 'one piece,' a treasure unlike any other.
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From these anime, fans have gotten the chance to see some pretty awesome female characters that have shaped a generation, like the badass characters of Attack on Titan to maybe Sagiri in Hell’s Paradise but Nami's journey and transformation from a self-reliant individual to a caring person and nurturing figure for O-Tama has genuinely changed the game.
Nami has faced her demons throughout the series, such as the Arlong pirates from the earlier days, but the Straw Hat Pirates have become her family, and now, she feels safe enough to help others, such as O-Tama. Her role as a mentor and protector for O-Tama highlights this shift while also showing that these two can work together, as O-Tama has her mysterious powers that make them a great duo.
O-Tama is the perfect example of how much Nami has developed, and now we especially see how much she cares about the fights throughout the series. Christian herself said that these moments are "high stakes" and that it's so crucial that Nami has helped O-Tama in that way.
Nami is just like, 'I've got you, and I'll watch after you,' especially as they are in the fights. These fights have a lot of high, high, high, high stakes.
One Piece has continued to grow throughout its many-year run and captivates audiences with its epic storytelling and character arcs. Still, Nami's evolution stands out as one of the best. Now, Nami's journey can inspire fans worldwide to fight for what they believe because if she could make it past her demons with the help of her friends, anyone could. And maybe with the new Netflix live-action adaptation, more people will be exposed to how awesome Nami truly is.
If you're not caught up with the One Piece English dub, check it out on Crunchyroll.