As anyone that's ever worked as a waiter or cashier can tell you, people will be absolute jerks when they know they can get away with it. I used to work at the concession stand in a movie theater, and it was absolutely bizarre just how often people would try to flex their perceived authority at you, as if I was supposed to treat them like a medieval king because I happened to be the unlucky person filling their popcorn bag that day. Sometimes they'd obviously do it to impress their dates and man, good luck with that. You've got about thirty seconds before your significant other leaves you for someone with actual personality traits.
I know this all sounds pretty non-anime related for an anime website, but it's one of the reasons I like Sanji's debut in One Piece so much, a debut that I consider to be a top tier, S-Class introduction to a character. Luffy has just broken part of the Baratie floating restaurant and is tussling with the owner Zeff. Meanwhile, "Double Ironfist" Fullbody is being mean to people outside and inside the Baratie, and eventually tries to show up Sanji with his wine knowledge. But when Sanji is around a kitchen, he is in his element, and he leaves Fullbody embarrassed. Already it's good stuff.
But then Fullbody puts a fly in his soup in an effort to display the Baratie as a place with inadequate food preparation. However, Sanji knows that 1) Fullbody is a lying doofus, and 2) The Baratie would definitely get a 100% rating from the East Blue health inspector. No flies in the soup there. Fullbody, feeling disgraced twice, smashes a table and then tries to assault Sanji. And so Sanji, master of kickin' stuff, kicks the crap out of Fullbody, leaving him more hamburger than man. In fact, that's how Luffy first sees Sanji—Holding up this dimwit who thought he could be mean to waiters at a restaurant known for its fighting cooks and leave without needing extensive dental work after.
So yeah, maybe I get a little bit of emotional retribution after seeing Sanji stand up to someone like that. But it doesn't make it any less rad. I'm all about characters that aren't gonna take it lightly when blue and pink collar workers get trashed by customers, and I can't wait for the One Piece arc where Sanji begs the Straw Hats to unionize.
What's your favorite Sanji moment? Let me know in the comments!
Daniel Dockery is a Senior Staff Writer for Crunchyroll. Follow him on Twitter!
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