One Piece's Luffy stands out amid other charming shonen heroes as the odd one out. Despite his challenges, he never complains or lectures others about them. He is aware of his limitations and how his Straw Hat gang makes up for them. He never talks down to anyone and is always willing to lend a hand. He merely seeks freedom; he has no interest in gaining strength or control.
Luffy simply sees people as good or bad and doesn't differentiate between pirates and marines. He readily accepts the word of others, but he never exhibits a level of gullibility that would allow him to be exploited. The titular Naruto, Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach, and pretty much every other well-known shonen hero have all occasionally annoyed fans due to their careless behavior. But after watching more than a thousand episodes of One Piece, I can honestly say that Luffy has never once annoyed or frustrated me. Here's why he stands out from his other shonen characters so much.
Luffy only wants freedom and doesn't want to be a hero
As a pirate, Luffy only cares about exploring the world and achieving his dream. That said, he isn't selfish enough to ignore the troubles of those around him. Luffy and his crew end up saving every island they visit from the story arc's villains, but he doesn't seek absolution and wouldn't want people to admire him as a hero. Even at Fish-Man Island, when Jinbe requests to become the Fishmen's hero, Luffy denies it without a thought. His idea of a hero is someone who would share everything they have, but being a pirate, Luffy wants to keep it all for himself.
After One Piece's "Dressrosa" arc, when Luffy gains a massive fleet of 5,600 members, his first reaction is his iconic "annoyed face". He explains his dream of becoming the Pirate King has nothing to do with power or the number of followers he has. All he wants is to seek freedom, as that's what being the world's best pirate means to him. This is unusual for a shonen protagonist, as some would normally want the opposite of Luffy. For example, Naruto aspires to become his village's hero and Hokage, and seeks acknowledgment as compensation for being ostracized his entire life.
In One Piece, Luffy is a great character judge
Despite his seemingly naive personality, Luffy never judges a person wrongly in One Piece. Although his readiness to trust people such as Nico Robin, Law and even Drake may end up portraying him as gullible, never once has a person who earns his trust failed him. Furthermore, even though others would feel skeptical of his decisions, he has a way of making them trust him. During his discussion with his crew regarding their alliance with the Heart Pirates, Luffy compliments his crew members to manipulate them into supporting his decision.
He knows how to read people and wouldn't trust an enemy. Not only that, Luffy never chooses allies based on their past, profession or allegiance. The fact that he likes Admiral Fujitora further proves that he never distinguishes people based on the world's stereotypes. A pirate respecting a marine is not unheard of, but it's not common either. Furthermore, in the "Wano Country" arc, Luffy easily trusts Drake despite everyone's disapproval -- and it works in his favor as well.
If someone asks Luffy to help them, he won't
The likes of Ichigo or Naruto would try to rescue their friends even when others don't want them to. In Bleach, Ichigo insists on rescuing Rukia Kuchiki, who had come to terms with her fate. Naruto's titular protagonist insists on retrieving Sasuke Uchiha, who had voluntarily left the village in his lust for power. Although these gestures mean well, Luffy has a different thought process in One Piece. Whether it is Nami or Robin, Luffy will take the necessary actions to help his friends -- but he also makes them accept that they want to be saved.
The "East Blue" saga revealed Nami's backstory and, once she realizes Luffy knows about her predicaments, she lashes out and tells him to leave. Luffy does nothing but stand there until she asks him to help her. It's only then that Luffy takes action and promises to save her because she's his friend. Likewise, in Robin's case, Luffy and the Straw Hats infiltrate Enies Lobby and make their way to rescue her.
However, just as everyone is standing at the top of the tower to help Robin, Luffy tells her to first accept that she wants to live and go back to the crew. This may seem like an ordinary statement, but for Robin, it changes her entire world. By accepting her wishes, she is able to break free from past shackles where she'd simply been living for the sake of it.
Luffy does not try to persuade his enemies to change their minds
Luffy has met a lot of mean people over the years. He witnesses warlords attempting to devastate entire nations, pirates inflicting unnecessary harm on innocent people, and even marines attempting to kill his friends. Despite this, he does not impose his beliefs on others, inquire about their motivations, or even attempt to persuade them otherwise. Having said that, he does accept former enemies if he notices a change in their personality. For example, Luffy's first encounter with Bellamy is not pleasant, but when the two reunite in Dressrosa, he does everything he can to support his former foe.
That is only because Luffy notices a change in him and decides to forgive him. Even when the protagonist is fighting the villains, he never uses unnecessary dialogue. In contrast, Naruto would always have extreme conversations with the villains after defeating them. The villains would change their ways and regret their actions after his classic "Talk no Jutsu." Although this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does become somewhat repetitive; it's just another way Luffy and One Piece stand out from their fellow shonen peers.