Nami is the first member of the Straw Hat Pirates to appear in the anime series, but the third to appear in the manga. Likely one of the best navigators currently sailing the Grand Line, Nami acts in the roles of treasurer and quartermaster as well.
Along with Nico Robin, Tony Tony Chopper and Usopp, Nami is one of the smartest of the Straw Hats and the third smartest character during the East Blue saga according to Oda, the first being Ben Beckman of the Red-Haired pirates and the second being Captain Kuro. She is an excellent navigator and has the ability to recognize and analyze even the slightest changes in the weather through sheer intuition, thus saving the ship and the crew from the very unstable Grand Line weather on multiple occasions.
Her two favorite things are money and mikan (mandarin oranges, a symbol of prosperity and wealth in Japan), often translated to tangerines (the English manga uses "tangerines"), because of her love of her foster mother, Bellemere.
Nami's dream is to draw a perfect map of the world, a task not yet accomplished by anyone due to the harsh nature of the oceans in the Grand Line. The first map Nami plotted was the island Cocoyashi village at the age of 8.
Nami has a tattoo on her left shoulder which represents mikan and pinwheels (a homage to her past), where she used to have a tattoo representing her membership in Arlong's Crew. Near the beginning of the series, Nami wore thick, low cut leather boots and a simple blouse and a mini-skirt. However, during the Arlong Park arc and thereafter, Nami wore open-toed shoes and more revealing outfits (With the tattoo no longer being a secret). She usually pairs her tops with miniskirts with rings on them. Her boobs have increased in size as the story progresses(according to Oda, this is because she is only 18 and still in her "growth phase").
The author has also replied to a fan's question to saying that Nami's measurements are as follows:
Height 169cm (5' 6½ in).
Dress size (B95 W55 H85) 32DD-22-33.
Oda has also said that Nami resembles a cat, that he uses the color orange to represent her, and she smells of mikan and money. Also, Oda has stated that Nami's favorite foods are oranges and all fruits.
Her nickname, "Cat Burglar", comes from "dorobō neko", which can also mean "manstealer" in Japanese. Due to the 4Kids adaption many items of her merchandise used "Nami the Navigator", instead of just "Nami".
In the original pilot for One Piece, Romance Dawn: Version 1, there was a character called Silk, who was the daughter of a pirate and also abandoned when she was young. Appearance wise, Silk was almost exactly like Nami in both face and dress, although Silk had much longer hair. While some aspects of her personality were close to Nami's, she was still very different.
In Romance Dawn: Version 2 there was another Nami-like character called Ann. Ann, like Silk, had clothes similar to Nami's. Ann's personality was much closer to Nami's, but it was still a long way off from the one Nami was ultimately given by Oda.
Powers and abilities
Nami is a highly skilled navigator and cartographer. She has the innate ability to sense changes in the weather and can even predict the appearance of the supposedly unpredictable cyclones of the Grand Line. She often claims that she feels a change in atmospheric pressure when predicting the weather. She is also an excellent thief and pickpocket who can steal small items such as keys on light encounters without the victim noticing.
Nami is not as skilled a combatant as some of the Straw Hats, although she is able to wield a staff, and can take down normal pirates or marines with few problems. She is able to unleash quick and moderately powerful strikes, and during the Arabasta arc and beyond, uses a weather manipulating staff Usopp created for her, the Clima Tact, to fight. At first, the weapon was actually partly used for party tricks, but using certain combinations, Nami turns the tomfoolery of Usopp into a deadly force. In the 4kids dub of the show, the Clima Tact was re-named "The Weather Forcer," and in the English manga it is called the Climate Baton.
Nami was given a Dial enhanced Clima-Tact, the "Perfect Clima-Tact" which doesn't seem to able to use Tornado Tempo, by Usopp. The new weapon was powerful enough to wipe out an entire group of soldiers.
Some common techniques include Thunderbolt Tempo/Tempest (using Heat and Cool Balls, a cloud is formed, and by sending a Thunder Ball in, a huge bolt of lightning is summoned) and Mirage Tempo/Tempest (by manipulating the heat of the surrounding, Nami can create illusory copies of herself, which is further augmented by the Perfect Clima Tact's Mirage Tempo Fata Morgana). However, these illusions are not perfect as they create different looking Namis: a normal one, a tall and skinny one, a muscular one, a short and fat one, and a child. Despite this, the real Nami could be any of these, further confusing the opponent.
In the past, Nami has defeated Miss Doublefinger, the strongest female in Baroque Works after Nico Robin. She also defeated Hotori and Kotori, and helped Luffy defeat Buggy. She helped Luffy defeat Foxy and Porche by using Thunderstorm Tempo to create rain. One of her greatest achievements in battle was defeating the CP9 agent Califa.