With Eichiro Oda, who is the mangaka for the world-famous manga, One Piece, stating that the story is entering its final stages, fans are getting riled up. We’ve been following the story of Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirate crew for more than two decades now. So, to imagine that soon, it might all come to an end is both jarring and extremely exciting. Though there are probably still years until Oda-san publishes the final chapter on this amazing saga, fans are already wondering what amazing moments remain to be seen. One theory, in particular, involves fan-favorite Shanks.
While I don’t think Shanks and Luffy will ever face head-on as enemies, I do think they might compete against one another in a more amiable setting instead. Face it, Shanks and Luffy have too much history of antagonizing each other. Shanks had always been more of a background character, one whose influence and planning helped to give Luffy a better chance. I just can’t imagine Shanks betraying him, you know. Challenging him, sure, but never as a foe.
But it would be a fight to behold if it happens. Shanks is Luffy’s icon, the one who kickstarted his journey into Piratehood all those years ago when Luffy was just seven years old. The wisdom and passion he imparted on younger Luffy are lessons that he holds dear to this day. And that wasn’t the only thing he left him with. Let’s remind ourselves that Luffy’s iconic straw hat was a gift from Shanks too. They have an extremely close bond; one made up of mutual respect and admiration.
However, that bond doesn’t mean we can’t have a little friendly competition! In a fight between the two, who would come out on top? That’s what we’re here to figure out in a segment I like to call Character Versus! This is where we take two popular characters from anime and pit them against one another to see who would have the upper hand in a fight. Today is a classic one; it’s the disciple vs. the mentor with Luffy and Shanks!
Shanks: The Red-Haired Menace Of The High Seas!
Before Shanks became one of the Four Emperors, a faction made up of four of the most terrifying and infamous pirate captains worldwide? He was a crewmate on the Roger Pirate crew, which was spearheaded by the Pirate King himself, Gol D. Roger. After the crew disbanded, Shanks went on to form his merry band known as the Red-Haired Pirates.
The two first encountered each other in Luffy’s hometown of Foosha Village when he was a child, in awe of Shank’s wayward lifestyle as a Pirate. And since then, Shanks has always been more of a support to Luffy than anything. But after the two departed, Luffy grew up, and Shanks went on his way to become one of the most fearsome pirates around,
Shanks is one of the most powerful characters in the franchise right now, his impact being immense despite very few canonical appearances. Not only is he overwhelmingly strong and a skilled swordsman, but he also happens to possess one of the rarest forms of spiritual energy manipulation, aka the Conqueror’s Haki. The person bestowed with Conqueror’s Haki is said to have the qualities of a king, being known as Supreme Rulers.
So, if Luffy is fighting a renowned man, he needs to bring the big guns!
Monkey D. Luffy: The Plucky Protagonist!
Luffy fighting his childhood hero is something to consider here. Like, I’m not saying it won’t be immensely fun. But it’s also unlikely. However, let’s pretend they do. What is Luffy bringing against the Red-Haired Shanks?
Well, besides the obvious strength and durability he boasts, Luffy is the sole consumer of the Gum-Gum fruit, which gives his body the ability to manipulate itself like rubber. However, the Wano arc revealed that this specific Devil Fruit hides way more power. Its real name indicates how it presents its consumer with near God-like powers.
And then, of course, there is the Haki. Luffy is one of the rare people worldwide that has awakened to all three types of Haki. Compare this to Shanks, and, well, there isn’t much competition.
Winner: By Shonen Logic Alone, It’s Luffy!
Look, this is a Shonen, after all. If you expected anything different, you were wrong. Luffy would defeat Shanks easily, especially considering his reaching Yonko status. But furthermore, Shanks would want that.
Shanks has always worked towards the goal of having Luffy surpass him in skill. And that’s how he’s orchestrated everything behind the scenes, with the sole purpose of helping Luffy reach his fullest potential.
So, if this mystical showdown between the two happens, my money’s on Luffy!