Will Shanks Be The Final Villain In One Piece?

    If you ask a bunch of One Piece fans who they consider to be the most pivotal influence on Monkey D. Luffy, the protagonist, and his journey through the years? Chances are that all of them will have the same answer. After all, no one boasts quite the array of qualities that Shanks does. Nor the same connection where Shanks set a seven-year-old Luffy on the path of becoming a Pirate. But now, two decades later, Shanks and Luffy stand on the same level, reaching forward for the same goal, which is the treasure of One Piece. But even if One Piece is Luffy’s story, could Shanks be the final villain?

    While Shanks has never been set up as the grand finale opponent of the series, it is easy to see where fans might confuse him as such. In a way, no one has impacted Luffy more than him. Their ideals, their dreams, and even their mannerisms are similar. But that’s exactly why it is impossible for Shanks to come out on top by the end of this since he’s always been more of a background support in raising Luffy up rather than competing with him.

    That’s not to say Shanks is a weakling; of course not. This is the Red-Haired Shanks we are talking about here. A literal legend of the high seas, he is the captain of the Red-Haired Pirate crew and one of the Four Emperors, who are considered to be the most notorious and powerful pirate captains in the world. Shanks can easily go toe to toe with the best of them and emerge victorious. But in the end, that doesn’t negate what his true aim seems to be, which is for Luffy to surpass him. And by that statement alone, we know that Shanks is an ally and not the final villain.

    But why not? It’s always a fun dynamic to see the ‘teacher vs. student’ trope play out. And Shanks is as close to a mentor as Luffy gets. But hey, that’s what we are here to discuss in Character Analysis – where we take your favorite characters from across the Animesphere and break them down to see what makes them so iconic and where their journey is going. Let’s look at Shanks and how he won’t be the final boss!

    Shanks: Luffy’s Childhood Hero!


    For many weebs growing up, One Piece was their life, and Luffy was their hero. So, what does that say about Shanks, who was Luffy’s idol as a child? Luffy considered him the ultimate pirate, which is very high praise.

    Shanks is one of the most powerful characters in the franchise right now, his impact being immense despite very few canonical appearances. 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. Hell, Shanks liked Luffy so much that he gave him his precious straw hat as a sign of his faith that he would become a great pirate. Yes, the hat.

    And ever since then, they have held a deep admiration for one another.

    Shanks Has Always Been Supporting Luffy:


    Despite his influence and power, Shanks has always been more of a support to Luffy than anything. It’s never really been apparent that he had any goals of actively going after One Piece until the most recent chapter happened.

    Instead, it seems more like he’s been setting up things behind the scenes for some sort of outcome he’d like. His saving Luffy all those years ago, along with sacrificing his arm might have been his way of replicating his former captain, Gol D. Rogers, to spread the ambition and courage of a new generation. Same with coming in to end the Marineford War and saving Coby since he can tell that world needs more Marines like him.

    If he actively wanted to go after One Piece, he could have done so at any point after Roger was executed. Chances are that maybe he’s only going after the One Piece now to set up a final trial for Luffy to ensure he’s ready for whatever comes after.

    The Final Boss: It’s A Toss Up Between Blackbeard And Im!

    Redhead Pirates

    Blackbeard and Im are the endgame, period. Blackbeard has always been set up as Luffy’s counter. While both share multiple traits, they also differ in terms of their outlook. For example, Luffy is prepared to die for his ambitions, while Blackbeard tends to cower around or hesitate if significant obstacles present themselves.

    And Im is the ruler of the World Government, which is the overbearing antagonist that’s been present for the entirety of the series. He will probably come into conflict once we find out what the government did in the Void Century.

    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi is a writer, licensed dentist and certified Uchiha fangirl. When she isn't doing root canals or listing down anime waifus, you can find her screeching about her favorite JRPGs across social media.

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