| Ahoy! This here is the 132nd Featured Article.
"Shimotsuki Ryuma" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
- This article is sometimes romanized as Ryouma.
Ryuma was a samurai from the Wano Country in the New World who died and was made into a General Zombie by Hogback. He is the same Ryuma from Oda's previous one-shot manga, Monsters. His corpse previously possessed Brook's shadow to animate him during the Thriller Bark Arc.
He possessed black hair which was tied in the end with a topknot. He also wore a simple khaki samurai gi and simple zōri sandals. His facial characteristics are similar to that of Roronoa Zoro.
As a zombie, Ryuma is slightly shorter than Brook. He has several bandages covering part of his skull face. He has no eyes and no nose. Ryuma wore a samurai gi with intricate designs more detailed than his original garb. He also wore geta instead of the zōri sandals of his past life. He has a blue stomach band, but with a different design. He also wears a blue scarf that covers part of his mouth, and his sword at his side. His black hair was also replaced with white hair. It probably turned white with age while he was still alive. According to Hogback, Ryuma's flesh is apparently special.
- Further information: Monsters
In life, Ryuma followed a strict personal philosophy centered around justice and honor. Ryuma strongly believed that saving a life was a debt that must be repaid by those with virtue, and that repaying this debt was the way of a true swordsman. To this end, Ryuma would occasionally follow the request of someone he owed almost blindly, even when it would otherwise contradict his other beliefs. He also believed that a battle should be measured by what was protected, rather than how much fame is gained.
As a swordsman, Ryuma had a peculiar habit. Whenever someone touched their sword sheath with his, even by accident, Ryuma would immediately take this action as a form of challenge for a duel to the death. This behavior stems from Ryuma's belief that the sword is the swordsman. Despite his honorable intentions, this habit would get him into needless and bloody confrontations. It appears he was considered a hero in the Wano Country, as Kin'emon stated the country was in distress after his body was grave robbed.
Ryuma, having heard the reputation of "King", hoped to one day fight against him. He believed that this King must hold a great "Warrior's Soul" who would make a worthy adversary. The irony however, is that he himself was "King". Because the name, "King", was given to him by the people he saved, he unfortunately did not know it himself.
Ryuma also had poor money management skills. Because of this, Ryuma would often unfortunately find himself penniless and hungry for days.
As a zombie, Ryuma has many of the same mannerisms as Brook, from Brook's perverted nature to the distinct "Yo ho ho" laugh, as well as jokes based on his undead body. This similarity exists because he has Brook's shadow animating his samurai corpse, and as shown in the Thriller Bark arc, a zombie gains many personality traits of the person whose shadow was used to reanimate it.
Though Ryuma has Brook's core personality, he possesses a slightly different outlook on things. He has abandoned his past as a part of Brook, and every memory connected with it. Thus, for example, while Brook cherishes his afro, Ryuma sees it only as an eyesore. Ryuma also sees it as a weakness of Brook's to be exploited in their duel. He also has a decidedly sadistic streak, behaving quite cruelly towards his "former master" Brook, seeming to enjoy inflicting both physical and psychological pain as well as toying with him in combat when he could have won quickly and easily, being the far more powerful of the two. He seems to retain a fondness for battle that is more in line with his body's samurai origins. He is more like Zoro than Brook in this respect. He felt deep shame about himself after being defeated by Zoro.
Abilities and Powers
Ryuma was a swordsman of great skill. In life, his swordsmanship skills resembled a mix of Japanese style Kenjutsu and Battojutsu. His skill with the sword was so great that he was capable of slicing through copper, and also easily defeated Cyrano, a first-rate swordsman, and a dragon (the latter of which made him a legend) with little effort. Ryuma was also a very fast runner with high endurance, capable of jumping from great heights (as shown by his landing after slaying the dragon in mid-air); these skills allowed him to sustain no injuries after his battle in Monsters. He was renowned as the strongest swordsman of his time. Due to this, as well as his strong belief in protecting others, Ryuma was also called "King," the swordsman who carries the world's greatest "Warrior's Soul."
- Further information: Fencing Style
As a zombie that possesses Brook's shadow, Ryuma is able to perform all of Brook's techniques. However, because Ryuma has a much more powerful body, the effects of the techniques are amplified to a much higher level. The difference between the two is large enough that Ryuma could defeat Brook with only a fraction of his full strength. In addition to Brook's usual skills, Ryuma has the "Power of Destruction" (破壊力 Hakairyoku?), a product of his superhuman strength. Because of this immense power he can cut things at a distance with the air from his swing (much like Zoro's 36 Pound Cannon), cut an entire building in half, and destroy an enemy's sword after just a few clashes, all things that Brook cannot do. As Brook noted, a battle between two users of the "power of destruction" such as Zoro and Ryuma will always end quickly.
At some point in time of his life, Ryuma came to possess a sword called Shusui, one of the 21 Great Swords. It is distinguished by its black blade and flower-shaped guard. The sword remained with him even after he died. After Zoro defeats Ryuma, Ryuma gives the sword to him in hopes of satisfying the sword.
Before obtaining Shusui, Ryuma used a sword with guard similar to Yubashiri. He used this sword during his famous fight against the dragon.
In life, Ryuma was a famous samurai from Wano Country in the New World. He was renowned for killing a dragon. His exploits against this beast was covered in Oda's earlier work, Monsters, as the main protagonist. The events of this tale happened long ago in an unspecified place, and unspecified point in time in the past of the current story.
At the beginning of this oneshot manga, Ryuma is kicked out of a restaurant, as he is unable to pay for his meal. In another restaurant, a waitress, Flare, recognizes the famous swordsman Cyrano, who she claims to have encountered before. Their conversation is interrupted by Ryuma staring trough the window at Cyrano's meal, his stomach rumbling audibly. After Flare gives him something to eat, Ryuma explains that this has been his first meal in five days, and offers his gratitude to the young waitress. When Cyrano leaves the restaurant, the sheath of his sword accidentally touches Ryuma's, which the samurai takes as a heavy insult. He challenges Cyrano to a duel - to the death. Right before the fight begins, Flare tells Ryuma to stop. Much to the onlookers surprise, he follows her order immediately. At the same time, another swordsman called D.R. arrives at the city.
Later on, Ryuma sits at the bar, learning from the bartender the story of Flare's hometown. Seven years ago, the village in the mountains Flare lived in was suddenly attacked by a huge dragon. The only survivors were Flare and Cyrano, who saved the girl from the flames of the burning village. After listening to her story, Ryuma says he's gained a great respect for Flare, and thinks of her as a very brave girl. He then proceeds to chat with the bartender about "King", who is supposed to be the greatest swordsman alive. Ryuma expresses his intention of fighting "King" one day, since he believes "King" has the soul of a real fighter. After finishing his meal, Ryuma decides to continue travelling.
As he is walking down the street, Ryuma's sheath again knocks against another's - the sheath of D.R. As Ryuma calls the man out for touching his sword, D.R. cries out, and accuses Ryuma of stabbing him. Ryuma denies this, but the crowd turns against him; and D.R. further accuses him of wanting the Dragon Horn in his possession. He blows the horn, in order to summon a dragon and destroy the whole town. The surrounding crowd blames Ryuma for their misfortune, and is turning violent when Flare appears. Much to Ryuma's surprise, she slaps him in the face and calls him a murderer for causing the situation. Ryuma still doesn't appear to comprehend the situation at all, and refuses to take responsibility. Cyrano, appearing on the scene, confirms that the horn is real; and expresses his intention to fight with the dragon on his own, despite Flare begging him not to.
Later on, most the town's inhabitants have fled, leaving only Flare and Ryuma talking in the restaurant. Ryuma doesn't understand why Flare is so frightened, since Cyrano is supposed to be a really good swordsman. Flare, haunted by her memories, storms off in order to stop Cyrano, and Ryuma follows her outside. As he catches up with her, and they begin arguing again, Ryuma suddenly freezes in shock, and tries to prevent Flare from turning around. When she ignores him, the two of them see Cyrano and D.R. loot the town.
As Ryuma and Flare listen from hiding, they overhear that Cyrano and D.R. were partners from the start, and that they tricked Ryuma into taking the blame for the dragon. The duo mention that they were also responsible for the attack that happened seven years ago that destroyed Flare's village. As Ryuma and Flare hide behind a house, Flare tells him that staying any longer would be suicide, as a dragon has been summoned regardless, and will still destroy the town. She begs him to immediately leave the town, and returns to her house, breaking down in tears. Ryuma, who followed her and witnessed her tears and screams from outside, runs off to confront Cyrano and D.R.
When he faces the two criminals, Ryuma explains that he knew someone who would knock against another warrior's sword so thoughtlessly could never have a true fighter's soul. Cyrano mocks him, and finally attacks, only for Ryuma to kill him with one strike. D.R., frightened by this turn of events, pleads for his life by offering Ryuma the Dragon Horn, which can stop the dragon from destroying the town. Ryuma just tells him that he is not an inhabitant of this town and draws his sword. As the dragon arrives, Flare sits on a rooftop, preparing to die together with the town, when she sees Ryuma confronting the dragon. The samurai jumps from a building, and beheads the beast with one mighty swing.
As Ryuma leaves the town after the battle, he meets Flare again. When he passes her, he tells her to stop thinking about dying, and that he believes dying isn't fun at all. When Flare asks him why he isn't famous for his strength, he just explains that reputation isn't important in a fight, but what you are protecting is. Later on, as the inhabitants of the town return to their houses, Flare learns from the bartender that Ryuma is actually the swordsman called "King", and that this name was given to him by those he had saved. He is believed to be the world's best swordsman.
It is not known what happened to Ryuma afterwards, except that he died from an unspecified sickness. From the look of his zombie, he lived long enough for his hair to go grey.
The tale of his fight against the dragon became legendary and was passed down the generations. Even up to the current storyline, people still remember him as "The Greatest Hero of Wano Country."
Life as a Zombie
Five years ago, a skeleton named Brook came to Thriller Bark. He was captured and with the use of Moriah's Devil Fruit powers, his shadow was stolen and implanted into Ryuma's corpse. Ryuma then became a zombie under the command of Absalom and foremost Moriah. After Brook was set adrift at sea, he returned to the island in search for his shadow. After causing some problems on the island, Brook came across Ryuma who possessed his shadow, and while they shared the same techniques, Ryuma had the stronger body and was able to best Brook at his own fighting style. Knowing that he could not kill Brook (because if the original owner of the shadow is killed, their shadow is destroyed and the zombie becomes a lifeless corpse again), Ryuma let Brook go with a broken skull. Ryuma then continued his duties as a Zombie General for the next five years. While Brook trained himself during that time in order to defeat Ryuma, Ryuma grew as well in strength since he possessed the skeleton's shadow.
Thriller Bark Saga
The Arrival of the Straw Hats
While apparently doing his rounds on the night the Straw Hats came to Thriller Bark, Ryuma decided to chase after Usopp, Nami, and Chopper after they were chased out of Hogback's room by a Jack in a box. He caught up to them while they were peeking on Hogback making his latest creation in his lab. He then knocked them inside with what appeared to be a slash.
Ryuma was then ordered by Hogback to do away with the three. He then knocked Usopp, Nami, and Chopper away with a single move that was so fast that they did not even realized they were attacked. Only when Ryuma walked ten feet away to converse with Cindry and the three tried to escape did they realize they were attacked.
Later, while sitting down and drinking tea in Hogback's lab, Ryuma is confronted by Brook. The skeleton then challenges Ryuma to a duel. After several bone shattering strikes, Ryuma easily defeats Brook with his own style. Ryuma then grabs Brook's afro and decides to cut it off as a final blow towards the skeleton. However, just before Ryuma could cut off the afro, the entire island suddenly shakes and makes Ryuma lose his grip on the afro. Franky then arrives in the lab to tend to Brook. Ryuma, upon regaining his balance, attacks both Franky and Brook. However, before it hits is mark, Zoro blocks Ryuma's attack and challenges him to a fight in Brook's stead.
After a pre-battle dialogue between the two, in which Zoro stated that he will take Ryuma's sword, both Ryuma and Zoro began battling against each other. As the battle raged, Ryuma performed a thrusting technique with his sword which blew a hole in the wall like a gun. This was countered by Zoro with a technique that was able to slice through the wall behind Ryuma. The battle then intensified between the two of them, Hogback's lab could not take the damage and the entire room caved in.
Escaping from the wreckage before the structure gave way, Ryuma and Zoro continued their battle on the roof. The rooftop battle was viewed by both Brook and Franky, who had also escaped onto the mansion's roof. As Ryuma and Zoro continued battling, the two found themselves facing each other on top of two ledges with only the top of the roof between them. With a mighty slash, Ryuma cut through the entire roof with his blade. Zoro however, dodged the attack and, using the airborne slashed part of the roof as a ramp, launched an attack from above at Ryuma. Ryuma likewise jumped towards Zoro. In a scene that greatly resembled Ryuma's triumph against the dragon in his previous life, Ryuma was slashed in mid-air by Zoro. From the wound, Ryuma was set aflame. Ryuma then landed on top of the roof while Zoro fell, looking as if he was defeated by Ryuma.
Set aflame, Ryuma accepted defeat and decided to give Zoro his sword, heavily believing that the soul of the sword would be most satisfied to serve under the man who defeated its preceding owner. With the corpse burning, the zombie spoke his final words as it burnt to ashes:
With the corpse housing it destroyed, Brook's shadow rejoined its rightful owner. This made the skeleton rejoice completely. Zoro then replied that it was alright that the zombie lost as long as he was ashamed. Zoro stated he would have liked to have known Ryuma while he was still alive and accepted the samurai's sword as a gift of honorable defeat. Zoro however, praised the zombie. Even while it was dying, it still retained the honorable spirit of a swordsman. Zoro stated that he will just pretend the fight he had with the samurai's desecrated corpse never happened.
- Ryuma vs. Cyrano (1st battle)
- Ryuma vs. Cyrano (2nd battle)
- Ryuma vs. D.R.
- Ryuma vs. The Dragon
- Ryuma vs. Brook (1st battle)
- Ryuma vs. Brook (2nd battle)
- Ryuma vs. Roronoa Zoro
- His samurai gi has the kanji "Ryū" (龍? "Dragon") on its sleeves, most likely a reference to the dragon he killed in the past.
- Ryuma's zombie is the only one of Gekko Moriah's zombies that is defeated in a way other than being purified with salt. Instead, he is set on fire, causing his body to be cremated, thus disembodying Brook's shadow.