|Ahoy! This here is the 4th Featured Article.
"Shanks" has been featured, meaning it was chosen as an article of interest.
Shanks is a former member of the legendary Roger Pirates, the only pirate band to successfully conquer the Grand Line, starting out his pirate career on said crew as an apprentice alongside Buggy before forming his own crew after Gol D. Roger's death.
Notably, Shanks is the pirate who inspired Monkey D. Luffy to go on his own pirate journey, and his crewmate Lucky Roux found the Gomu Gomu no Mi that was accidentally eaten by Luffy. He also owned the Straw Hat that has become Luffy's signature accessory, having gifted it to the boy as part of a promise for them to meet again someday.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 Relationships
- 3.1 Red Hair Pirates
- 3.2 Roger Pirates
- 3.3 Friends
- 3.4 Enemies
- 3.5 Other
- 4 Abilities and Powers
- 5 History
- 5.1 Past
- 5.2 East Blue Saga
- 5.3 Sky Island Saga
- 5.4 Water 7 Saga
- 5.5 Summit War Saga
- 5.6 Four Emperors Saga
- 6 Major Battles
- 7 Early One Piece
- 8 Anime and Manga Differences
- 9 Translation and Dub Issues
- 10 Other Appearances
- 11 Merchandise
- 12 Trivia
- 13 References
- 14 Site Navigation
Shanks is a tall man (just under two meters), well-built, tan-complexioned, and in the prime of his mid-adulthood. Among the Four Emperors past and present, he stands out as the smallest, most normal-sized by far, the others being various degrees of inhumanly proportioned.
True to his epithet, Shanks has distinctly red hair: usually depicted across media as deep-crimsonish. Worthy of note is that, uniquely among all characters seen so far, even ones with a comparable hair tone, Shanks' hair is the sole one filled with grayscale in the black-and-white manga (instead of inked black or left white). Shanks' first-seen hairstyle was a straight, middle-parted one kept loosely down to nape length, with shorter (at eye level), curtained bangs in the front. In later appearances (at ten years older), he is shown with slightly longer hair, wavier and more slicked back than before except for some few strands he lets fall down the sides of his face, pushed farther sideward than said prior bangs.
On his face resides a secondary trademark: a triple set of parallel, linear scars that pass vertically, at an angle over his left (untouched) eye, revealed to have been given to him by Blackbeard some unknown time before the start of the series. Additionally, Shanks' left arm is missing from below the deltoid, as a result of him saving Luffy from a Sea King when the future Straw Hat captain was just a child. As did his hair, Shanks' face changes as the manga's art style progresses: initially, it appeared more youthful, a soft jawline tapering down to a small, pointy chin. Its features were similarly milder than later depictions and, save for his small nose, also larger, most so his plain black eyes, topped by thin brows. Later appearances show him more markedly countenanced, the square of his jaw, the sharper, narrower pair of eyes, and the chiseled, more prominently bridged nose lending him a manlier appearance. More consistently stays his facial hair, however, as he has always kept it in a neatly thin connection of beard and mustache stubble, forming the beginnings of a circle beard.
Clothes-wise, Shanks used to wear a certain straw hat obtained from Gol D. Roger (his former captain) that was synonymous with his image until he passed it on to Luffy. Otherwise, Shanks' outfit always includes a sweeping long, sleeveless, high-collared cape of black color (in the anime bearing a lighter, gray inside) and beneath a simple, white shirt half-buttoned up, exposing the middle of his chest and upper abs. Additionally, Shanks is always seen wearing pants cut below the knee, collected halfway up the shin. Initially, the pair was a slightly loose, plain-brown one with golden buttons down the outer leg sides, and with a red sash around his waist to keep his shirt tucked inside. Later on, Shanks is seen wearing a different, mildly baggier pair of pants with a green-yellow, indiscernible floral pattern (now revealing plenty leg hair), and his shirt is left out of his sash, which is now shown holding his saber at his right side. Finally, his footwear consists of simple brown sandals, their soles gray-studded. After the timeskip, he is at some point seen wearing different pants yet again, light-colored with a rose pattern.
From 9 to 14 years old, Shanks was already used to wearing Roger's straw hat and had a similar, longish hairstyle in a middle part as his present one. His clothes were simple, including white, either plain or pinstriped shirts, occasionally a buckled shoulder belt of brown leather, an orange waist sash holding a green-hilted saber reminiscent of Gryphon, and simple (red or blue) shorts.
Shanks is an extremely laid-back man, preferring to take his time by traveling around the world with his crew while enjoying himself as opposed to rushing from one place to another. This was already the case in his youth, where he was playful and innocent compared to his grumpy and opportunistic fellow apprentice Buggy. However, he still suffered from occasional bouts of immaturity, starting trivial arguments with Buggy solely out of stubbornness. In many ways, Shanks himself was like Luffy (as a child) in his younger years.
Shanks and his crew are almost always seen partying and drinking alcoholic beverages whenever they make an appearance, as the captain's favorite pastimes are attending and hosting parties and banquets. He is even able to waver the resolve of prominent figures, such as Dracule Mihawk to join in with his fun, as a testament of his strong charisma. Shanks is endlessly fond of parties and will start them for all sorts of occasions (in spite of already having partied a lot beforehand), as he did when he finally met Luffy's brother, Portgas D. Ace.
|— Shanks to Higuma when witnessing him hurting Luffy|
Despite his outward simplicity, Shanks bears a rather complex moral code. His aversion to conflict has led him to believe that if personal opinions conflict, no matter how close the individuals may be, it is better to part. It is indicative that Shanks prefers others to see him as someone who cares little about his own well-being, preferring to laugh off even dire situations as opposed to taking direct conflict. His carefree nature ends however when those under his leadership or protection are threatened, which extends to those he views as friends.
As noted by the Five Elders, Shanks is a pacifist by nature who does not actively seek to cause chaos and disorder. He is also against the idea of needless bloodshed, even if honor is involved, and so far seems to only step up for a fight when a friend is in danger. He also seems to admire those who display extreme bravery for the sake of humanitarian reasons, having protected and commended Koby for gathering his courage to stop the Summit War of Marineford in front of the ruthless Marine Admiral Akainu, as the young Marine believed that it was pointless to continue fighting and treating the wounded should be prioritized.  While Shanks seems to always favor peaceful solutions, he will stand up and fight if the enemy leaves him no choice.
Shanks also has skills in diplomacy, which coupled with his status as one of the Four Emperors, means that his words usually carry a ton of weight for those aware of his reputation. He brokered a ceasefire between the Whitebeard Pirates and the World Government because he knew that joining the fight himself would have tipped it against the Marines. Shanks managed to convince Sengoku, the then Marine Fleet Admiral, to agree with his proposition, even though Sengoku has a strong hatred for pirates.
Despite being calm and brave most of the time, Shanks sometimes reacts in ways that are not always fitting in what others expect from him, a trait noted by Buggy as having "always annoyed him". These include panicking when things go wrong or shrugging off Buggy's angry disposition towards him to greet him in a friendly manner. He also seems to carry something personal regarding Marshall D. Teach deep within him, as when he spoke about his 3 scars to Whitebeard, he became serious about the situation surrounding Teach. Shanks can be surprisingly serious and mature while dealing with certain topics, which runs opposite to his normal, fun-loving persona. It has been noted that he has problems relaxing while in enemy territory, causing his Haoshoku Haki to burst out of his control, even though, outwardly, Shanks appears fine.
Even though he has traveled the world, Shanks believes the best sake can be found in his hometown in the West Blue, indicating a nostalgic streak. During his encounter with Whitebeard, he referred to alcohol as "healing water".
Red Hair Pirates
Shanks gets along with all of his crewmates, and they look up to him with respect as their captain, whom they refer to as “Boss”. Shanks looks out for the well-being of the entire crew, from refusing to take a child (Luffy) onboard his ship to denying permission to take on Whitebeard's men who had insulted Rockstar's honor.
Beckman is the right-hand man of Shanks, thus the man the latter trusts the most. Beckman has a keen understanding of how Shanks operates, telling Luffy about the responsibilities Shanks has to face everyday as a pirate captain. On the other hand, he can still end up amazed by some of the more foolish actions from his captain, such as panicking when Luffy was taken by Higuma or getting even drunker while already hungover after Mihawk brought news of Luffy's new bounty. He is one of the three members of the crew who always appears with Shanks.
Lucky Roux is unquestionably loyal to his captain, quickly shooting one of Higuma's men for having pointed a gun at Shanks' head. He is also one of the three members in the crew who is always seen with Shanks.
Yasopp was the first to join Shanks' crew, who in turn heard stories about the most accurate sniper in the East Blue, having come to Yasopp home island to recruit him shortly after the execution of Roger. Yasopp is happy to fulfill his dream of becoming a pirate and is grateful to Shanks. He is one of the three members of the crew who always appear with his captain.
Rockstar also respects and admires his captain. Although he was a beginner, Rockstar was ready to defend Shanks' honor and dignity while he was on Whitebeard's ship delivering a letter. He also tried to use the strength of his captain to back up the importance of the letter he delivered to Whitebeard. Shanks also had Rockstar cease any attempt at fighting Whitebeard since he didn’t want him to lose his life over foolishness.
Of the Roger Pirates, most relationships between Shanks and the other crewmates remain unknown. However, it has been shown through flashbacks that he would fight with Buggy over just about anything, which led to them being punished by Silvers Rayleigh.
Just like Buggy, he had a close bond with Gol D. Roger, as he was seen crying at Roger's execution and had acquired Roger's straw hat from him as far as the age of eight years old. Shanks appears to still think about him from time to time, as he compared Luffy to Roger when meeting him. After Ace's death, Shanks remarked on how he and Roger were similar in some ways.
Shanks appears to be still acquainted with Silvers Rayleigh, having met with him at Sabaody Archipelago at least once. Shanks told Rayleigh about Luffy, with the retired pirate becoming eager to meet the latter..
Initially, Shanks and the other crew members were not welcoming towards Kozuki Oden, but over time, they warmed up to him. Shanks held Oden in high regard as he wanted to help him make Wano Country open to the world; however, Oden declined the offer. Oden, in turn, referred to Shanks as the first son.
Monkey D. Luffy
Luffy looks up to Shanks, who is his role model, a childhood hero, and the man he wants to eventually surpass. At first, Shanks never took Luffy seriously because he was just a boy, so he mocked Luffy's dreams to become a pirate, dubbing him "Anchor".
Later, as Shanks and his crew were leaving after Luffy stood up for him in front of Higuma and his men, Luffy declared he would become better than him, causing Shanks to begin to treat him seriously. As the ultimate expression of this, he entrusts Luffy with his signature Straw Hat, which is of extreme sentimental value to Shanks (as it belonged to his former captain). There is an understanding between the two that Luffy will return the hat upon him becoming a great pirate, a promise that they have both taken very seriously - Luffy defends the Straw Hat with his life, upon arriving at Marineford, Shanks was not ready to accept the hat back.
Benn Beckman told Shanks that Luffy was going to do something big and impactful, which Shanks confirmed by stating that Luffy reminded him of a younger version of himself. Just as Luffy is currently looking for Shanks, Shanks eagerly awaits the day that he meets up with Luffy. Shanks also sees Luffy as the future of piracy, a belief he was not shy with Whitebeard when discussing his lost arm, and was so delighted at seeing Luffy's first bounty that he threw a party to celebrate, even though he was already suffering from a hangover from getting drunk previously. He expressed his empathetic thoughts for Luffy after helping bury his brother Ace after the war, knowing that it must have been a hard and painful experience for him.
They still have yet to meet each other face to face since Luffy was a kid, but Luffy restated his interest in seeing Shanks again in the New World after departing from Fish-Man Island. Meanwhile, Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates seem delighted at Luffy's growth. Luffy has stated that, in spite of Shanks being his idol, he has interest in taking him down as well, since the red-haired man is one of the Four Emperors and, thus, in his way of becoming Pirate King.
Shanks and Buggy served on the Roger Pirates since their childhood and they constantly fought with each other. Ironically, in their youth, Buggy accused Shanks of being too naïve and innocent to ever make it as a pirate, but Shanks is currently a great pirate while Buggy and his crew are very weak in comparison. Because of Shanks' accidental fault, Buggy lost a treasure map and ate the Bara Bara no Mi by mistake, being unable to swim. Buggy has developed a grudge since then.
However, despite their constant arguing about each other, Shanks did not hesitate to save Buggy after the latter almost drowned, meaning that Shanks at least views Buggy as his friend despite the feeling not being mutual. Shanks also tended to him after the latter fell ill while the rest of the crew went to Laugh Tale, and later wanted Buggy to be part of his crew. Also, in moments where they did not argue with each other, Shanks and Buggy were capable of holding a friendly conversation.
After Roger’s execution, Shanks acted on his promise and offered Buggy a position in his crew, but the latter refused to work for him and went his separate ways, having not met each other for years. Despite their last meeting, it appears Shanks kept tabs on him as he was aware of Buggy’s activities as a pirate. The Marines themselves described their relationship as a "brotherly bond" and Whitebeard himself has noted that the two were always together. Kozuki Oden even wondered about their complex relationship in his logbook, wondering whether Shanks and Buggy saw each other as friends or enemies.
When the two met for the first time in over twenty years, Shanks was able to trick Buggy into giving Luffy the straw hat back with the promise of a false map, showing that Shanks is aware about Buggy's nature and interests. After learning of his deception, Buggy furiously berated Shanks for it, while Shanks himself was calm and greeted him jovially despite Buggy's reaction, indicating that despite their differences, the pair's relationship is still on similar ground to what it was in the past, although Shanks is obviously the only one who has matured. However, he still seems to view Buggy as a friend, since he was able to shrug off the latter's anger and trust him with his precious straw hat.
Ironically, it was partially due to Buggy's association with Shanks (along with several other factors) that Buggy was offered a position as one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea by the World Government. This, however, is a result of inaccurate research from the Marines' part, as their reports greatly exaggerated the friendship aspect of Shanks and Buggy's relationship, leading to the wrongful perception that both pirates were at equal standing to each other.
In Foosha Village, Shanks was close friends with Makino, the bartender of the village. Makino was very caring towards Shanks when Higuma assaulted him. Shanks even offered to help clean up the mess Higuma made, and Makino helped clean off Shanks after Higuma left.
Makino was very grateful toward Shanks for saving Luffy at the cost of his left arm and holds him in high regard, knowing that, despite being a pirate, he is a good person. She even helped Ace learn to thank Shanks for saving Luffy's life.
In the past, they sought out each other on many occasions to duel. Their battles were said to echo through the whole Grand Line. However, Mihawk has given up on trying to fight Shanks after he lost an arm.
Mihawk retains a neutral, though somewhat friendly relationship with Shanks, and can track him down if the need arises. He and Shanks do manage to get along, regardless of their opposite personalities. Shanks was able to get Mihawk to join in when he threw a party to celebrate Luffy's first bounty, even when moments beforehand, Mihawk had scorned how laid-back Shanks was. Mihawk even mused out an apology to Shanks during the battle at Marineford, where he declared that he would not be holding anything back against Luffy right before launching a full-force assault upon the Straw Hat pirate.
When Shanks made his entrance during the Whitebeard War, Mihawk left the battlefield while stating that he agreed to participate in the war against Whitebeard, but fighting "Red-Hair" is beyond the scope of the World Government's orders.
Shanks and Marco met over twenty-five years ago, but did not show any animosity towards each other back then. Marco did note that both Shanks and Buggy have been around for ages as part of the Roger Pirates, indicating that he was already familiar with his rival apprentices for an even longer time.
Marco once regarded Shanks as an enemy due to being a rival of his captain. After Shanks knocked out some Whitebeard Pirates with his Haki, Marco insulted and scolded him for the damage he had done, and even told him to shut up after the Emperor offered him a chance to join his crew.
When Shanks arrived at Marineford to stop the war, he asked Marco to withdraw as to avoid further conflict, threatening the Marines to have his crew join forces with the Whitebeard Pirates in order to protect them. After the battle of Marineford, Marco apologized to Shanks for his previous behavior and genuinely thanked him for ensuring the funerals of both Whitebeard and Ace, finally acknowledging him as something of an ally.
Portgas D. Ace
Shanks was on relatively good terms with Ace, who seemed to greatly respect him primarily for his role in saving his adoptive younger brother, Luffy, from the Lord of the Coast during the incident with Higuma.
After setting out to begin his life of piracy, Ace immediately sought out Shanks to meet the man in person and thank him on Luffy's behalf. Shanks initially thought that Ace came to confront him (he was ready to unsheathe his sword at the Logia user on that very encounter), but immediately warmed up to Ace upon learning of his relation with Luffy, starting a celebration.
Shanks showed some concern for Ace upon learning that he was in pursuit of Blackbeard, and personally sought out Whitebeard to vocally disapprove of this and attempt to persuade him to recall Ace. After the announcement of Ace's execution, it was revealed that Shanks personally intercepted Kaido, another member of the Four Emperors, when the latter attempted to take advantage of the situation by attacking Whitebeard.
It is unknown if Shanks ever found out that Ace was the son of his captain, Roger, before Sengoku made this fact public to the world. However, he has made connections between their personalities and behaviors in retrospect (at the burial site of Whitebeard and Ace), as neither of them would back down when someone they cared for was insulted.
The World Government views Shanks as a problem and a troublemaker, but realizes he is a man who will not try to change the world by himself. However, due to the position he holds, they fear he could get out of hand and are prepared to eliminate him if he ever does. The World Government tolerates his actions until that time comes.
Despite his status as a notorious pirate, Shanks was permitted to meet with the Five Elders at Mary Geoise during the Levely. The Five Elders even allowed him to speak with them in private so he could talk to them about a certain pirate.
Shanks and Sengoku hold some level of respect for each other; even as enemies, both the World Government and Red Hair Pirates see a clash between sides as the final option. When Shanks arrived at Marineford and proclaimed that the pirates would give Whitebeard and Ace proper burials, Sengoku agreed to hand over the bodies and declare the war to be over, as well as take all responsibility himself, which Shanks thanked him for.
Vice Admiral Garp blames Shanks for poisoning Luffy's mind with ideas about being a pirate when he wanted his grandson to become a Marine. As such, the Marine hero holds a grudge against the Emperor.
When Koby was about to be killed by Admiral Akainu for wasting precious seconds of the war by begging for a ceasefire, Shanks defended him and commended Koby for his brief moment of courage, which he stated would change the future of the world for better or worse. Shanks earned Akainu's fury not only for protecting Koby, but because his arrival had allowed Luffy to escape his grasp.
Marshall D. Teach
The one Shanks seems to watch out for the most is Blackbeard, who gave him his three scars in a previous encounter. Shanks himself seems to know the potential danger Blackbeard represents is greater than that of anyone else.
The two first met after a skirmish between the Roger Pirates and the Whitebeard Pirates. Shanks was envious of Teach's rumored inability to sleep. Teach, meanwhile, thought little of Shanks.
At Marineford, the two confronted each other and Shanks addressed Teach in a tense manner. Only Shanks seemed to regard Teach as a significant threat compared to the Marines or the Whitebeard Pirates and their New World subordinate crews. Teach was initially surprised at seeing him again, but was amused at being called out by Shanks before he mocked him for the scars he gave him.
Having already proclaimed "his" era is beginning, unveiling the new members of his crew, and demonstrating control over two Devil Fruits, Teach said he had achieved his goal for the time being, while also knowing he was not ready to face Shanks.
Higuma was a bandit who ridiculed Shanks by breaking a bottle of sake on his head at the Partys Bar, soaking him. Despite such a situation, Shanks laughed carelessly with his crew. Higuma proceeded to torment Shanks once more, leaving the establishment with a negative impression of the pirate.
However, when Higuma returned to the bar some days later and threatened Luffy for defending Shanks, the Red Hair Pirates' captain warned him to leave the boy, saying that he did not care if he were ridiculed himself, but that he would not allow anyone to hurt a friend of his. After that, Higuma kidnapped Luffy, causing Shanks to go after him into the sea, and resulting in Higuma being devoured by the same Sea King that left Shanks without his arm.
Since his time on the Roger Pirates, Shanks would constantly fight with the latter's crew. This made Whitebeard to be familiar with Shanks, since he would always spot him alongside Buggy in their many fights throughout the years.
Despite that being one of the Four Emperors made Whitebeard an adversary, Shanks met with him personally to warn him to keep his distance from Blackbeard. Whitebeard did not seem to care very much for Shanks' opinion on the matter and clashed with him out of pride, although that may have been a false bravado since Whitebeard admitted to his subordinates that he felt a similar dangerous feeling towards Blackbeard.
Shanks also prevented another Emperor, Kaido, from reaching Whitebeard as the old pirate made his way towards the Marine Headquarters, which enabled him to arrive without any hindrance in order to rescue Ace. After Whitebeard's death, Shanks saved Whitebeard's crew and their allies at the final portion of the Summit War of Marineford, and gave Whitebeard and Ace a proper burial sometime later.
Not much is known about the relationship between Shanks and Kaido. When Kaido tried to stop Whitebeard from going to Marineford, Shanks intercepted him to allow the Whitebeard Pirates to rescue Ace. It is not known what happened during their encounter, but Shanks and his crew arrived at Marineford unharmed. Kaido does seem to acknowledge Shanks' abilities, considering him among the few powerful individuals capable of fighting him.
No direct interaction has been shown between the two, but Kid formed an alliance with fellow captains Basil Hawkins and Scratchmen Apoo in order to overthrow him. Kid also confirmed that he lost his arm in an encounter with the Red Hair Pirates.
Abilities and Powers
As a former member of the Roger Pirates, chief of the Red Hair Pirates, and one of the Four Emperors in the New World, Shanks is known to be one of the four strongest pirates in the world. However, not much is known about Shanks' powers and abilities in detail.
Despite being the youngest of the Four Emperors, Shanks is on an equal level with the more experienced Kaido, Charlotte Linlin, and even Whitebeard, who was feared as the strongest pirate in the World. Kaido acknowledges Shanks as one of the very few powerful pirates capable of fighting him. Rockstar also used his captain's name to convey to Whitebeard the importance of the letter he delivered to him. It was also stated by the Five Elders that he is one of the few people capable of stopping Teach. Admiral Akainu fought through many men, a couple of Whitebeard's division commanders, and two former Warlords of the Sea to get to Luffy, but did not challenge Shanks when the Emperor appeared. Members of the Worst Generation such as Eustass Kid, Scratchmen Apoo, and Basil Hawkins had to ally with each other to have a possibility of overthrowing Shanks.
As a member of the Four Emperors, Shanks' name alone commands great power, as Buggy himself proved. His assertion that he previously had a "brotherly bond" with Shanks was one of the many things that earned him respect from the Impel Down inmates. In addition, Buggy did not shy from using the names of Shanks and his previous captain, Gol D. Roger, to maintain his respect among them. Even the fact that Buggy was seen back talking to Shanks was seen as a testament of Buggy's power to the former prisoners, who were not aware that the two had always acted like this and mistakenly thinking that it was because Buggy was not afraid of an Emperor.
Shanks commands enough power to end the war at Marineford with just words. When he stated that there was to be no more fighting, no one stepped up to challenge him, even though the Marines were fired up after the death of Ace and Whitebeard. When Shanks offered to fight the very overconfident and pompous Blackbeard (who moments before had boasted about destroying the island and taking down Fleet Admiral Sengoku and Vice Admiral Garp after having already killed Whitebeard), Blackbeard declined and decided to leave, as it was too soon for him and his crew to take on Shanks. Furthermore, when Shanks requested that Whitebeard and Portgas D. Ace's dignity at death not be violated, Sengoku himself decided to call off the war and offered to take responsibility, showing that despite being a pirate, Shanks has earned Sengoku’s respect, something that no pirate other than the late Whitebeard is known to have achieved.
He also possesses enough influence to gain an audience with the Five Elders, who like the leaders of the World Government would normally consider him an enemy. Although he did have to wear a hood to hide his identity to not cause trouble.
According to Brannew, one of Shanks' greatest attributes is his leadership and charisma, having managed to earn the absolute trust and loyalty of the most talented and capable individuals from the four seas and Grand Line all noted for having particularly high bounties and recruited them into his crew. The most prominent are his officers: Benn Beckman of North Blue, Yasopp of East Blue, and Lucky Roux of South Blue. This made Shanks' crew extremely well balanced and impregnable, able to contend equally with the enormous military power of Charlotte Linlin's Big Mom Pirates, Kaido's Beasts Pirates, and Edward Newgate's Whitebeard Pirates.
Shanks proved to be extremely skilled at infiltration and stealth, as shown when he successfully managed to infiltrate Mary Geoise by wearing only a cloak, a noteworthy feat considering that for most pirates, entering through Mary Geoise without being invited or enslaved is practically considered an impossible and unthinkable feat. He also avoided detection from the many guards and marines present.
Shanks has immense physical strength as he was once a rival to Mihawk, a master swordsman with tremendous power that could overwhelm Zoro in terms of brute force with immense ease. Even with only one arm, Shanks can apply tremendous power to his swordsmanship, able to easily match Whitebeard, a gigantic man who could completely overpower giants and an entire army of powerful and skilled Marine officers. With his physical strength combined with Busoushoku Haki, Shanks could defend against Akainu's magma fist, which has extremely destructive offensive power
Shanks possesses an immense amount of endurance and tolerance to pain. Even after having his arm bitten off by a Sea King that attempted to devour Luffy, Shanks was completely unfazed despite the heavy bleeding and simply used Haoshoku Haki to scare off the Sea King.
Shanks is immensely fast, having intercepted Akainu before he could kill Koby, despite having just arrived at Marineford.
Shanks was also shown to be an excellent swimmer, having once swam deep into the ocean depths to save Buggy from drowning. He is pretty fast at swimming as well, a fact that allowed him to rescue Luffy in the open ocean from a Sea King attack. With the loss of his arm, however, it is unknown if he still retains any swimming skill.
As the former rival of Mihawk, who is known as the world's greatest swordsman, Shanks himself is an immensely powerful swordsman. Shanks could match a blow from Whitebeard with only one arm, which is a testament to his prowess in swordsmanship. Shanks is also powerful enough to easily defend against Akainu's magma fist using only his sword and Busoshoku Haki.
Shanks apparently favored his left arm for combat before he lost it, as he is always seen holding his sword in his left hand during flashbacks. As such, he is presumed to have been left-handed or at least ambidextrious before losing said limb.
- Further information: Haki
Shanks is one of the very small number of people in the world who can use all three types of Haki. Even Whitebeard complimented Shanks for his Haki when he used it on his visit, with Jozu stating it was overwhelming.
Shanks can use Haoshoku Haki, making him one in several million people. His ability to use Haoshoku was first hinted at shortly after his introduction, with him using the intimidation factor of Haoshoku to frigthen off a Sea King with a single angry glare.
While Shanks was boarding Whitebeard's ship for their meeting, dozens of Whitebeard's men (seasoned men able to survive the New World) collapsed into unconsciousness as the ship itself began taking physical damage from Shanks' mere presence, impressing those around.
Shanks' Haoshoku Haki was at least twice as potent as Luffy's by the time of the Fish-Man Island Arc; Shanks could have knocked out all 100,000 of New Fish-Man Pirates opposing the Straw Hats, whereas Luffy did overwhelm only half that.
Shanks has great mastery over Busoshoku Haki. During the Summit War of Marineford, his Haki-infused sword easily blocked Akainu's magma-enhanced punch. which was powerful enough to burn stronger enemies such as Ace, Jinbe, and even the Emperor Whitebeard.
- Further information: Gryphon
Shanks has wielded four different swords at various points in the past aside from Gryphon. He used two different swords during his time as an apprentice pirate aboard Gol D. Roger's ship (one around the time Buggy ate the Bara Bara no Mi and another during a clash with the Whitebeard Pirates) and another one during his stay in Luffy's hometown. He was seen wielding a different sword during his meeting with Ace, which means he obtained Gryphon after the encounter with Ace.
In One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, Shanks wields a large firearm (either a shotgun or rifle) which he uses during certain combos. He also wields a similar weapon in One Piece: Burning Blood, though only as part of the moveset for his Strong World costume.
Video Game Only Techniques
- This Isn't For Show: Shanks pulls out a large shotgun and fires it. Used by Shanks (Strong World) as one of his special attacks in One Piece: Burning Blood. He also uses the said gun as a part of his C2's full-input-finisher and his inverted C3's full-input-finisher in Pirate Warriors 3.
- Betting on a New Era: Shanks charges towards the opponent and knocks them into the air with Gryphon, then pulls out his shotgun and shoots the helpless opponent. This Isn't For Show can be used afterward for a follow-up attack. Used by Shanks (Strong World) as one of his special attacks in One Piece: Burning Blood.
The Apprentice Years
At some point he joined the Roger Pirates. At least 30 years ago, at the age of 9, Shanks, alongside Buggy, was an apprentice of the crew. While reading a newspaper, Shanks was unhappy that it kept focusing on the Whitebeard Pirates. At this point, he was already wearing the straw hat that was given to him by Gol D. Roger.
As a Roger crewmember, Shanks took part in many of the crew's activities.
At least more than 27 years ago, he spent most of his time together with fellow apprentice Buggy, arguing over meaningless things, such as which pole was colder, the North or the South. Their constant bickering was met with annoyance by the crew's first mate, Silvers Rayleigh. Despite the difference between them, both pirates were often seen together while they were on board the ship. This led Whitebeard to notice and even remember seeing a "big nose" with Shanks during their battles with Roger.
Later, the crew spotted a nearby ship and was preparing to attack it. As they prepared for combat, Shanks and Buggy discussed the importance of treasure, with Shanks claiming that treasure was not the only important thing in a pirate's life. During a raid on an enemy ship, while the crew retrieved a Devil Fruit: Bara Bara no Mi, Buggy found a treasure map marking the location of a valuable underwater treasure which he did not plan to share with anyone. After the battle, the crew threw a party in celebration of their victory, and Shanks tried to invite Buggy to join them, as they had found a "weird treasure". That night, Shanks and Buggy talked about what they were planning to do after leaving the crew, and when Buggy claimed that he would gladly take Shanks as his crew member if it were not for his ideals, Shanks stated that he did not want to be Buggy's follower and that people with different beliefs like them should travel different paths. The two of them agreed that they would meet as enemies once they left the crew, but then Shanks told Buggy about how the Devil Fruit they had found, which he noted would sell for around 100,000,000, causing Buggy to modify his scheme so he could obtain and sell the fruit.
The next day, after Buggy ate a fake version of the Devil Fruit to trick the rest of the crew, Shanks came across him with the real fruit, forcing Buggy to hide it in his mouth. Shanks told Buggy to not steal too much food and walked away, but came back to tell him something that Roger just did, surprising Buggy, who accidentally swallowed the Devil Fruit. As Buggy was yelling at him, Shanks noticed the map Buggy had found earlier floating away, which prompted Buggy to leap into the ocean in pursuit of it. However, since Buggy could no longer swim, Shanks also leaped into the ocean in order to save him.
27 years ago, while the crew was being confronted by Golden Lion Pirates, Shanks reminded Buggy not to worry since his body was immune to slashing attacks. Soon after, this battle was known as the Edd War.
At some point 26 years ago, the Roger Pirates were causing a ruckus on an island. After defeating a group of Marines, they learned that the Whitebeard Pirates docked on the other side of the island. The Roger Pirates then clashed with the Whitebeard Pirates for three days and three nights before the skirmish ultimately became a gift exchange. Shanks and Buggy gossiped about Marshall D. Teach's inability to sleep. The Roger Pirates were then joined by Kozuki Oden and his family, as well as Inuarashi and Nekomamushi. At some point, the crew visited Skypiea.
After leaving Skypiea, the crew's voyage took them to Water 7, Tequila Wolf, Sabaody Archipelago, and Fish-Man Island. Sometime later, they left Kozuki Toki, Momonosuke, Hiyori, Inuarashi, and Nekomamushi at Wano Country. Sometime after they visited Zou, Buggy became ill and Shanks stayed with him so they never went to Laugh Tale with the rest of the crew.
After Roger returned from Laugh Tale, Shanks asked Roger something only to shed tears afterwards. 25 years ago, Shanks offered Oden his help to open Wano's border only to be politely declined by him.
After Roger became Pirate King, the crew was disbanded in secret a year before his death. Roger was the first to leave and after parting ways with their captain, the rest of the crew returned Oden to Wano Country. The other members, including Shanks, left the crew one by one.
24 years ago, Shanks was among the attendants during Roger's execution at Loguetown. He cried after his former captain passed away. Later, at the same place, he started making plans for his own pirate career. He offered Buggy to join his crew but the latter refused to work for him and the two went their own way. Shanks would often hear tales of Buggy's activities as a pirate.
The Rise of Chief Red-Haired Shanks
At some point in his life, Shanks encountered Marshall D. Teach again, then a member of Whitebeard's crew. What exactly happened is unknown, but Blackbeard left Shanks with the 3 scars across his left eye. The exact date of that event is unspecified. However, there are signs indicating that those scars were made near the time of Roger's execution: while images of a younger Shanks depict him with his face unscathed, in two flashbacks (in Chapter 434 and Chapter 0), he has his face hidden by his hair and his hat.
Shanks also fought often with Mihawk, and their battles were said to echo through the whole of the Grand Line.
12 years after the Roger Pirates' disbandment, Shanks arrived on Dawn Island, where he met a strange young boy named Monkey D. Luffy. Intrigued by the boy and enjoying the atmosphere of Luffy's village, he decided to make the island his crew's base for a short period of time, which turned into a year. Luffy quickly grew attached to the crew, so much so that he wished to join their ranks and become a pirate as well, but Shanks refused to allow the boy into his crew on the basis that he was too young.
One day, Shanks and his crew were parting in the Partys Bar, with Shanks denying Luffy the opportunity to join his crew because he felt the boy was too young and inexperienced. After tricking Luffy into drinking juice, Shanks told him that he and his crew would be leaving the village after two or three more trips, which Luffy said would give him time to learn how to swim. However, they were interrupted when Higuma and his bandits arrived and demanded sake, which Shanks and his crew had drank all but one bottle of. Shanks offered Higuma the last bottle, but Higuma smashed it over his head because he felt it was not enough. When Shanks tried to clean up the mess rather than retaliate, Higuma threw Shanks' food onto him and left, convinced that Shanks was a coward. Afterward, Shanks and his crew laughed over his humiliation, but Luffy, disillusioned by how Shanks refused to fight back, tried to leave, leading to Shanks discovering that he had eaten the Gomu Gomu no Mi when he grabbed Luffy's arm. Shanks told Luffy that this meant he could never swim again.
A few days later, Shanks and his crew went out to sea, with Luffy being left behind once again. Eventually, Higuma returned and took Luffy as a hostage when the latter insulted him. As Higuma was preparing to kill Luffy, Shanks, having returned, appeared nearby and teased Luffy about his claim of having a punch as powerful as a pistol. Higuma warned Shanks to stay back, and when Shanks began to approach him, one of the bandits put a gun to his head. However, Shanks merely told the bandit to not point a gun at someone to scare them as Lucky Roux shot the bandit in the head, shocking the onlookers. When the other bandits claimed this was dirty, Shanks pointed out how he and his crew are pirates before telling Higuma that he will never forgive someone for harming his friend, no matter what their reasons may be. After Benn Beckman defeated the rest of the bandits, Higuma tried to claim that Luffy is the one who started this, but Shanks stated that it did not matter because Higuma had a bounty on his head, forcing Higuma to throw a smoke bomb and escape. Shanks expressed shock at Luffy having been kidnapped and frantically wondered what they should do.
Soon afterward, Shanks caught up to Luffy, who had been thrown into the ocean by Higuma, and defended him from the Lord of the Coast, whom he scared away with a glare. However, as Shanks was comforting him, Luffy began crying over how Shanks had lost his left arm in defending him, only for Shanks to claim it was just an arm. Later, Shanks and his crew began preparing to leave the village. When Luffy told him that he would become a pirate on his own, Shanks claimed that Luffy did not have what it took to become a pirate, which prompted Luffy to angrily proclaim that he would gather his own crew to rival Shanks' and claim One Piece himself. Smiling at this, Shanks gave Luffy his straw hat and told him to return it once he had become a great pirate, causing Luffy to begin crying. As Shanks boarded his ship, Beckman told him that he believed Luffy would become a well-known pirate, which Shanks agreed with because Luffy reminded him of himself when he was younger.
Return to the Grand Line
Shortly after, Shanks returned to the Grand Line, eventually arriving on the Sabaody Archipelago and meeting Rayleigh again. To Rayleigh's surprise, he had lost his trademark Straw Hat along with his left arm. When Rayleigh asked him why he excitedly started telling him about the young boy he met in East Blue who had spoken the exact same words as Gol D. Roger. Sometime later, Dracule Mihawk ceased dueling with Shanks because of his lost arm but he retained a casual standing with the latter and Shanks told him about Luffy.
Meeting with Ace
At some point, he met Portgas D. Ace, who thanked him for saving his little brother. Shanks quickly became friendly when Ace revealed his association with Luffy and Makino, and threw a party to celebrate.
While talking, Ace told Shanks that he had no intention of becoming Pirate King, but rather wanted to make his reputation spread throughout the whole world. Ace then asked Shanks about the scar on his face, and Shanks replied that he was unsure what the man who gave it to him was doing at the time, not revealing his name. Ace then left, and Shanks and Benn Beckman noted that his Haki was strong enough to melt away the snow while he was there.
East Blue Saga
Sometime later, while Shanks and his crew were relaxing on an island after drinking too much, Mihawk arrived. After stating he had no interest in fighting him again, he showed Shanks that Luffy had gained a bounty of 30,000,000. Seeing Luffy had finally made his emergence, a gleeful Shanks had Mihawk stay as he threw another party despite his hangover from his previous drinking session.
Sky Island Saga
Shanks later expressed an interest in Ace's pursuit of Blackbeard and sent Rockstar to deliver a note to Whitebeard concerning this matter. Angry that Shanks sent him a letter, Whitebeard told Rockstar his captain must come in person and bring plenty of good rum. Elsewhere, Shanks talked on a Den Den Mushi to Rockstar, where he laughed how the old man has not changed a bit and denied Rockstar the chance to redeem his honor against the Whitebeard crew before ordering him to come back. When Beckman questioned whether or not he should go to Whitebeard, Shanks told him that the crew should prepare for battle.
Water 7 Saga
Post-Enies Lobby Arc
|— A member of the Five Elders on how they should deal with Shanks|
After Whitebeard told Rockstar that Shanks would need to come to him in person if he wanted to deliver a message, the two Emperors finally met after the Enies Lobby incident. As Shanks boarded Whitebeard's ship, he used Haoshoku Haki to render the lower-ranking members of Whitebeard's crew unconscious. Having arrived on the deck, Shanks apologized for his actions and claimed he was simply being cautious before telling Whitebeard he came to talk and had brought some "healing water". When Marco pointed out what Shanks had done, Shanks asked him to join his crew, which Marco angrily rejected.
After sitting down to drink with Shanks, Whitebeard began reminiscing about the past, where he noted that Shanks used to be a simple apprentice on Roger's ship. When Whitebeard asked him if the "Red Nose" that was with him was still alive, Shanks revealed that he had not seen Buggy since they split up at Loguetown before revealing that he had heard rumors of Buggy still being a pirate. Whitebeard claimed that he could still hear the duels between Shanks and Mihawk that used to echo throughout the Grand Line before asking him what enemy he lost his left arm too, only for Shanks to state that he bet it on the "New Era".
|— Shanks' statement before clashing with Whitebeard|
Shanks noted that the scars over his left eye were currently aching and revealed that Blackbeard inflicted them before describing how Blackbeard deliberately avoided becoming notorious during his time on Whitebeard's crew. Shanks warned Whitebeard that Blackbeard would come for his position now that he had gained strength and started moving, and when Whitebeard asked him what he wanted him to do, Shanks asked him to stop Ace because he felt it was not the time for he and Blackbeard to fight. However, Whitebeard claimed that he needed to teach Blackbeard about morality and that Shanks was 100 years too early to tell him what to do. After finishing their sake, Shanks and Whitebeard drew their weapons and clashed, resulting in the skies above them splitting in two.
Summit War Saga
Impel Down Arc
As mentioned by Momonga, when Whitebeard began making his move towards Marineford to save Ace, Kaido attempted to take advantage of the situation to attack the Whitebeard Pirates. To the horror of the Marines, reports came in that Shanks had intercepted Kaido, creating a dispute between two of the Four Emperors. While the two captains ended their confrontation with a stalemate, the Marines became greatly anxious about the possible problems that could arise from conflict between the two pirates.
|— Shanks arrives at Marineford|
After the deaths of Ace and Whitebeard, Shanks suddenly arrived at Marineford, just in time to save Koby from being killed by Admiral Akainu. Commending the young Marine for his determination, Shanks told him that he had secured the "seconds of courage" to change the fate of the world with his brave words before proclaiming that he has come here to end the war. The Marines noticed the presence of the other Red Hair Pirates as they wondered how Shanks was able to arrive at Marineford so quickly, having fought with Kaido the day before.
Calling out to Buggy, Shanks told him to give Luffy his straw hat and lied about rewarding him with a treasure map. When Lucky Roux asked him if he was sure that he did not want to see Luffy again after having not seen him for 10 years, Shanks admits he would like to do so before stating that it would be breaking their promise. After Trafalgar Law escaped with Luffy, an enraged Buggy called Shanks out on lying to him, but Shanks merely commented on how it has been a while since they last saw one another.
After ordering Marco to withdraw in order to stop encouraging the battle, Shanks told the remaining Marine and Whitebeard Pirates that he and his crew would fight anyone who wished to continue the war. Shanks asked Blackbeard if he wished to do so, but Blackbeard decided to leave instead, having determined that it is not yet time to face Shanks. Shanks told the remaining Whitebeard Pirates and Marines to save face for him before telling the Marines that he wanted to give Whitebeard and Ace the burials they deserved. When Fleet Admiral Sengoku stated he would hand their corpses over to the pirates and that he would take responsibility for the Marines' actions, Shanks thanked him for doing so.
Later in the New World, the Red Hair Pirates attended Whitebeard and Ace's funeral with the Whitebeard Pirates to pay their respects. Marco thanked Shanks for ensuring that Whitebeard and Ace received proper burials. As he was leaving, Shanks quietly thought about how Luffy was handling Ace's death and noted that one must know both victories and defeat to become a real man.
Four Emperors Saga
From the Decks of the World: The 500,000,000 Man Arc
- Roger Pirates vs. Whitebeard Pirates
- Roger Pirates vs. Golden Lion Pirates
- Shanks vs. Marshall D. Teach (not seen)
- Shanks vs. Dracule Mihawk (multiple times, none seen)
- Shanks vs. Edward Newgate
- Red Hair Pirates vs. Kaido (unseen)
- Red Hair Pirates vs. Kid Pirates (unseen)
Early One Piece
Shanks was first featured in the first pilot of One Piece Romance Dawn, Version 1 in the Shonen Jump specials showcasing upcoming artists, about a year and a half before One Piece began. Much of his storyline remained the same, with the major difference being that Higuma the Bear was absent from the story in this version. Another minor difference was that his arm was bitten off by a shark instead of a Sea King. Shanks himself is described as a Peace Main type of pirate.
In the second pilot Romance Dawn, Version 2 of One Piece (featured in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine itself), Luffy got both his hat and the Devil Fruit he ate from his grandfather, not Shanks. According to Oda, the reason for not featuring Shanks was that he wanted Shanks to be kept a secret until One Piece was serialized so he would have a greater impact.
Unlike Luffy, there was no real significant change in appearance from Romance Dawn V.1 to the final version. Even with the change of art style, aside from being drawn less realistically, he is the same, the only real exception being the absence of his black cloak, although he did wear a decorative short cape over his left shoulder at the end of the chapter.
Anime and Manga Differences
In the manga, when Shanks is floating in the sea holding Luffy after losing his arm, blood can be seen dripping from his missing arm. In the anime, this blood is missing.
In the manga, Shanks gives Luffy his straw hat on a flat surface. In the anime, he gives it to him on the stairs of the port. This is changed later in special episodes.
The initial scene where Shanks meets Mihawk was very small in the manga. The anime extended this scene greatly. In the manga, Shanks asks Mihawk if he would join them in celebrating while in the anime, Mihawk is seen joining in Shanks' fun.
Secenes of Shanks meeting Ace are extended, showing them celebrating a party.
After the Marineford war, Shanks' flashbacks of Luffy were extended and some of Buggy's were shown. Also, as the narrator talked about the war, scenes of Shanks inspecting Ace and Whitebeard's corpses were shown.
Translation and Dub Issues
Shanks is officially styled as the "Chief" (大頭 Ōgashira?) of the Red Hair Pirates. However, this is commonly rendered as simply "captain" in various translations. Viz Media used "captain" or "cap'n" previously, but switched to "chief" with the release of Chapter 957.
In the book The Anime Encyclopedia - A guide to Japanese animation since 1917 (2001), there was a short article about One Piece. In it there were two mistakes concerning Shanks; his name is written as "Junx" and he was written to have been saved by Luffy instead of the other way round. Of all these errors, the name "Junx" would remain in several revisited editions of the book.
Shanks is mostly the center of the removal of alcohol-related alterations in the English dub by 4Kids. For example, the scene where Mihawk brought news of Luffy's coming suffered heavy cuts. Shanks still asks Mihawk to stay, but much of this scene was removed because of the alcoholic references, including references to him throwing a party to celebrate Luffy's coming. Thus, Shanks' fun-loving nature was lost, and instead, it depicted him with an evil tone; as Mihawk shows him Luffy's wanted poster, Shanks says that he can not let him leave, and the ensuing party was cut out due to the use of alcohol, leaving viewers to assume Mihawk's fate. Also, the scene was cut from its original episode and added at the end of a much earlier episode.
In the process, many other scenes from the original episode were also cut from the 4Kids version and never shown, such as the scene showing Kaya and Luffy's hometown.
He also speaks with an Australian accent in the English 4Kids dub.
Cameos and Crossovers
- Shanks has appeared in the game Jump Ultimate Stars for the Nintendo DS.
- Shanks starred in the Mugiwara Theatre - Red-Hair of Class 3 - Sea Time written and drawn by Oda. The strip was done after he claimed first place in a poll for characters fans wanted to see appear in the Mugiwara Theatre series.
- A Japanese coast guard vessel, pretending to be a pirate ship during an exercise was caught on video using Shanks' Jolly Roger.
He was issued alongside Luffy and the Lord of the Coast in a One Piece Block Figures set featuring the Straw Hats and their past mentors/loved ones. He has featured in One Piece Gashapon sets. Another Gashapon set he featured in was the One Piece Full Color R Gashapon series. There was also a Plushie released for him. He was also featured in the Portrait of Pirates series.
A note with many of the products produced featuring Shanks is that quite of few of them have a second arm hidden beneath his cloak (sometimes blackened out).
- One Piece: Pirates Carnival
- One Piece: Gigant Battle
- One Piece: Dance Battle
- One Piece: Great Pirate Colosseum
- In the anime, when Ace meets Shanks, it can be seen that Shanks still has both arms, even though he lost his left arm to the Lord of the Coast. This however, appears to be an error. This is corrected in the home release of the episode.
- Shanks has several traits that separate him from the other Emperors:
- Shanks is the only Emperor confirmed to have not eaten a Devil Fruit yet.
- Shanks is the only Emperor who is not an Admiral of a Fleet.
- Shanks is the only member of the original Four Emperors to not have been a member of the Rocks Pirates.
- Shanks is the only member of the original Four Emperors to not wear a tattoo.
- Shanks is the only Emperor confirmed to have not been born in the Grand Line, hailing from the West Blue instead.
- In Shanks' bounty of 4,048,900,000, the 4-8-9 can be read as shi-ya-ku (シヤク). This could refer to his given name "Shanks" (シャンクス Shankusu?).
- Shanks is the first character in the series to use Haoshoku Haki.
- During Oden's flashback, Shanks is depicted with a more childish design and voice despite it taking place some years after other flashbacks where Shanks is depicted with a more mature design and his adult voice.
- In the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Japanese fan polls of most popular characters, he was ranked the 3rd, 7th, 11th, 8th, 14th, and 11th, respectively. Making him the most popular of the Four Emperors in each, and being in the first two the most popular character outside the members of the Straw Hat Pirates.
- In One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 and One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, Shanks' taunt action allows him to put on sunglasses, which is a reference to his Strong World costume.
- Shanks' favorite foods are kimchi fried rice and lobster.
- According to Oda, Shanks is the one character that resembles himself the most out of all the One Piece characters, because of his cool and calm personality and stand-out attire.
- In reference to Shanks and Buggy's "which is colder" question, a fan asked Oda who got it right. Oda went on to explain that the Arctic was just a mass of ice and the Antarctic was a continent, which was made of land. Since land is colder than the sea (and the Arctic is frozen sea whereas the Antarctic is frozen land), Shanks was correct and the South Pole is colder.
- If a child asked Shanks for the Gomu Gomu no Mi, he would tease them about being ten years too young to eat one.