Yoru is an ornately decorated and very long blade with a total length of at least 7 feet, as it is seen to be at least a full head taller than Mihawk himself (who is 6'6", or 198 centimeters) when it is placed on his back. On the hilt of this blade is a crossguard, though the bars between the blade and the hilt are much longer than average. The blade itself is pitch-black with a very strong sheen, and its shape is similar to the German "Großes Messer", a single-edged long sword with a slight curve at the end of the blade. Overall, Yoru looks like a large black cross.
Yoru does not possess a sheath, so Mihawk simply keeps it strapped to his back when not in use.
Mixed with Mihawk's abilities, Yoru has tremendous power, as it was seen destroying Don Krieg's flagship with a single strike. While Yoru is the sharpest blade in the world, it is also gentle. This was demonstrated when Mihawk deflected the course of bullets that were aimed at him with only a slight touch of the sword. He can also launch a massive slashing attack of compressed air or energy that can reach at an extremely long distance, sending spiraling waves at the opponent at pinpoint accuracy, and capable of slicing a mountain of ice from afar.
Although Mihawk does not name any of his attacks in the mainstream of the series, there are several specific attacks he has used during the series that are named in various video games. Below is a description of the variety of attacks shown.
- Kokuto Issen (黒刀一閃 Kokutō Issen?, literally meaning "Black Blade Brandish/One Flash"): Mihawk swings his blade to launch an invisible Flying Slash Attack, which is able to cut everything in his path, making a powerful long-range slice. A vertical version of this attack was first seen to cut Don Krieg's ship in half and a horizontal version was then seen in attempt to attack Luffy, but missed, slicing a giant mass of ice instead. This attack is unnamed in anime and manga, named only in Gigant Battle.
- Kokuto Arahoshi (黒刀荒星 Kokutō Arahoshi?, literally meaning "Black Blade Savage Star"): Mihawk jumps, standing on his sword, and descends to impale his opponent. It was first seen being used against Luffy. This attack is unnamed in anime and manga, named only in Gigant Battle. A variant of this attack is part of Mihawk's moveset in Pirate Warriors.
- Kokuto Saku (黒刀朔 Kokutō Saku?, literally meaning "Black Blade First Day"): A counter technique. Mihawk awaits his opponent's next attack holding his Black Blade with two hands over his back. Once the enemy attacks, Mihawk counterattacks quickly with a powerful downward slash. It was first seen attempting to be used against Luffy's Gomu Gomu no Jet Bazooka, but Luffy realized that if he attacks Mihawk, his arms would be cut off and thus directed his attack to the ground, making Mihawk unable to counterattack. This attack is unnamed in anime and manga, named only in Gigant Battle.
- Kokuto Kogetsu (黒刀弧月 Kokutō Kogetsu?, literally meaning "Black Blade Arc Moon"): Mihawk attacks with his Yoru at great speed. This technique seems to be more powerful than a normal slash of the sword as it emits some kind of cutting air (but not enough to cover great distances). This was first seen against Luffy. This attack is unnamed in anime and manga, named only in Unlimited Adventure, Unlimited Cruise, and Gigant Battle.
- Chi o Hau Zangeki (地を這う斬撃 Earth-Crawling Slash Attack?): Mihawk makes a downward swing to launch Flying Slash Attack that travels at great speed through the ground. This attack is able to cut through steel with ease and rapidity. It was first seen used against Luffy but was blocked by Mr. 1, who receives all of the damage instead, breaking his steel body in just seconds. This attack is unnamed in anime and manga, named only in Gigant Battle.
- Mihawk launches a massive Flying Slash Attack (even longer than the Moby Dick) towards his opponent, capable of cutting through massive amounts of ice, and supposedly much more. "Diamond" Jozu of the Whitebeard Pirates was able to stop it, although it's unknown if it was because Mihawk lacks the ability to cut through diamond, because Mihawk did not expect Jozu blocking the attack (and thus, not wasting energy to send a slash strong enough to cut diamond), or because of a Haki issue. It is an extremely powerful technique, possessing incredible range and power. Because a marine in the manga calls it "the world's strongest slash" (世界一の斬撃 Sekaiichi no Zangeki?), people often mistakenly think that it is Mihawk's strongest technique. However, a more accurate translation shows that the marine simply meant that it was a slash made by the world's strongest swordsman. Mihawk himself says that he just wants to test the difference between him and Whitebeard before using this technique, so it is quite possible this is not his most powerful attack. It was "named" by one of the war participants when he described the attack, when used as a long-range opener against Whitebeard but was blocked by Jozu's diamond body; in the anime, it was able to force Jozu back a distance.
- Mihawk slices the opponent with a spiral-like Flying Slash Attack (very similar to Zoro's Sanjuroku Pound Ho) with great speed. This, alongside with Mihawk's outstanding eyesight, makes one of the fastest and most accurate attacks shown in the whole series (it was able to strike a Luffy in Gear Second while he is moving in the middle of the war of Marineford).
Video Game-Only Attacks
- Kokuto "Samidare" (黒刀「斬乱」 Kokutō "Samidare"?, literally meaning "Black Blade: 'Slash Riot'"): Mihawk makes a chain of slices forward, finishing with a black flying slash. This attack is used in the Pirate Warriors games, where it is localized as Black Blade: Wild Slash.
- Kokuto "Mu" (黒刀「無」 Kokutō "Mu"?, literally meaning "Black Blade: 'Nothingness'"): The area is blanketed in darkness, and Mihawk slices enemies with swift attacks, cutting them down over a wide forward range. This attack is used in the Pirate Warriors games, localized as Black Blade: The Void.
Anime and Manga Differences
The beads on the sword's hilt were initially red in the manga, while in the anime they are blue and green in color; in the manga the color was later changed to green.
In the anime and video games, the sword's blade is quite thick while in the manga, it is very thin. This may have been changed as of Episode 489 where the sword appears very thin like its manga counterpart.
The background of the golden part of the sword is also green in color in the manga.
A difference noticeable in the anime is that the blade of the sword emits purple streaks when swung during its first use against Zoro (changed to green during the Marineford Arc).
- In Episode 515, Mihawk shows Zoro a humandrill with a sword identical to Yoru, but with a white blade.
- For the 4Kids dub the sword's cross-shaped guard was shortened because it looked too much like a crucifix.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 One Piece Yellow: Grand Elements (p. 245) , it is revealed that Yoru is one of the Saijo O Wazamono.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 6 Chapter 50 and Episode 24, Mihawk knocks bullets with ease.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 57 Chapter 553 and Episode 462, Mihawk creates a massive stream of a cutting shock wave at the Moby Dick.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 57 Chapter 561 and Episode 470, Mihawk shows his capabilities while dueling Monkey D. Luffy.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 — Mihawk uses Wild Slash and The Void as special attacks.