Roronoa Zoro is the man I am here to talk to you about today. He is a man so great that he most likely needs no introduction, but he still deserves one. (Good, this would have been a short article otherwise – Ed.)
Due to the incredible length of the One Piece series — 1010 chapters as of writing this — there have been so many incredible character developing moments, that talking about a character from this series is so easy — there’s so many to choose from!
Without any further delay let me introduce you to this legend and let you know exactly why you’re going to love him.
Who Is Roronoa Zoro?
Zoro is the very first member invited to join the Straw Hat pirate crew, and as a result, is the First Mate.
Zoro grew up in a small town called Shimotsuki Village, where he trained at a dojo to learn the way of the sword. Even at a young age, Zoro was considered extremely strong — enough so that he could best most adults. However, he never once beat Kuina, the daughter of the dojo’s master.
Despite being served his two-thousandth consecutive loss, he remains determined — and he made a promise with Kuina that the two of them must become the greatest swordsmen in the world. Zoro spent his days continuing to train in the art of the sword, but he had developed his own unique style “Santoryuu” or “Three-Sword Style” — this becomes his trademark.
After Zoro learns the name of the world’s current greatest swordsman, Dracule Mihawk, he sets off in search of him. Not being the greatest with directions, Zoro loses his way and becomes a bounty hunter while continuing his search for the legendary swordmaster.
During his time as a bounty hunter, Zoro gains the nickname “Pirate Hunter” and is even considered the strongest swordsman in East Blue, one of the four oceans outside of the Grand Line.
After meeting Luffy and agreeing to join his crew, Zoro grows as a person. I originally thought of Zoro as a lone wolf-type character who would never be anything but his own boss. But his relationship with Luffy is one of complete mutual trust and faith in one another and it’s one of the best relationships in the series.
Why we love him
I mentioned how amazing the captain/first mate relationship is between Luffy and Zoro and there are numerous great examples of this throughout the series. Each incident differs massively from the others, but they all constantly hammer home how much these two characters have one another’s backs.
The first time this happens is during Zoro’s first encounter with the legendary Dracule Mihawk. After suffering a crushing defeat, Zoro yells out:
“Luffy? Can you hear me? Sorry for worrying you. If I don’t become the world’s greatest swordsman, that would be a problem for you, wouldn’t it? I… I will… I WILL NEVER LOSE AGAIN! Until I defeat him and become the greatest swordsman, I’ll never be defeated again! Any problems with that, Pirate King?!”
This is being said by a man who is known as the “Pirate Hunter” — and someone who had been fending for himself as a lone wolf. If that’s not character development, I don’t know what is.
Next is one of the most incredible scenes from the Water 7 Arc of One Piece. Luffy and a fellow crewmate have a falling out, resulting in a fight and said crewmate parting ways from the crew. This affects Luffy massively; he did not want this to happen but felt he had to choose but to stand his ground. As Luffy suffers from his decision, Zoro states “Don’t lose yourself. If you waver, who can we trust?”.
Why you’ll love him
Zoro isn’t exclusively the reaffirming right hand to Luffy, he is also a character with an incredible sense of motivation and a truly dreadful sense of direction. I’m serious, Zoro will get lost and be unable to follow the most simple of directions without fail. On top of this, he has a hilarious “bickering siblings” type of relationship with the crew’s cook Sanji.
Zoro isn’t just a side character either; he has some incredible fight scenes and some of the coolest techniques in the series, amplified by his unique sword style. He earns his place in the world of One Piece, even being named one of the Worst Generation — the twelve rookie pirates that made waves throughout the world.
If you’re after a motivating character that can be incredibly inspirational, while at the same time being a complete goofball, then Zoro is the man for you. I know it’s a long one, but please give One Piece a try. There’s a reason it’s King.
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