Hump Day Husbandos: Shanks (One Piece)

Hump Day Husbandos

Welcome back once again to another Hump Day Husbandos article! Today I will be talking about a rather hot topic in the world of One Piece at the moment, and that is the elusive Red-Haired Shanks. He’s a character with very little screen time, and yet an immense amount of impact in the series itself. 

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Humpday Husbando: Shanks (One Piece)

Who is Shanks?

When we first meet Shanks, he is just a simple pirate who has stopped by Dawn Island, the home of Luffy. Shanks and his crew only stopped off for a respite, to drink, and to have some fun before departing. We come to see that a young Luffy wanted nothing more than to join Shanks’ crew as a pirate, and that Luffy looked up to Shanks as something of an idol; the image of what a true pirate looks like. 

After a confrontation with some local bandits, Luffy was kidnapped and thrown into the ocean. Luffy had just recently acquired the powers of the gum-gum fruit, which meant that he could no longer swim. Shanks managed to save Luffy just before an enormous sea monster snapped him up, but this act of heroism cost Shanks his left arm. It’s here that Shanks gave Luffy his iconic straw hat — the same hat that once belonged to the legendary Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. 

These events are what set numerous pieces into motion within the story of One Piece, as it’s here that Luffy’s determination to become the next Pirate King was cemented. He wants to succeed in doing what Shanks asked of him — to return the straw hat once he has become a great pirate. From this point on we only see small snippets of Shanks, but his importance never diminishes.

Shanks

Why we love Shanks

I mentioned at the beginning of this piece that despite having a tremendously small amount of screen time (as of writing this piece, anyway) he is not only extremely important to the story but also a massively adored character within the One Piece fandom. It goes without saying that he makes a great first impression on us as viewers with his sacrifice and passing of the torch to Luffy, but there is so much more to it. 

I’m not exaggerating when I say that every time that Shanks appears in a chapter or episode, something insane is either going down or is about to go down. He is an extremely wise man and has learned a tremendous amount both from his former captain and through his extensive experience as a pirate. As a result, he has drip-fed us things to think about and ponder on, even if we didn’t think too much of them when they were first revealed. The threat of Blackbeard is a great example of this. 

One Piece is filled with some of the best character-defining moments; Zoro’s “Nothing happened”, Robin’s “I want to live” — and for Shanks, it’s without a doubt the moment he stops the war taking place in Marineford. After one of the biggest fights in the story, Shanks appears just in time to stop the senseless fighting between marines and pirates. He stands there facing the entire might of the World Governments, stating that if they still want to fight, he will take them. 

Shanks

Why you’ll love Shanks

Oh did I forget to mention that since the beginning of Luffy’s journey as a pirate, Shanks is known as one of the ‘Yonkou’ or one of the Four Emperors of the Sea? This is a title given only to the four most formidable pirate crews that are currently roaming the waters of the Grand Line — if that doesn’t tell you how much a powerhouse Shanks is, then I don’t know what will. 

Actually, I might know something! From a young age, Shanks has been a pirate. He joined the crew of Gol D. Roger when he was only a young boy, and as Roger closed the curtain on his life on the sea, he passed down his straw hat to Shanks. Carrying on the will of Roger, he later gave it to Luffy, claiming that he is “investing in the next generation”, so his arm was a small price to pay. Shanks has lived through numerous ages of piracy and he has always been one of the fiercest on the sea.

What a guy, eh?

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Conor Evans
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