“If we had 2 main characters..”: Eiichiro Oda Proves Many One Piece Fans Were Wrong About Zoro and Luffy For Years

Eiichiro Oda reveals who is the #2 protagonist of One Piece!

Zoro and Luffy


  • One Piece is soaring new heights with each passing day.
  • Eiichiro Oda clears the misconception about Roronoa Zoro being the #2 protagonist in One Piece.
  • One Piece fans react to Oda-Sensei's comment on X.
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With each passing day, Eiichiro Oda’s magnum opus, One Piece, is reaching new heights. The anime series has been airing since 1999 and has earned widespread recognition not only in Japan but also all over the globe. One of the key reasons that the series has been so well-received by the fans is that Oda-Sensei has presented a hilarious and an adorable protagonist in the form of Monkey D. Luffy.

Eiichiro Oda continues with the Egghead saga
Monkey D. Luffy vs. Rob Lucci in the Egghead Arc. Credits: Toei Animation

However, the mangaka has masterfully showcased Roronoa Zoro as the formidable second protagonist in the series. Well, that’s what the fans of the Shonen series have been thinking for so long, believing that it was his unwavering determination to be the world’s greatest swordsman that made him a secondary main character.

However, all the delusions of the fans have been cleared, as Oda-Sensei has commented on who he had initially thought to be the secondary protagonist in the series.


Eiichiro Oda Explains How He Had Planned Another Protagonist in One Piece

Eiichiro Oda has brilliantly showcased an indomitable duo in his masterpiece, One Piece, using the 5th Emperor of the Sea, and The Pirate Hunter. From their very first meeting in the 3rd episode of the anime, they forged a bond that defeated foes who would seem to be invincible.

Roronoa Zoro was thought to be second protagonist of One Piece
Zoro Using His Asura Form. Credits: Toei Animation

While the two joke around with each other, they deeply respect each other’s dreams, and it is the unspoken admiration of each other that leads to the notoriety of the success of the Straw Hat Pirates. As the series developed, Oda-Sensei deepened their connection by showcasing their backstories.

While one wanted to be the Pirate King, another aspired to be the world’s greatest swordsman. By fueling each other’s aspirations, they became a monster duo. As a result, in the long run of the show, fans believed that the Senior Officer of The Straw Hat Pirates would be the second protagonist.

Eiichiro Oda clarifies the #2 of One Piece
Shimotsuki Ryuma vs Roronoa Zoro during the Thriller Bark Arc. Credits: Toei Animation

However, all clouds of uncertainty were cleared by Eiichiro Oda himself, as Pew (@pewpiece) shared on X, where the manga artist explained that before the series even began, he wanted Shimotsuki Ryuma to be the “#2.” Oda-Sensei said,

Around this time (before OnePiece), I was proud of having already imagined a character like Luffy as the main character. Next, I thought I would like to make a supporting character into a main character. I believed that if we had two main characters, we would be able to secure a serialization spot. Ryuma is that character, created with the aim of being the “#2” main character.

Ardent fans of One Piece would remember that Shimotsuki Ryuma was once a legendary samurai who made his debut during the Thriller Bark Arc. Viewers learned that he used to live during Wano’s Country of Gold era, which happened to be centuries ago.

Moreover, as the story continued, he was the direct descendant of Zoro, which explains how he got the flair for his unmatched swordsman skills.


Fans React to Eiichiro Oda’s Surprising Revelation

For ages, fans of the Shonen series believed the determined warrior and the Future Pirate King’s first recruit would be the second recruit but that was never the case. The manga artist amplified Moss Head’s screentime and gave him a much deeper and more complex character development than anyone else in the entire series, along with jaw-dropping fight scenes in the show.

One Piece fans react to Eiichiro Oda's comments
Roronoa Zoro using his 9-Sword-Style Asura form. Credits: Toei Animation

Hence, it might have led many viewers of the show to believe that Zoro would be the other leading character. However, when fans learned that was not the case, they dropped their opinion on the post.

With Shimotsuki Ryuma long dead and Roronoa Zoro being his direct descendant, who knows that maybe in the near future, Oda-Sensei might just showcase the swordsman as the protagonist in a series of his own?


One Piece can be streamed on Crunchyroll.


Written by Tushar Auddy

Articles Published: 1039

Tushar Auddy, Content Writer. He has been in the entertainment industry for 3 years and is always on the lookout for a captivating story. He is a student of Linguistics and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in the same field. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him capturing the beauty of language.