One Piece is one of the most popular anime and manga franchises in the world today, with there being several video game adaptations, merchandise, and even a live-action series created by Netflix. Its core themes of adventure, camaraderie, freedom, and fun are ideas that appeal to fans across the globe. Add to that the fact that there are likable, easy-to-root-for characters, a distinct art style, and many high-octane combat sequences, and it’s easy to understand the franchise’s popularity.
With both the anime and manga still ongoing, One Piece has a lot of unanswered questions with its story and characters alike. One of these questions centers on the pirate Red-Haired Shanks, a major supporting character who made his debut early on in the series. However, a promotional booklet written by Eiichiro Oda, the creator of the series, has shed some light on Shanks along with some chapters of the manga.
What are Shanks’ powers in One Piece?
Though Shanks was never shown in combat, it was hinted that he was very powerful, likely in the same league as Kaido and Whitebeard, two very powerful individuals. Shanks’s power was further hinted at in chapter 1056 of the manga, where a simple demonstration of his Conqueror’s Haki scared off Marine Admiral Ryokugyu. Previously, it wasn’t known whether Conqueror’s Haki could be used to do so across long distances and against powerful people like a Marine Admiral.
Alongside the anime movie One Piece: Red, the booklet known as One Piece volume 4 billion was released, and it revealed that Shanks is known as “the killer of Observation Haki”. This is owing to his ability to prevent those he is fighting against from looking into the future with Observation Haki, which many characters do. Thus, it can be said that Shanks’s power lies in his mastery and use of Haki. It should be noted that Haki itself is a mysterious life energy that some fighters can use in combat.
Furthermore, Shanks used his Observation Haki to look ten seconds into the future, during a battle against Eustass Kid, which could mean that his title also signifies his proficiency with Observation Haki. Shanks’s true power could even pose a problem for Gear 5 Luffy, should the two ever go all out in a fight.
What do we know about Shanks’ past?
After his initial appearance, Shanks didn’t appear for quite some time. In the years since he departed from Luffy as a child, Shanks became one of the Four Emperors, four of the most powerful pirates in the world of One Piece. It was also revealed that he served on the ship of Gol D. Roger, the pirate king, as an apprentice.
Of the original four Emperors first seen in the series, Shanks is the only one whose goals and motivation remain unknown. Shanks is, at present, the most wanted active pirate in One Piece, but despite that, he is able to visit the Five Elders of the World Government, albeit discreetly. He has an unknown relationship with them, which has led to the theory that Shanks is actually of Celestial Dragon descent, who are the nobility of the One Piece world.