In the realm of swordsmanship, only a few sabers have made their names as legends, such as Oden Kozuki, Whitebeard, and Gol D. Roger.
But even for these chosen few, there remains a feat of virtue and a great mystery in swordsmanship: the « Black Blades ». And anyone who wishes to become a unique swordsman, including Zoro, must awaken a black blade.
With the promising rise of the second Straw Hat, one question may be on your mind: « Does Zoro have a Black Blade?
In this blog post, we will highlight the uniqueness of « Black Blades », especially those in Zoro’s collection. We will also answer any questions you may have about the fabled « Black Blades ».
It’s a great pleasure to have you on board, as I’ve been a fan of the series since 2008.
So, without further ado, let’s set sail!
Overview of Zoro’s swords collection
From his debut as a wise-cracking samurai apprentice to his distinguished level, Zoro has collected impressive swords.
As evidence of his distinguished taste, each one of his regular weapons was a “named sword” –also known as Meito(s)– the category of weapons famous for their quality.
The exhaustive collection of swords he ever possessed is:
- Wado Ichimonji: A legendary sword that once belonged to Kuina, Zoro’s childhood friend and rival. It is a graceful and precise sword, reflecting Zoro’s early training with her.
- Sandai Kitetsu: An infamous cursed sword obtained at Log Town, known for bringing misfortune to its wielders ;
- Yubashiri: obtained at Log Town too, and destroyed at Enies Lobby ;
- Shusui: A renowned national treasure of Wano Country, known for its immense cutting power. Zoro acquired this blade after his confrontation with the legendary Ryuma at Thriller Bark ;
- Enma: the legendary god-tier katana possessed by Kozuki Oden, and the sole blade to ever cut the Emperor Kaido, and even twice!
Among this plethora of notable blades –for the most part– let’s note that there’s a single one, tinted with a dark sheen: Shusui.
Yes, Zoro had a Black Blade in his possession.
Later, in Wano Country, he exchanged it with Enma, which I have already – and will always – describe in glowing terms.
Thus, what is so special about these black blades?
What Makes Black Blades Special in One Piece Universe?
Black Blades are the most extraordinary weapons, often considered the pinnacle of swordsmanship in the world of One Piece.
Despite the haze of mystery surrounding their births, we have been leaked a bit of information along the way.
As relics of former seasoned swordsmen, the “Black Blades” exist as attributes of fighters who transcended their swordsmanship.
In general, every blade has the ability to acquire a dark shade, when imbued with the Armament Haki. However, the process is only temporary, as the blade turns back to its casual taint at the end of the imbuement.
Here stands out the uniqueness of the Black blades: they stay black-dyed forever.
This state provides them with extreme resistance and overall strength, to the point that they drastically climb in the ranking of the Meito’s.
Kind of like Red Nichirin swords from the Demon Slayers series.
By the way, have you ever wondered about Zoro vs the Upper Moon and the Pillars of Kimetsu no Yaïba?
How are Black blades made?
So far we just know that a Black Blade can be born through constant use in battles. Though, nothing has been specified as to whether it depends on the user or the quality of the sword.
Shockingly enough, even Gol D. Roger and Oden Kozuki didn’t realize the feat of blooming the dark shade on the blades.
The two samples of Black Blades in the One Piece universe
In 800 years of history, only two blades were registered to be “black ones”, and the name of their users wrote in the stone:
- the famous and talented Ryuma and his Black Blade, Shusui ;
- the strongest samurai and holder of the title of « Strongest Swordsman in the World » Dracule Mihawk, and his Black Blade, Yoru.
Nevertheless, what is incoming might unsettle you somehow.
We haven’t been confirmed that Mihawk turned Yoru to black himself, while in Ryuma’s case, it was clear.
Well, I courteously challenge your burning Sherlock instinct to solve this mystery cooked by Master Oda!
Theories and Speculations about Black Blades
The One Piece community is rife with theories about Zoro potentially having a self-made Black Blade.
A bunch of theories have been circulating about the significance of the removal of Shusui from Zoro’s sword collection.
- Actually, in the Wano Country story arc, he didn’t have Shusui with him anymore.
It’s plausible that one of Zoro’s swords might evolve into a Black Blade. Given his master, but greatest opponent possesses a Black Blade, it would’ve been fair to grant Zoro a self-made Black Blade.
Plus, Zoro is quite strong as a fighter and a swordsman, and his philosophy of swordsmanship is pure of samurai fiber.
- Speculations also infer Wado Ichimonji to be the katana that should turn black. Its close connection to Zoro’s childhood and story makes it a real “black blade” material.
As Zoro continues to grow in strength and skill, the possibility of him attaining a Black Blade becomes an exciting prospect.
- Another theory is that the process of obtaining a Black Blade doesn’t depend on the strength of its wielder, without which case the likes of Shanks and Gol D Roger would have one, at least.
Why are Black Blades important in Swordsmanship?
The idea of Zoro growing a Black Blade has significant implications for both his character development and his power progression.
Since only a few people have ever awakened a Black Blade in recent years, the acquisition of such a sword would make Zoro one of the greatest swordsmen of his time.
This would definitely emphasize his uniqueness as a fighter, but also as a Brethren. Especially in the case where obtaining a Black Blade depends more on the talent and philosophy of the user.
Does Zoro have a Black Blade ? Final words !
While Zoro possessed a confirmed Black Blade, the possibility of awakening another one remains a fascinating topic of discussion among One Piece fans.
As the story unfolds, we can only look forward to new secrets being revealed and our favorite theories being confirmed. So, what do you think? Could Zoro’s journey lead him to wield a Black Blade, or is there another fate waiting for him?
In the meantime, keep sailing, Otakus!