One of the most intriguing questions in the One Piece community is whether Luffy, the protagonist of the series, will eventually fight Shanks, his mentor of the Red Hair Pirates.
Many fans have been eagerly waiting for this confrontation to happen, while others argue that it might never occur due to their close relationship.
In this blog post, we will answer the question : Will Luffy fight Shanks ? In exploring the possibilities of this highly anticipated battle and examine various theories and scenarios surrounding it.
For fifteen years, I have been following One Piece and I really love this manga.
So take a seat and let’s sail!
Luffy and Shanks’ relationship.
In the first chapters of One Piece, when Luffy only had Zoro as a companion, we see both of them getting carried away by the tide -since neither of them knows how to sail-, the boat wobbles and Luffy’s straw hat flies away and then we are shown a part of Luffy’s past in which we discover perhaps the character who had the most influence on him.
Shanks, a man with red hair and a scar over his left eye, always has a smile on his face and likes to joke with Luffy, while Luffy constantly asks him to take him with him because he will be a pirate.
Shanks always refuses him because he doesn’t want children on the ship, but whenever he is visiting Foosha Village, Luffy is there to ask him again, although Shanks goes into shock when Luffy eats the Gomu gomu no mi, he doesn’t hesitate for a second to rescue him from drowning and sadly loses his arm in the process.
Yet their true union is formalized when Shanks gives him the straw hat, a symbol that the two will be reunited in the future.
Importance of Shanks in Luffy’s life and journey
Although Luffy’s dream is to be the King of the Pirates, the one he thinks of when facing his enemies and protecting his friends is Shanks, making him his role model.
Their morals about dreams, freedom, fun, and adventure are very similar.
Proof of how much Shanks influenced Luffy happens when, in the Skypiea saga, Bellamy argues with Luffy and laughs at his dream of finding the island of heaven, to which Luffy turns a deaf ear and decides not to fight because his dreams and ambitions are invincible, an example he lived in Foosha Island when Shanks decided not to fight against Higuma when he made fun of him in Makino’s bar.
Shanks follows Luffy’s adventures
Shanks is a character we see little of but in many of his appearances, he shows interest in Luffy’s adventures, from his joy when he saw his first bounty poster to Wano Island, when he used his haki presence to stop Ryokugyu.
Will Luffy fight Shanks?
Currently, Luffy and Shanks share a bond as emperors so a fight between the two could be both epic and devastating, as the battle between Luffy and Kaido was shocking and showed how truly monstrous they can be when they show their full power.
Yet Shanks has only been seen to show off his haki manipulation and has rarely drawn his sword.
Shanks has never been seen using the power of any fruit and, in fact, in the beginning, he saves Luffy by swimming, so it can be assumed that he only uses haki to fight, however, this cannot be taken lightly as Oda confirmed that Shanks is capable of using all three types of haki.
Shanks is a character that we have never seen fight with his full potential, most of the time he has shown the power of his conqueror’s haki without using the rest because he only wants to negotiate with someone or his enemies end up too scared to face him, demonstrated in how he stopped Marineford war, while Luffy just awakened his devil’s fruit.
Theories and Speculations.
Many people have created theories that Shanks is surely the bad guy of the story and probably turns his back on Luffy.
If you like Shanks’ character, you will surely not want to believe this but there is a lot of mystery around him and we don’t really know his intentions.
For starters in chapter 907 (manga), he meets the gorosei and they don’t find his visit strange, on the contrary, they evict the soldiers and Shanks asks to talk to them about « a certain pirate », now, he may have been talking about Blackbeard since we know he is his sworn enemy, still, Luffy could be his reason for being there.
Also, with Im’s appearance, we can see a giant straw hat just like the one Luffy possesses and which -we can presume-, belonged to the original Joy Boy, maybe Shanks is just guiding Luffy to that destination.
From the bond between the two, anyone would think that a battle between the two is impossible, at least so far… as Shanks wants the One Piece!
If they both certainly wouldn’t go into combat because of their bond, the One Piece is reason enough for both of them to fight for it.
Whatever it is Shanks won’t give up his pirate pride to let Luffy take it before him and he will surely test it to see if he is worthy to be called Pirate King, almost like it’s a final test, but it wouldn’t make sense if the battle isn’t real so they would surely use all their strength.
Our favorite scenario.
Maybe the battle between the two doesn’t even have to be that aggressive or to the death, it could mean the return of the Davy Back Fight!
There is no friendlier battle between pirates than the Davy Back Fight, it would be a good way to compare the different strengths between both crews.
Usopp vs. Yassop could have a target-shooting fight, and it even features a fight between captains at the end of the games.
Also, each emperor has tried to recruit a member of another crew, Big Mom trying to recruit King, Roger with Oden, and even Shanks trying to recruit Marco, so it wouldn’t be the first time, and it could be the reason why the battle is triggered.
Shanks vs Luffy is a battle that might never come true though, not only Shanks has proven countless times to defend and save Luffy, but they might make it to the One Piece together and Shanks might let him claim him, also, the real fight for both of them might be against Blackbeard or the World Government.
What would a fight between Luffy and Shanks mean for the story?
With the Wano arc we realized that Shanks himself is not ready to see Luffy, he still has a lot to discover and adventures to live, so the encounter between the two could mean the end of One Piece because one day Luffy will give him his Straw hat.
Impact on the characters
The impact of a battle is different depending on the scenario.
If Shanks really is an enemy of Luffy, it could end with Luffy disappointed and shattered for having to finish off his mentor.
However, if the fight is friendly it could look like a game of forces and ambitions, like the battles between Whitebeard and Gol D. Roger.
Implications for the overall plot.
This would imply the beginning of a rivalry and recognition of strength between the two, plus Luffy would finally prove to Shanks that he is a true pirate worthy of the title of King.
To summarize, a battle between Luffy and Shanks could be destructive because of the capability of their powers, the beginning of a rivalry between emperors, or even a game between the two to prove who is the stronger.
Any of the three options will cause an impact on the lore and even on our perception of the characters and, if I have to bet, I’m sure there will be a very significant encounter between them.
If the One Piece story started with Shanks handing over his Straw hat to Luffy, ideally they would both have a reunion at the end of the story, where they can conclude all their adventures, how do you think a battle between the two of them would be?