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Red Haired Shanks 'One Piece'

Red-Haired Shanks (赤髪のシャンクス, Akagami no Shankusu) is the pirate who inspired Luffy to go on his journey and the captain of the Red Hair Pirates. He found the Gomu Gomu no Mi which was accidentally consumed by Luffy. He is also one of the Yonkou.


Shanks always wears a long black cape over his shoulders and, until he met Luffy, wore a straw hat obtained from his captain that he had worn for many years beforehand, and of which was synonymous with his image. He initially wore slightly loose brown trousers cut below the knee and collected halfway up the shin, with golden buttons down the outer leg. Recently he has been seen wearing a similar pair, but looser and with floral patterns on it. He wears a pair of sandals and is unshaven with a short scruffy beard. In all his appearances so far as captain of his own crew, Shanks has worn a white shirt which is only buttoned halfway, leaving his chest exposed. Around his waist is a large red sash, which also holds his sabre on the right side. Initially in Chapter 1 his shirt is tucked under the sash, However in his appearances that feature him since he left Luffy's hometown, the shirt is untucked, giving him a much scruffier appearance than when he is seen in the past.

The most striking thing about Shanks is the color of his red hair, where his epithet 'Red-Haired Shanks' comes from. He also has three scars across his left eye, which were revealed to have been given to him by Blackbeard,[4] and saving Luffy from a Sea King he had lost his left arm.

At the start of One Piece, Shanks bore a similarity to Luffy. As Oda's style changed, Shanks began to become more distinct. The shape of his eyes are drawn much sharper. His nose has become more defined, similar to how Nico Robin's nose is heavily defined from other characters in the series. His trademark red hair is also slightly longer with his fringe pushed more toward the sides. The scars seemed to tingle when he confronted Blackbeard.

Shanks is one of the most laid back characters in the world of One Piece, preferring to take his time as he and his crew travels around the world rather than rushing from one place to another. Shanks isn't cruel like many other pirate captains, nor does he rule over his crew with fear to gain respect. His friendly nature means he won't purposely seek to harm others, and he is able to make serious characters like Dracule Mihawk join in with his fun. Yet despite how simple minded he appears at first, Shanks is a complex person with some rather difficult to understand views. For example, he believes if two people share very different views, it's better they go their separate ways.

Shanks doesn't seem to mind what happens to himself; he'll take others throwing food and drink or spitting on him without fighting back and laugh with his crew at his own misfortunes. Even losing an arm did not bother him much. However he would never forgive anyone for attacking a friend. Shanks and his crew are almost always seen partying and drinking alcoholic beverages whenever they make an appearance, as the captain's favorite pastimes are attending and hosting parties and banquets. According to Oda, Shanks is the one character that resembles himself the most out of all the One Piece characters, because of his fun-loving partying nature and cheerful personality. He also is against the idea of needless bloodshed, even if honour is involved and so far seems to only step up for a fight when a friend is in danger. He also seems to admire those who have courage as seen when a young Luffy stood up against Higuma for insulting Shanks and Coby gathering his courage to stop the war as he believed that it was pointless to continue.

Shanks also has skills of diplomacy, managing to stop Kaido from attacking Whitebeard and even brokering a ceasefire between the Whitebeard Pirates and the World Government.

He also likes teasing people, as demonstrated by his apparent reactions to Luffy as a child. Oda also stated that if a child asked Shanks for a Devil Fruit he'd tease them about being 10 years too young to eat one. Shanks himself was like Luffy (as a child) in his younger years.

Despite being calm and brave most of the time, he has displayed a side of him that likes to panic when things go wrong.He also seems to be carry about something personally deep within him, as when he speaks about his 3 scars to Whitebeard he became serious about the situation surrounding Teach.


While only a few of Shanks' crew have been named (Yasopp, Lucky Roo, Benn Beckman, and Rockstar), he seems to generally get along with them all and they look up to him with respect as their captain. Shanks looks out for the well-being of the entire crew, from refusing to take a child (Luffy) on board his ship to denying permission to take on Whitebeard's men who had insulted Rockstar's honor.

Of the Roger Pirates, most relationships between Shanks and the other crewmates remain unknown. However, it has been shown through flashbacks that he would fight with Buggy over just about anything. The Marines themselves described their relationship as a 'brotherly bond' and Whitebeard himself had noted the pair were always together. Shanks appears to still consider Buggy as a friend. He also still refers to Rayleigh as '"Master" Rayleigh'. Just like Buggy, he had a close bond to Roger as he was seen crying at Roger's execution and had aquired Roger's Straw Hat from him.
FriendsEdit Friends sectionEdit
“ Listen up... you can pour drinks on me, you can throw food at can even spit on me. I'll just laugh that stuff off. But... good reason or not... nobody hurts a friend of mine!!!! ”

— Shanks' warning to Higuma on hurting Luffy.
Monkey D. LuffyEdit Monkey D. Luffy sectionEdit

Luffy looks up to Shanks as his role model, childhood hero and the man he wants to eventually surpass. At first, Shanks never took Luffy seriously as he was just a boy so mocked his dreams to become a pirate, dubbing him "Anchor". Later after Luffy stood up for him in front of Higuma and his men, as they were leaving when Luffy declared he would be better than him Shanks begins to treat him seriously.

In the manga Benn Beckman tells Shanks that Luffy is going to make something of himself. Shanks confirms this by saying that Luffy reminds him of himself when he was Luffy's age.[10] Just as Luffy is currently looking for Shanks, Shanks eagerly awaits the day he meets up with Luffy. Shanks also sees Luffy as the future for piracy and was delighted at his coming so much he threw a party to celebrate even though he was already suffering from a hangover over being drunk previously.
Portgas D. AceEdit Portgas D. Ace sectionEdit

Shanks was on relatively good terms with Ace, who seemed to greatly respect him primarily for his role in saving his adoptive younger brother, Luffy, from the Sea King during the incident with Higuma. After setting out to begin his life of piracy, Ace immediately sought out Shanks to meet the man in person and thank him on Luffy's behalf. Shanks initially thought that Ace came to confront him (he was ready to unsheath his sword at the Logia user on that very encounter), but immediately warmed up to Ace upon learning of his relation with Luffy. Shanks showed some concern for Ace upon learning that he was in pursuit of Blackbeard. He personally sought out Whitebeard to vocally disapprove and attempted to persuade Whitebeard to recall Ace.[16] After the announcement of Ace's execution, it was revealed that Shanks personally intercepted Kaido, another of the Yonkou, as the latter attempted to take advantage of the situation and attack Whitebeard.

It is unknown if Shanks ever found out that Ace was the son of his captain, Roger, before Sengoku made this fact public to the world.


The World Government views Shanks as a problem and a trouble maker, but realizes he is a man who won't try to change the world by himself. However due to the position he holds, they fear he could get out of hand and are prepared to eliminate him if he ever does. The World Government tolerates his actions until that time comes.

Apparently, Shanks and Fleet Admiral Sengoku respect each other. Even as enemies, both the World Government and Red Hair Pirates see a clash between sides as the final option.

Vice-Admiral Garp blames Shanks for poisoning Luffy's mind with ideas about being a pirate when he wanted Luffy to become a Marine.

So far, outside of the World Government, the only one who appears to oppose Shanks is Buggy the Clown. Ironically, in their youth Buggy accused Shanks of being too naive and innocent to ever make it as a pirate and yet presently Shanks is a great pirate while Buggy and his crew are very weak in comparison. Yet despite what they claimed to each other, Buggy did not pass the opportunity up to exploit Shanks name and when the two met for the first time in years, Shanks was able to trick Buggy into giving Luffy the Straw Hat back. Buggy then had a go at Shanks for it afterwards while Shanks himself was calm despite Buggy's reaction, indicating that despite their differences the pair's relationship between them is still on a similar ground to what it was in the past, although Shanks has matured.

As his rivals, the other Yonkou are enemies. However, he doesn't want the Marines to parade over the triumph of seeing Whitebeard and Ace dead and takes up the responsibility to give them proper burials.

Yet the one Shanks seems to watch out for the most is Blackbeard, who gave him his three scars in a previous encounter.[4] At Marineford, he was exceptionally sharp toward the other pirate. Shanks himself seems to know the potential danger Blackbeard is, more so than anyone else.

Abilities and Powers

Shanks has proven to be one of the strongest characters in the series. Yet little is known about what Shanks can do, as he has not been seen heavily engaged in battle yet. As a member of the Yonkou in the second half of the Grand Line, his power is equal to that of Whitebeard and "losing an arm did not weaken him in any way".

Shanks is usually portrayed as a swordman. Ten years ago Shanks was capable of swimming, meaning that he did not consume any Devil Fruit at the time he was a rival to Mihawk.

He appears to be an excellent swimmer as well, having reached the young Luffy in time out in the middle of the sea before the Sea King could devour him.

Shanks is also powerful enough to stop Akainu's magma fist with his sword and Busōshoku Haki.

According to Buggy as a young man, he was a strong fighter and had it not been for his ideals, he (Buggy) would have wanted him on his crew.

As a member of the Yonkou, Shanks' name alone can command great power, as Buggy himself proved; his assertion that he previously had a "brotherly bond" with Shanks was one of the many things that earned him respect from the Impel Down inmates. In addition, Buggy did not shy from using Shanks' and his previous Captain's name Gol D. Roger to maintain his respect amongst them. Even the fact Buggy was seen backtalking to Shanks was seen as a testiment of Buggy's own power, not aware that the two had always acted like this and mistaking as it was because Buggy wasn't afraid of a Yonkou.

Shanks commands enough power to end the war at Marineford with just words; when he stated there was to be no more fighting, no one stepped up to challenge him even though the marines were fired up after the death of Ace and Whitebeard. When he offered to fight the very overconfident and pompous Blackbeard Teach, (who moments before boasted about destroying the island and taking down Fleet Admiral Sengoku and Vice Admiral Garp) he declined and decided to leave as it was too soon for them to take Shanks on. This is most interesting because Teach had rushed to finish off Whitebeard (although it should be noted that Whitebeard was already heavily wounded), who was considered the most powerful man in the world and a monster unlike no other, yet declined to fight Shanks. Furthermore, when he requested that Whitebeard's and Portgas D. Ace's dignity at death not to be violated, Sengoku himself decided to call off the war, and offered to take responsibility, showing that despite being a pirate, he has earned Sengoku’s respect, something that no other pirate achieved other than Whitebeard.


Shanks is one the very few characters who can use all three kinds of Haki. Shanks is capable of using Haōshoku Haki, an ability that only one in a million people can use. After saving Luffy from a Sea King, Shanks was able to frighten it off with a single angry glare using this ability.

Later, while boarding Whitebeard's ship for their meeting, half of Whitebeard's crew (one must note those are experienced men who have survived in the New World) lapsed into unconsciousness and the ship itself began to take damage from Shanks' mere presence. Whitebeard's men attributed this to his superior Haki. When Shanks and Whitebeard clashed with their weapons, the "heavens" above them split, hinting the incredible Busōshoku Haki that the Yonkou had imbued in them.

During the Battle of Marineford, Shanks was also capable of stopping Akainu's magma fist, imbuing Busōshoku Haki in his sword.


So far in the series, Shanks has only been seen wielding a sword in combat. While his use of it was only briefly shown, the fact that he was able to match a blow from Whitebeard is a clear indication of the strength he puts behind his attacks.

Before losing his arm to rescue Luffy, Mihawk would often seek him out for duels. Since Mihawk is classified as the world's greatest swordsman, and Shanks is a former rival of his, it can be assumed that Shanks is an extremely proficient swordsman. Shanks was shown with a different sword during his time as an apprentice pirate aboard Gol D. Roger's ship and during his stay in Luffy's hometown. Also, while an apprentice aboard Roger's ship, he was seen wielding two swords.

The Apprentice Years

Shanks comes from the West Blue and in his past, was a member of Gol D. Roger's crew as a cabin boy and took part in many things such as fighting with Whitebeard. At some point, Shanks acquired Roger's straw hat, although the circumstances behind Shanks acquiring the hat from Roger are unknown at this point in time. His date of joining is unknown, but he spent most of his time together with fellow trainee, Buggy, arguing over meaningless things, such as which pole was colder, the North or the South. Their constant bickering was met with annoyance by the crew's first mate, Silvers Rayleigh.

Shanks would remain forever at odds with Buggy, after they raided a ship where they found a treasure map and a Devil Fruit. After hearing about how much he could sell them for, Buggy switched the fruit with a fake and ate the fake in front of the entire crew. Due to this action, he could successfully sell the real fruit without anyone noticing. However, when Buggy retreated to a lifeboat with the fruit and the treasure map, Shanks surprised him twice--the first time causing Buggy to hide the fruit in his mouth, and the other causing him to swallow it. Buggy also dropped the treasure map into the ocean, so in desperation, he jumped into the water to get it, only to start drowning. He was rescued by Shanks, but since then Buggy blamed him for ruining his plot to become rich.

Twenty-six years before the storyline starting date, Roger had contracted a fatal illness and made one last voyage with his crew into the Grand Line to conquer it. A year before he died, he disbanded the Roger Pirates. Shanks and Buggy were last seen together at Loguetown on the day of Roger's death. Shanks immediately began his quest to form his own crew by offering a place to Buggy. Buggy refused and the two separated. Shanks would continue to hear rumors that Buggy was still a pirate somewhere over the course of the following years.

The Rise of Captain Red

At some point in his life, he met Marshall D. Teach, then a member of Whitebeard's crew. What happened is unknown, however Blackbeard left Red-Haired with the 3 scars across his left eye. The exact date of that event is unknown; however, there are signs indicating that those scars were made near the time of Roger's execution: while images of a younger Shanks depict him with his face unscathed, in two flashbacks (in Chapter 434 and Chapter 0), he has his face hidden by his hair and his hat.

Shanks also fought often with Mihawk and their battles were said to echo through the whole of the Grand Line.

As his strength as a pirate captain rose, he and three other pirates were named the Yonkou, including Whitebeard, Kaido and Big Mam.

Shanks and the Boy Luffy

Years later, after becoming the captain of his own pirate ship, Shanks arrived on an island where he met a strange young boy named Monkey D. Luffy. Intrigued by the boy and enjoying the atmosphere of Luffy's village, he decided to make the island his crew's base for a short period of time (which turned into a year).

Luffy quickly grew attached to the crew, so much so that he wished to join their ranks and become a pirate as well. Shanks refused to allow the boy into his crew on the basis that he was too young. One day, a group of bandits, led by Higuma, came into a bar where they were drinking. Higuma demanded sake, but Shanks and his crew had just finished all but one bottle. When Shanks offered the last bottle, Higuma smashed it over him. When Shanks refused to fight back, Higuma took the liberty of smashing the food the captain was eating over him. In anger Luffy shouted at Shanks for not standing up to him, it was then to the captain's horror he found out Luffy had eaten a Devil Fruit they'd stolen off an enemy ship.
Shanks loses his arm saving Luffy.
MurasakiAdded by Murasaki

Soon afterwards, Shanks went back out to sea, Higuma returned in his absence. After Luffy stood up to Higuma for insulting his role-model, Luffy got caught up in a hostage situation and his captives were defeated by the Red-Haired Pirates. Shanks considered a friend to be something worth fighting over, but the bandit leader Higuma had fled out to sea with Luffy, only for the two to be attacked by a Sea King. Higuma was eaten, but Shanks managed to save Luffy. However the incident cost Shanks his left arm.[21] Shortly after, Shanks set sail along with his crew, but before leaving, he and Luffy promised each other that one day Luffy would surpass Shanks and become the Pirate King and then Shanks left Luffy his straw hat as a parting gift, telling him to return it once he surpassed him.

Shanks returned to the Grand Line, eventually arriving on the Sabaody Archipelago and meeting Rayleigh again. He told Rayleigh about Luffy.[34]
Arrival of the Pirate BrothersEdit Arrival of the Pirate Brothers sectionEdit

A short while before the storyline he met Portgas D. Ace, who thanked him for saving his little brother. Shanks responded by throwing a party to celebrate, as he didn't know Luffy had a brother.
Mihawk tracks down Shanks to inform him of Luffy's first bounty.
Tobi MitarashiAdded by Tobi Mitarashi

Then a few years later after relaxing on an island after drinking too much, to the terror of a few of Shanks' weaker crew members, Dracule "Hawkeye" Mihawk pays Shanks a visit. The Shichibukai brought news that delighted the red-haired pirate: Luffy has gained a bounty of Bsymbol.gif30,000,000. Hearing Luffy had now come at last, Shanks threw another party despite being already unwell from his previous drinking session.[35]
Meeting WhitebeardEdit Meeting Whitebeard sectionEdit

Shanks later expressed an interest in Portgas D. Ace and Blackbeard, and sent Rockstar to deliver a note to Whitebeard concerning this matter. After Whitebeard refused to take the note, Shanks set out to visit Whitebeard in person.[16]

The World Government considered drastic measures such as elimination if he caused trouble. However Shanks declared he would fight anyone who got in his way. As he traveled to see Whitebeard, a fleet of Marine ships tried to stop him, but his crew forced their way through.
“ But he is not a man who would try to upset the world himself. We will observe him without taking rash actions! ”

— A member of the Gorousei on how they should deal with Shanks.

After the two Yonkou meet, Shanks and Whitebeard discuss the past. Whitebeard talks about how far Shanks has come since he was on Roger's crew as a mere cabin boy. Shanks reveals he was at Roger's death, and that rumors say Buggy is still around as a pirate.

Shanks tried to convince Whitebeard that allowing Blackbeard and Ace to meet was a bad idea. He reminds Whitebeard that it was Blackbeard who scarred his left eye and that Blackbeard is a serious threat to Whitebeard's rule on the seas. However, Whitebeard refused to accept any other alternative solution to the matter. After Whitebeard holds his grounds on the issue at hand, the talks between the two break down, along with the sky upon them, which is literally split in two by the power of two Yonkou clashing with their weapons.
“ No one could have stopped this, It's the rampaging point of this age! ”

— Shanks's statement before clashing with Whitebeard.
Preparing for WarEdit Preparing for War sectionEdit

As mentioned by Momonga, Whitebeard begins making his move towards Marineford to save Ace, Kaido attempts to take advantage of the situation to attack the Whitebeard Pirates. To the horror of the Marines, reports come in that Shanks has intercepted Kaido, creating a dispute between two of the four Yonkou. While the two captains end their confrontation with a stalemate, the Marines become greatly anxious of the possible problems that could arise from conflict between the two pirates.
Ceasefire at Marineford

“ I'm here to put an end to this war! ”

Appearing suddenly, Shanks arrives just in time to save Coby from being killed by Akainu. He commends the young Marine for his determination and tells him that with his brave words, he has secured the "seconds of courage" that would change the fate of the world. Shanks then notices the straw hat he gave to Luffy on the ground and picks it up, declaring that he has come to end the war. He tosses the hat to Buggy and tells him to give it to Luffy and he'll give him a treasure map, this of course being a lie, further enraging Buggy when he shrugs it off commenting on how it's been a while since they last saw one another in a calm familiar tone.

When Lucky Roo asks if he's sure if he wants Luffy to leave since he hasn't seen him in so long, he simply states meeting back with him "now" would break their promise. He states to the entire battlefield that if anyone still wants continue fighting, his crew is more than ready to join. Everyone is content with this and decides to stop fighting, he then states to Sengoku that he and the Whitebeard pirates will take care of Ace's and Edward Newgate's bodies.

Shanks takes Ace and Whitebeard and buried them on an unknown island somewhere in the second half of the Grand Line. His crew, along with the Whitebeard Pirates attend the funeral to show their respects. He quietly thinks about how Luffy is handling Ace's death, stating that to become a real man, one must know victory and defeat.
Major BattlesEdit Major Battles sectionEdit

Shanks vs. Buggy (fighting over everything trivial)
Roger Pirates vs. Whitebeard Pirates (as an apprentice pirate)
Roger Pirates vs. Golden Lion Pirates (as an apprentice pirate)
Shanks vs. Marshall D. Teach (not seen, but left Shanks with three scars over his left eye)
Shanks vs. Dracule Mihawk (multiple times, none seen)
Shanks vs. Edward Newgate (simply clashing of weapons to discuss things)
Red Hair Pirates vs. Kaido and his crew (not seen)
Shanks vs. Admiral Akainu

Early One PieceEdit Early One Piece sectionEdit
Shanks in Romance Dawn version 1.
Angel EmfrblAdded by Angel Emfrbl

Shanks was first featured in the first pilot of One Piece Romance Dawn V.1 in the Shonen Jump specials showcasing upcoming artists, about a year and a half before One Piece began. Much of his storyline remained the same with the major difference being that Higuma the Bear was absent from the story in this version. Another minor difference was that his arm was bitten off by a shark instead of a Sea King. Shanks himself is described as Peace Maine type of pirate.

In the second pilot Romance Dawn V.2 of One Piece (featured in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine itself), Luffy got both his hat and the Devil fruit he ate from his grandfather, not Shanks. According to Oda the reason for not featuring Shanks was that he wanted Shanks to be kept a secret until One Piece was serialized so he would have a greater impact.[37]

Unlike Luffy, there was no real significant change in appearance from Romance Dawn V.1 to the final version. Even with change of art style, aside from being drawn less realistically, he is the same, the only real exception being the absence of his black cloak, although he did wear a decorative short cape over his left shoulder at the end of the chapter.

Anime and Manga Differences

In the manga, when Shanks is floating in the sea holding Luffy after losing his arm, blood can be seen dripping from his missing arm. In the anime, this blood is missing.
The initial scene where Shanks meets Mihawk was very small in the manga. The anime extended this scene greatly. In the manga, Shanks asks Mihawk if he would join them in celebrating while in the anime, Mihawk is seen joining in Shanks' fun.
Translation and Dub IssuesEdit Translation and Dub Issues sectionEdit
A cut scene from the 4Kids anime showing Shanks encouraging Mihawk to drink alcohol.
Angel EmfrblAdded by Angel Emfrbl

Shanks is mostly the center of the removal of alcohol related alterations in the English dub by 4Kids. For example, the scene where Mihawk brought news of Luffy's coming suffered heavy cuts. Shanks still asks Mihawk to stay, but much of this scene was removed because of the alcoholic references, including references to him throwing a party to celebrate Luffy's coming. Thus Shanks' fun-loving nature was lost and instead it depicted him with an evil tone, as Mihawk shows him Luffy's wanted poster, Shanks says that he can't let him leave, the ensuing party was cut out due to the use of alcohol, leaving viewers to assume Mihawk's fate. Also, the scene was cut from its original episode and added at the end of a much earlier episode.

In the process many other scenes from the original episode were also cut from the 4Kids version and never shown, such as the scene showing Kaya and Luffy's hometown.

He also speaks with a cockney accent in the English 4Kids dub.

In the book The Anime Encyclopedia - A guide to Japanese animation since 1917 (2001), there was a short article about One Piece. In it there were two mistakes concerning Shanks; his name is written as "Junx" and he was written to have been saved by Luffy instead of the other way round.[39] Of all these errors, the name "Junx" would remain in several revisited editions of the book.
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