20 Facts About Shanks One Piece Fans Should Know

Shanks is considered “The Man, The Myth, The Legend” in the One Piece universe. Although he has lesser on-screen time than a majority of the other characters, Shanks stands out as one of the most fascinating and enigmatic characters. Shanks has an enormous fan base and plays a crucial role in the story; serving as an inspirational figure to everyone’s beloved Straw Hat Pirate leader Luffy. As the leader of the legendary Red Hair Pirates, Shanks is known for his incredible charisma, deadly abilities, and mysterious past. Thus, if you are curious to learn about him, we have compiled a list of 20 fascinating and lesser-known facts about Shanks. So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!

Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers about Shanks from Red Hair Pirates in One Piece. We suggest you watch the anime and read the manga first to avoid ruining your experience.

1. Shanks Is the Killer of Observation Haki

An image of Shanks using Haki.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

Shanks is well known as the “Killer of Observation Haki,” as revealed in One Piece Volume: Four Billion. You must be asking why at this stage. By first disrupting the opponents with their powerful Conqueror’s Haki, the user of this rare and unique advanced form of Conqueror’s Haki can prevent them from deploying observation haki.

As of now, Shanks is the only person who can use this technique effortlessly. With the power to neutralize an opponent’s ability to see into the future and overwhelm them with attacks, this skill gives Shanks a significant tactical advantage. In the future, we will see more of this ability for sure.

Remember Luffy’s iconic Conqueror’s Haki scene in the Fishman Island arc? Shanks could have completely outclassed 100,000 Fishmen with his Haoshoku Haki in Fishman Island compared to Luffy at that point, according to author Eiichiro Oda in an SBS (Q&A) interview. So, it is easy to see how extraordinarily powerful Shanks is when dealing with Conqueror’s Haki.

2. Shanks Past That Many of Us Don’t Know

An image of Shanks and Buggy.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

Shanks was discovered by the legendary pirate Gol D. Roger and his crew when he was a baby. He was found in a treasure chest at the God Valley. Shanks was thus fostered by the Roger Pirates from infancy till Roger’s death. He and Buggy were both pirate apprentices with the Roger Pirates. Roger was someone that Shanks always admired and adored. He continues to keep in touch with the Dark King Silvers Rayleigh since his connection to the group was so deep.

This is an amazing parallel backstory because if you remember, Uta was also found in a treasure chest in the exact same way by Shanks. Its fate repeating itself, and Shanks raised Uta and became her adoptive father, as seen in One Piece Film Red (see complete One Piece movies order here). What a twist to the tale!

3. Shanks Has a Grand Fleet but There’s Bad News

An image of Shanks's ship.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

During the course of the One Piece anime, Grand Fleets of the Straw Hats Pirates, Blackbeard Pirates, and Whitebeard Pirates have been shown aplenty. So, there was discussion among fans over the idea of a renowned Emperor like Shanks having his own fleet. Fortunately, it has been established that Shanks does, in fact, have his own fleet. However, he is reportedly not the leader. We don’t presently know why that’s the case and must wait for an appropriate answer from mangaka Oda.

4. Shanks’ New Bounty and Its Secret

An image of Shanks Bounty..
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Crunchyroll)

Shanks has a jaw-dropping 4,048,900,000 Berries bounty on his head, and it is the fifth highest bounty of all time in the One Piece world. Well, it is a clever wordplay from Oda here. The 4-8-9 in the bounty can be read as shi-ya-ku (シヤク), which is a direct reference to his name Shanks. In Japanese, his name is pronounced as Shankusu, so you can understand the reason behind his bounty numbers.

Previously, Shanks had the lowest bounty among the four emperors of the sea. But among the emperors in power right now, Shanks has the largest bounty. If you are wondering what was Shanks’s bounty when he handed over the Straw Hat to Luffy, it was 1,040,000,000 Berries.

5. Shanks’ Hobby and His Favorite Foods

An image of Shanks.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

Shanks’ favorite foods in One Piece are Lobster, Chahan, and Kimchi. Both Chahan and Kimchi are Japanese fried rice dishes. He is sure a fried rice lover, which many may not have seen coming. As for the least favorite food, Shanks is not a big fan of the Blueberry. We even also got to know about Shanks’ hobby, which is wandering. Who would have thought Shanks was a wandering soul, isn’t it?

6. Shanks’ Birthday Date and Its Connection

An image of Shanks.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

Another interesting fact here is that a fan chose the birth date of Shanks, and it was approved by author Oda as his official birth date. The fandom now celebrates Shanks’ birthday on March 9.

Well, there is another smart wordplay here, March 9 can be written as 3-9. The Japanese word for 3 is Shan and 9 is Ku/Kyuu, which when combined is a direct reference to his name Shankusu. Both Oda and One Piece fans admire Shanks just like us!

7. Oda’s Literally Me Character is Shanks

An image of Eiichiro Oda.
Image Courtesy – Fandom

We all come across the “Literally Me” memes daily on social media platforms. But ever thought or wondered if Oda would have a character like that in his mind? Well, the answer is yes! Oda indeed has one and shared his thought with fans.

As claimed by Oda, Shanks is the most relatable character to him out of all the other characters in One Piece. The reason is simple, Shanks resembles the cool and calm personality of Oda and has noticeable clothing like him. Furthermore, he added that Shanks’ animal resemblance is a lion. It perfectly suits a ferocious character like him.

8. Anchor Theme of the Red Hair Pirates

An image of Luffy.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

This is a bizarre fact, but it’s a cool one that fans should be aware of. If you have noticed, there is a recurring theme of an anchor within the Red Hair Pirates in One Piece, and it’s related to Shanks.

For example, an image of an anchor in their clothing or as a tattoo, and more. This mystery left us wondering why, but the reason is simple. The stem part of an anchor is known as Shank, which is another reference to his name. Oda sure likes to throw little metaphors like this around the show.

9. Shanks Wasn’t Initially in Oda’s Plans

An image of Shanks.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

In the Romance Dawn, Version 2 of One Piece, which was published in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, Oda revealed that Luffy was supposed to get the iconic Straw Hat and his devil fruit from his grandpa Monkey D. Garp rather than Shanks. He went on to say that the reason he wanted it to be this way was so that he could introduce Shanks later in the series (keeping it a mystery for the time being) when the manga was published.

Oda wanted to take this route to reveal Shanks at a later stage, so his persona could grab the audience and make a far stronger effect. But luckily, he didn’t go with this plan. Else, ee wouldn’t have got the legendary scene of Shanks handing over the Straw Hat to Luffy.

10. Shanks Is the First Haki User We Saw

An image of Shanks.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

While we don’t know who is the first Haki user in the history of the One Piece world and who discovered it, we certainly know that Shanks was the first person to use Haki in the anime. He used Conqueror’s Haki against the Sea King, thereby, making him the first user of Conqueror’s Haki we saw in the show.

At that time, we didn’t know what is Haki and how it works. But now, it’s one of my favorite things in the anime series (though it’s a little complicated, but it’s one of the best power systems) and Shanks went on to become a master of Conqueror’s Haki.

11. Shanks Shares the Same Birthday as Mihawk

An image of Shanks and Mihawk.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

Everyone in the world knows about the fabled rivalry between Shanks and Dracule Mihawk (the strongest swordsman in One Piece). They both are referred to as the world’s strongest rivals and have clashed against each other numerous times, but we haven’t seen until now.

The awesome fact about these two characters is that they both share the same birthday, March 9! This is such a cool fact for ardent fans of these great characters. Additionally, Franky also shares the same birthday with Shanks and Mihawk (so there you go Franky fans, enjoy!)

12. Shanks’ Sword Name and Its Personification

An image of Shanks with hi sword.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

Gryphon is the name of the Shank’s fierce-looking sword. The sword is named after the mythical creature named Gryphon. These beasts are said to make a screeching noise and are yet to be seen. Gryphon is considered to be the main weapon of Shanks as he’s seen always carrying it with him.

It is a saber-type sword, and to be honest, it increases this man’s swag to the next level. Despite being one-handed, Shanks was able to scare anyone in his way with this sword. That’s how great and intimidating he is. Previously, when he was with the Roger Pirates, Shanks wielded two different swords. This is how the sword will look like as a human (drawn by Oda):

An image of Gryphom.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

13. The Reason Behind Shanks Scar

An image of Shanks.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

Blackbeard had the audacity to leave a mark on the face of one of the most dangerous men in One Piece. Although we certainly don’t know when it happened, theoretically, it must have happened after Roger’s crew was disbanded. As seen in the manga chapter 1054, Shanks had a scar on his face when stealing the Gomu Gomu no Mi (which wasn’t really the rubber-rubber fruit, as we learn when Luffy unleashed the Gear 5 technique). Blackbeard aka Marshall D. Teach was a former member of the Whitebeard and inflicted this scar on Shanks with his claw. Even Shanks confirmed this fact when he met Whitebeard back then.

14. Shanks’ Connection with the Other Emperors

An image of all the Four Emperors.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

Shanks is connected to all the current emperors of the sea in one or another way. For example, Blackbeard is the one who left a huge unique scar on Shank’s face. Next, Shanks was the one who inspired Luffy to become a pirate and start the Straw Hats Pirates. Luffy rightfully became an Emperor like him. And the last is Buggy, who worked together with Shanks as a pirate apprentice in the Roger Pirates. The One Piece world is full of surprises and never fails to amaze us!

15. No Devil Fruit Users Brand

An image of Red Hair Pirates.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

This is one of the most popular facts about Shanks and his crew, and most fans might know this already. Shanks didn’t eat a strong devil fruit, unlike some other characters in the show. Not only him, but his whole crew too. Therefore, Shanks and his whole crew are not devil fruit users ,and they rely on their Haki and combat powers.

It is so fascinating and inspiring to know that Shanks’ crew became one of the strongest pirate crews without any devil fruit powers. The last time we saw a crew like this was Roger Pirates. There aren’t any other crew like this (except Red Hair Pirates).

15. Shanks Attacked by a Shark Instead of a Sea King

An image of Shanks and Luffy.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

One Piece Romantic Dawn, Version 1’s first pilot in the Shonen Jump specials revealed that Shanks’ arm was actually eaten off by a shark, not a sea king. Oda eventually adjusted this, which ultimately made the scenario more compelling and terrifying later in the show. There are some things like this if changed may ruin the true essence of that moment. But luckily we didn’t have to undergo that experience.

16. Shanks Was the Youngest Yonko

An image of Shanks.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

Before the new set of emperors of the sea were announced, we were introduced to the four OG emperors – Shanks, Whitebeard, Kaido, and Big Mom. In that period, when Shanks became an emperor (six years before the current time period), he was the youngest Yonko among the emperors. Furthermore, Shanks was the only Yonko from the west blue at that time, but Luffy has since stolen the crown from him.

Another fun fact here is that, except him, all the other three emperors, namely Whitebeard, Big Mom, and Kaido, were former members of the infamous Rocks Pirates.

17. Shanks Doesn’t Have a Fishman or Female in His Crew

An image of Shanks and his crew.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Fandom)

While Luffy has a Fish-man like Jinbe and the best female characters like Nami and Robin in his crew, Shanks neither has a Fish-man nor a woman character in his crew. Apparently, we don’t know the reason behind this mystery. But still, it has been a hot topic among fans for the longest time. This fact arouses one’s curiosity, and let’s see if we will get an answer to this question anytime soon.

18. Shanks’ Red Hair Pirates Jolly Roger Changed

20 Facts About Shanks One Piece Fans Should Knownew-jolly-roger-1

Yes! you read that right. The Red Hair Pirates’ jolly roger in One Piece was modified a little after the Marineford War. While both of them still resemble the characteristics of Shanks, the little difference can be recognized easily. The former one had the skull with its mouth wide open. But now, the skull’s mouth is closed and the skull looks comparatively different; more menacing.

20. Shanks Stopped Kaido from Coming to Marineford War

An image of Shanks.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

Another intriguing fact about Shanks is that one of the most important battles in the show happened behind the screens. Kaido was on his way to strike Whitebeard during the Marineford War, but luckily, Shanks was able to stop him in his tracks. We don’t exactly know how it happened and is still one of the most debated topics among the fans.

shanks was able to stop him and come to the war right in time to put a full stop to it. Imagine Kaido in the Marineford war, the destruction would have been a lot bigger, and we can only dream of who would have won. Marineford is one of the best arcs in One Piece, but we don’t know if Kaido’s appearance would have elevated or ruined the experience.

Bonus Facts About Shanks in One Piece

Here are some bonus facts about the Red-Haired pirate that is Shanks, and well, they will amaze you:

1. Shanks Grew His Arm Back!

An image of Shanks.
Image Courtesy – @TalesOfMuffin (Twitter)

In One Piece anime episode 461, when Ace came to meet Shanks, you can see that he has two arms and many wondered how his left arm miraculously grew back. But it indeed was a terrible blunder by the animation team. This was later corrected in the rerelease of the anime episodes.

2. Shanks’ Character in Netflix Live Action Series

An image of Shanks and Peter Gadiot.
Image Courtesy – One Piece by Toei Animation Studios (Twitter)

Netflix’s One Piece Live Action show is going to release sometime in 2023, and all fans over the world are so excited about it. As we have mentioned earlier, Shanks is an important character in the show and his live-action character has to be cast perfectly. Fortunately, we got Peter Gadiot, who he is famous for his works in Supergirl, Queen of the South, and Yellowjackets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Shanks so popular?

Despite having less screen time, Shanks is one of the most popular characters in One Piece. This is due to his characterization mainly and how much impact he has on the show. He was the inspiration for Luffy to become a Pirate and is one of the important characters in the end game. He will always be loved by the fans.

Who is the Haki killer?

Shanks is currently known as the Killer of the Observation Haki. It is a very advanced form of Haki and he is the only individual now who can pull off that now.

Who ate Shanks’s arm?

A Sea King named The Lord of the Coast is the one who ate off Shanks’ left arm while protecting Luffy. Later, when Luffy sailed out to become a pirate, he got his revenge by knocking it out.

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