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Listen up… You can pour drinks on me, you can throw food at me… You can even spit on me. I’ll just laugh that stuff off. But… Good reason or not… Nobody hurts a friend of mine.
~ Shanks

Shanks (シャンクス Shankusu), also known as "Red-Haired Shanks" (赤髪のシャンクス Akagami no Shankusu), is a major protagonist in One Piece. He is a legendary and powerful pirate in the Grand Line, being the captain of the Red Haired Pirates and one of the Four Emperors in the second half of the Grand Line.

Furthermore, he is Monkey D. Luffy's childhood hero and a former member of Gol D. Roger's Crew. Overall, he is greatly respected by most of the characters, despite having a 'soft' and friendly nature and never appearing in actual combat until he started a fight with Whitebeard. As a whole, he does not make many appearances in the series, although he appears in a majority of the opening or closing themes of the anime. Shanks always wears a long black cape over his shoulders and until he met Luffy, wore a straw hat that he had worn for many years beforehand. He always wears trousers that are cut below the knee as well as a pair of sandals. The most striking thing about Shanks is the colour of his red hair, of which his nick-name 'Red Haired Shanks' comes from. He also has three scars across his left eye, which were given to him by Blackbeard a long time ago. Shanks and his crew are almost always seen partying and drinking alcoholic beverages whenever they make an appearance as the Captain's favourite 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.

He is voiced by Shūichi Ikeda and Nobunaga Shimazaki as a child in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Christian J. Lee in an alternate English dub by Odex, Tom Souhrada in 4Kids Entertainment English dubbed, and Brandon Potter in the Funimation English dubbed of the anime. In the Live-action, he was portrayed by Peter Gadiot.


Shanks is a tall, muscular man, with an extremely imposing figure, although his stature is relatively akin to a normal human (at least compared to the other Emperors, most of whom stand over twenty feet tall). He has neck length, blood red hair, tanned skin, and black eyes. He's always seen wearing brown, baggy pants, a white, button up, T-shirt, and an extremely long, black cape behind him. He has exposed, hairy legs, and brown sandals on his feet. When he was younger he wore a brown Straw Hat, which he previously received from his Captain, Gol D. Roger, but that ended when he gave it to Monkey D. Luffy. He wields a massive sword called Gryphon, which he has sheathed on his left side.

A decade before the start of the series, Shanks lost his left arm saving Luffy from a Sea King.


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. As that way, Shanks is not cruel like many other pirate captains, nor does he rule over his crew with fear to gain respect. His friendly nature means he will not 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 is better they go their separate ways.

He also is against the idea of needless bloodshed, even if honor 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 also when he saw Koby gathering his courage to stop the war as the young marine believed that it was pointless to continue.

Shanks also has skills of diplomacy, as shown when he brokered a ceasefire between the Whitebeard Pirates and the World Government. His skills in diplomacy are so great that he managed to convince Sengoku to agree with his proposition, even though Sengoku has a strong hatred of pirates. 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 ten years too young to eat one. Shanks himself was like Luffy (as a child) in his younger years.



Shanks was born in a town somewhere in West Blue, a year before the God Valley incident. He was somewhere between 9-12, when he became an apprentice along with Buggy the Clown aboard the Oro Jackson, the pirate ship of Gol. D. Roger.

During this time, he and Buggy would often argue over trivial matters, earning them A scolding from First Mate Silvers Rayleigh. One night, Shanks surprised Buggy by trying to tell him of what the Captain did, this caused Buggy to accidentally swallow the Chop-Chop fruit. Acting quickly, Shanks dived into the sea to rescue him, though Buggy held a grudge for several years.

They faced off against the Whitebeard pirates when he was 13.

He and the others were initially skeptical of Kozuki Oden but after some time they grew fond of him. Shanks also befriended Inuarashi and Nekomamushi while they were on board. The crew had many adventures including going to Fishman Island and Skypeia before they made their way to Laugh Tale. However, Shanks and Buggy were unable to go after Buggy fell ill and Shanks stayed behind to tend to him. Upon the crew returning, Roger had been labeled the Pirate King. Shanks witnessed Roger disband the crew and shed tears at parting with Roger and Oden.

At age 15, he battled Marshall D. Teach who left him a permanent scar on his right eye. Ever since, he has remained wary of the latter and his intentions. Later on, Shanks witnessed Roger's execution in Loguetown, shedding tears for his former Captain. After the event, he started making plans to form his own crew and asked his former crewmate Buggy to join his crew, but Buggy refused to work for him. This would be the last time they meet until twenty years later, though Shanks heard rumors of Buggy being a pirate.

Since the Roger Pirates disbanded, he set out on his own, gathering new crewmates and became the captain of the Red Hair Pirates. He sailed through the Grand Line, visiting all seas, spending most of his time partying, the occasional duels with his rival Dracule Mihawk and having a fun time.

When Shanks was 27, he was at the East Blue and he met the young Monkey D. Luffy in Foosha village, an island in the eastern part of the Goa kingdom. Shanks became acquainted to Luffy and they formed a friendship. while they were in Makino's bar the mountain bandits led by Higuma the bear entered as they were looking for sake. Shanks gave Higuma the remaining sake and Higuma said it wasn't enough and threw it at shanks. when that was happening Luffy got mad at shanks and ate the Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit. After that, Luffy got into a fight with the mountain bandits, which caused the Red Hair Pirates to look outside and see Luffy being in trouble after one of the mountain bandits placed a gun at Shanks' head but Lucky Reaux shot the bandit. Shanks' first mate Benn Beckman which caused the mountain bandits to fight and end up defeated but their leader Higuma used a smoke bomb to go to the ocean and dump Luffy there but then a sea king attacked which killed Higuma but Luffy escaped. the sea king attacked Luffy but shanks intervened to save Luffy, losing his left arm in the process. He scared the sea king away. He later gave Luffy his straw hat with a promise to return it to him when he becomes stronger and they meet again.

Upon returning to the Grand Line, he reunited with Rayleigh at Saobody Archipelago and the latter asked on his lost arm. Shanks informed him about Luffy and how he was similar to Roger, as Rayleigh yearned to meet the boy to see this. At another point, Shanks ceased dueling with Mihawk because of his arm but he would tell him about Luffy

East Blue Saga

Loguetown Arc

Dracule Mihawk visited Shanks, who was suffering from a hangover and asked if he was looking for a fight. Mihawk revealed after Shanks lost his arm, he no longer plans to face him. He brought up Shanks' story of a strange boy in a small village before showed Shanks Luffy's wanted poster, showing Luffy is starting out.

Sky Island Saga

=Jaya Arc

Shanks later expressed an interest in Ace's pursuit of Blackbeard and sent Rockstar to deliver a note to Whitebeard concerning this matter. Angry that Shanks sent him a letter, Whitebeard told Rockstar his captain must come in person and bring plenty of good rum. Elsewhere, Shanks talked on a Den Den Mushi to Rockstar, where he laughed how the old man has not changed a bit and denied Rockstar the chance to redeem his honor against the Whitebeard crew before ordering him to come back. When Beckman questioned whether or not he should go to Whitebeard, Shanks told him that the crew should prepare for battle.

Post Ennies Lobby Arc

Shanks met up with Whitebeard and they two caught up on the past. Soon he requested him to stop Ace from pursuing Blackbeard but Whitebeard refused, saying that Teach needs to be taught a lesson about the moral code by, which pirates live by. Their disagreement led to a battle where both sides retreated and the result unknown.

Water 7 Saga

Shanks, knowing that Whitebeard was on his way to rescue Ace, understood that war will break out. He intercepted and battled Kaido and the Animal Kingdom pirates who were on their way to join the war. He made Kaido retreat and later made his way to Marineford.

Summit War Saga

Once Shanks arrived, he saved Koby from Akainu, respecting him for standing up to the marines to stop the battle since they had already achieved their goal. His presence shocked everyone, as he announced that he came to end the war.

While at Marineford, he was briefly reunited with the Straw Hat before he noticed Buggy and asked him to return the item to Luffy, promising a treasure map for his act. He also told his crew while he liked to see Luffy again, it was not the right time. As a result, Akainu yelled at him for letting Luffy slip away.

He is later yelled at by Buggy after it was discovered that he lied about the map, though he shrugged it off while happy to see Buggy, despite the latter being annoyed with him. He then proceeded on with his business, while Buggy realized he could escape because of Shanks.

Saying that he will not let anyone disrespect Ace's and Whitebeard's deaths, he soon challenged the three groups that if any of them wished to continue fighting, they will have to take him and his crew on. His declaration scared the marines and caused many to back down. He also confronted Blackbeard who taunted him on his facial scar, irritating him. After a tense standoff, Blackbeard decided to retreat from the battlefield because he got what he wanted was not ready to fight Shanks and his crew yet.

He used his diplomatic skills to convince even Sengoku to stop the war and assume the responsibilities and stated that his crew will oversee the burial of Whitebeard and Ace with his request being accepted.

He later attended the funeral of the fallen, while mentally comparing Ace to his late father on not turning back for disrespect to his allies. He then turned his thoughts to hoping Luffy will overcome his loss.

Yonko Saga

As the news of Luffy's exploits at Totto Land spread across the world, Shanks read the newspaper and learned of Luffy's new bounty of 1.5 Billion berries and stated that he looked forward to seeing Luffy again.

Shanks later went to Marejois, where he snuck through security while wearing a cloak. Although the reverie was being held, he met with the Five Elders in person about a certain pirate and they agreed to hear him out.

Powers and Abilities

Being a Yonko, Shanks is one of the most powerful characters in the series. This is well known, even though he has yet to be shown in a prolonged battle, and he's never been seen going all out yet. A glimpse his strength was seen when Admiral Akainu, who fought several of the Whitebeard Pirates and Whitebeard himself, chose not to fight him. Blackbeard, a pirate who recently strengthen his crew with deadly criminals and possessed two devil fruits also chose to retreat than face Shanks, while stating he was not ready to face him yet. Shanks has also held the title of Yonko for six years and is deemed on the same level of pirates who were veterans.

Still, he's able to provide a level of intimidation; that, and the few skills he's known to have gives him an air of intrigue as to what he's truly capable of. What is known is that he possesses all three forms of Haki, swordsmanship, and has no Devil Fruit.

Stealth master

Shanks was quite stealthy, as he arrived to Marineford and intercepted a blow from Akainu with nobody seeing him until the attack was blocked. He later did so again at Marejois, where he snuck through high security while only wearing a cloak.


The name of Shank's sword is Gryphon. It's currently unknown if it's a ranked blade, and if it is, what rank it holds. He's a master swordsman, although the precise extent of these skills are currently unknown. Because he has a longtime rivalry with Dracule Mihawk, the current greatest swordsman in the world, it has been speculated by fans that Shanks was the previous holder of that title, but so far that hasn't been confirmed or denied. He's only seen using his sword two times in the series. Once, during a brief clash with Whitebeard, on the latter's ship, and the second time during a brief clash with Akainu, at the tail end of the Marineford War. The only extended fight that's known of where he would have used his sword are the many he had with Mihawk, especially the final battle that Whitebeard referenced, but it has yet to be shown.


Shanks is one of the few characters capable of using all three types of Haki.

Haoshoku Haki/Conquers Haki

His ability to use Haoshoku was first hinted at shortly after his introduction, with him using the intimidation factor of Haoshoku to frighten off a Sea King with a single angry glare.

While Shanks was boarding Whitebeard's ship for their meeting, dozens of Whitebeard's men (seasoned men able to survive the New World) collapsed into unconsciousness as the ship itself began taking physical damage from Shanks' mere presence, impressing those around.

Busoshoku Haki/Armament Haki

Shanks has great mastery over Busoshoku Haki. During the Summit War of Marineford, his Haki-infused sword easily blocked Akainu's magma-enhanced punch. which was powerful enough to burn stronger enemies such as Ace, Jinbe, and even the Emperor Whitebeard.

Kenbunshoku Haki/Observation Haki

Shanks possesses the ability to use Kenbunshoku Haki. as revealed in his vivre card.

Heroic Acts



  • Shanks has several traits that separate him from the other Four Emperors:
    • Shanks is the only member confirmed to have not eaten a Devil Fruit.
    • Shanks is the only member who is not an Admiral of a Fleet.
    • Shanks is the only member of the original Four Emperors to not be a member of the Rocks Pirates.
    • Shanks is the only member of the original Four Emperors to not wear a tattoo.
    • Shanks is the only Emperor confirmed to have not been born in the Grand Line, hailing from the West Blue instead.
  • In Shanks' bounty of 4,0 48,9 00,000, the 4-8-9 can be read as shi-ya-ku (シヤク). This could refer to his given name "Shanks" (シャンクス Shankusu.
  • Shanks is the first character in the series to use Haoshoku Haki.
    • In fact, he was the first character to show any form of Haki, in the first chapter no less.
  • In the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Japanese fan polls of most popular characters, he was ranked the 3rd, 7th, 11th, 8th, 14th, and 11th, respectively. Making him the most popular of the Four Emperors in each, and being in the first two the most popular character outside the members of the Straw Hat Pirates.
  • In One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, Shanks' taunt action allows him to put on sunglasses, which is a reference to his Strong World costume.
  • Shanks' favorite foods are kimchi fried rice and lobster.
  • In the anime, when Ace meets Shanks, it can be seen that Shanks still has both arms, even though he lost his left arm to the Lord of the Coast. This however, appears to be an error. This is corrected in the home release of the episode.

SBS Based Trivia

  • According to Oda, Shanks is the one character that resembles himself the most out of all the One Piece characters, because of his cool and calm personality and stand-out attire.
  • In reference to Shanks and Buggy's "which is colder" question, a fan asked Oda who got it right. Oda went on to explain that the Arctic was just a mass of ice and the Antarctic was a continent, which was made of land. Since land is colder than the sea (and the Arctic is frozen sea whereas the Antarctic is frozen land), Shanks was correct and the South Pole is colder.
  • If a child asked Shanks for the Gomu Gomu no Mi, he would tease them about being ten years too young to eat one.

External Links


           One Piece Logo.png Heroes

Straw Hat Pirates
Monkey D. Luffy | Roronoa Zoro | Nami | Usopp | Sanji | Tony Tony Chopper | Nico Robin | Franky | Brook | Jinbe

Revolutionary Army
Monkey D. Dragon | Sabo | Koala | Karasu | Emporio Ivankov

Sengoku‡| Monkey D. Garp | Smoker | Tashigi | Koby | Donquixote Rosinante† | Kuzan‡ | Regis | Issho

Shanks | Edward Newgate

Crocodile‡ | Boa Hancock‡ | Jinbei‡ | Trafalgar D. Water LawDracule Mihawk

Devil Fruit Users
Monkey D. Luffy | Tony Tony Chopper | Nico Robin | Brook | Portgas D. Ace† | Trafalgar D. Water Law | Donquixote Rosinante† | Edward Newgate† | Boa Hancock | Boa Sandersonia | Sengoku | Kuzan | Viola | Smoker | Sabo | Crocodile | Magellan | Kin'emon | Kozuki Momonosuke | Bentham | Jozu | Marco | Bartolomeo | Leo | Yamato

Riku Dold III | Viola | Nefertari Vivi | Shirahoshi | Rebecca | Sai

Amazon Lily/Kuja Tribe
Boa Hancock | Gloriosa | Boa Sandersonia | Boa Marigold | Marguerite | Poppy | Ran | Cosmos | Daisy | Kikyo | Aphelandra | Blue Fan | Belladonna | Nerine | Pansy | Enishida | Sweet Pea | Rindo | Dahlia

Whitebeard Pirates
Edward Newgate† | Marco | Portgas D. Ace† | Jozu | Izo | Little Oars Jr.

Red Haired Pirates
Shanks | Benn Beckman | Lucky Roo | Yasopp | Rockstar

Kozuki Clan/Nine Red Scabbards
Kozuki Oden† | Kozuki Toki† | Kozuki Momonosuke | Kin'emon | Inuarashi | Nekomamushi | Kawamatsu | Ashura Doji | Denjiro | Kikunojo

Silvers Rayleigh | Shakuyaku | Bepo | Hatchan | Carrot | Vinsmoke Reiju | Gol D. Roger† | Portgas D. Rouge† | Paulie | Iceburg | Yamato | Kappa | Apis | Kaya | Otohime† | Scarlett† | Nojiko | Seira | Hiramera | Mero | Trafalgar Lami† | Chao | Mousse† | Takao | Russian† | Johnny | Kobato | Desire | Luca | Ann | Livia† | Donquixote Homing† | Amanda | Ever | Carina | Uta