One Piece: 8 greatest swords fights in the series so far
One Piece swordsmen know that it only takes a single hit to finish off a high-stakes battle.
Swords will always have a place in shonen, mainly due to the flexibility of this fighting style. One Piece may not have the choreography of Bleach or Rurouni Kenshin, but it does have exciting bouts that keep fans on the edge of their seats. Even the best swordsmen would be lucky not to lose a limb.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views. It will also contain major spoilers from the manga.
Some of the best sword fights ever seen in the One Piece series
1) Dracule Mihawk versus Vista (Marineford)
In the midst of a chaotic war, these powerful swordsmen decided to engage in a very casual duel, complimenting each other's abilities. It's more of a conversation than a complete battle, yet Mihawk and Vista make it seem cool.
Mihawk also manages to defend himself using a single longsword, Yoru, while Vista resorts to using twin blades. Composure goes a long way in maintaining a battle stance. That's what makes someone like Mihawk so terrifying.
2) Silvers Rayleigh versus Kizaru (Sabaody Archipelago)
It was a very brief encounter, but it's clear that both men have been in scraps involving swords before. Rayleigh and Kizaru make great use of their long-range weaponry as they parry their attacks back and forth.
Rayleigh may not be as strong as he used to be in the One Piece series, but he still has a showing here. Keep in mind that Kizaru completely swept members of the Worst Generation beforehand. Rayleigh hadn't even held a sword in years, but he still kept up with the Admiral.
3) Pedro versus Tamago (Whole Cake Island)
They might not be the most important One Piece characters, but Pedro and Tamago are quite skilled with a sword.
Toei Animation put a lot of effort into their coordinated attacks. Both combatants gave it their all with a flurry of strikes, not to mention they used deceptive moves to throw each other off. Their match ended in a very satisfying manner as Pedro cut Tamago in half, complete with a clean sound effect.
4) Brook versus Ryuma (Thriller Bark)
Even when he is nothing more than a rotting corpse, Shimotsuki Ryuma is still a major threat in the One Piece series. He wields the cursed blade Shusui, also known as the national treasure of Wano Country.
Gecko Moria used the Kage Kage no Mi to steal Brook's shadow and power up Ryuma. Unfortunately for the skeletal musician, the zombified samurai was able to directly copy all his techniques. Any potential battle was a lost cause since Ryuma had more strength and speed.
Despite the power discrepancy, Brook didn't back down from the fight, even when his bones were starting to shatter. He should be admired for his great display of courage, even in the face of death.
5) Roronoa Zoro versus Ryuma (Thriller Bark)
Zoro did what Brook was unable to do against Ryuma. He cut down the swordsman in a midair clash, via the powerful Hiryu Kaen. It turns out that having a stronger physical build makes a world of difference.
Ryuma accepted his defeat in a respectful manner and even gave Zoro his prized sword. It wasn't a battle for the sake of a battle in the One Piece series. Rather, it was a generational shift between great swordsmen.
6) Zoro versus Kaku (Enies Lobby)
Kaku might seem like a goofball, but he is surprisingly creative with his swordsmanship. By turning into a giraffe with his Zoan Devil Fruit, he could pull his neck into his torso and fire it off like a cannon. Alternatively, he can give himself longer arms and legs for better reach.
Without question, this is Zoro's most hard-fought victory before the One Piece timeskip. Kaku pushed him to his very limit, which is why Zoro had to resort to using the Ashura: Ichibugin, a sword technique that gives Zoro nine swords instead of the usual three.
7) Zoro versus King (Wano Country)
It can be argued that King was Zoro's first real challenge after the One Piece timeskip, at least among swordsmen in a serious duel. Kaido's right-hand man nearly broke Zoro's blade with his swordbreaker.
The Lunarian was a constant threat whenever he used hit-and-run techniques, in conjunction with his fire manipulation. Zoro could barely deal with King without breaking a sweat. Haki is the only reason he didn't perish in a fiery explosion.
In the end, Zoro was forced to use his most powerful technique, En-Ō Santōryū: Ippyakusanjo Hiryu Jigoku. Not only did he cut through a magma dragon, Zoro also destroyed King's sword and severed his wings.
8) Zoro versus Mihawk (Baratie)
At the beginning of the One Piece series, the world's greatest swordsman casually sliced wooden ships in half with barely any effort. Right away, fans knew there was a major skill gap between Mihawk and Zoro.
This was proven during a very brief duel, where the former only needed a small knife to deal with the latter's three swords, breaking most of them in the process. It's a prime example of why fights don't always need to be flashy.
Zoro's devastating loss established the power level difference between him and his final adversary. Nonetheless, he did enjoy a small victory in defeat, since Mihawk did acknowledge his potential in the One Piece series.
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