10 anime characters like Zoro from One Piece

Zoro from One Piece,Vegeta from Dragon Ball, and Killua from Hunter × Hunter (Image via Toei Animation/Madhouse)
Zoro from One Piece,Vegeta from Dragon Ball, and Killua from Hunter × Hunter (Image via Toei Animation/Madhouse)

One of the most popular and beloved anime characters, Roronoa Zoro is widely considered to be the closest thing One Piece has to a deuteragonist. The series mainly revolves around Luffy. However, if there is one character whose importance comes even relatively close to that of the former, that’s Zoro, who has been there with him since the very beginning as his loyal right-hand man.

Unlike Vegeta with Goku, Zoro mostly acts as a subordinate to Luffy. However, Zoro’s connection with Luffy is special and needs to be put in the unique context of the One Piece series. Unlike the other Straw Hats, Zoro didn’t need Luffy’s protection but joined him out of spontaneous trust. Zoro even warned Luffy that he would kill him if he ever hindered his personal ambitions, which is telling.

As a prominent Conqueror’s Haki user who is on track to become the next World’s Strongest Swordsman, Zoro’s potential is second only to Luffy’s in One Piece. In the franchise's popularity polls, Zoro consistently receives the second-highest number of votes, cementing his status as the second main protagonist. This article will take a look at ten anime characters who share Zoro’s archetype as formidable fighters who eventually befriend the main hero.


Ten anime characters who fit the same trope as One Piece’s Roronoa Zoro

1) Vegeta from Dragon Ball

Vegeta (Image via Toei Animation)
Vegeta (Image via Toei Animation)

The secondary protagonist of Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series, Vegeta is probably the deuteragonist and anti-hero par excellence among all anime characters. Throughout the series, Vegeta transitions from a murderous killer to a righteous defender of the Earth, all while remaining the prideful Prince of Saiyans.

Just like Zoro, Vegeta trains incredibly hard. Zoro strives to become stronger in order to fulfill his personal ambitions, protect his comrades, and assist Luffy in the search for the One Piece. As for Vegeta, he endeavors to shield his beloved family and surpass his long-standing rival Goku.

Zoro and Vegeta are natural-born warriors who live for the thrill of battle and won’t hesitate to kill their opponents if they have to. Just as Vegeta is the only one who can truly keep up with Goku’s growth, Zoro is the only one among all the Straw Hats and the Eleven Supernovas who can use the same Advanced Conqueror’s Haki as Luffy.

Selfless and brave, both Vegeta and Zoro are capable of putting their own lives on the line without hesitation. Vegeta sacrificed himself to destroy Majin Buu, while Zoro took on Luffy’s accumulated pain and fatigue on top of his own, and blocked Kaido and Big Mom’s tremendous Hakai technique.


2) Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto

Sasuke (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Sasuke (Image via Studio Pierrot)

The deuteragonist of Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto, Sasuke spent most of his life searching for power and seeking revenge, until he eventually reconciled with his best friend and greatest rival, Naruto Uzumaki. Just like Zoro, Sasuke is a highly proficient swordsman.

Sasuke typically channels the Chidori’s Lightning Style chakra through his blade to increase its sharpness and lethality. Zoro, on the other hand, can imbue his three swords with Armament Haki and even Conqueror’s Haki, significantly increasing their power output.

Sasuke can manifest Susanoo, a humanoid-shaped chakra avatar that acts as an extension of his will. This technique bears some resemblance to Zoro’s Nine Sword Style: Asura, which triples the latter’s power by seemingly multiplying his body. With its three-headed and six-armed silhouette, Zoro’s Asura appears to be a Susanoo made up of Haki.


3) Killua Zoldyck from Hunter × Hunter

Killua (Image via Madhouse)
Killua (Image via Madhouse)

The heir of the fearsome Zoldyck Family, Killua plays a pivotal role in Hunter × Hunter as the franchise’s deuteragonist. Ruthless, violent, and bloodthirsty, Killua is the complete opposite of his best friend, Gon Freecs.

Gon’s innocence and purity softened Killua’s behavior, calming his bloodlust, which he maintained only towards anyone who threatened his life or Gon’s. Killua’s sincere attachment to Gon is very similar to Zoro’s close relationship with Luffy.

Just like Killua won’t let any foe approach Gon, Zoro is always at Luffy’s side, ready to protect and assist him as his trusted right-hand man. In return for Zoro’s unwavering devotion, Luffy has complete faith in the green-haired swordsman’s capabilities.

Zoro’s presence is a magnet for fans, and so is Killua’s. Both are typically involved in breath-taking scenes that emphasize their formidable combat skills and steadfast resolve, establishing them as two of the coolest anime characters.


4) Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach

Kenpachi (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Kenpachi (Image via Studio Pierrot)

There are few anime characters who share as many tropes as Kenpachi and Zoro. First and foremost, both of them are outstanding swordsmen. They typically overwhelm their opponents with tremendous slashes, which pack enough power to destroy mountains with ease. In addition to their insane power, Zoro and Kenpachi also stand out for their toughness, as they can endure grievous injuries and still keep fighting ferociously.

To avoid killing his enemies too soon, Zaraki wears a special eyepatch. This item suppresses his Spiritual Pressure, allowing him to prolong his battles and enjoy them to the fullest. Likewise, Zoro has a headband that he only wears when he decides to start fighting seriously. United by the same passion for combat, these two swordsmen would probably enjoy each other’s company. Funnily enough, Zoro and Kenpachi also share the same lack of sense of direction.

Despite being extremely sharp in battle, they are hilariously unable to find their way around to complete ordinary tasks. To be fair, Kenpachi often gets lost due to following Yachiru’s bad directions, while Zoro does everything by himself, and can literally get lost on a straight path, an absurd feat even for anime characters.


5) Gyro Zeppeli from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Steel Ball Run

Gyro (Image via CyberConnect2/Bandai Namco)
Gyro (Image via CyberConnect2/Bandai Namco)

Gyro Zeppeli is a major character in the seventh part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and is the best friend of the protagonist Johnny Joestar. This is similar to Zoro playing a prominent role in One Piece as Luffy's closest and most loyal comrade. Moreover, both Gyro and Zoro come from dynasties of honorable fighters.

Gyro hails from the renowned Zeppeli Family. As for Zoro, he is a descendant of the mighty Shimotsuki Family. Whereas Gyro is a former executioner, Zoro, before becoming a pirate, was a bounty hunter. Gyro entered the Steel Ball Run to help a poor boy. Likewise, Zoro began his pirate adventure after allowing himself to be captured by the Marines, which he did to prevent them from prosecuting a little girl, Rika.

Both Gyro and Zoro fought a major antagonist and enabled their best friends to gain the power needed to beat that enemy. Zoro shielded Luffy from Kaido’s Hakai, and then attacked the Yonko, injuring him. This allowed Luffy to survive long enough to evolve his Haki, obtaining the strength needed to face Kaido. Gyro died at the hands of Funny Valentine, but his actions allowed Johnny to activate Tusk ACT 4, which was essential to defeat the villain.


6) Zebra from Toriko

Zebra (Image via Toei Animation)
Zebra (Image via Toei Animation)

Much like Roronoa Zoro, Zebra from Toriko is a ferocious fighter with a muscular body, tempered by a thousand battles. Zebra looks at his enemies with a truculent glance, which recalls Zoro’s intimidating aura.

In the crossover episode between One Piece, Toriko, and Dragon Ball, Zoro met Zebra, who immediately challenged him to a fight. As the two warriors began to confront, Vegeta also arrived, making the battle a three-way conflict.

Meanwhile, Luffy, Toriko, and Goku, who had also started to fight with each other, ended up joining forces to face an ominous creature named Akami. The three protagonists eventually beat the monster, but that didn’t stop Zoro, Zebra, and Vegeta from continuing their deathmatch.

With this in mind, it’s safe to say that Vegeta, Zoro, and Zebra are in the category of those anime characters who don’t need a purpose to fight because fighting is their own purpose.


7) Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail

Erza (Image via A-1 Pictures/Satelight)
Erza (Image via A-1 Pictures/Satelight)

Erza is strong, relentless, and determined, just like Zoro. What’s more, both of these two anime characters are formidable swordsmen. Zoro relies on a combination of physical prowess, advanced forms of Haki, and unorthodox techniques, while Erza amps her swordsmanship through the usage of magic.

Despite their stern appearances as deadly swordsmen, Zoro and Erza share the same comical fondness for alcohol. Zoro typically carries around bottles of alcohol and loathes being deprived of it. As for Erza, she loves to drink, but, funnily enough, can’t handle the liquor.


8) Genos from One-Punch Man

Genos (Image via Madhouse)
Genos (Image via Madhouse)

Within the narrative universe of One-Punch Man, Genos is a cyborg who fights for justice. Genos has a very serious demeanor, as his sole goal is to become stronger. His commitment and resolve are absolute, much like Roronoa Zoro’s.

Genos is nicknamed “Demon Cyborg”, a moniker that recalls Zoro’s recurring demonic imagery. Due to his outstanding might and menacing aura, Zoro is often likened to a demon in human form.

While Genos and Zoro follow very different pathways, both manage to put their demonic side at the service of their comrades, which makes them two inspirational anime characters.


9) Inosuke Hashibira from Demon Slayer

Inosuke (Image via ufotable)
Inosuke (Image via ufotable)

In Demon Slayer, Inosuke is a talented swordsman, as well as one of the greatest companions of the protagonist Tanjiro Kamado. Inosuke is a ferocious fighter, who remains courageous in front of any enemy. These traits make him similar to Roronoa Zoro, who possesses the very same unwavering spirit.

Zoro typically wields three katanas, while Inosuke’s fighting style revolves around the dual wielding of two Nichirin Swords. These special blades can change color according to the owner’s prowess, much like the Black Blades that Zoro is set to achieve in One Piece.


10) Kojiro Hyuga from Captain Tsubasa

Kojiro (Image via David Production)
Kojiro (Image via David Production)

Kojiro Hyuga is the ace striker of the Japanese National Team. Kojiro is the only Japanese rival of Tsubasa who has ever beaten him in a match, much like Zoro is the only pirate from the same generation of Luffy to ever equal him in a fight.

Just like Zoro seeks power to obtain the title of the World’s Strongest Swordsman, Kojiro trains intensely to become the greatest striker in the world. He pursues his dream with dedication and perseverance, not unlike Zoro does with his ambition.

Charismatic, focused, and confident, Zoro and Kojiro fall into the same category of anime characters who set their sights on a certain goal, and won’t stop until they achieve it.


Check out other articles about anime characters here:

10 most athletic anime characters || 10 most resourceful anime characters || 8 anime characters who broke the Fourth Wall || 10 outrageously powerful anime characters || 10 anime characters disliked by their creators || 10 coolest anime characters

Quick Links

Edited by Madhur Dave
App download animated image Get the free App now