Is Zoro stronger than Oden? One Piece Chapter 1033 makes a startling revelation

Enma drains Zoro's Haki, as seen in the One Piece anime (Image via Toei Animation)
Enma drains Zoro's Haki, as seen in the One Piece anime (Image via Toei Animation)

One Piece Chapter 1033 officially released Sunday, November 28, through various Shonen Jump publication formats. With it, fans saw Zoro’s Conqueror’s Haki fully awaken as well as Zoro’s long-anticipated taming of Enma.

In the wake of One Piece Chapter 1033's revelations, fans have praised Zoro’s new abilities as well as the execution of these reveals. More significantly and pressingly, fans have been asking if Zoro will surpass Oden and if Zoro is stronger than Oden.

Although the answer itself may shock readers, the evidence behind said conclusion is nearly irrefutable. In the wake of One Piece Chapter 1033, Zoro's path and final destination on his journey to surpass Oden are clear.

WARNING: ONE PIECE CHAPTER 1033 AND ANIME SPOILERS BELOW


One Piece Chapter 1033 illuminated the path Zoro must take to rise above and surpass Kozuki Oden

One Piece Chapter 1033: Mastery of Enma

Oden seen here using Armament Haki Coating on a tamed Enma (Image via Toei Animation)
Oden seen here using Armament Haki Coating on a tamed Enma (Image via Toei Animation)

An undeniable fact that must be established before asking will Zoro surpass Oden is that Oden certainly did master Enma. This article will not dispute that, as Oden had total control over the sword undoubtedly and is the benchmark of quality for mastery of Enma.

With that being said, the more impressive mastery of Enma is without a doubt Zoro’s, as seen in One Piece Chapter 1033. In the very first panel of the Oden flashback, readers see Oden with both Enma and Ame no Habakiri in his possession already. Oden’s journey from the start of his flashback to his death was roughly 20 years.

Oden seen in his flashback's debut wielding both Enma and Ame no Habakiri (Image via Shueisha Shonen Jump+ app)
Oden seen in his flashback's debut wielding both Enma and Ame no Habakiri (Image via Shueisha Shonen Jump+ app)

Since Oden has Enma tamed by the time readers start the flashback, it’s safe to assume Oden had Enma in his possession for much longer than 20 years. Zoro would undoubtedly possess a similar level of mastery over that period of time, but what makes Zoro’s impressive is the short timeframe.

As of One Piece Chapter 1033, Zoro has had Enma for roughly two weeks. In that short time, he’s gone from a complete novice with the weapon to fully taming it. Unless Oda makes a point of telling readers otherwise, it’s extremely fair to assume this timetable is extraordinary for the mastery of Enma.


One Piece Chapter 1033: Why isn’t Enma a Black Blade?

In addition to Zoro’s quick mastery of Enma, Zoro also instantly gained access to Conqueror’s Haki Coating. Essentially, Zoro is lacquering his blade with his Conqueror's Haki while simultaneously coating Enma in Armament Haki.

We know Oden could use Armament Haki as well as Armament Haki Coating for his weapons. Yet if Oden had the sword for over 20 years and could use Armament Haki, why is Enma not a Black Blade? We also know Oden had Conqueror’s Haki, and as such, he must have also had Conqueror’s Haki Coating, correct?

Unfortunately, that assumption is not a safe one to make. When Luffy unlocked Conqueror’s Haki Coating in recent One Piece chapters, Kaido made a point of saying how rare the skill is even among Conqueror’s Haki users. Kaido’s phrasing was essentially that only the best of the best could wield it.

Given that Oden canonically has Conqueror’s Haki, the answer to Enma’s lack of Black Blade status is obvious - Conqueror’s Haki Coating is the key to forging a Black Blade. Oden sailed the entire Grand Line and New World with both Roger and Whitebeard’s crews. If Oden had access to Conqueror’s Haki, he surely would’ve had the time and battles to forge Enma into a Black Blade.

Thus, we have a clear route for Zoro to surpass Oden thanks to One Piece Chapter 1033. By having Conqueror’s Haki Coating and an apparent affinity for mastering Enma, Zoro can forge Enma into a Black Blade and become its true owner. While this is certainly a long-term goal for Zoro, it’s an extremely attainable one given the information we have right now.


In summation

One Piece Chapter 1033 revealed new abilities and heights for Zoro, to the point where fans are questioning his comparison to Oden. The answers to will Zoro surpass Oden and is Zoro stronger than Oden are clear - Zoro will surpass and become stronger than Oden.

While this may baffle some fans considering the powerhouse Oden was made out to be, Zoro’s path to this goal is quite clear. Zoro can forge Enma into a Black Blade with his Conqueror’s Coating Haki, as seen in One Piece Chapter 1033.

The Wano arc has provided fantastic characterization and power-up moments for a variety of characters. Finally, Zoro’s number was due in One Piece Chapter 1033 and it was an exceptional, memorable moment. Fans now have a way for Zoro to not only live up to but surpass Kozuki Oden.

Note: The article reflects the views of the writer.