One Piece fans can't get enough of Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoro. Luffy is the protagonist of the series and the captain of the Strawhat Pirates, while Zoro is his close and trustworthy right-hand man. Being the most powerful after the captain, he also acts as the crew's first mate.
Luffy and Zoro make a formidable duo. They have comparable powers and the greatest and most spontaneous bond. Their connection is a clear analogy to the one between Gol D. Roger and Silvers Rayleigh. A testament to this, Luffy and Zoro are the only two Strawhats to share certain strength-related achievements.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1064 and reflects the writer's personal views.
The One Piece author created many analogies between Luffy and Zoro
1) Both Luffy and Zoro possess the very rare Conqueror's Haki
The Conqueror's Haki is one of the rarest traits in the One Piece world. It's the natural-born ability to impose one's own will on others, overwhelming their willpower. This ability can't be learned: it is only available to those born with it. Only a few chosen ones, one in several million people, can awaken it.
Conqueror's Haki users overwhelm their opponents. The weakest people can't even face them, getting intimidated or even losing consciousness when in their presence. Those born with Conqueror's Haki have a "kingly attitude", meaning that they have the greatest ambitions. They have the willpower and the potential to rise among the absolute strongest in the world.
As a result, users of this natural-born ability strive to be the strongest in the world. They are feared and respected in the One Piece world. Within the Strawhat Pirates, Luffy and Zoro are the only two individuals who possess the Color of Conqueror's Haki.
2) Both Luffy and Zoro unlocked the all-powerful Advanced Conqueror's Haki
The basic traits of Conqueror's Haki are rare, but the upgraded version is even more extraordinary. Only a minimal number of mighty individuals are able to coat their bodies, their attacks, and their weapons with their Conqueror Haki, immensely improving their strength.
Users of this ability can damage others, or defend themselves, through a Haki barrier without even making physical contact. Unleashing this power, the user receives an enormous boost, reaching a whole new level of strength. Kaido, one of the Four Emperors, declared that being able to use this ability is what separates the strongest from the rest.
Despite being accomplished fighters, most of Conqueror's Haki users weren't strong enough to upgrade that ability at its advanced stage. Within both the Strawhat crew and the entire new generation of pirates, including the Eleven Supernovas of the Worst Generation, only Luffy and Zoro were able to unleash the Advanced Conqueror's Haki.
3) Both Luffy and Zoro have top tier fighters as their benchmarks to surpass
While other rookie pirates don't have established benchmarks that they are bound to reach and surpass, Luffy and Zoro's placement in the story clearly suggests that they will exceed some of the most powerful characters in the entire One Piece series.
Luffy will go beyond the heights of the likes of Shanks, a Yonko and a man who is an equal to Dracule Mihawk. He will surpass Gol D. Roger, the Pirate King. Further, Luffy seems to be the second coming of Joy Boy, meaning that in the future he could possibly exceed that mythological figure.
Zoro will overcome the strength of Mihawk, the man who holds the title of the World's Strongest Swordsman. He will also achieve greater accomplishments than "Dark King" Silvers Rayleigh, Roger's right-hand man.
Given Zoro's immense ambition and his ties with Ryuma, it's possible that he can surpass the legendary swordsman hailed as the "Sword God."
4) Both Luffy and Zoro have a dream based on fighting and becoming stronger
Luffy wants to become the Pirate King, the person who conquered the entire Grand Line and lives as the freest man in the One Piece world. To do that, he will have to overcome contenders like the Emperors, the Supernovas and the Marine Admirals.
Zoro aims to become the World's Strongest Swordsman, surpassing Dracule Mihawk, a man who is even stronger than Shanks, one of the Four Emperors.
While the dreams of all the other Strawhat members don't necessarily require them to become much stronger, Luffy and Zoro's ambitions are directly related to their fighting capabilities.To achieve such accomplishments, Luffy and Zoro will need to increase their strength at the highest levels.
5) Both Luffy and Zoro are Supernovas of the Worst Generation
Supernovas are the greatest rising pirates. The term refers to rookie pirates who receive a bounty of over 100 million Berries before entering the New World. Most of the Supernovas are members of the notorious Worst Generation, a group of pirates whose actions shook the One Piece world.
The so-called Worst Generation includes eleven Supernovas who reached the Sabaody Archipelago before the Paramount War, plus Marshall D. Teach, the man known as Blackbeard. Within the Strawhat Pirats, the author only chose Luffy and Zoro to be a part of the Eleven Supernovas.
Five Supernovas were depicted to be on a different level from the others. Luffy, Zoro, Law, Kid and Killer were the only rookies that the author selected to fight the Four Emperors on Onigashima's Rooftop. This strongly hints at the fact that these five pirates will reach the top of the One Piece world.
6) Both Luffy and Zoro have defeated the number two of an Emperor
Within the Strawhats, Luffy and Zoro are the only ones who have been able to win a fight against the second in command of an Emperor. Luffy confronted Katakuri, Big Mom's mightiest son, while Zoro defeated King, Kaido's right-hand man and the latter's strongest and most loyal subordinate.
By combining his Advanced Observation Haki, which allowed him to see the future, and the abilities of his Mochi-Mochi Fruit, Katakuri was overwhelming Luffy. With his tenacity, Luffy was able to obtain Katakuri's respect and awaken his own version of the Future Sight. After trading powerful blows, the fight ended in a sort of mutual knockout.
In the initial part of the fight, Zoro had a lot of trouble against King, who was exploiting his Lunarian powers to come out unscathed from all his opponent's attacks. However, after unleashing the power of his Conqueror's Haki, Zoro was able to annihilate King, completely overpowering him in a final clash.
7) Both Luffy and Zoro fought against the Emperors on Onigashima's rooftop
During the Wano Arc, Luffy, Zoro, Law, Kid and Killer challenged Kaido and Big Mom. These pirates gave rise to a fierce and fast-paced battle, which most One Piece fans appreciated. Luffy and Zoro were noticeably highlighted compared to the other Strawhats, being the only members of the crew to fight against the mighty Emperors.
On that issue, Zoro and Luffy proved themselves to be stronger than the other Supernovas. At one point, Kaido and Big Mom launched a powerful combined attack. Zoro managed to block it, protecting the others but suffering severe injuries in the process. Later, Kaido knocked down Luffy and was about to attack him again, but Zoro fought him head-on to protect his captain's life.
In the ensuing clash, Zoro was able to severely wound Kaido, leaving him with a deep scar but wearing out his last energy unsuccessfully. Luffy would later defeat Kaido in a heated battle, after unlocking the Advanced Conqueror's Haki and awakening the true abilities of his Devil Fruit, the Human-Human Model: Nika.
8) Both Luffy and Zoro were trained by a top tier character
During the time skip, everyone increased their skills to get ready for future challenges. Most Strawhats trained with individuals who could help them with their peculiar abilities. Only Luffy and Zoro received training from two characters among the absolute strongest.
Luffy was trained by Silvers Rayleigh, the former right-hand man of Gol D. Roger and vice-captain of the Roger Pirates. Zoro's coach was none other than Dracule Mihawk, the World's Strongest Swordsman.
Thanks to the teachings of those two incredible fighters, Luffy and Zoro greatly increased their strength. This allowed them to be a step ahead of their crewmates and rivals.
9) Both Luffy and Zoro have the same resolve and mindset
Zoro is the closest person to Luffy. This includes both their strength and their way of doing things. The author often portrays the two of them as a duo detached from the rest. They behave in the same manner, move together and think along in a very spontaneous manner.
Bystanders are often impressed by Luffy and Zoro's incredible resolve and mutual confidence, which is most likely a result of their immense ambition as Conquerors. The two young pirates have a very similar mentality and attitude.
Zoro is the only crewmate that Luffy knew beforehand and went looking for, with the purpose of recruiting him. All the other Strawhats are casual meetings he has made throughout his journey. As his right-hand man, Zoro's loyalty to Luffy is unwavering. The two of them highly respect and admire each other, acting as some sort of brothers.
10) Luffy and Zoro were ranked with the same level of strength in a databook
Luffy is an exceptional warrior. It's not surprising that no Strawhats member has fighting capabilities comparable to him. There is only one exception, which is represented by Zoro. Not only is the swordsman the only person who shares some of Luffy's strength-related achievements, but he was also directly stated to be very close in power to him.
The official One Piece Databook Yellow declared that Zoro's strength is no less than Luffy's. However, he acknowledges Luffy as his captain because he believes in him. Zoro lets him handle the situation, only stepping him when it is necessary to protect him, as it happened in Thriller Bark against Bartholomew Kuma and in Wano against Kaido.
In the strength ranking of the Strawhats during the Alabasta Arc, Luffy and Zoro received the same score. Both were rated a solid six out of six, while Sanji was rated with a five out of six. Chopper and Usopp received a two out of six.
11) Luffy and Zoro are a parallel for Roger and Rayleigh
One Piece author Eiichiro Oda created a noticeable parallel between the two duos of captains and right-hand men consisting of Luffy-Zoro and Roger-Rayleigh. Two outstanding duos of individuals with immense potential and strong will. They are all able to use the very rare Advanced Conqueror's Haki, emphasizing their will to aim to the top.
Roger is the man who became famous as the Pirate King, and Luffy aims to realize the same ambition, finding the famed treasure of One Piece. A certain straw hat was passed down from Roger to Luffy through Shanks, who during his youth was a member of the former's crew.
Rayleigh and Zoro operate as Roger and Luffy's right-hand men, respectively. Oda created an analogy between them, making them alike in every possible way, from their status to their fighting style, including even their looks. The clearest similarity is hinted at by their monikers of Kings of the Underworld, which imply that they are strong individuals who are comparable to their captains.
12) Luffy and Zoro once fought each other, ending up in a draw
To the present day, no Supernova was able to fight on par against Luffy, not even Law and Kid, who are his so-called rivals. A few Strawhats confronted him, but, depending on the issue, he either didn't want to fight them back or he defeated them with little trouble. Amongst all, Zoro was the only one who was able to fight on par with Luffy.
Starting with a trivial matter, the two began to fight for real. They challenged themselves with the intent of making sure who was the strongest between them. Both were dead serious, as shown Luffy's eyes and the fact that Zoro put his bandana, which he wears only when he fights seriously. They used some of their strongest attacks, clashing on par.
Oda highlighted that Luffy and Zoro were on a very similar level of strength. He emphasized the effort they put into the fight, showing that they angrily wiped out the Baroque Works agents who tried to interfere with the battle. Moreover, the author chose to leave the outcome of the fight ambiguous, using Nami as a plot device to interrupt Luffy and Zoro from clashing.
The connection between Luffy and Zoro is special, resembling the one between Roger and Rayleigh. Zoro is a loyal right-hand man for Luffy and the only individual in the crew who is comparable in strength to him. He acts as the vice-captain, replacing the captain if needed, and protecting him if he is incapacitated or in danger. He also gives him precious advice and insight.
In Thriller Bark, Zoro fought Kuma to protect Luffy. In Wano, he saved his captain from Kaido and Big Mom on many different occasions during the heated battle on the rooftop.
When Luffy went to fight Crocodile, Zoro took the lead of the rest of the crew and gave orders to the others, who obeyed him.
In the Water Seven Arc, Zoro gave Luffy advice on how to lead the crew in a more mature manner, better bearing the burden to be the captain. In One Piece's Enies Lobby Arc, Zoro urged the other Strawhats to respect Luffy and maintain the wholeness of the crew.
Bystanders have often wondered why Zoro is not the captain of Strawhats, or why he isn't the captain of his own crew. This is due to Zoro showing crazy feats of strength or unleashing his threatening aura. However, Zoro doesn't step out of his position unless strictly necessary. He deeply respects Luffy and is completely loyal to him.
Zoro's devotion to Luffy, which the latter retaliates with complete trust in the former's competence, make them one of the most appreciated duos within the One Piece fandom.
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