One Piece shows Zoro's top tier Observation Haki in episode 1103

Zoro sensed Kaku
Zoro sensed Kaku's attack while he was sleeping (Image via Toei Animation)

Episode 1103 of the One Piece anime, which adapted chapters 1071 and 1072 from the manga, featured an amazing scene involving fan-favorite Roronoa Zoro. As the CP0 attacked the Thousand Sunny, Zoro effortlessly repelled the assault. This spectacular sequence stands out as a flashy and eye-catching moment, as Zoro reacted to the CP0’s attempt while he was asleep.

As such, One Piece episode 1103 emphasized Zoro’s outstanding reflexes and Observation Haki. Granted, Zoro’s best assets are his Armament Haki and Conqueror’s Haki, as he is mainly famous for his overwhelming attacking power, effective defense, and remarkable physical prowess. However, the green-haired swordsman is also very fast and agile.

In addition to being able to cut his opponents in the blink of an eye, not giving them time to react, Zoro can also dodge, parry, and counterattack with great skill. In One Piece episode 1103, Zoro proved his dexterity once again, performing an uncommon feat. In fact, only the strongest One Piece characters, such as Edward Newgate “Whitebeard”, are able to sense attacks while sleeping.


Zoro demonstrates his Observation Haki mastery in One Piece episode 1103's coldest moment

A brief recap of the events

Kaku attacking the Thousand Sunny in One Piece episode 1103 (Image via Toei Animation)
Kaku attacking the Thousand Sunny in One Piece episode 1103 (Image via Toei Animation)

Arriving on Egghead with the mission of assassinating Dr. Vegapunk, Rob Lucci and Kaku, who have now become elite masked agents of CP0, immediately began raiding the island. As Lucci met Luffy, the two fought fiercely. Exploiting his newfound Zoan Awakening transformation, Lucci was initially able to match Luffy, even though the latter was using his formidable Gear 5 form.

Eventually, Luffy overpowered Lucci. However, during the battle, the ruthless villain managed to beat Sentomaru, which enabled the CP0 to take control of the Seraphim cyborgs. As Vegapunk and his satellite bodies prepare to escape from Egghead with the help of the Straw Hat Pirates, the Labophase’s defense system suddenly went down.

As such, Lucci, Kaku, and their colleague Stussy bypassed the Frontier Dome and infiltrated the Labophase, aiming to block all escape routes from Egghead. Upon seeing the Straw Hat crew’s ship, the Thousand Sunny, Kaku performed his Sky Slicer Rankyaku in an attempt to destroy it.

Zoro saves the Thousand Sunny in One Piece episode 1103 (Image via Toei Animation)
Zoro saves the Thousand Sunny in One Piece episode 1103 (Image via Toei Animation)

Two years before One Piece’s current narration, Kaku needed to enter his Zoan transformation in order to use this particularly powerful Rankyaku. As seen in One Piece episode 1103, Kaku can now perform it with just his human body without needing to transform, which is a sign of his huge improvement. However, there was a nasty surprise in store for him.

Before Kaku’s enormous Rankyaku could hit the Thousand Sunny, Zoro appeared out of nowhere and blocked the attack. Despite being asleep, the number two of the Straw Hat Pirates somehow sensed the incoming danger.

Within a moment, Zoro woke up and used the blade of one of his swords to completely dissipate Kaku’s technique. All of this happened before Brook, who was getting out of the Thousand Sunny’s cabin, could make it out the door that he was about to open.

Zoro’s timely intervention was absolutely pivotal, as, had CP0 managed to destroy the Thousand Sunny, the Straw Hats would have lost their beloved ship as well as their means to flee from Egghead with Vegapunk. The issue also emphasized Zoro’s remarkable skill with Observation Haki.


What is Observation Haki in One Piece?

Observation Haki is a sort of sixth sense that all One Piece characters can potentially develop. Called Kenbushoku in the original Japanese spelling, this type of Haki, also known as the Color of Observation, grants its users sensitive and precognitive abilities.

Upon focusing intensely, Observation Haki users can perceive the aura of living beings. By sensing other people’s “voice,” Observation Haki users can locate their presence, foresee their movements and intentions, as well as make a rough assessment of their overall power. The Color of Observation works even if its targets are hidden from the user’s view.

The most proficient Kenbushoku users possess an advanced ability called “Future Sight,” which allows them to anticipate upcoming events to the point where they see a precise sequence of what will happen next. Granted, if a Future Sight user lacks the necessary speed and physical prowess to dodge or counter a certain attack, he will be unable to defend himself even if he predicts the incoming blow.


Why Zoro is a highly skilled Observation Haki user

Zoro's "Breath of All Things" (Image via Shueisha)
Zoro's "Breath of All Things" (Image via Shueisha)

As the character destined to become the World’s Strongest Swordsman and shine as the right-hand man of the most successful Pirate King ever, Zoro will have to surpass the likes of Dracule Mihawk, Silvers Rayleigh, and even “Sword God” Ryuma. Of course, to achieve these accomplishments, Zoro needs to be as powerful as he can be.

While there’s always room for improvement, Zoro’s mastery of Haki is already formidable, as he can use the advanced forms of Armament Haki (although not the internal destruction technique) and even Conqueror’s Haki. The green-haired swordsman is also highly proficient with Observation Haki.

Even if only on a subconscious level, Zoro used the Color of Observation already back then in the Arabasta Arc. Granted, this is going by the assumption that the mysterious “Breath of All Things” ability is a special, possibly heightened form of Observation Haki.

Zoro dodging Kuma's attacks (Image via Shueisha)
Zoro dodging Kuma's attacks (Image via Shueisha)

During the fight with Mr. 1, Zoro entered a state where he could sort of feel the breath of his surroundings. This allowed Zoro to dodge the rocks that were about to crush him, as well as immediately find his sword under a massive pile of rubble.

Before the timeskip, Zoro was able to dodge all of Bartholomew Kuma’s Tsuppari Pad Cannon, skillfully dancing through the barrage of air projectiles, even though they were generated by repelling air at the speed of light. Observation Haki was never mentioned in relation to this scene, but it’s possible that Zoro used it unconsciously, tapping into his dormant potential.

After the two-year training with “Hawk Eyes” Mihawk, an exceptional Haki user himself, Zoro’s prowess with the Color of Observation became considerable. In Wano, Zoro foresaw and intercepted a Gifter’s attack before Luffy, a Future Sight user, even noticed it.

Zoro traces King's high-speed movements (Image via Shueisha)
Zoro traces King's high-speed movements (Image via Shueisha)

The green-haired swordsman was also able to perceive the sound of a shamisen being played on the other side of Onigashima, which was miles away. During the battle with King, Zoro traced the high-speed movements of Kaido’s right-hand man, even though the latter used his Lunarian powers to further boost his quickness.

As King tried to flank Zoro, the green-haired swordsman sensed his movements and performed a well-timed counterattack, which was so fast and well-timed that the Lunarian couldn’t avoid it. By the time of the Egghead Arc, Zoro had evolved his Observation Haki to the point where he could sense an elite CP0 agent’s attacks even while asleep.

Whitebeard sensing Ace's attack while asleep (Image via Shueisha)
Whitebeard sensing Ace's attack while asleep (Image via Shueisha)

Within the context of One Piece, the ability to counter an attack while asleep has been established as a top-tier-level feat that only the most powerful fighters can accomplish. In fact, apart from Zoro, the only One Piece characters to ever demonstrate such Observation Haki mastery were Charlotte Linlin “Big Mom” and Edward Newgate “Whitebeard”, two Emperors.

Specifically, Whitebeard was able to perceive Portgas D. Ace’s attacks even while sleeping. Needless to say, the fact that Zoro is strong enough to replicate a feat that only Yonko-level characters have been shown doing is amazing. It shows how far Zoro has come and emphasizes the extraordinary potential of the Straw Hat Pirates.


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Edited by Somava
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