Why does Zoro from One Piece want to become the greatest swordsman?

Zoro's determination cannot be cut by any steel blade (Image via Toei Animation)
Zoro's determination cannot be cut by any steel blade (Image via Toei Animation)

Characters in One Piece are typically driven by a primary goal. For example, Luffy wants to become the Pirate King, while Sanji wants to find the chef's paradise of All Blue.

Zoro, on the other hand, wants to hold the title of "World’s Greatest Swordsman." Throughout the series, the Pirate Hunter is seen honing his skills as a swordsman in order to prove himself to current title holder Dracule Mihawk.

Zoro's dream of becoming the greatest swordsman in the world dates back to the very beginning of One Piece.

Disclaimer: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

Explaining why Zoro wants to be the best swordsman in One Piece


One Piece fans already know just how powerful Zoro is. However, his journey to becoming the best swordsman in the world began in a simple dojo.

As hard as it is to believe, there was a time when Zoro would lose repeatedly.

A childhood promise


During a flashback to Zoro's past, it is revealed that he used to train in Shimotsuki Village. He regularly fought a childhood friend named Kuina, whose father ran a dojo there. Kuina would regularly use Wado Ichimonji as her main sword during these fights. These events took place several years before the start of the One Piece series.

Zoro never managed to beat Kuina, even after they engaged in combat 2000 times. However, Kuina always acknowledged Zoro's potential and truly believed that he would surpass her. Both characters promised each other that they would become the greatest swordsman in the world.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Kuina fell down a flight of stairs and died shortly after she made her promise to Zoro. While initially angry, Zoro overcame his grief and decided to keep his promise to Kuina.

After asking Kuina's father to give him Wado Ichimonji, Zoro set off to achieve his goal.

Zoro wants Luffy to achieve his dream


Zoro had a chance to fight Mihawk back in the Baratie arc. However, the swordsman lost in humiliating fashion due to his lack of experience.

Shortly afterwards, Zoro made a promise to never lose a fight again. He did so for the sake of his captain, Luffy, who wants to become the Pirate King.

This is revisited right before the time skip when Zoro asked Mihawk for training. He didn't want to do it for himself but rather for his captain.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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