Of all the characters in One Piece, one of the most elusive and sought after man appeared in the first chapter. 20 years since then, yet, we still don’t know much about Shanks. In this post, let’s discuss about Shanks and his future in One Piece based on what we know so far from the manga. Is Shanks or Blackbeard the main villain in One Piece? Who will be Luffy’s final enemy? Check out my discussion and theory on how the story may pan out.
If you haven’t watched the anime or read the manga and don’t want to be spoiled, be warned.
Let’s start from Oda’s 2021 Jump Festa message
As for the contents of the Manga, as new information goes, I wonder if he’s soon going to move…? The red haired man…!!
As always, the story is pushing towards its finale! Take your time to enjoy yourselves this next year!Eiichiro Oda
Six years ago, a red-haired pirate named Shanks took the title of Yonko or “Emperor of the Sea”. He is the youngest of the four with a bounty of 4,048,900,000 berries.
Shanks and Buggy, started their pirate life at an early age as an apprentice in Gol D Roger’s ship. Shanks was 14 when Oden joined and a year later Roger got executed. Twelve years later, he arrived in Foosha Village where he met Luffy and stayed in the island for one year before losing his arm in saving Luffy from the Sea King.
Six years after the fateful day he gave Luffy the strawhat, Shanks finally joined the ranks of Big Mom, Kaido and Whitebeard as an emperor. But the question remains as to how Shanks became a Yonko. Did he defeat another Yonko or were there only three to begin with?
We first learn from Garp that Shanks is one of the Yonko. And it was further clarified by Sengoku that it has only been six years since he took the title.
Shanks and Blackbeard
Shanks and Marshall D Teech / Blackbeard‘s history goes all the way back during the battle between the Whitebeard and the Roger pirates. However, Shanks only got his scar from Blackbeard some time after Roger’s execution but before arriving in Foosha Village.
Shanks’appearance in the story were mostly in relation to Blackbeard. People may not notice it as they were mostly focusing on Luffy and Shanks. But why is Shanks pursuing Blackbeard?
The Meeting of the Warlords
The first time Shanks and Blackbeard were mentioned in the same chapter was during the time Crocodile was defeated by Luffy and the balance of power was in danger. The Gorosei learned about the messenger sent by Shanks to Whitebeard and they trust Shanks will not do anything hasty to disrupt the balance of the three great powers.
As the Elders were talking, Doflamingo and Kuma arrived in Marijois. Unexpectedly, Mihawk also showed up saying he was interested in the pirates they were about to discuss. Then Laffite also gatecrashed telling them that he is recommending Teech to take Crocodile’s place.
As this was happening, Rockstar, the messenger sent by Shanks, boarded Whitebeard’s ship with Shanks’ message. Whitebeard tore the paper without reading and told Rockstar that the message could be about Blackbeard and Ace. If it was really that important then Shanks needs to show up.
Then after the panel with Shanks crew, we see Blackbeard and his crew. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
We first learn of Shanks’ scar during his meeting with Whitebeard. Shanks warned him to stop Ace from pursuing Blackbeard. Of all the scars he got from his battles, the only scar that aches until now is the one he got from Teech.
Whitebeard did not listen and unfortunate events happened afterwards.
In one of the flashbacks during the Fishman arc, we see blackbeard wearing the three clawed weapon.
Blackbeard and Luffy
Luffy and Blackbeard first met in a bar in Mocktown. Blackbeard was on a spree looking for a 100 million berry man and upon learning Luffy is a pirate, he asked Luffy how much his bounty was. Luffy told him it was 30 million berries since it was his bounty after defeating Arlong.
After Bellamy made fun of Luffy and Zoro, Teech showed up again and told Nami that Luffy won against Bellamy. And in the next panel we see Ace and Shanks whom Luffy idolizes but it may be a subtle hint from Oda to put in the same panel Shanks and Blackbeard.
Before the strawhats headed to the sky island, Blackbeard learned about Luffy’s new bounty and tried to capture him. However, he failed to do so since the knock up stream already pushed the ship to the sky and the crew flew to the sky island.
Blackbeard and Ace
Blackbeard has been chasing Luffy eversince they met in Mocktown to try to capture him. Three days before the Strawhats defeated CP9 and saved Robin in Enies Lobby, Ace finally caught up with Blackbeard in Banaro Island.
Blackbeard tried to recruit Ace and asked him to join him and they are going to go after Luffy. Upon learning that Blackbeard was also after his brother, Ace got furious and wanted to capture Blackbeard even more. Eventually, Ace lost to Blackbeard and this triggered a war between the Marines and the Whitebeard pirates.
Blackbeard then stopped running after Luffy and presented Ace to the Marines and he got his post as a Shichibukai. He used this to gain access to Impel Down and recruit members of his crew.
Shanks vs Blackbeard
One thing that amazes me is how subtle Oda was giving all these clues in putting Blackbeard and Shanks in a lot of chapters together without having people realize them. During the meeting, Shanks told him that Blackbeard hid himself under Whitebeard’s shadow. This means that even before aquiring the power of the Yami Yami no Mi, Blackbeard already had the power that could rival Shanks.
After Ace died in Marineford, Blackbeard fought and killed Whitebeard. Blackbeard took the devil fruit of Whitebeard making him the first man to have eaten two devil fruits. Eventually, Shanks showed up to stop the war and he met Blackbeard again. Despite acquiring the two devil fruits, Blackbeard told Shanks it was not yet the time to fight again.
Prior to this, Shanks stopped Kaido from also going to Marineford. Is it peculiar that after Shanks told Whitebeard to stop Ace from pursuing Blackbeard, he stopped another yonko from making a move?
After the battle of Marineford, the Gorosei were in talks of Blackbeard taking the post of Whitebeard as the fourth emperor. According to them, only the remaing three Yonko and Marco are the only ones who could stop him.
In chapter 903, we see Blackbeard and Shanks again on the same chapter and four chapters later in 907, Shanks was already in Marijois to discuss with the Gorosei about a certain pirate.
Shanks, Blackbeard and Robin
During the Zou Arc, Nekomamushi warned Robin that there may come a time that her life may be put into danger because of her capacity to read the Ponegliffs.
Back in Ohara in Robin’s past, Jaguar D Saul and Olivia also died smiling and passing the will to Robin. According to Olvia, the knowledge of the past must be passed on to the next generation or it will disappear.
After Luffy defeated Doflamingo, we also learned that Aokiji has affiliated himself with Blackbeard.
Remember Aokiji’s words after Saul died – “This SEED that Saul protected — I wonder what she will grow up to be”
And after the incident in Marijois, Blackbeard also learned that the New Generations are already in Wano and a big battle may happen.
Do you remember Oda’s message on Jump Festa? The red haired guy may finally make his move. And you know what this means based on all the context I have explained so far. Blackbeard will also be heading to Wano with a possibility of collecting the Poneglyphs and getting Robin to decipher and tell him the way to Laughtale.
Shanks and the Future of One Piece
Recall two interesting times when Whitebeard spoke of the new era.
The First one was when he asked Shanks the ENEMY he gave his left arm to. It looks like it was a sacrifice for Luffy but it can also be read as he was preparing for his final ENEMY which is to nurture Luffy to be his opponent.
The second one was when he was about to die. It appears that he was telling the message to Blackbeard but he was referring to the person who will instigate the war vs the government.
What do you think? Is Shanks part of the Celestial Dragons or the D clan? Who will be the final villain of the story and what is Shanks’ role in the story of One Piece. I hope you liked my theory. Let’s look forward in finding more clues in the story of One Piece.