Very few anime series have achieved the level of success that A play has. Now that the manga has entered its final saga, the end is finally in sight, which means that a few major characters will finally play major roles in the story. Shanks is one of those characters, and he’s barely appeared on the show even though he’s been around since the beginning.
Shanks is one of the Four Emperors, which means he’s one of the strongest characters in everything. A play, and he was the one who inspired Luffy to become a pirate. As far as most fans are concerned, most of Shanks’ life has been tied to Luffy, but he had a life before he met the future captain of the Straw Hat Pirates.
8 He joined the Roger Pirates
Like Luffy, Shanks wanted to be a pirate from an early age, and when he was just nine years old, he joined the legendary Roger Pirates. He was an apprentice at the time, but he was still a full member of the crew, and he joined them on many adventures.
The Roger Pirates were the only crew to successfully sail the entire Grand Line, and they are the only known crew to ever set foot on Laugh Tale, the legendary island that holds the One Piece treasure. Unfortunately, Shanks never got to go to Laugh Tale because he stayed behind to take care of his fellow apprentice, who was seriously ill at the time.
seven He made Buggy a Devil Fruit user
Buggy was the apprentice who fell ill and he joined the Roger Pirates at the same time as Shanks. They spent a lot of time together and tended to argue over meaningless things. During a raid, the crew found the Chop-Chop Fruit, and when Buggy learned of its value, he tried to steal it for himself.
He ate a fake version of the Fruit to fool the crew, but when Shanks found it, he hid the real one in his mouth. Shanks left, but returned a moment later and surprised Buggy. This caused him to accidentally swallow the fruit. Buggy never forgave Shanks for that, but it can’t be that bad considering Buggy has accomplished a lot since the timeskip.
6 He participated in the Edd War
There are only a handful of pirates who can actually challenge Roger, including Shiki, the captain of the Golden Lion Pirates. Shiki was originally part of the Rocks Pirates, so he and Roger had a history. 27 years before the start of the story, Shiki and his fleet faced Roger’s crew.
This incident is known as the Edd War and Shanks fought alongside his teammates. He even reassured Buggy that the Chop-Chop Fruit made him immune to sword attacks. Shiki’s fleet had the numbers, but the battlefield was hit by a hurricane that destroyed half of Shiki’s ships. This allowed the Roger Pirates to overwhelm the opposing fleet and win the battle.
5 He witnessed the execution of Roger
Roger disbanded the crew shortly after becoming Pirate King, and in his last year of life he met and fell in love with Portgas D. Rouge. When he learned that she was pregnant, he surrendered to the Marines, who decided to execute him in Loguetown, the town where he was born.
The execution was a public affair, and it was there that Roger spoke his last words. These words inspired a new generation of pirates. A number of famous individuals attended, including Shanks, who wept at the death of his former captain.
4 He and Mihawk have dueled multiple times
Dracule Mihawk is the strongest swordsman in the world, which makes sense given his mastery of all bladed weapons and his keen eyesight. He’s a former warlord of the sea, and when the Marines tried to capture him, he successfully defeated a fleet that included several vice admirals single-handedly.
Mihawk is one of the most honorable characters in A play, which is why he no longer challenges Shanks to a duel. They have dueled many times in the past, but for Mihawk to have the Strongest Swordsman title, he had to have won the final duel against Shanks. Ever since Shanks lost his left arm, Mihawk saw no point in fighting him.
3 He fought Blackbeard
At the moment, Blackbeard and Shanks are the strongest of the new Yonko, and they have a story. The two first met when Blackbeard was part of the Whitebeard Pirates, and they both fought for their respective crews on an unnamed island near Paradise.
They fought years later and Blackbeard ended up giving Shanks the scars running over his left eye. This happened before Blackbeard gained both of his Devil Fruit powers, meaning he is a proficient fighter with powerful Haki.
2 He recruited Usopp’s father
Usopp is one of Luffy’s closest friends and he has one of the saddest stories. His father plays an important role in his backstory as he left Usopp and his mother to join a pirate crew, and that crew turned out to be the Red Hair Pirates.
Two years after Roger’s execution, Shanks traveled to Gecko Island in search of Yasopp. He heard that Yasopp was a talented marksman, but Yassop didn’t join the crew until after Usopp was born. He joined Shanks in Luffy’s hometown, and has since become an officer.
1 He stole the gum-gum fruit from the world government
Luffy ate the Gum-Gum Fruit shortly after meeting Shanks, and during the Wano arc it was revealed how Shanks came to possess the infamous Devil Fruit. It turns out that the Gum-Gum Fruit is actually a mythical Zoan that allows the user to transform into a legendary Sun God who can turn his body into rubber.
The World Government has been searching for this Devil Fruit for centuries because it is linked to Joy Boy and the Void Century. When Shanks and his crew attacked a government ship, they found the Devil Fruit and stole it.
More: One Piece: Characters Who Were Better Before The Time Skip