Is Shanks Evil? Does He Have a Dark Side?

is shanks evil

One Piece fans have been on the fence about Shanks for quite a few years now, with many wondering if he is truly as good and selfless as he appears. Although there’s a ton of debate, many are curious to know if Shanks is evil and if he has a dark side that fans are not entirely aware of.

Shanks is caring yet mysterious, often making questionable and shady moves in One Piece. While many of his actions might mean Shanks is evil and is manipulating Luffy, it’s more likely that Shanks has darker secrets, knows much more due to his Observation Haki, and uses it to influence fate.

While there is no solid evidence to suggest Shanks is truly evil, he is definitely not completely good and pure like Luffy, and he likely has a darker side that he prefers to hide. Stick around to find out about Shanks, what we know about his alliances, why fans think he might be evil, as well as Shanks’ potential dark side.

Is Shanks Evil In One Piece?

Shanks is possibly one of the most well-loved characters in One Piece, but he has also been one of the most mysterious characters that One Piece has to offer for the majority of the One Piece storyline. Although the new One Piece: Film Red has revealed some more information on Shanks, there’s still very little we know about Shanks’ past, ancestry, and even his alignment – plus, he has made some questionable actions and decisions at times.

Is Shanks the Strongest Pirate in One Piece? (& What Are His Powers?)

Quite a few of his motions have led many One Piece fans to believe he may not be as good as we think, as well as the fact that he can pop out of absolutely nowhere when it doesn’t quite make sense. Some fans believe Shanks may be guiding Luffy for his own dark intentions, believing that Shanks is truly evil and has been plotting against Luffy and the Straw Hat crew members all this time.


Does Shanks Have a Devil Fruit and Did He Eat Any?

Shanks is believed to have originally stolen the Gomu Gomu no Mi from the ship of Who’s Who, potentially with the intention of eating it in order to get closer to finding the One Piece. However, Luffy eats the fruit, and some fans believe it was then that Shanks began using Luffy as a tool – only protecting and guiding him in order to get his hands on the One Piece.

A lot of the basis for the evil Shanks theory stems from his interactions with the powerful and evil Gorosei, which we’ll get into more later on. But, a specific scene of Shanks gives us a really dark and perplexing view of his potential intentions, shared below thanks to a One Piece fan on Twitter.

shanks evil

This scene would suggest that Shanks has been using Luffy to track down the One Piece all along, all while aiming to claim the One Piece for himself. Recent events have also brought even more questions around Shanks and his motives, such as Shanks officially joining the race for the Laugh Tale, as well as his intriguing departure from Wano.

Does Shanks Have a Dark Side?

One Piece fans have been questioning Shanks’ true allegiance ever since the Reverie since it was quite a surprise he made an appearance at all. According to Shonen Daily, a few points within this scene could indicate that Shanks is actually a secret operative for the government, providing insights that could potentially harm Luffy and the crew.

shanks 2

He is respected by the highest ranking members of the World Government, unlike the other strong One Piece pirates out there, and the Gorosei also state that they only make time to talk because it’s Shanks and not someone else. This all makes it seem as if Shanks works for them or at the very least has some kind of unspoken deal with them.

That being said, after Shanks meets with them, they are shown still trying to figure out Luffy’s Devil Fruit, even after it was revealed to the main One Piece characters. This would suggest that Shanks was either talking about a different pirate or that he was talking about Luffy but actually chose to withhold the information about Luffy’s powers.


Shanks is a really powerful pirate as well, but he is not always up for fighting, only choosing to battle when it’s needed, and he often makes selfless acts for others. He may or may not be evil, but he is definitely suspicious. Check out the video below posted by Zhoniin for more details on why fans feel Shanks is evil in One Piece.

All of the minor details can throw theories in many directions, but it seems that Shanks is not actually a secret agent for the government. However, Shanks could very well be working with the Gorosei in order to maintain the balance of power – after all, Shanks is set on maintaining or creating peace and believes that power should always be balanced.

Will Shanks Betray Luffy?

With all that being said, Shanks has shown a ton of evidence to suggest he is good deep down, although his motives may still be shrouded with mystery. He also bets his arm on Luffy succeeding, showing that he does really have faith in the aspiring Pirate King.

Shanks vs Luffy: Who Is Stronger and Who Would Win?

It’s more likely that Shanks plays an important role in maintaining balance and peace in the One Piece universe, which may demand some choices that can be hard to understand. This would be appreciated by the Gorosei, considering that balance is the only thing preventing Imu from going through with a new Great Cleansing.


Does Shanks Have a Devil Fruit and Did He Eat Any?

Additionally, it’s recently been shown that Shanks could be a descendant of the Celestial Dragons, which could be the reason Shanks is given special treatment and privileges by the higher-ups. However, the way that the Gorosei can be swayed by Shanks may also come down to the role he plays.

Considering all of his questionable actions and odd behavior in certain scenes, it is understandable why One Piece fans think he is evil, has a dark side, or is at hiding something a the very least. A massive contributing factor here is the fact that Shanks is believed to be able to see pretty far into the future – much further than many fans may have thought, as discussed below in a video posted by Shisui The Ten Power Holder.

Shanks has teased this ability in a few instances, such as when he meets with Whitebeard and speaks as if he knows Ace will lose, as well as when he tells Coby that his bravery in the Marinford War changed the fate of the world. If Shanks can truly see so far into the future, then many of his actions might be justified at a later point – although they may seem odd, evil, or treacherous at the time.

How Did Shanks Lose His Arm in One Piece?

This may point to Shanks being secretive and aware of events that have not yet occurred in real-time within the One Piece storyline, and it may make him far shadier than we anticipated. But, it does not necessarily make him evil – still, only time will tell whether fans ever find out what Shanks is really up to.

While Shanks betraying Luffy and the crew might make for an incredible plot twist, serve as a final test for the hero, and lead to an epic showdown between Luffy and Shanks‘ evil side, Shanks may just make questionable moves to influence the future. Since he uses Observation Haki, it’s possible his actions and decisions may pull the strings of fate – hopefully in a good direction.

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