Roronoa Zoro is undoubtedly one of the best-known One Piece characters. Like Luffy, Zoro wants to be the best in his own category, i.e., he wants to become the best swordsman in the world, surpassing his idol and rival, Dracule Mihawk, who is said to be the best swordsman in the world. Zoro uses three swords at the moment, with Shusui being his second one. In this article, we are going to tell you when and how Zoro got Shusui and why Shusui is such a valuable addition to his collection.
Shusui originally belonged to Ryuma, whose tomb was looted by Gecko Moria, which plunged the whole country into deep sadness. Ryuma then appeared as a zombie on Thriller Bark and confronted Zoro. Following his defeat, he bequeathed his Shusui to him, which then replaced his old katana. This happened in Chapter 467 of the manga, i.e., in Episode 362 of the anime series.
The rest of this article is going to focus exclusively on Shusui, Zoro’s second sword in his current collection. We are going to tell you about Shusui, the sword’s history, and how Shusuiobtained it in the anime series. You’re also going to find out what Shusui can do and why this sword in particular is so special and so important within the lore of One Piece.
How and when does Zoro get Shusui?
Shusui wasn’t always a dark blade, she only became one after many battles alongside Ryuma; when the latter died, she was buried with him on the lands of the Pays des Wa, where she is considered the national treasure. Twenty-three years before the arrival of the Straw Hat crew in Wano Country, Ryuma’s tomb was looted by the ex-privateer Gecko Moria, which plunged the whole country into deep sadness.
Ryuma appeared as a zombie on Thriller Bark and confronted Zoro. Following his defeat, he bequeathed his Shusui to him, which then replaced his old katana, destroyed after the events of Enies Lobby. After seeing it in Zoro’s hands, Kin’emon was determined to confront him so that he could return his national treasure to the Land of the Wa. These events were depicted in Chapter 467 of the manga, collected in volume 48. As for the anime, the events happened in Episode 362.
Later, the sword was stolen by a dwarf named Wicca while Zoro was eating in Acacia. However, he managed to catch up with the dwarf and thus recover his sword. Zoro is accused of being responsible for a series of murders, and is sentenced to Seppuku. He is also accused of ransacking Ryuma’s tomb due to possession of his sword, Shusui.
In reality, Toyama Tsujigiro, the corrupt Flower Capital magistrate who ordered his execution, just wanted to steal the sword from him. But Zoro smelled blood on him and identified him as the real culprit. He knocked him down, retrieved the black blade and escaped his execution. Shusui was then stolen by Gyukimaru, who brought her back to Ryuma’s grave.
In order for Shusui to remain on the lands of the Land of Wano, Kozuki Hiyori asks Zoro to please give it up. In exchange, she offers to offer him her own sword, Enma, which was bequeathed to her by her father Kozuki Oden. After a brief hesitation, Zoro accepted the proposal.
Why is Shusui so powerful?
As O Wazamono, Shusui is among the thirty-two best katanas in the world. It is considered the national treasure of Wano Country and is the sword that enabled the legendary samurai Ryuma’s exploits. After many battles by his side, the sword became a black blade. Before acquiring Enma, Zoro was convinced that Shusui was going to be decisive in the battle against Kaido’s Hundred Beasts Crew.
Ryuma’s zombie, having come to life thanks to Brook’s shadow, also uses the latter’s Swordsmanship Style. Combined with his original strength and the power of Shusui, Ryuuma totally reinvented this fighting style, making it far more formidable than the version Brook used. Besides, Zoro commented that if the fight had dragged on, Shusui would have broken his Wado Ichimonji and his Sandai Kitetsu, which are however both very good Meito.
This blade greatly increases the power of its user’s attacks. Zoro demonstrated this by first using Hyakuhachi Pound Ho against Oz; the blade of air created by Shusui was so great that it absorbed the blades of air from Zoro’s two other sabers, Wado Ichimonji and Sandai Kitetsu, to form a single blade of air with tenfold destructive power.
After receiving Shusui, Zoro stated that its greatest quality is its toughness and that even if a dinosaur stepped on it, the blade wouldn’t bend a millimeter. He demonstrated this by deflecting a punch from Oz with the blade in a horizontal position. As exceptional as this blade is, it still has several flaws.
Among them, its high weight, which requires some time to adapt. Indeed, Zoro immediately notices that it is significantly heavier than his old katana rusted by Shû, Yubashiri, and describes it as “difficult to handle”. Moreover, during his fight against Oz, he judged that he was not yet able to fully master this sword. Thanks to his intensive training with Dracule Mihawk, Zoro was able to overcome Shusui’s flaws, which then became his favorite blade. He shows off his newfound mastery of the blade after the timeskip by slicing a pirate ship in half with disconcerting ease.
What does Shusui look like?
The Shusui’s blade is black with a distinctive Kanemoto-style white (it is reddish-purple in the anime) reverse wave hamon and a golden flower-shaped tsuba. It lacks accessories on the hilt, being wrapped in black silk. The kashira and kojiro at the end of the black scabbard adorned with dark red circles divided into three pairs are gold.
After the Thriller Bark arc, Zoro wrapped a sageo rope around the top of the pod, however, no such change was shown in the anime until after the two-year time skip, which is somewhat interesting. In the manga during the Dressrosa arc, Shusui’s arm was changed to a red color, likely to match her coloration in the anime, which is also an intriguing fact to observe.