Throughout Shonen Jump’s most successful series One Piece, we have accompanied the main character Luffy in his journey to become the king of the pirates and find the legendary treasure left behind by Gol D. Roger. This journey began very early on when Luffy was inspired by a friendly pirate he met in his hometown, the Red-Haired Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates, and Shanks trusted Luffy with his signature straw hat, asking Luffy to take care of it and return it to him when they meet again at sea. This makes some people ask, when does Luffy meet Shanks again in One Piece?
Straw Hat Luffy has not yet met with Red-Haired Shanks canonically in One Piece. However, Shanks has seen Luffy more than once at this point during some instances of the series while Luffy was passed out. The One Piece series still seems to plan this meeting to happen at the end of its story.
Even though we haven’t seen Luffy truly get together with Shanks in One Piece, the times it almost happened are already considered iconic by many fans. Making it extremely worth it to stay around and check every time they almost met and how close Luffy was to meeting Shanks again in One Piece.
When Did Luffy First Meet Shanks in One Piece?
Luffy’s relationship with Shanks in One Piece has always been an important and intriguing part of the show, especially when we discover early on that Shanks is considered to be one of the Four Emperors of the Sea, the strongest pirates out there. But how exactly did Luffy meet Shanks?
Luffy first met Shanks when the Red Hair Pirates landed at Windmill Village, Luffy’s hometown. At that point, Luffy did not have any interest in becoming a pirate, even seemed to not like them. Luffy started getting along with Shanks, his crew, and his daughter Uta, who was about the same age as him. Luffy ended up looking up to Shanks, thinking of him as the ultimate pirate and an extremely good person.
At some point, Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates had to leave Windmill Village for good, leaving Luffy extremely sad that he couldn’t go with them since he cared so much about the whole crew and Shanks even lost an arm protecting Luffy. Because of this, Luffy and Shanks make a promise that they will meet again at sea when Luffy has become a pirate greater than Shanks himself with a greatly admirable crew, leaving Luffy with his signature straw hat, so that he can return it when they reunite.
When Did Luffy and Shanks Reunite in One Piece?
As of 2022, Luffy and Shanks have not yet reunited in One Piece. However, there were many moments where they almost met each other there are worth looking at.
During One Piece’s Summit War Saga, a huge battle happened at Marineford, the base of operations of the marine headquarters, to stop Luffy’s brother Ace from being executed by the government. Many pirates and important characters participated in this all-out battle, including all the members of the marine, Whitebeard’s entire crew, Blackbeard and his partners, the seven warlords of the sea, together with Luffy and the prison inmates he released from Impel Down.
This war is composed of many moments considered by fans the best of the series and did in fact change the whole course of the anime and manga story. One of those moments is when Red Haired Shanks appears in Marineford and joins the war. As a matter of fact, Shanks actually went to Marineford to end the war, and not join the battle, which was exactly what he did.
During his stay on the battlefield, Shanks did notice Luffy’s and even held his straw hat, but Luffy passed out after seeing his brother die at his hand and receive a massive blow from Akainu, one of the marine admirals. Even though Shanks was offered a chance to see Luffy after 10 years and was eager to do so, he preferred not to do so since it would break the promise they made the last time they saw each other.
Shanks decided not to meet with Luffy, even if he was unconscious, but what lead to them not meeting the other times it almost happen?
Wano Country Arc
After the events that happened in Onigashima during the Wano Country Arc in One Piece, did Luffy meet Shanks again? Not quite.
At some point after Luffy’s battle with one of the Four Emperors of the Sea, Kaidou, a marine admiral named Ryokugyu entered Wano in the hopes he could kill Luffy. Instead, Momonosuke and the other samurai met with him to try and stop him. While this battle was happening, Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates were sailing near the shores of Wano and Shanks noticed the battle that was going on and stop it using his Conqueror’s Haki.
Before that, Shanks and his crew were checking out Luffy’s new bounty and what happened in Wano through the newspapers. Shanks truly acknowledged Luffy’s worth as a pirate and thought back to the little kid he used to be. Even though Shanks and the rest of the Red Hair Pirates wanted to finally meet Luffy after this long time, Shanks thought it was best if they didn’t since Bartolomeo was making confusion in one of Shanks’ territories and they couldn’t let that slip since it could hurt Shanks’ reputation as an Emperor of the Sea.
While Shanks used his Haki, we see that Luffy and a part of his crew were watching Momonosuke fight against Ryokugyu. Sanji and Zoro wondered who was the one that used that strong Haki, so Luffy states a familiar face popped up in his head while smiling.
So once again, Luffy did not meet Shanks again in One Piece as Shanks did not want to. Did they ever come closer than this?
One Piece Film: Red
Did Shanks and Luffy meet during the new movie One Piece Film: Red? They did not properly meet but did come closer than ever. However, this movie is considered non-canon by many fans, despite Oda confirming the characters in it are canon.
During the final fight of the movie, Shanks and Luffy fight the same villain at the same time but at different places. While Luffy is fighting Tot Musica in the dream world and Shanks fighting him in the real world. Both of them can attack the villain together due to Usopp’s, Yasopp’s, Katakuri’s, Luffy’s, and Shanks’ Observation Haki, which makes them coordinate their attacks. While doing this, both Luffy and Shanks sense each other’s presence.
When the fight is over, Luffy comes back to the real world but is asleep. Even though Shanks does see Luffy this time while he is asleep, he does not stay long enough for them to properly meet each other. When Luffy wakes up, Shanks is leaving in his ship close to him, but Luffy doesn’t try to go see him due to what happened to Uta.
Luffy has not yet met Shanks again in One Piece, which only makes the fans even more hyped up to see this reunion happen. While this reunion doesn’t happen, the movie made fans eager to see Gear 5 in action, waiting for the anime adaptation for the climax of Wano Country Arc. Until then, we just hope to see more cool content coming from the One Piece series.