One Piece is an anime that certainly has its fair share of strong and powerful characters. And while its protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy, has most often been featured in our One Piece-related comparisons, this one is not going to focus on Luffy at all. Namely, the protagonists of this comparison are going to be Zoro, a member of Luffy’s crew, and Dracule Mihawk, the best swordsman in the world of One Piece. In this article, we are going to analyze the two, as we are going to pit Zoro against Mihawk to finally determine who the stronger of the two is.
At this point in the plot, Dracule Mihawk is still stronger than Zoro and would defeat him in a fight (like he has in the beginning). While Zoro has definitely become better since their first clash, Mihawk is still the best swordsman in the world of One Piece, and regardless of Zoro’s improvement, Mihawk is still the stronger of the two.
The rest of this article will further elaborate on the above-given answer, as we are going to compare Zoro and Mihawk in more detail. Through several categories, you are going to see who the stronger of the two is and why our answer is like it is, i.e., why Mihawk was ultimately able to defeat Zoro when they fought.
Zoro is one of the physically strongest characters in the series. He demonstrates the strength of him when he was fighting Daz Bones, he easily lifted a building despite the injuries he had. He is seen training on the Thousand Sunny with ton weight dumbbells. His strength is surely equal to or greater than that of a giant as he was able to parry a direct hit from Oars with his swords.
After the time skip, Zoro greatly increased his strength. Proof of this is that he was able to defeat a Pacifista with a single attack when before the timeskip he and all his companions joined forces to defeat one, he was able to cut a pirate ship with a single cut, he was also capable of defeating and seriously injuring Hody Jones, a Fish-Man with physical strength above the average of his race when he was underwater and with several Energy Steroids consumed.
One of his greatest feats was defeating Pica in his gigantic form without a single scratch, though he had to turn to Orlumbus to gain mobility and momentum. Zoro has also shown to be very agile and fast. An example of this is that in the Whiskey Peak arc he took on a large number of Baroque Works agents, slipping through their ranks so quickly that they didn’t notice him until he spoke.
Part of Mihawk’s abilities as the world’s most powerful master swordsman is due to his immense superhuman physical strength, which he complements in his mastery of swordsmanship. Mihawk’s sword attacks are executed with tremendous power, being able to easily create immensely powerful compressed air slashes or streams of energy with massive range, enough to split apart battleships and a mountain of ice with ease.
He was also able to stop Zoro, a formidable swordsman with enormous strength, with just a dagger he held in one hand. Mihawk has extraordinary agility, being able to jump and leap enormous heights and distances. He is fast enough to counter the enhanced speed of Luffy’s Gear Second. He also possesses extraordinary reflexes.
At this point, this is a category that Mihawk still wins. Namely, part of his notoriety is not just due to his swordsmanship skills, but also due to his enormous strength, something that Zoro cannot outmatch yet.
Points: Zoro 0, Mihawk 1
Roronoa Zoro is a very powerful character. He is known as one of the most powerful characters in the series and one of the series’ best swordsmen; he is, by all means, probably going to surpass even Mihawk in the future. Now, Zoro’s powers and feats definitely merit a conclusion that he has consumed a Devil Fruit, but is that really true? It’s not – namely, Roronoa Zoro has never eaten a Devil Fruit.
This makes Zoro one of a very small number of characters (the most notable other one being Shanks and Mihawk) who are extremely powerful, but have not actually consumed a Devil Fruit; most of the other powerful characters have to thank their Devil Fruits for their individual reputations.
Like Zoro, Dracule Mihawk has not consumed any Devil Fruit in his life and owes his powers and abilities to his natural skills and his training. Dracule Mihawk is a formidable fighter and the fact that he has achieved all of that without any help, simply thanks to his training, makes it even more impressive. There is a reason why Mihawk is considered to be the best swordsman in the world of One Piece and we can only confirm that from this position.
This is going to be a strange one – namely, we are not going to award a point to anyone. The result is going to be the same, but the difference from our usual approach is that we’re not going to share the points, but rather not award them at all. Since neither of the two has any Devil Fruit powers, they actually don’t deserve a point here.
Points: Zoro 0, Mihawk 1
Zoro is one of the few people to possess all 3 forms of Haki. Zoro possesses the Royal Haki, the rarest Haki, whose users are said to possess the qualities of a King. He is first mentioned to hold this power by Kaido after Zoro’s nine-sword attack. During his fight against King, he uses the Royal Haki to coat his sabers, a very advanced form, and at the same time members of the Hundred Beasts Crew are seen fainting around.
He didn’t use the Haki offensively against Monet but still managed to beat her as she thought he was going to use the Haki and therefore she was going to die. The fear that Monet felt at that moment completely destabilized her. He has learned to imbue his sabers with Haki to make them more effective against Haki or Devil Fruit users.
He also used the Armament Haki on Pica to slice him which means his Haki is more advanced than Pica’s. Using the Haki also allows him to counter Devil Fruit powers, as he did to temporarily stop the Birdcage.
He first uses the Observation in his fight against Nuru, a Fishman capable of blinding his opponents thanks to the lantern on his forehead, even telling him that he only used his eyes to see and that was why he was weak; he made use of it again to find Caribou in the palace. He also uses it during the Arc Dressrosa, to find where the one who stole his saber is but also to find Pica during his fight against him.
Mihawk can use at least two of the three types of Haki. Mihawk possesses great mastery with Observation Haki, being able to keep up with Luffy while he used Gear Second with great ease. Like Luffy and Otohime, Mihawk can also detect people’s emotions.
It has been confirmed that he can use Armament Haki, as in Zoro’s fight against Pica, it is shown in a flashback as Mihawk tells him about the power of his black sword and tells him that he should be able to turn his katanas into swords just like him. He even makes it a condition for Zoro that he can’t drink alcohol again as long as he doesn’t make it. There is also a possibility that he can use the Royal Haki, but that has not been confirmed yet.
Well, since we know for sure that Zoro can use all three types of Haki, whereas that has not been confirmed for Mihawk (although it is possible), we have to award this point to Zoro.
Points: Zoro 1, Mihawk 1
In the beginning of his journey as a pirate, Zoro only mastered the Santoryu, his conventional fighting style; but over time he began to master techniques from other schools, such as Nitoryu, Ittoryu, or even Mutouryu. Currently, Zoro and the rest of the crew have improved their abilities to face the New World.
Zoro is known to be able to cut through a Pacifista the caliber of those found in the Sabaody Archipelago, so it follows that Zoro can relatively easily cut through materials even harder than steel without using any Shishi Sonson-like moves, very probably because he has learned to use busoshoku haki.
Mihawk wears a pendant cross knife around his neck. He is shown using it as an eating tool, but combined with his skills as a swordsman, it is also a deadly weapon capable of defeating any lesser or moderately skilled swordsman, even Zoro, a swordsman who wielded three swords during their duel. According to Mihawk, it was the smallest blade he had.
Mihawk wields the black sword Yoru as his main weapon. The Yoru is a human-sized, single-edged sword that curves at the tip, in the shape of a cross, with a golden cross decorated with red cabochons (which are blue and green in the anime), a hilt wrapped in bandages, and with a particularly large cabochon at its end. When accepting challenges for his title, he only draws this sword to those with enough spirit to earn his respect, or enough power to pose a threat to him; otherwise, his Kogatana is enough.
This one was the most difficult one to determine since Zoro’s skills have grown so much since Mihawk’s and his first encounter. Still, we think that Mihawk is still a bit better and that is why we awarded the final point to him.
Points: Zoro 1, Mihawk 2
Roranoa Zoro vs. Dracule Mihawk: Who wins?
We could, actually, give you a proper analysis of the things we have written above but that wouldn’t really do the trick when compared with what we have decided to go with. Namely, as Zoro and Mihawk have, indeed, fought in the manga, we thought that it would be better for us to just recap these fights to confirm what we have said above.
With Mihawk’s appearance at the Baratie, Zoro decides to challenge him, but he shows no interest in fighting as he sees Zoro as a “poor kid” and his fame as a swordsman was only in the East Blue. Mihawk finally agrees, but pulls out a small knife, shocking everyone when he says that he will fight with just that.
Zoro gets angry and decides to use the Oni Giri technique, but Mihawk managed to block the attack with his knife without any difficulty. Zoro then tries to reach him, but Mihawk easily dodges and blocks all his attempts. After a while, Zoro decides to use his Tora Gari, but unfortunately for him, Mihawk takes advantage of the gap that Zoro leaves between their swords to plunge his knife into Zoro’s chest.
Moments later, he asks Zoro why he doesn’t back down lest he pierces his heart, to which Zoro replies that he would rather die than step back from his dream of being the greatest swordsman. Then Mihawk, surprised by the great determination of his opponent, decides to use the strongest sword in the world against Roronoa Zoro, the Kokutou Yoru, to which Zoro decides to use his best technique (at that time), the Santoryu Ougi: San Zen Sekai.
But Mihawk defeats him, breaking his swords, except for the Wado Ichimonji. Zoro accepts his defeat and turns around saying that it would be humiliating to be attacked from behind, receiving a cut that made his particular scar on his chest. Finally, Mihawk, seeing the great dedication of his opponent, encourages him to one day surpass him.
Roronoa Zoro was left with very serious wounds on his chest and other parts of his body, so much so that after a while it healed, even the pain lasted a couple more days, not letting him fight in good condition. Meanwhile, the best swordsman in the world, Mihawk, was left with absolutely no injuries; winning the fight and taking a great impression of the ancient pirate hunter.
Zoro, seeing that he was still too weak, decides to follow his dream and not give up, even promising his captain that he would never lose again. After this moment, Zoro would try even harder, yearning for his dream of defeating the best swordsman in the world. Also, Mihawk would become very interested in these pirates, telling Zoro to meet them one more time.