One Piece: Shanks vs Mihawk

Shanks vs mihowk

 

The premise of the question is slightly askew. Implicitly, the question you are

asking is if Mihawk, The World’s Greatest Swordsman, is stronger than Shanks,

the Yonkou. Yes, Shanks is a swordsman in the World of One Piece, but he is

also the Captain of the Red-Haired Pirates, one of the strongest crews in the

series. Since not much is provided in the way of us knowing just how formidable

Shanks is physically.

We can only piece together what we know. We are told that

he has previously dueled Mihawk in the past, and the two shared a rivalry. But

this changed when Shanks lost his arm to save Luffy, and we are told that Mihawk

subsequently abstained from seeking out Shanks for their duels. But even with

the loss of an arm, strength is difficult to measure in the World of One Piece. As

we see previously, during Shanks’ initial meeting with Whitebeard on the Moby

Dick, he is able to clash with him using only one arm, with Whitebeard wielding

his Bisento with both. The aftermath of this clash is uncertain, and we are not

provided details regarding each one’s use of any Haki, but the point remains that

even the loss of an arm 

shanks loss of arm

 may not as drastically affect a character’s strength to the

extent that we might presume. But in the World of One Piece, strength is more

than just fighting ability, physical strength, or even bounty. Rather, it is the

character’s resources, and the manner they oppose the World Government.

Shanks is one of the Yonko presumably because of the strength of his crew;

many are implied to be some of the strongest characters introduced yet, such as

his First Mate, Benn Beckman being able to intimidate even the Admiral Kizaru,

and his sniper Yasopp being regarded as the greatest marksman alive. We might

also assume that as one of the Four Emperors, he has several fleets at his

command, much as Whitebeard did and was able to draw upon during the

Marineford War. These pale in comparison, however, to Shanks’ true strength,

which is the precautions he takes in shaping the One Piece World. As a Pirate, he

knows not to underestimate the New Age of Piracy, risking his arm to save a boy

whom he believes will herald in the new generations of pirates (a prediction which

has undoubtedly bore fruit). He knows which actions/decisions will cause

unwelcome changes to the Seas, as he did when he cautioned Whitebeard to not

allow Ace to chase after Blackbeard, knowing full well the role Blackbeard would

play in the future of piracy. So substantial of an impact is Shanks’ reputation of

thoughtfulness that even the previous Fleet Admiral Sengoku is willing to respect

his tribute to Whitebeard, and the Gorosei are willing to grant him an audience at

Marineford. Shanks’ true strength does not lie in his physical abilities alone, albeit

them being entirely formidable even after the loss of his arm. Yes, Mihawk may be

a stronger swordsman than Shanks, but in no way can he compare to Shanks as

a Pirate and Yonko, laboriously fulfilling agendas that serve not himself, but the

greater good of all the One Piece World and the New Age of Piracy. 

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