One Piece: Roronoa Zoro
Roronoa Zoro is the first to join the crew. He is 19 years old and a skilled swordsman, who uses up to three swords at once, clutching the third in his mouth. He is extremely poor at understanding geographical directions and gets lost very easily. He also sleeps a great deal and loves to drink. His goal is to become the greatest swordsman in the world, by beating the current greatest swordsman, Mihawk, due to a promise he made to a childhood friend named Kuina. Zoro is voiced by Wataru Takagi in the OVA and by Kazuya Nakai in the Japanese version of the anime. In the English dubs, he is voiced by Marc Diraison for 4Kids, and by Christopher Sabat for Funimation. On his journey he made a living by bounty hunting, which lead to his nickname “Pirate Hunter”. One day he was imprisoned for a month, but Luffy, who had been attracted by Zoro’s fame among other things, saved him, but only after he agreed to join his pirate crew. Since then, Zoro is also extremely loyal to Luffy, even begging Bartholomew Kuma, one of the Seven Warlords, to exchange Luffy’s life for his. Zoro is a skilled swordsman, able to use one, two and three swords in varying attack styles, and even no swords, although he is most proficient with the fictional sword style Santōryū (literally: three sword style), clutching his third sword in his mouth. Zoro is somehow able to speak with his sword held in his mouth; Eiichiro Oda has stated that it is his heart that allows him to do so. Zoro has several sword techniques at his disposal, using one sword, two swords, or all three. He is also capable of fighting effectively with no swords, and his physical strength is enough to lift a building. Zoro also has the ability to cut through solid steel, or materials as hard as steel, which he learned when fighting Das Bones (Baroque Works Mr. 1) in Arabasta. He is also capable of using the ‘Asura’ technique, which gives Zoro three faces and six arms, thus totaling nine swords. In addition, Zoro can expand the muscle mass of his arms, an ability he often employs to break through opponent’s physical defenses.
Zoro is one of the most popular One Piece characters, ranking second in the most recent Japanese fan poll. Furthermore, in a 2007 poll by Oricon, Zoro was voted as the 4th most desired character to receive a spinoff. In a review of the series, DVD Talk claims that Zoro is a great example of the show’s humorous physics, and praises his Santōryū fighting style.