Shanks, Luffy's biggest inspiration as a pirate, appears in Netflix's live-action "One Piece."
Here's everything that you need to know about the captain of the Red Hair Pirates.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Netflix's "One Piece" for the manga.
"Red-Haired" Shanks, one of most notorious pirate captains in the world of "One Piece," appears several times over the course of Netflix's live-action adaptation.
The show, which loosely covers the East Blue Saga from Eiichiro Oda's "One Piece" manga, follows Monkey D. Luffy as he puts together his pirate crew — the Straw Hats. Flashbacks to his childhood give a glimpse into one of the most important figures in his life: Shanks, captain of the Red Hair pirates, played by Peter Gadiot ("Yellowjackets").
Here's everything that you need to know about Shanks, if you're watching the "One Piece" live-action adaptation — plus some more spoiler-y tidbits from the manga, if you want to know more.
Shanks is Luffy's biggest influence as a pirate, and gave him his iconic straw hat
When Luffy was a child in Windmill Village, Shanks' crew — the Red Hair Pirates, named after their captain's iconic style — used it as a base. Desperate to join the crew, he frequently begged Shanks to take him out to sea.
As the first episode's flashbacks show, things go a bit awry when Luffy accidentally eats the Gum-Gum Devil Fruit, which Shanks' crew was carrying. It gives Luffy his iconic rubbery powers, but renders him unable to swim. Shanks eventually saves Luffy after a bandit takes him out to sea, but loses his left arm in the process.
When Shanks leaves Windmill Village for good, Luffy swears that he'll one day surpass him as a pirate. In return, Shanks gives Luffy his straw hat, telling him to keep it safe for him and return it once he's become a great pirate.
While Shanks is certainly a father figure for Luffy in both the manga and live-action adaptation, they're not actually biologically related. (If you're curious about Luffy's genealogical line — best to read the manga.) Shanks appears only a few times in the live-action "One Piece," mostly in flashbacks to Luffy's childhood, once when Mihawk brings him Luffy's first bounty poster, and if you pay close attention, in the crowd during Gol D. Rogers' execution in the first episode.
Warning: Major spoilers for the "One Piece" manga, and "One Piece Film: Red," ahead.
Shanks is a pivotal character in the rest of the 'One Piece' manga
Within the source material, Shanks was part of Pirate King Gol D. Rogers' crew, alongside Buggy the Clown, before captaining his own crew. Eventually, he founded the Red Hair Pirates, sailed on the Grand Line, and eventually became one of the Four Emperors — a group of the most powerful pirate captains in the world, who predominantly rule in the second half of the Grand Line.
Shanks periodically shows up over the course of the "One Piece" story, appearing at pivotal moments. He attempts to intervene prior to, and during, the Paramount War that effectively marks the final events before the "One Piece" manga's time skip. Despite occasionally crossing paths, Shanks and Luffy don't reunite — doing so before Luffy surpasses Shanks would break their promise.
Shanks also plays a crucial role in the 2022 film "One Piece Film: Red." While the film isn't true to the "One Piece" canon and therefore not part of the official story, its antagonist is Uta, a vocalist with the power of the Sing-Sing Devil Fruit who once sailed with Shanks' crew as the captain's adopted daughter.
If the show gets renewed for future seasons, it stands to reason that we'll see Shanks again down the line. If it continues to stick closely to the manga, however, don't expect it to be too soon — Shanks doesn't play a role in the Arabasta Saga, which would probably be the next story adapted in "One Piece" season two.
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