Roronoa Zoro is one of the strongest and most popular characters in One Piece. With the goal to become the world's strongest swordsmen, he is the perfect choice to serve as Monkey D. Luffy’s right-hand man on his journey to become the Pirate King.
In addition to his exploits and adventures in the manga, there are tons of interesting facts and secrets about Zoro. However, only the most loyal fans are truly aware of these facts surrounding the signature swordsman of the Straw Hat Pirates. Here is a list of 10 facts that only diehard fans know about Roronoa Zoro.
10 He Had Some Design Issues After The Time Skip
Since he first appeared in 1997, Zoro’s appearance has undergone several changes. After the story’s two-year time skip, he returned with a brand-new look. Unfortunately, there have been some moments when his appearance has suffered from the occasional error.
In the Jump edition of chapter 598, the scar he received during the time skip initially appears over his right eye. However, series creator Eiichiro Oda confirmed in the next chapter that this was an error. In chapter 698, he suffers another error when his iconic scar is replaced by another. Instead of a stitched diagonal scar, he has an X-shaped burn scar like Luffy. This error was later corrected in volume 70 of the manga.
9 He Would Be A Police Officer If He Wasn't A Pirate
Considering how ambitious Zoro is in becoming the world’s strongest swordsman, it is hard to imagine him doing anything else. However, this has not stopped some fans from wondering what his life would be like if he was not a pirate. Oda addresses this very inquiry in volume 76 of the manga's SBS question and answer column.
He confirms that if Zoro was not a pirate, then he would be a police officer. It is somewhat ironic that an infamous pirate like him could ever become an officer of the law. Then again, he is a kind-hearted person who does not hesitate to protect the weak from evil. Either way, he’s still a great role model.
8 He Has Two Different Names
One of the most confusing things about Zoro is that he is sometimes addressed as 'Zolo.' This is mostly due to the interchangeable nature of 'L' and 'R' sounds during Japanese to English translations. However, this name change was also done because of copyright purposes.
In the infamous 4Kids English dub of One Piece, he is known as Zolo. This name change was supposedly done to avoid potential copyright issues between him and the fictional swordsman Don Diego de La Vega, also known as Zorro. In the Funimation dub, he is once more referred to as Zoro, while Viz Media still addresses him as Zolo.
7 He's The Only Crew Member Luffy Wanted To Recruit Before Meeting Him
Since the start of the series, Luffy has officially recruited 11 members into the Straw Hat pirates. He cares deeply for his crew and will do anything to protect them. While he does view them all as his equals, Zoro is somewhat unique compared to the other Straw Hats.
At the start of his journey, Luffy learns about him from his friend Coby, who tells him of Zoro's fearsome reputation. Rather than feeling scared, Luffy becomes excited at the prospect of finding and recruiting him. Thus, Zoro is the only member of the Straw Hats that Luffy wanted to invite into his crew before even meeting him.
6 He’s Had The Most English Voice Actors
When it comes to the English dub versions of One Piece, Zoro is known for having the most voice actors than any other Straw Hat. As a kid, he is voiced by four different people. For the 4Kids dub, he is voiced by Andrew Rannells. His Funimation voice actors include Brina Palencia as well as Cynthia Cranz, who voices him during the second episode.
Aaron Dismuke also voices him in the video game Unlimited Adventure. As an adult, his voice actors include Brian Zimmerman for the Odex dub, Marc Diraison for 4Kids, and finally Christopher R. Sabat for the Funimation dub.
5 He Was The Second-Most Popular Character For Over A Decade
In the last 22 years since its debut, One Piece has had six character popularity polls. From the first to the fourth popularity polls, Zoro always ranked as the second-most popular character right after Monkey D. Luffy. This is a position that he proudly held for over a decade.
In the fifth popularity poll in 2014, he once more made it into the top three but lost his second-place streak to Trafalgar Law. As of the sixth popularity poll in 2017, he has regained his position as the second-most popular character with over 10,400 votes. This is the highest number of votes he’s had since the second popularity poll in 2002.
4 He’s Never Called Sanji By His Real Name
Even though he is a pirate and a member of the “Worst Generation,” Zoro is not really such a bad guy. Deep down, he is an honorable person that gets along well with his fellow crew members, except for maybe Vinsmoke Sanji. Since they first met, the two have always been at each other’s throats.
An interesting fact about their rivalry is that in the original Japanese version of the manga, he's never addressed Sanji by name. In volume 73’s SBS, a fan took the time to identify the exact number of terms they have used to address one another. While Sanji has addressed him by name, Zoro has yet to return the favor.
3 He's The First Person To Kill A Dragon After The Samurai Ryuma
Even before the time skip, Zoro was already a powerful swordsman. After spending two years training with Dracule Mihawk, he became virtually unstoppable. He is so powerful that he even managed to kill a dragon.
While he is not the first character in the series canon to kill a dragon, he is the first person to defeat a dragon since the Wano samurai Ryuma. Ryuma appears in Oda's one-shot manga Monsters, in which the events that take place are confirmed by Oda to be part of the One Piece canon. Furthermore, both Zoro and Ryuma defeated their respective dragons in similar ways by decapitating them while in mid-air.
2 He Was Supposed To Be Buggy’s Bodyguard
Zoro is one of the strongest members of the Straw Hat pirates, recognized alongside Luffy and Sanji as “the Monster trio.” Although, when Oda originally designed his character, he was almost part of a different trio. In the third volume of the manga, Oda reveals that Zoro was originally meant to be one of the bodyguards for Buggy the Clown.
Alongside Buggy's other bodyguards Mohji and Cabaji, he was supposed to be part of a family dynamic, in which he was the older brother. In the end, Oda decided to make him Luffy's first mate. That's a decision that fans will forever be grateful for.
1 He's Named After A Real Pirate
As someone who aims to become the world's strongest swordsman, it is only natural that Zoro’s power would reflect the scope of his ambition. Whenever he fights seriously, his killing intent becomes so intense that it terrifies even his own allies. This ruthlessness seems fitting considering that he is the only Straw Hat to be named after a real pirate.
Roronoa is actually the Japanese translation of the surname belonging to François L'Ollonais. Born as Jean David Nau and known as the “Flail of the Spanish,” L'Ollonais terrorized the Caribbean during the 17th century and was one of the cruelest and most fearsome pirates of his time.