There is no denying that Zoro and Sanji are the front runners of the Straw Hat Pirates (aside from Luffy, of course). They have been ever since Romance Dawn, and they will be until the very end. These two characters are the only ones among the crew deserving of the title, The Wings of the Pirate King.
As Eiichiro Oda’s hit manga and anime, One Piece is finally entering the climax of the Wano Arc, the latest episode highlights two characters that usually signal the conclusion of a battle or a war: Zoro and Sanji. If you have been watching the anime or reading the manga, you’d know that the series usually features minor battles first before moving on to the major ones, and the major fights usually happen between the monster trio, Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji. However, for this article, we will only be focusing on Zoro and Sanji and their role in making Luffy the King of Pirates.
Over the years, Zoro and Sanji have continuously debated who amongst both of them is stronger. The competition always happens through comedic bickering which ends when they both get smacked by Nami in the head. But if we really think about it, the answer to the “which one between Zoro and Sanji is stronger?” question will always be none. Neither of them is stronger than the other because they will always be the strongest together.
Read More: What is Luffy’s Dream
What does it mean to be ‘The Wings of the Pirate King?’
Nico Robin coined the phrase “The Wings of the Pirate King” specifically to refer to Sanji in One Piece Episode 1043. However, the title is undoubtedly for both Sanji and Zoro. While Sanji is one of Luffy’s wings, Zoro is the other, and they will work together to help Luffy soar through the skies and reach the summit. One wing cannot be larger than the other, nor can it be more important than the other, at least in terms of Luffy’s journey in the story.
In the Straw Hat Pirates, Sanji and Zoro have equal authority and share equal responsibility. At times, Zoro shines, as in the Water 7 arc, and at other times, Sanji shines, as in the Whole Cake Island arc and even the Wano Country arc. However, the two shine brightest when they are together. Oda also establishes Luffy’s status as an equal to Zoro and Sanji with this title. The title almost implies that they are the two most important people in his becoming Pirate King because of their ability to carry out their responsibilities effectively and fight at the highest level, if not more.
Read More: New Secret Behind Devil Fruit Revealed
Zoro’s Attacks and Sanji’s Strategies
Zoro is an attacker. He just goes at it without real purpose, because most of the time, his only goal is to defeat the opponent. Zoro’s “all or nothing” technique was seen when he was faced with a dilemma. According to Miyagi-sensei, the doctor from Zou, Zoro has the option to take a type of medicine that would heal his wounds immediately, but when it wears off, Zoro would experience twice the pain he had when he first had his wounds. Even after hearing the side effects, Zoro took the medicine without any hesitation, because he would rather help during the war than sit back and be lousy (he KNOWS he’s going to hear about it later from Sanji).
However, while he was all lousily wrapped up in that plaster, though he wasn’t completely satisfied, Zoro knew that Sanji had it covered. He knew that his crewmate was strong enough to handle the hurdles at hand and he focused on being able to recover.
Sanji is more of a thinker. He calculates his attacks, and he’s not stupid enough to go into battle if winning is not a guarantee, but that doesn’t mean he is weak, because when he starts to attack based on the strategy he came up with, the win is guaranteed. Before Zoro woke up, Sanji had his hesitations. He knows he can fight against the Beast Pirate’s Lead Performers, but his success is not guaranteed. This part hasn’t been animated yet, but we can already see it being slowly introduced.
If you have noticed, ever since fighting Page One at the Flower Capital, Sanji has not used his Raid Suite (the raid suite given to him by his father in Wholecake Island). This is because he said he was becoming less human, and he’s afraid to turn out just like his brothers. But when Zoro woke up, Sanji knew he had someone who would keep him grounded. Someone who’s going to come to his rescue if things ever go south, and with little hesitation, he gives Zoro his Transponder Snail and asks Zoro to Kill him if “he is no longer himself.”
This scene is one of the most powerful Zoro-Sanji scene. This just goes to show that Zoro and Sanji trust each other enough and are confident that even though one of them is missing, the other would carry twice the burden to keep the team afloat.
Who has more authority between Zoro and Sanji?
Zoro and Sanji are unquestionably Luffy’s two most important men. Luffy has Zoro and Sanji, just as Roger had Rayleigh and Gaban. In terms of authority, the Captain is unrivaled, towering over the rest of the crew. However, two of his wings, Zoro and Sanji, follow him. While it is widely debated whether one is superior to the other in terms of authority, Oda believes that this is rarely a problem because both have gone on to lead on various occasions. Zoro and Sanji are two of the crew’s most trusted members. Everyone, including Luffy, looks up to them when important matters need to be discussed. Zoro may be the combatant, but he is usually the person who takes command of the crew after Luffy. Sanji, despite being a cook, is usually the third in command of the crew.
But, more importantly, Zoro and Sanji’s dynamic together is what distinguishes them as a unique duo. Despite the fact that Zoro always fights the no. 2s and Sanji fights the no. 3s, they are and always will be competitors. Every arc, Zoro and Sanji push each other to do better. In the most dangerous situations, the two also have Luffy’s back. They saved Luffy in Arlong Park, opened a path for Robin in Enies Lobby, and Thriller Bark saw both offer up their lives before the time skip.
Zoro has the same level of authority in the crew as Sanji. In fact, the rest of the crew is given a lot of power as well. After all, unlike some other crews, the Straw Hat Pirates are not a meritocracy. Even though some, like Bartolomeo, consider Zoro to be the Vice-Captain, the crew lacks one, demonstrating that Oda isn’t establishing a regular system for this crew.
Read More: One Piece: The True Power of the Supreme King’s Haki Explained
No One Ranks Higher Than The Other
Although both of them will definitely disagree, neither Zoro nor Sanji rank higher than the other. They always go together. The fans will always argue about where the two ranks in terms of strength when compared to each other. However, in the eyes of Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates, they are equal in what truly matters to the crew, namely their importance. Zoro and Sanji defeated two of Kaido’s three right-hand men in Wano Country, King and Queen. They paved the way for Luffy to shake the era by defeating a Yonko, and they’re an incredible duo, even if they’re frequently at odds with one another.
Agree to disagree? Let us know your thoughts!
Read More: The Ancient Weapon Theory and Its Relation to the Big War