What led Eiichiro Oda to make this decision for such an important character in the history of One Piece?
Shanks saved Luffy from an attack by a gigantic sea animal in exchange for losing his left arm.
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One of the most surprising moments in One Piece during its first episodes was the loss of the arm of Shanks, an incredibly powerful pirate and still today, a character wrapped in great mysteries which has already emerged as a very important piece for what will be the final stretch of the manga created by Eiichiro Oda.
Although the prodigious swordsman Dracule Mihawk even stated that Shanks had become much weaker due to the loss of his limb, the redhead continues to surprise with his abilities, being also considered one of The Four Emperors. Therefore, it is curious that someone so strong has had the misfortune of suffering so much damage from a simple marine animal. Why did Oda want this to happen to such a prodigious character in combat?
The simple reason behind this decision
Due to the complex plot that One Piece has, Fans theorized that Shanks actually allowed himself to be attacked. by that sea beast, but this decision has a much simpler origin than that. In reality, it was an addition put in on the fly to give more emotion to Luffy’s past.
Eiichiro Oda did not have in mind that this character would lose an arm at the beginning of the series, it was a decision of the editor ensuring that the story lacked some emotion. At those moments Oda already had a lot in mind for Shanks facing the future of the plot, so killing him was not an option. Finally, it was decided that he was seriously injured and had some kind of after-effects.
This decision does not clash with Shanks’ personality, on the contrary, it coincides with how much he protected the little and dreamy Luffy from the beginning of the series. On the other hand, Shanks losing an arm our protagonist added some tragedy to the past, a common element in the childhood of other crew members like Sanji or Zoro, the latter losing his best friend and role model when he was little.
The loss of Shanks’s arm is something that has helped shape Luffy’s personality and it was interesting to expose our protagonist to such a crude situation at such an early stage in the story. In the recent live action created by Netflix we were also able to see this iconic moment accompanied by some special effects to match.
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