Swordsmen in anime are abundant but few leave a lasting impression on the viewers like Roronoa Zoro from One Piece and Yoriichi Tsugikuni from Demon Slayer do. One of them is a master swordsman aspiring to become the world’s greatest swordsman; the other is the greatest demon slayer in history. Both can instill fear in their enemies, but what happens when they clash? Here is our take on Zoro vs. Yoriichi and who would win.
Table of Contents
Roronoa Zoro: Powers and Abilities
The Straw Hat Pirates‘ swordsman and the unofficial first mate is the former pirate hunter, Roronoa Zoro. Vowing to become the greatest swordsman in the world to keep his promise to his late friend, Zoro is the first one to join Luffy’s crew.
Powers and Abilities
Zoro is the second-strongest member of the Straw Hat Pirates, surpassed only by his captain. He was also one of the eleven Supernova, one of the only two members of the group who were not captains.
Zoro’s ability entirely relies on his swordsmanship. He’s one of the best swordsmen of the series and is guaranteed to earn the title of the best by its end. His signature is his use of three swords; currently, the three swords he possesses are Wado Ichimonji, Sandai Kitetsu, and Enma.
With his three swords, Zoro performs a wide range of sword techniques including Three Sword Style, Two Sword Style, One Sword Style, Nine Sword Style, and Foxfire Style.
Zoro is also one of the few characters who can use all three types of Haki: Haoshoku, Busoshoku, and Kenbunshoku.
Yoriichi Tsugikuni: Powers and Abilities
The first demon slayer who used a breathing style was Yoriichi Tsugikuni. He fought and defeated Muzan Kibutsuji, traumatizing the demon to the point that he’ll fear the demon slayer for centuries to come. His breathing style, Sun Breathing, is the progenitor of all breathing styles.
Powers and Abilities
Yoriichi is the strongest demon slayer and the second-strongest character, falling only behind Tanjiro’s demon form, in the story. His Sun Breathing is also the strongest breathing style and is capable of hurting demons the most. Along with his breathing style, Yoriichi was also born with superhuman physical prowess, surpassing ordinary humans and even demons in strength, speed, and agility.
Yoriichi was a master swordsman, his swordsmanship so high that the robotic dummy made in his impression had to have six arms just to replicate his movements.
Yoriichi created the original breathing style with his naturally superior swordsmanship and named it Sun Breathing. All the other breathing styles were later derived from it. Along with being the original breathing style, Sun Breathing is also the toughest to master and the most effective against demons. The user of Sun Breathing imagines themselves as using solar flame through their swordsmanship.
Sun Breathing has thirteen forms, namely Dance, Clear Blue Sky, Raging Sun, Burning Bones Summer Sun, Setting Sun Transformation, Solar Heat Haze, Beneficent Radiance, Sunflower Thrust, Dragon Dance Halo Head Dance, Fire Wheel, Fake Rainbow, Flame Dance, and an unnamed thirteenth form.
Unlike the other Hashira who earn their Demon Slayer Mark when they reach their peaks, Yoriichi has always had his Demon Slayer Mark, meaning he was always at his best. Ever since birth, he could also see the Transparent World.
Yoriichi had a state called the Selfless State in which he felt no emotions and could thus completely mask his presence.
Zoro vs. Yoriichi: Who Would Win?
Both master swordsmen, Zoro vs. Yoriichi would be an interesting battle to witness. However, based on their individual powers and abilities, we can safely say that Zoro would win the Zoro vs. Yoriichi fight. Yoriichi’s swordsmanship may prove lethal to demons but Zoro can easily counter them.
On top of that, Zoro has access to all three kinds of Haki. Though his Haoshoku may not cause a strong-willed person like Yoriichi to pass out, he can still strengthen his sword attacks with Haoshoku and Busoshoku Haki and look through Yoriichi’s complicated movement with his Kenbunshoku.
None of Yoriichi’s thirteen forms can defeat Zoro. In the following, we discuss each aspect of the Zoro vs. Yoriichi fight and how they would fare in each round:
Based on Strength
Yoriichi was born with superhuman strength but he can’t compare to Zoro. The pirate regularly does vigorous weightlifting and has performed numerous feats that call for strength much above an ordinary human’s. So, Zoro wins this round of strength.
Based on Speed
When it comes to speed, Zoro has no feat to write home about. He’s faster than some of his crewmates but not the fastest in the crew. His fighting style also doesn’t depend on speed, though Zoro is very agile.
Yoriichi, on the other hand, is extremely fast, thanks to his natural superhuman physical prowess. Though never explicitly stated, his speed could even be compared to that of the Sound Hashira and the Wind Hashira. Even in his 80s, Yoriichi could overwhelm Kokushibo, the second-strongest demon, to such a point that the demon couldn’t even lift his arm to defend himself before his neck was cut by Yoriichi.
So, we have to give this speed round to the demon slayer.
Based on Durability
When one is so singularly powerful as Yoriichi is in Demon Slayer, one doesn’t have an opportunity to check whether one is durable. On every occasion, Yoriichi dominated the fight and remained undefeatable his whole life. He may have been durable but there’s no evidence of that.
Zoro, however, is a beast when it comes to durability. Even in the One Piece universe where major characters are expected to demonstrate superhuman feats, Zoro remains towards the top of the list as one of the most durable characters in the series. He’s survived life-threatening injuries countless times.
And who can forget the “nothing happened” moment when Zoro kept standing up even after taking all of Luffy’s pain and injuries on top of his own? So, no question wins in terms of durability.
Based on Abilities
Both our contenders are two highly capable swordsmen with plenty to show in their arsenal. Yoriichi’s Sun Breathing is the strongest in his universe but truthfully, it would not go far in the One Piece universe. He may be the strongest in Demon Slayer, but he can never compete with the powerful swordsman Zoro has grown up to be.
Zoro has an edge over him on almost everything. So, based on abilities, Zoro wins once again.
So, as we see, Zoro dominates the Zoro vs. Yoriichi fight with his master swordsmanship and a broader range of abilities. We also have to remember that power-scaling in One Piece and Demon Slayer are completely different, so it is expected that Zoro wins in this battle.
For more fun hypothetical clashes of anime characters like this, check out Otakus’ Notes.
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Anamika loves words and stories and putting them to pages. She also loves anime, manga, books, movies and everything fantasy. She has been a fan of anime since childhood and her admiration for it only grew with years. Her passion for writing is even more elevated by writing about the things she loves.