In Chapter 1020, Nico Robin coins the phrase “Wings of the Pirate King”. Now what exactly does Wings of the Pirate King (shortened henceforth to Wings for convenience) entail? What exactly separates Zoro and Sanji from the rest of the crew?
The answer is simple. Oda has written Zoro and Sanji in such a way that they are the Ying and Yang that complete Luffy. They are the representation, the embodiment of everything that Luffy stands for.
How Zoro and Sanji represent Luffy
Zoro is the bull-headed, battle desiring, ambitious side of Luffy. He is the only Straw Hat whose dream is directly combat related. In order for Luffy to become the Pirate King, he would have to surpass all other pirates. In order for Zoro to become the World’s Strongest Swordsman, he will have to surpass all other swordsmen.
Both men have the will to stand atop the world, and as a result of this, are both Conquerors. Zoro like Luffy is always looking for strong people to fight.
Sanji however, represents more of Luffy’s compassionate, kind side. Sanji, also with Luffy possesses the most dangerous ability in all the seas.
Look at how many enemies/hostile people Sanji has turned into allies.
- The Flying Fish Riders
Without Pudding turning, they might not have made the cake, and the Straw Hats might have died. Without Viola turning, Sanji would not have saved the Straw Hats and Momonosuke from Doflamingo, they would have died. Same with Germa. Hell Sanji is one of the reasons why the Minks were not hostile to the Straw Hats. So like this, Zoro and Sanji are the embodiment of everything that makes Luffy, Luffy. But let’s look deeper.
In Chapter 1022, Zoro and Sanji finally team up to take on King and Queen, and the editor’s quote reads The Two Wings in Action.
And through their entire battle, we get to see the qualities I mentioned above come into play. Zoro was focused on taming Enma and becoming stronger, eventually powering up more with his will. Getting closer to his ambition and dream. Sanji was wrestling with himself, not wanting to lose his emotions, eventually powering up even more, with the help of passion.
Even after the end of the battle, their best characters are highlighted.
We get to see Zoro’s ambitious side. In order to get his ambition, he will even become the King of Hell.
Even in the middle of the heated battle, Sanji’s compassionate side makes him save the mouse and he gives it to O-Some before collapsing. Him feeding mice as an act of compassion during his childhood, is highlighted.
Other than this, what are other moments seperate Zoro and Sanji from the other Straw Hats thematically ?
- Only Straw Hats to fight Commanders.
- Zoro being the right hand of Luffy, fought Kaido’s right hand man King, in the right brain tower.
- Sanji being the left hand of Luffy, fought Kaido’s assumed left hand man Queen, in the left brain tower.
- Zoro being the right wing of the Pirate King cut off the right wing of the Pirate, King.
5. Sanji being the left hand of the Pirate King, broke off the left hand of Queen.
Now, I have seen a lot of people say “One wing can’t be stronger than the other, then the bird can’t fly properly”.
But Zoro is stronger. No doubt. When it comes to battle, Zoro and Sanji are not equals. But in terms of overall usefulness to the crew and particularly Luffy, they are equals, decidedly so.
What Sanji lacks in combat (compared to Zoro), he more than makes up for, in other areas.
- King of clutches, without whom the crew would have died 10 times over.
- Aforementioned most dangerous ability in the seas.