Is Mihawk confirmed to be Stronger than Shanks?


Part 1: Is Shanks a Swordsman?

In the manga, vivre cards, databooks, etc Shanks has been confirmed to be a swordsman various times. For example, this databook calls him a “swordmaster”


We know “swordsmaster” = swordsman as Zoro is stated to be a swordsmaster and that Mihawk is waiting for a “swordsmaster” to surpass his rival, Shanks.

Another source calls him a “Great Swordsman” when referencing Mihawk’s visit to Shanks, which proves that Shanks is a extremely strong swordsman and not just a guy who happens to use a sword.


本来左ききであるシャンクスはかつて、右の腰に長剣を携えていた。ミホークとライバルだった過去からみても、その剣の実力は世界でもトップクラスだったのだろう。 Shanks, who is left-handed by nature, used to carry a long sword on his right hip. He must have been one of the best swordsmen in the world, given that he and Mihawk were rivals in the past.

Furthermore, in Novel Zoro where Marines are in a bar discussing who’s the strongest swordsmen, 5 candidates come up. Mihawk, Zoro, Vista, Ryuma, and Shanks. This means that even in the One Piece World, Shanks is considered a swordsman.


When comparing Mihawk to Shanks, the Marines mention SWORDSMANSHIP, which heavily implies Shanks is a swordsman as that’s the main factor they’re using. In another way to say it, the Marines wouldn’t say “Mihawk is a better swordsman than Kaido” when comparing the two as Kaido isn’t a swordsman, making the point irrelevant.

And for the final confirmation, the SBS Art. Many people misinterpret this and say “It’s a fanart, so it’s not official” which is wrong. The ART itself isn’t made by Oda, but the STATEMENT REFERRING TO THE CHARACTERS AS SWORDSMEN is made by Oda, which is what matters. To explain it better:



Raw Japanese Kanji: 剣士勢揃い!!斬れると痛エぞ~!? Translated: “The swordsmen line-up!! Getting cut by them hurts!”

PART 2: Swordsmanship Skills

Mihawk is a greater and more skilled swordsman than Shanks, not much more needs to be said. I’ll leave all the evidence here to make it absolute, however.

Raw Kanji- “背に持つ巨大な黒刀と、鋭い鷹の目が世界一の証。ゾロの中に本物の強さを感じ、その成長に期待をかける” With the giant black sword on his back and the sharp eyes of a hawk, they are the proof of the world’s best. He senses true strength within Zoro, and has high hopes for his growth.

Raw Kanji- “剣の道の頂に、長年に宣り君臨する男!! 最上大業物12工の一振り「夜」を背負い、王下七武海の一角として、単身海賊達を狩り続ける。ミホークの退屈な日々に終止符をうつ挑戦者は、いつ現れるのか!?” The man who has reigned at the peak of swordsmanship for many years! Wielding one of the 12 Supreme Grade Swords “Yoru”, he hunts down every single pirate as part of the Seven Warlords of the Sea. When will a challenger appear before Mihawk to end his boredom!?

Part 3: Overall Strength

Now that we’ve proved 2 things – That Shanks is a swordsman, and Mihawk is a more skilled swordsman than Shanks, let’s go over why Mihawk is stronger than Shanks.

The main argument used against Mihawk’s strength is that it’s just a title, but this is wrong as the title has been CONFIRMED as shown here:

The important part to take from this statement is “Even now he reigns supreme as the strongest in the world in both name and reality” as this proves that Mihawk is the World’s Strongest Swordsman in both name and actuality

The meaning of “Actuality” is “truth” “intended“, etc. meaning Mihawk’s position as the World’s Strongest Swordsman is an absolute, undisputed fact until Zoro inevitably surpasses him.

Furthermore, it is said that Shanks once rivaled or once had the ability to compete with Mihawk depending on what translation you use. Since I’ve already shown the evidence that Shanks is a swordsman and Mihawk is the strongest swordsman in actuality, this would mean that Mihawk and Shanks were once equals in strength/skill, and Mihawk eventually surpassed him.

Raw Kanji- “シャンクスはかって、世界一の剣豪と肩を並べたほどの実力を持つ” Google Translate- Shanks once had the ability to compete with the best swordsman in the world. DeepL- Shanks once rivaled the best swordsmen in the world

A common counter-argument is that these statements come from the Vivre Cards which have been proven to have mistakes in the past, but even if we went with that and said the Vivre Cards were incorrect, even the manga supports this claim as shown here:

Both of these statements plainly state that Mihawk is the most strongest/powerful swordsman. It does not state “He holds the title of the Strongest Swordsman” or anything similar, it simply states that he is the strongest swordsman, which is a direct confirmation wthout any room for debate.


In SBS 73, Oda calls Mihawk a legend among men alongside Shanks and Whitebeard. While this isn’t a direct confirmation he’s on their level, it does prove that Oda sees Mihawk in the same light he’d see Whitebeard or Shanks, as a legend.


While very close, Mihawk is both stronger than Shanks and more skilled than Shanks, and is just overall superior in pretty much every aspect. Shanks is also indisputably a swordsman, contrary to public belief. All major sources of information heavily support Mihawk > Shanks, a swordsman. The manga supports Mihawk > Shanks, the vivre cards support Mihawk > Shanks, and the databooks supports Mihawk > Shanks. There is virtually nothing from any official sources that go in Shanks favor.

*by Aptohhhh

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