Warning: SPOILERS for chapter #1079 of One PieceIn the same chapter, One Piece manages to show its readers both the incredible power of Red-Haired Shanks and his only weakness. While the Yonko and his crew are all very strong, the rest of his fleet is actually made of weak pirates who could not survive in the New World without Shanks’ protection.
Chapter #1079 of One Piece is mostly focused on Shanks, who is currently in Elbaf, the island in the New World that is home to the mighty race of Giants. A few chapters ago, Shanks was interrupted by the arrival of Eustass Kid and his crew, who started a fight against the ships of Shanks’ grand fleet anchored in the sea of Elbaf. Chapter #1079 reveals that the pirate crews that compose this fleet are actually unusually weak, to the point that even the Kid Pirates are surprised. Shanks has to step in, and with his overwhelming strength he is able to end the battle in one single strike, but this situation has highlighted what could be his only weak spot.
The Red Hair Pirates Grand Fleet Is Surprisingly Weak
In One Piece, a “grand fleet” is an alliance of several pirate crews all operating under the leadership of a single, charismatic leader. Even the Straw Hats have a grand fleet, which was formed after the events of Dressrosa Island. The most powerful pirates in the world, including the Yonko, usually have a similar organization, but the existence of a Red Hair grand fleet was only confirmed by One Piece author Eiichiro Oda recently, in the SBS (Q&A corners) for volume 101. However, until the latest chapters, nothing was none about Shanks’ larger organization, besides the fact that, just like all other Yonko, he has “territories” in the New World to which he bestows his protection.
According to chapter #1079, however, Shanks’ fleet is “notoriously weak“. In fact, Oda goes to great lengths to depict the members of the organization as ridiculous: many of them are old, and none look like impressive fighters. Even Kid is shocked and asks how they could survive so long in the New World, the most dangerous sea. One unnamed member of the fleet actually admits that many of them would not have lasted that long if it weren’t for Shanks’ protection. This is consistent with the Yonko’s generous attitude but also creates a weak spot that enemies could exploit. The other most powerful pirates, such as Blackbeard or the Cross Guild organization, have the opposite approach, and they prioritize recruiting as many strong people as they can, thus increasing their military power.
Shanks’ Generosity Could Prove To Be His Undoing
It’s true that Shanks and his crew are so strong that they are the equivalent of an entire fleet, similar to how the Straw Hats are a small but very powerful crew. However, Luffy and his friends do not have to worry about protecting an entire fleet as Shanks does. In a battle against a ruthless enemy such as Blackbeard, this could be exploited as the weak crews in Shanks’ fleet are targeted or held hostage, thus distracting the Yonko. It will be interesting to see if, in the big battles that are about to come in One Piece, Shanks‘ generosity will really prove to be his only weakness, and perhaps his undoing.
The latest chapter of One Piece is available from Viz Media.