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Anime Duel: Roronoa Zoro Vs Himura Kenshin

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Ashley Bowman They’ve dedicated their lives to the sword, and now their blades are about to cross. Welcome to, and in this instalment of anime duels we’re pitting the Pirate Hunter Roranoa Zoro against the Manslayer Himura Kenshin. As always, this match up will be divided into five rounds where we’ll compare the skillsets of each character until only one swordsman is left standing! Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Written by Ashley Bowman

Anime Duels: Roranoa Zoro vs. Himura Kenshin

They’ve dedicated their lives to the sword, and now their blades are about to cross. Welcome to, and in this instalment of anime duels we’re pitting the Pirate Hunter Roranoa Zoro against the Manslayer Himura Kenshin. As always, this match up will be divided into five rounds where we’ll compare the skillsets of each character until only one swordsman is left standing!

Round 1: Allies

Zoro may be a beast on the battlefield, but he’s only one part of the New World’s wildest set of pirates. Captain Monkey D. Luffy has managed to take down all manner of tyrants with the overwhelming power of his Devil Fruit, not to mention the variety of offensive abilities that his crew possess, including Sanji’s educated feet, Nico Robin’s Flower-Flower Fruit and Franky’s cyborg enhancements. While the Straw Hats often ended up separated during scuffles, the times when they have fought as a group they’ve devastated their opponents, just take a took look at what happened to Oars for proof.

On the other end of the spectrum you have the Kenshin-Gumi, the friends and loved ones of Kenshin who have supported him throughout his journey. While characters like Sagara are well-versed in combat and can certainly hold their own, they are overshadowed by Kenshin, and act more often than not as something he has to protect or an incentive for him to fight - especially when it comes to his love interest Kaoru.

While they aren’t without their merits, the Kenshin-Gumi would end up getting massacred by the Straw Hats, which is why we have to give this round to Zoro.

Winner: Roronoa Zoro

Zoro: 1 / Kenshin: 0

Round 2: Weapons, Powers and Equipment

Zoro is famed for his three swords style. Using it he harnesses a wide variety of techniques that range from steel-cutting-slashes to swings that can act as projectiles with the force of a cannon. The blades he uses are of a particularly high class as well, one he inherited from a deceased friend and another he earned after defeating an undead samurai. He’s incredibly versatile and has been known to also use both one and two sword styles depending on the situation. Team this up with his ‘haki’ ability, and he can cut through anything and any one. Of course, nothing compares to the rare but ferocious nine-sword style, wherein he becomes the spitting image of Asura and lays waste to his enemies.

Though he was the once feared as the deadly Manslayer, Kenshin’s desire to atone for the bloodshed he caused led him to abandon the traditional sword in favour of the sakabato; a reverse katana that severely limits any chance of fatalities. Regardless, Kenshin’s training in the art of Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu more than makes up for his nonlethal choice in weapon. The surreal speed of his Shinsoku along with a roster of painfully precise techniques have managed to bring down even the most bloodthirsty of swordsmen.

Both are masters of the sword, but due having no qualms about killing, using techniques that can tear apart practically anything, as well as being versatile in multiple disciplines, our money would be on Zoro.

Winner: Roronoa Zoro

Zoro: 2 / Kenshin: 0

Round 3: Determination

After making a promise to a fallen friend, Zoro vowed to become the greatest swordsmen in the world. He’s kept this dream even after joining the Straw Hat pirates, made abundantly clear when he challenged Hawk Eye Mihawk; the world’s strongest swordsman, to a duel. When he lost, he was even willing to throw his life away to preserve his honour. Ever since he has vowed to never lose another fight, which has only strengthened his resolve to become the best.

Going from slave to skilled swordsman due to the tutelage of the great Hiko Seijuro, Kenshin had always followed his heart, which drove him to take part in the revolutions that were supposedly fighting against the ruling classes. After discovering the bloody truth of war, Kenshin would spend the rest of his life as a lone wanderer, protecting the innocent as a way of repentance. The drive he once had would eventually reignite when he met the rest of the Kenshin-Gumi, manifesting as an unflinching desire to protect those he loved.

While Kenshin is a force of nature when his loved ones are in danger, Zoro has never once lost his way or abandoned the goal of becoming the best. Narrowly ahead in the determination department, this round goes to Zoro.

Winner: Roronoa Zoro

Zoro: 3 / Kenshin: 0

Round 4: Experience

Strong-willed even as a child, Zoro found himself enrolled in a school for swordsmen, forming a strong rivalry with the Dojo Master’s daughter. Following her death, he vowed to continue on their dream of being the best, by training ceaselessly. Following the various battles and skirmishes during his time with the Straw Hats, Zoro would once again find himself in the role of student when he begged Hawk Eye Mihawk to train him for the following two years; the result of which sharpened his skills immensely.

After losing his family to disease, Kenshin would spend much of his childhood in slavery until he was saved by Hiko Seijuro, who wound up teaching him the art of the sword as well as the feared Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu. Due to his romanticised view of the on-going revolution, he would leave his master’s side to participate in the war before his training was complete. Due to the chaos and endless battles, he soon found himself employed as an assassin, where he earned his infamous nickname of Hitokiri Battōsai.

Zoro’s training may have resulted in a superior sword style, but the time spent as a student as well as the years participating in revolutions puts Kenshin ahead of the Pirate Hunter by a whisker. The round goes to Kenshin.

Winner: Himura Kenshin

Zoro: 3 / Kenshin: 1

Round 5: Strength and Endurance

Even before his training with Mihawk, Zoro demonstrated feats of raw strength that seemed inhuman. These include but aren’t limited to lifting up a building, being stabbed multiple times, and still coming out on top. Of course the most memorable of these comes when he sacrifices himself for Luffy by be encased in a bubble that contains pure suffering and pain, while already injured himself, and managing to survive it. How well did he following Mihawk’s training? Well, enough to slice an entire galleon, that’s how!

As for Kenshin, the limitations he places on himself with the use of the sakabato as well as the recoil and strain of using such a style as the Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu is proof enough of his strength. The extra force needed to best each enemy and land complex techniques due to his willing handicap is a testament to how powerful every strike is. The damage dealt by the likes of the Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki is a prime example that the Manslayers skills and endurance are almost beyond human.

While Kenshin’s achievements with the sword are certainly commendable, it pales in comparison to Zoro’s demonic strength, leaving him able to steal this round as well…sorry Kenshin.

Winner: Roronoa Zoro

Zoro: 4 / Kenshin: 1

It would certainly be a battle of the highest calibre, but due to the otherworldly sword skills and monstrous power, The Pirate Hunter would ultimately cut down the Manslayer by the end of the battle. The winner is Roronoa Zoro!

Winner: Roronoa Zoro

Do you agree with the result? Who do you think would have won? With new Anime Duels on the way be sure to subscribe to!

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