One Piece manga creator Eiichiro Oda is a genius obsessed with long-term storytelling. He wants readers and viewers to truly empathize with each character, regardless if they’re the villain or hero.
One way he does so is by making sure that a character’s personality and story justifies the way he/she looks. Some examples include Zoro’s samurai-like outfit, Usopp’s long nose, and of course, Luffy’s treasured straw hat.
In most shonen anime, the scars on both heroes and villains are never explained. They exist simply to make a character look tough, edgy, and hardcore. But not in One Piece. Oda does not place scars on a character just to make them look cool. Everything has a story.
Here are the top scars in One Piece and what they mean:
1. Luffy’s Scary Unde His Eye
No, Luffy’s scar isn’t a random wound. No, Oda did not make up a random cool story for the scar as the show progressed.
Chapter one of the One Piece manga shows a kid Luffy cutting his face. He does so to prove to Shanks that he is a man and can go out to sea with them.
However, this scene was not included in the anime. In fact, anime watchers will only know the backstory behind the scar in the filler episodes 576 and 577. So if you don’t follow the manga and skip filler episodes, there’s a good chance that you missed this one.
2. Shanks’ Claw-Like Scratches on His Eye
Episode 316 is a groundbreaking episode where we first see the Whitebeard and Shanks interact. Shanks gets on Whitebeard’s ship to discuss certain matters with the legendary pirate.
They talked about random topics such as how Buggy was doing and what happened to his arm. Then, the subject changed to scars. This is where the show reveals that Shanks’ claw-like scratches were caused by none other than the infamous Blackbeard.
A fateful reunion happens at the Battle of Marineford where Shanks and Blackbeard finally meet again. Shanks is furious at the sight of Blackbeard. Meanwhile, Blackbeard mocks Shanks by saying his scar suits him very well.
3. Luffy’s Big X-Shaped Scar on His Torso (Post-Time Skip)
Up until Chapter 970, everyone thought the x-shaped scar on Kaido’s torso (or neck if he is in dragon form) was nothing more than a character design. He’s supposed to look intimidating, after all.
In chapter 970, however, the story dives deeper into Kaido’s backstory and shows that the scar was caused by none other than the legendary samurai Oden. For those who don’t read the manga, Oden is the father of Momonosuke and Hiyori.
What does this mean exactly? Well, for starters, it means that Kaido is not invincible. While Luffy’s attacks did zero damage, he can train harder to reach the point where he is as strong as Oden was back in his heyday.
5. Zoro’s Missing Eye (Post-Time Skip)
Earlier, we said that every scar has a significant backstory behind it. Well, this is one’s an exception. After the two-year time skip, the show introduced a larger, more mature Zoro donning a green kimono fit for a demon samurai. What caught everyone’s attention, however, is his missing eye. What happened?
We’re already hundreds of chapters and episodes past that point, but Oda never really explained what happened to Zoro’s eye. Everyone knows he lost it while training with Mihawk, but the question is how he lost it.
Did he get slashed while fighting the monster gorillas on the island? Did Mihawk cut him near the eyes? Or did he gouge it out himself -- similar to what Navy Admiral Fujitora did?
Based on how the story is progressing, there’s a low chance we’ll actually find out. Who knows, maybe he just poked his eye on a tree branch by accident since he’s terrible at directions.