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She had short, dark blue hair and dark brown eyes.
The Marine officer, Tashigi bears a strong resemblance to Kuina (in appearance and sword style), to the point where it makes Zoro extremely uncomfortable around her. However, it is unknown if they are somehow connected.
When first introduced (in a flashback), she was cocky and confident in her ability as a swordsman. However, she was always living with the knowledge that since she was a woman, it would only get harder as she gets older for her to compete with men and had been informed by her father of her future woes. She covered her hesitation and fear with cockiness and acted confident instead of fearful and weak, trying to prove to her father that she could become the world's greatest swordsman. Her gender would force her to give up the swordsman's life as she grew, and she would not be allowed to inherit her fathers dojo. When she reached puberty, her fears intensified. Eventually, Zoro made her believe that it's willpower and skill, not strength, that makes one a swordsman.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Kuina was the strongest among her fellow trainees in her father's dojo, being able to overpower even the adults, leading to the other students to accuse her father of giving her special treatment. She was also capable of overpowering the young Zoro, who even then was capable of lifting boulders bigger than him for training. She had been known to use a one-sword style of fighting. She also defeated the young Zoro 2001 consecutive times without ever losing to him, showing the great skill she has in using a sword. Since she died, it is impossible to know how strong she could have become. However, it is wondered whether or not she could have remained stronger than Zoro, or if she would have given up her dreams.
Twelve years before the current storyline, she was seen briefly, training outside her father's dojo, attacking a pole with her sword.
Kuina had come to the conclusion that Zoro would soon pass her in skill and strength. This is because she believed that boys grow up to be stronger than girls, and she noticed just how much Zoro had already caught up to her current skills. So, when she started growing breasts, she became discouraged. Zoro then told her that if he ever beat her, it was because of his skills. The fact that he was a boy and she was a girl did not matter. It was his goal to be as good as her. They promised that one of them would become the greatest swordsman in the world.
However, the day after making their vow, Zoro learned she had fallen down the stairs while trying to get a sharpening block and died. Zoro was angry with her, accusing her of running away from their promise. Finally, Zoro asked her father for the honor of taking the Wado Ichimonji with him. With this, Zoro promised to fulfill their shared dream of becoming the greatest swordsman to fruition.
- Kuina vs. Zoro (2001 times)
Anime and Manga DifferencesEdit
In the anime expansion of the flashback, when Zoro was young, he challenged every dojo he came across and claimed their signs (in Japan, the sign signifies the dojo is to be respected). When he came across Kuina and her family's dojo, he finally met his match.
In the anime, her progress against adults and other students is shown more. It is also stated by her father that she began to surpass her status as a female because of Zoro's rivalry with her, although no such statement was made in the manga. In the manga, her dead body was seen with the face covered by a cloth, but in the anime a proper funeral was seen being held.
Kuina's grave is not seen in the manga until Chapter 617's cover. However, at the end of the flashback in the anime, Zoro is seen praying in front of it before leaving on his journey. It should be noted that the two gravestones are different, since Oda only showed it much later.
Translation and Dub IssuesEdit
In the 4Kids dub, because 4Kids cannot allow deaths, she was said to have been injured by the friends of a man she defeated, and could never fight again. However, despite this change of storyline by 4Kids, many media based sources, such as One Piece Grand Adventure, still referenced the fact that she died in the original storyline.
Another dub error was the flashback Zoro had where Kuina said "You're weak Zoro, nothing ever changes". 4kids changed this to "You've got to try harder", making a big mood change for Kuina in the anime.
She was issued alongside Zoro in a One Piece Block Figures set featuring the Straw Hats and their past mentors/loved ones.
- She is a playable character in the U.S. and Australian-only video game, One Piece: Grand Adventure. Her appearance in the game is said to be an illusion that Zoro (and later Tashigi in Smoker's storyline) experiences during Luffy's story.
- Speculations have been around for a very long time within the fandom based on her appearance matching Tashigi, but this was proven false when Tashigi was drawn as a child in SBS Volume 68.
- Like Tashigi, her name comes from a flightless bird. The fact she is named after a flightless bird is a reflection of herself. In regards to the bird itself, Oda stated: "though a bird cannot fly, it does not mean it never will".
- Kuina shares an English FUNimation voice actor with both Tashigi and Carue, Monica Rial. While in 4Kids, only she and Tashigi share the same voice actor, Priscilla Everett.
- Given she was born two years after Roger's death (as of Chapter 0), that would have made her one year older than Zoro when she was alive.
- ↑ SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 81.
- ↑ One Piece Anime — Episode 2, Zoro's challenge against Kuina is expanded in the anime.
- ↑ SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 16, Fan Question: Do Kuina's and Tashigi's names come from birds?