|First Appearance:||Chapter 1; Episode 1|
A sword is a long-edged weapon used in different forms by various civilizations.
Strengths and WeaknessesEdit
A sword fundamentally consists of a blade, with one or two edges for striking and cutting, a point for thrusting, and a hilt for gripping. Swords are a very commonly used weapon in the world of One Piece. Many people wield swords, but there are those who train hard, and learn to use swords exceptionally well. These people are known as swordsmen.
A sword's blade serves its primary function, most are designed for cutting, blocking other bladed weapons or thrusting, although not all swords rely on being able to cut a wound to be lethal, a few are also designed with small indents in them to help fight other melee weapons. A swords weakness is its quality and its lack of range, as well as the fact that unlike other weapons they relied more on the skills of the one who used them. A sword does not always deal a lethal blow as depending on the sword type and fighting style they sometimes could not have enough force put behind them to do such a thing.
Types of SwordsEdit
Within the series, a great variety of swords are used, depending on the user's personal preferences.
The katana (刀 katana?, literally meaning "backsword") is a type of Japanese sword. It is a single-edged, curved blade that was used by many samurai. Pronounced as "kah-tah-nah", both katana and katanas are acceptable as the plural forms. Zoro's Wado Ichimonji is a katana. The katana length is between 60 to 73 centimeters. High-ranking Marines, mainly Vice Admirals, use a katana or swords that greatly resemble them.
The kogatana (小刀 kogatana?, literally meaning "little backsword") is a very small version of a katana. It is more like a hand-sized knife, and is usually used for backup when samurai fight. A kogatana would logically be from the size of an average person's hand to about a small dagger's size. Dracule Mihawk uses this to fight weak opponents, and sometimes in order to eat with.
Rather than a specific weapon, the daito (大刀 daitō?, literally meaning "long sword") is actually a category of blade under which both katana and tachi fall. To qualify as a daito, the sword must have a blade longer than 2 shaku (approximately 24 inches or 60 centimeters) in a straight line. In the case of Roronoa Zoro, all three swords that he uses for his Santoryu are all confirmed as daito katanas.
The nodachi (野太刀 nodachi?, literally meaning "field sword"), sometimes referred as odachi (大太刀 ōdachi?, literally meaning "great sword") is a large two-handed Japanese sword. Compared to the katana, the nodachi was more difficult to wield due to its size and weight, but - like any weapon - could be extremely deadly if the warrior wielding it was skilled. The length of the nodachi's hilt varied between twelve to thirteen inches (30 to 33 centimeters). Its cutting capability and range exceeded that of a katana, due to its weight and size. Nodachi's length can reach the 1.50 meters. The captain of the Heart Pirates, Trafalgar Law, wields one of these, to be used in combination with his Devil Fruit powers. Shiliew, former Chief Guard of Impel Down, also wields one.
A cutlass (カットラス Katorasu?) is a short, thick saber, with a slightly curved blade sharpened on the cutting edge, and a hilt often featuring a solid cupped or basket-shaped guard. It’s best of known as the sailor's weapon of choice, the naval side arm. It's most likely because it was also robust enough to hack through heavy ropes, canvas, and wood in much the same manner as a machete. It was also short enough to use in relatively close quarters, such as during boarding actions, in the rigging, or below decks. Many low-ranking Marine soldiers and pirates are shown to be wielding one of these.
A saber (サーベル Sāberu?) is a type of sword with a single edge blade with a large hand guard. Its blade is usually (but not always) curved of variable length. Unlike a cutlass, the saber is longer and thinner in design. Sabers are often seen being used by background characters. The most notable use of one is by Shanks, who seems to favor them over other sword types. His saber seems to be larger than a normal one. Vista also employs two sabers in combat. Vice Admiral Onigumo uses eight of these in combination with his presumably spider-based Devil Fruit, rather than the Vice Admirals' traditional weapon of choice, the katana.
The kukri (ククリ Kukuri?) is a heavy, curved knife used for both as a tool and a weapon. It is slightly deflected at an angle of 20°, though some examples have a very steep angle. The kukri starts with 3 to 10 centimeters the length is 30 cm onwards, tapering towards the edge from the broad upper margin. It almost always has a single edge and almost never has a "false edge". It usually has a very thick spine and in many ways is a hybrid between a knife and an axe. The "Big-Knife" used by Sarkies resembles a kukri, and Helmeppo uses two kukri for combat.
A shikomizue (仕込み杖 shikomizue?, literally meaning "prepared cane") is a sword normally concealed inside a cane or walking stick. It became popular when katanas were outlawed. Kaku used a pair that also resembles shirasaya katanas, Roronoa Zoro used one in an anime-only flashback, and Brook uses a shikomizue as the main weapon for his sword style, as does Issho. Brook named the blade Soul Solid after the timeskip due to his new ability to imbue his spectral energy into it.
A zanbato (斬馬刀 zanbatō?, literally meaning "horse-slaying blade") is a particularly gigantic, curved sword in comparison to the wielder, which makes it too cumbersome to be wielded properly, and is used typically in fiction. Real-life zanbato are actually overly long nodachi or odachi, and were meant to be able to slice down a horseman and the horse in one swing, hence the name. Arlong's Kiribachi is a zanbato with a saw-patterned teeth for blades, though he has no trouble wielding it due to his fishman strength. Dracule Mihawk's Yoru is quite long in length, being taller than the 198 cm Mihawk. Squard used a very large katana that can qualify as a zanbato. Even amongst giants, they use swords that are larger than themselves, let alone regular humans, as Bastille wields a cleaver-styled zanbato and Little Oars Jr. a gigantic butcher's knife; though in all fairness, any sword a giant wields can be considered a zanbato when being compared to a regular-sized swordsman.
A rapier (レイピア reipia?) is a slender, sharply pointed sword, designed mainly for thrusting. The hilt would possess a complex design that acts as a form of protection for the hand wielding it. An evolved variant of the rapier is the lighter and shorter small sword, which are also used as status symbols and fashion accessories. Ryuboshi wields two rapiers that have katana-wrappings around the hilts and prominent handguards. Diamante wields a rapier that he can use either as a normal sword or in tandem with his Hira Hira no Mi to fold and reshape into a mace. Cavendish wields the Durandal, a small sword and a Meito, which seemingly possesses a shine whenever unsheathed.
While there are a large variety of swords in terms of shapes and attributes, they are also classified by their qualities. The three known classifications are as:
- Meito (名刀 Meitō?, literally meaning "Famed Blade"): A sword that has gained its own fame, that people would recognize it upon seeing it.
- Kokuto (黒刀 Kokutō?, literally meaning "Black Blade"): A sword that possess a black-colored blade. Yoru and Shusui are both Kokuto.
- Yoto (妖刀 Yōtō?, literally meaning "Cursed Blade"): A sword that carries a curse and brings misfortune to its wielders. All three of Kitetsu's creations, Kikoku and Shichiseiken are Yoto.
Named Swords of No Known ClassificationEdit
- Kiribachi: a cross between a saw and a zanbato.
- Terry Sword: a giant-sized longsword.
- Funkfreed: a western-curved sword that can change into a elephant.
- Oto and Kogarashi: a pair of double-edged swords.
- Franken: a giant, single-edged sword.
- Soul Solid: a shikomizue.
- Same-kiri Bocho: a cross between a giant cleaver and a zanbato.
- Shichiseiken: a cursed jian, non-canon.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 57 Chapter 562 and Episode 471, Squard wields a very large katana to stab Whitebeard.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 72 Chapter 717 and Episode 647, Bastille wielding his gigantic sword.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 57 Chapter 554 and Episode 463, Oars wielding a very large butcher's knife.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 11 Chapter 97 and Episode 49, Tashigi mentions the status Meito, and explains about sword classes to Zoro.
- ↑ One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 48 Chapter 462 and Episode 357, Ryuma reveals the Black Blade classification, and his Shusui being one.
- ↑ SBS One Piece Manga — Vol. 71, Law's nodachi, Kikoku, is named and known as a Cursed Blade.
- Sword - A Wikipedia article about swords in general.