He was the first member to join the Straw Hat Pirates, and, to date, is considered the largest threat and most dangerous member in the crew after Luffy. His fame as a master swordsman and his great strength, along with the actions of his captain, sometimes lead others to believe he was the true captain of the crew earlier on. He is one of the top six fighters in the crew alongside Natsu, Luffy, Erza, Gray and Sanji, and his dream is to become the greatest swordsman in the world. Zolo was regarded as one of "The Eleven Supernovas", the eleven rookie pirates with bounties over 100,000,000 berries to have reached the Red Line Region before the two year time skip, with a current bounty of 120,000,000 berries.
- Voice Actor: Christopher R. Sabat (English), Brina Palencia (English; child), Kazuya Nakai (Japanese), Megumi Urawa (Japanese; child)
Zolo is a tall, muscular man with lightly tanned skin. He always carries his three swords around him, bundled up with a green haramaki over his right hip, allowing him to easily draw them with his left hand. Although his right hand is usually seen resting over them, he can also use this hand to pull his swords out before sitting down. He has three identical gold earrings on his left earlobe. Zolo normally keeps a black bandanna tied around his left bicep and ties it around his head when he is fighting seriously against an opponent. His birthday is November 11th.
Zolo's body is covered with scars from his many battles, most notably the massive scar stretching from his left shoulder to his right hip that he acquired during his loss against the world's greatest swordsman, Mihawk Dracule, at Baratie. His other visible scars are the scars he inflicted upon his ankles in a desperate attempt to free himself from Mr. 3's Giant Candle Service Set by trying to cut his feet off at Little Garden. After the timeskip, he gained another scar over his left eye, obtained through unknown means.
Before the TimeskipEdit
Similar to most of his male crewmates, Zolo has the same outfit throughout most of the series. He consistently wears black trousers tucked inside black boots, a plain white shirt with three undone buttons at the collar and his green haramaki. However, only Zolo's shirt varies from time to time in the arcs. His age is 19 and height is 178 cm. (5'10").
After the TimeskipEdit
After the two-year timeskip, Zolo gains a new scar running down his left eye, which is now implied to be injured as it is mostly closed. His neck appears much thicker and more muscular and his hair became a little longer, now slightly slicked back. Zolo now wears a long, open dark-green coat, closed on his waist by a red sash, in which his swords are now tucked, and his black bandanna tied around the left sleeve. He has no shirt underneath, and his green haramaki is visible under the coat. He also appears to have gotten taller, as he seems to be almost as tall as Robin when standing next to her. His age is 21 and height is 181 cm. (5'11").
Zolo usually maintains a stern, serious, and distanced personality, but often loses his temper in a goofy and exaggerated comical style. He can also be extremely intimidating, easily frightening weaker opponents with just his glare. It has been stated that he has a monstrous killing intent evident from the fact where he almost drew his sword on one of the Celestial Dragons. Furthermore, it has also been stated that Zolo is a born killer capable of showing no mercy during combat; it has been mentioned that Zolo has killed before. Despite this, Zolo has a kind heart, shown as he was willing to risk death for the sake of a little girl he did not know shortly after his introduction. When fighting weaker or innocent people, he does try to hold back when fighting and use the dull side of his swords in order not to seriously injure them.
He has a strong sense of leadership and reasoning. While technically not a samurai, Zolo maintains Bushido to a certain degree (e.g. he consistently refuses to attack an adversary whose back is turned, the only exception being when his friends are in imminent danger of losing their lives in which Zolo would strike the attacker from behind, and Zolo himself considers a scar on the back to be a swordsman's greatest shame). Whether he agrees with them or not, he will stand by Luffy's decisions, stepping in only to point out the seriousness of a situation where it has been overlooked by his crewmates (most notably when they wanted to bring Usopp back into the crew after Usopp challenged Luffy to a duel over the Merry Go and lost).
A running gag throughout the series is that while he is very perceptive during battle (as well as out), his sense of direction is extremely poor, to the point of getting lost on a straight path. This is often results Zolo not understanding directions. In the Alabasta Arc, he mistakes going north for going up. In the Drum Island Arc, he believes that he can keep the ship on course by heading toward a large cloud (which can move and change shape). He is unaware of his lack of direction. Often when he gets lost, he mutters "the others are lost again". However, after the timeskip, Zolo is the first Straw Hat to arrive back at Sabaody Archipelago days before the others, shocking Sanji, though it was Perona who helped Zoro reach Sabaody early. He seems to make up for this, though, by confusing a gigantic pirate galleon for a fisherman's small boat when it is pointed out to him.
Another running gag of the series is Zolo's ability to effortlessly deliver perfectly timed lines in passing or even during battle that are deemed "cool" by other characters, leading him to be borderline worshiped and idolized especially by crewmates Usopp, Chopper, and Brook. Another running gag is how Zolo keeps untying bandages when he is not fully healed, claiming that they make it hard to move, only to be scolded by Chopper, who tells him that they are there so that he does not move.
Zolo is very proud of the reputation he has built for himself both as a swordsman and as "The Pirate Hunter", starting with his 60,000,000 berry bounty which has doubled since then. He also enjoys the fact that he has a higher bounty than Sanji. During the assault on Enies Lobby, one of the Navy referred to Zolo as "Luffy's underling" much to the delight of Sanji, who quickly became infuriated when Zolo pointed out that Sanji's lack of notoriety puts him below Zolo in status. Since then, once in a while to anger Sanji, Zolo will refer to him as "Pirate A". More recently he has been calling Sanji "#7", referring to his order of arrival at Sabaody. However, in spite of his personal pride and self-respect, Zolo has shown to be willing to lower himself to the ground in complete humility for the sake of his friends, as was seen when he begged Kuma Bartholomew to spare Luffy's life in exchange for his own (Zolo's). And then again when he shamelessly bowed before Mihawk Dracule, begging the Warlord who is his enemy, to train him in the ways of the sword.
While the crew sails from one island to another, he normally spends time lifting weights or napping, only to be regularly awakened in a rather violent way by Nami, Sanji, or (accidentally) Luffy. He also likes to drink alcohol (sake), almost to the degree that Luffy loves meat, and Nami loves money. Also like Nami, he has an inhumanly-high tolerance for alcohol. He also regularly reverts to drastic measures to solve simple problems, suggesting solutions that others would normally consider to be their last possible, worst-case-scenario choices. When he and Usopp were accidentally handcuffed together, Zolo's first suggested solution was to cut off one of their hands. He also is one of the first Straw Hat members to suggest killing someone or threatening to kill someone.
Zolo can also be very vigorous when he is determined to achieve a goal or defeat an enemy. The risks that he will often take to pursue his dream of becoming the world's greatest swordsman often leave others wondering if he is crazy. As far as Zolo is concerned though, only he has the right to call himself "crazy." However, he is able to accept defeat when he perceives it to be inevitable. Also, as pointed out during the Skypiea Arc, Zolo does not care if any gods exist or not.
When Zolo has the intention to fight seriously, he ties his bandana (normally kept tied around his left arm) around his head. Zolo lives for the thrill of combat; Apoo Scratchmen commented on his "insane killing intent", acknowledging that Zolo was a "real beast". Indeed, when an average human has the intention of fighting Zolo, his glare alone is usually enough to make them back off. He also has a habit of smiling in satisfaction whenever he faces a particularly skilled opponent, which often unnerves both friend and foe alike. Even when not in combat, he often displays a manic smirk that gives the impression of him being a monster.
Zolo is also very perceptive, something he demonstrates by providing important and logical decisions at critical times and by evaluating the situation from an objective point of view, as he did in Water 7 by evaluating the best way to handle what, at the time, seemed like Robin's betrayal, and again when the crew wanted to bring Usopp back after he challenged Luffy to a duel over the =Merry Go and lost. Zolo is the one who noted that Usopp was at fault for leaving the crew of his own accord.
However, while on some occasions he can be the voice of reason, most of the time Zolo rushes into things and leaves it to fate to decide the details, much to the horror of crew members as he fails to see his own fault. He seems to have a very strong belief in fate and destiny in general, making him very similar to members of Blackbeard's crew in several aspects. He is even known to resort to methods like drawing sticks or casting lots whenever the Straw Hats need to choose someone to do a particular task. One of the most obvious instances of this is when he took an interest in the cursed blade, Sandai Kitetsu, and left it up to fate to decide if he would wield it by testing his luck against the sword's curse; he tossed the sword spinning into the air and extended his left arm into its falling path, to see if it would cut him, fully aware that the sword was sharp enough to easily amputate his arm.
This is later shown again after the two year timeskip when he tells the pirates of the ship he had just destroyed to blame fate for him ending up on their ship.
Unlike some of the members of the crew, Zolo does not shrink from the idea of using deadly force against dangerous enemies and has been noted by several of his fellow Supernovas to be capable of exuding a tremendous amount of murderous intent. While he is quite indifferent to the gender or/and age of his opponents, many of his adversaries (like Tashigi and Monet) seem to believe he does not take women seriously when in fact it is only because Tashigi reminded him too much of Kuina and that Monet was merely distraction. When the latter tried to take advantage of this belief he cut her down without hesitation, only refraining from killing her because she was too weak to even be considered a proper opponent, using a non-Haki strike in lieu of a blunt attack.
He also seems to have taken a liking to fishing.
- Fairy Tail
- Team Natsu
- Straw Hat Pirates
- Veggie Pirates
- Vivi Nefeltari
- Nebra Nefeltari
- Cricket Mombran
- Rayleigh Silvers
- Ivankov Emporio
- Manjaro (imposter counterpart)
- Black Cat Pirates
- Meowban Brothers
- Krieg PIrates
- Krieg Don
- Arlong PIrates
- Wapol Pirates
- Baroque Works
- Bellamy Pirates
- Blackbeard Pirates
- Lucci Rob
- Moria Gecko
- Impostor Straw Hat Pirates
Abilities and PowersEdit
Unarguably an extremely powerful and strong young fighter with immense potential, Zolo is one of the Straw Hat Crew's top three fighters, and his strength is considered so great that, when taking his stern personality into account, people occasionally mistake him as the captain of the Straw Hat Crew after witnessing his skills in battle. While Luffy always fights the strongest enemy, Zolo usually fights the second strongest enemy.
After two years of intense training with Mihawk Dracule, Zoro has grown much more powerful than before. It is shown during his first appearance after the timeskip that he can cut through extremely large objects with incredible ease, speed, and precision. Zolo was even able to cut a Pacifista in half with just one slash from his swords, whereas two years prior he barely managed to only slightly damage one.
Zolo's newly-found strength is further demonstrated when he averts the previously mentioned formula of fighting the arc's second strongest foe when he easily defeats Hordy Jones, the man in the role of the strongest adversary of the arc that typically does combat with Luffy. He accomplishes this with just a single strike and in his single sword style, despite having a disadvantage at fighting a merman underwater. He has also grown strong enough to be able to kill a Logia user, as he shows this to Monet when he can kill her without a problem, if he wanted too.
Even without his swords, Zolo has monstrous physical strength. At a very young age he was able to lift boulders over his head, and is now able to lift and toss an entire building. He can use some sword techniques without his swords, and has also been shown to pack powerful punches. He was even strong enough to deflect a punch from Oaz, and has developed the ability to pump his arms up with pure muscle.
However, Zolo seemed unable to control his strength prior to the timeskip. This is shown when he tries to hold back while fighting the shipwrights of Galley-La using the dull edge of his swords, and yet still causes serious damage.
After the two year timeskip, it seems that Zolo has exponentially increased in physical strength as he was able to block an attack from the huge King Neptune's equally massive trident with ease.
When not armed with his swords Zolo has shown to be skilled in hand to hand combat. He has been known to effectively knock out much larger creatures with unarmed strikes. Also he has been able to defeat opponents with massive punches and kicks. Zolo has also been shown to fight on par with Sanji even without his swords.
Zolo's agility, speed, and overall reflexes are also extraordinary. He has shown that he is quick enough to keep up with Sanji, who is a master of his own leg-based style and a Shave user, and he can move at nearly imperceptible speeds, jump to astonishing heights, and dodge bullets with ease. On numerous occasions, Zolo has shown being able to evade (or block) high-speed attacks and projectiles that move so fast that it would normally be impossible for an average human to even notice them, much less evade them. Thus, Zolo was able to dodge simultaneous pressure shots as well as a laser blast from Kuma Bartholomew, both of which travel at extremely high speed, even after being heavily injured from his previous fights with Oaz and fatigued from his fight with Ryuma.
After the two years timeskip, Zolo can even move underwater at a speed faster than a merman. This was mentioned by a member of the New Merman Pirates, who exclaimed that it was inconceivable for the swordsman to be faster than a merman (referring to the aforementioned battle with Hordy Jones) underwater.
To match his incredible strength, Zolo also has an amazing tolerance to pain and astonishing amounts of stamina and endurance, evidenced by numerous situations he has thus far endured. Several examples are:
- Mihawk Dracule's black sword slashing his chest.
- Arlong's saw-like nose stabbing into his chest.
- Cutting into his own legs to try and free himself from Mr. 3's wax creation.
- Mr. 1's two buzz saws jamming into his chest.
- Eneru's massively powerful lightning based attacks.
- CP9's Kaku's many Rankyaku attacks.
- Receiving a direct kick from the giant Oaz.
- Kuma's explosive Ursa Shock attack.
It should also be noted that Zolo was the only one who was not incapacitated at all from the last mentioned attack as well as being the only person who managed to stay conscious the whole time.
Finally, Zolo managed to absorb all of the damage and fatigue Luffy had accumulated, besides the damage inflicted on him during fights with Oaz and Ryuma. This is especially impressive as Kuma had stated to Zolo that, since he was already close to death, taking in Luffy's pain and fatigue in addition to his would definitely kill him. Zolo, however, managed to survive and later only remarked afterward that "nothing happened" when questioned by Sanji.
It is notable to mention that while Luffy fell unconscious after he defeated Moria due to his agony and exhaustion, Zolo, on the other hand, not only managed to survive but remained conscious even after accumulating all of the pain and fatigue he and Luffy had sustained, purely by sheer force of will and pride, although even he dropped into a coma shortly thereafter.
Zolo has survived numerous wounds that would easily kill normal people, showcasing his unbelievable endurance and durability, and the majority of his battles lead to him being sustained lethal injuries. Even while in an almost death-like state, he is still able to battle against very strong enemies and even fight with improved skill, tenacity and a clear head. All this demonstrates some of the greatest feats of endurance seen in the entire manga and anime series, especially for one without Cursed Fruit powers, proving he arguably has the highest endurance out of all the Straw Hat Pirates, who already seem inhuman themselves.
Lack of OrientationEdit
Outside of battles, Zolo has one obvious weakness: his complete lack of orientation. He often demonstrates that he can easily get lost everywhere and always walks in the wrong direction. He even walks the wrong way when being directly shown which way to go. Zolo can also get confused by his own directions. Such as in the Skypiea Arc he intended to go right, but instead went to his left. Also, In Enies Lobby, Nami pointed forwards and told everyone to go this way but Zolo still walked in the wrong direction. These traits often worry the other Straw Hats and make them look out for Zolo and sometimes mock him for it (Sanji especially). However, Zolo is unaware of this and usually blames the other Straw Hats for being "lost". After the two year timeskip, Zoro was able to be the first member to arrive at Sabaody Archipelago, shocking Sanji. However, this was due to Perona's help. He has also gotten lost running thought a straight corridor.
- Main article: Three Swords Style
Zolo is an extremely powerful master swordsman, being able to use one, two, and three swords in varying attack styles, going from melee-type all the way to artillery. He is even able to use some sword techniques that utilize the very air itself to strike the enemy from a distance. Brook classifies Zolo as a user of the "Power of Destruction" (破壊力, Hakairyoku).
Although he is most comfortable with his Three Swords Style (三刀流, Santōryū), his skills with a single sword are still quite exceptional, being able to hold off the Meowban Brothers, having bested several of the lower-ranked members of Arlong's crew, defeating Mr. 1, and the zombie, Ryuma. After his two years under Mihawk's tutelage, his skills have grown so powerful that he was able to defeat the merman Hody Jones while underwater with just one slash from a single sword, and effortlessly defeated the best swordsman of Merman Island considering him to be too weak to even kill his boredom, despite the latter having went through a transformation due to the Energy Steroids.
Since no one else has been seen using anything similar to his Three Swords Style (except for Ryuma while he possessed Zolo's shadow), it can be assumed that Zolo invented not only Three Swords Style but most, if not all, of his sword techniques. He is even seen perfecting a new technique in his fight with Braham.
If he is fighting weaker enemies (or innocent bystanders that he has no desire to injure in the first place), like the Galley-La employees in Water 7, he uses only the blunt sides of his swords. Although, as Nami and Chopper pointed out, due to his strength, even that could cause fatal injuries.
A long standing problem with Zolo was his inability to cut steel. The anime for unkoen reasons shows him instinctively cutting steel during some of his encounters before learning how to control and master this ability during his battle with Daz Bonez. After his two years of training Zolo is now able to easily cut thought materials even stronger than steel. After the timeskip, he has shown the ability to slice through steel "like fruit", and is now strong enough to decapitate a legendary beast like a Dragon with ease.
While he is able to use both hands as well as his mouth in sword combat, Zolo seems to be predominantly left-handed. He keeps all three of his swords sheathed next to his right hip, an indication of being left-handed as it would be easier to pull a sword out from that side with a left hand. Also, when using one sword in combat, Zolo is usually seen using his left hand to wield the sword. His One Sword Style techniques have nearly always been executed with his left hand.
Nine Swords StyleEdit
During his battle against Kaku, Zolo manages to unlock a new swordstyle known as "Nine Swords Style", which gives him the appearance of having six arms and three heads, like the actually deity "Asura", when activating the technique "Deadly Nine Swords Style: Asura". He also becomes surrounded by a dark aura while in this state and the first time he achieved it, the very ground shook and numerous holes appeared in it. This ability also allows Zolo to utilize nine swords in combat and effectively triples his potential as a swordsman, and it is usually used as a very powerful finishing move. But what this ability is, how Zolo attained it, and the exact nature of this style is currently unknown, but Kaku suggested that it was an illusion created by Zolo's spirit.
During his adventures, Zolo has acquired many swords. The three he currently uses are:
- Meito; Wado Ichimonji (formerly belonged to Kuina)
- Kitetsu III (formerly belonged to Ippon-Matsu)
- Meito; Shusui (formerly belonged to Ryuma)
For one reason or another, maybe as a demonstration of his skill because he can use any sword he must at any time, Zolo has one or more of his swords destroyed, removed from his possession, or incapacitated in some way:
- Katana x2 (both were destroyed by Mihawk Dracule)
- Johnny and Yosaku's swords (returned to them after the battle)
- Meito; Hana Arashi (Sogeking handcuffed to Zolo holding on to Yubashiri. It stopped being used when Sogeking was unlocked from Zolo)
- Navy cutlass x2 (the first one was destroyed by Shu, and the second one was consequently left behind after the immediate battle at Enies Lobby)
- Meito; Yubashiri: 1 of 50 (Skillful Grade) Ryo Wazamono (formerly belonged to Ippon-Matsu, destroyed by one of the Pacifistas at Sabaody Archipelago, now resting on Kuraigana Island)
It was stated by Luffy that Zolo possesses Haki, when discussing it in the context of members of his crew who could fight Caesar Clown, a Logia user. Because Law was referring to the ability to coat themselves in armor it confirms Zolo as a Armament Haki user. However, Zolo did not actively display any of these abilities until the Punk Hazard Arc when he cut Monet on the cheek using Armament Haki.
Although it is unknown if he can use it, Zolo does know about King Conqueror's Haki, something he (along with the rest of the crew) had not shown any knowledge of during the first half of the series. But he, along with Sanji, has commented on Luffy's ability to passively knock out half of Hody's men, stating that if Luffy could not at least do that much then he would have had to have stepped down from being captain. It was also hinted at that both he and Sanji possess Observation Haki when asked by Luffy if the pair could sense a "wild animal" in the Ryugu Palace, which they both answered that they could.