The world of anime is packed with exciting characters who fight with swords, usually Japanese katanas or western-style broadswords. Demon Slayer has introduced anime fans to a new favorite swordsman: Tanjiro Kamado, a kind boy who fights not for revenge but justice, and to restore his sister Nezuko's humanity. To keep his skills sharp, he needs a formidable sparring partner.
One of the earliest characters to appear in One Piece is the legendary Roronoa Zoro, a pirate hunter who became a pirate himself after meeting Monkey D. Luffy. He aims to be the world's top swordsman, but what would happen if he tested himself against his fellow blade wielder, Tanjiro?
Tanjiro's Sword Skills as a Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer's Tanjiro is a novice at sword-fighting compared to Zoro, but he's worked himself to the bone to make up for lost time. After Nezuko's transformation, Tanjiro found an instructor and trained hard to learn the ways of the Demon Slayer Corps. He's learned how to maximize his oxygen efficiency while breathing thin air, dodge traps in the mountain forests, and even slice a boulder in half with nothing but a sword. He cleanly passed his final test in the wisteria-ringed battle zone, then had his final Nichirin blade forged.
Tanjiro can use water breathing forms in battle, giving him fluid, elegant moves in combat for offense and defense alike. As expected, this technique works even better underwater -- as a swamp demon found out too late. But water isn't Tanjiro's only element. His family has been selling charcoal for generations, and through his father Tanjuro, Tanjiro can use flame-based moves that pay tribute to the Fire God. He first used this technique against the spider demon Rui and may unlock its true potential with the help of Kyojuro Rengoku's family as Demon Slayer continues.
Even Tanjiro's nose is an asset in battle. He can detect humans and demons with scent alone, sniffing out the "opening thread" in a fight. Tanjiro detects precise pauses in an opponent's movements and technique, finding the exact moment to execute a counterattack. Even powerful demons are vulnerable to this, often too late to cover up the opening in their technique and protect themselves. Combined with water breathing forms and the Fire God move, Tanjiro can be devastating.
Zoro's Sword Skills as One Piece's Straw Hat Samurai
Roronoa Zoro's abilities have been steadily improving over the course of One Piece, but even early on he proved himself a tough, creative and deadly swordsman. Even the powerhouse Dracule Mihawk has acknowledged Zoro's abilities and has faith in his potential, which is saying a lot. Unlike Tanjiro, Zoro has been training with swords since his boyhood. He's learned how to cut and how not to cut, meaning he always has control and purpose in his swings. Zoro is a deliberate and insightful fighter.
The One Piece swordsman is renowned for his use of three swords at once in battle, with one in each hand and the third clamped between his teeth. He performs a wide variety of moves with this trio of weapons and can use two or just one if the situation calls for it (or as many as nine). Zoro has learned to cut just about anything with enough experience and practice, like when he hacked his way through Mr. One's metal body and even fire itself at one point.
It also helps that Zoro has great physical strength for his size, along with remarkable speed, reflexes, agility and sheer endurance. More than once, Zoro has been cut or beaten to the brink of death, but stubbornly stayed on his feet and kept fighting long after others would have run away or collapsed. Zoro has the grit to match Luffy, Goku, or any other shonen hero.
Demon Slayer's Tanjiro Vs. One Piece's Zoro - Who Wins?
Tanjiro wouldn't be able to overwhelm Zoro's three swords with just one, so he'd have to use the most advanced water breathing forms he knows to put pressure on Zoro with his elegant moves. The One Piece warrior will definitely need all three blades to defend, and Tanjiro's best moves can help negate his signature offensive techniques, such as Oni Giri.
The Demon Slayer protagonist can also push his minor advantage with his fire attacks, but he'd be in for a surprise. Zoro can cut through fire, which would completely negate Tanjiro's best move. Using his maximum speed, strength and agility Zoro could launch a counteroffensive. Tanjiro can hit back if he smells the opening thread, but that'd be no good. Zoro is too tough and can outlast Tanjiro despite his injuries. Zoro will grind him down, and the young demon slayer will give in. The One Piece swordsman would be the winner here.