The first moment of rivalry between them already begins when Zoro speaks badly of Nami and they end up beating Usopp accidentally. They no longer cope with each other there and Oda shows it to this day (which should not even be commented on because we all know it). This rivalry is not for nothing, folks. The two are in constant competition, even if they do not even realize it. Getting in arguments or mocking each other's face has already become a common thing, because that is what rivals do. In their case, they are not enemies rival, they are friends, so even with their constant quarrels they will NEVER hurt each other. The respect is mutual. "But the fact that they are rivals does not really say that they necessarily have to be equivalent. This is no evidence."
Yes, it is not, but Oda constantly puts in his manga situations where they really seem to match. In their deeds and in what they are really good. Zoro with the swords and Sanji with his legs.
The first great evidence of this is in Little Garden. For those who have the Conrad manga [ahill's note: Conrad is a editor in Brazil, just like VIZ] you can find this in issue 29, in the manga of Panini in volume 15, and in the case of the scans, just see these pages of chapter 129
"Nah, that was at the beginning of the manga, that does not even apply today"
WHAT ???? So what Oda showed there is useless? Without purpose ??? Of course not, if Oda has showed it is because it has a meaning! YES. Oda does not miss a trick, he always knows what to do, and you fans of One Piece KNOW THAT VERY WELL. So why don't you tie up this moment like you guys do every other moment? (Shanks's Haki at the beginning where Oda only confirmed what was already obvious, the sea monsters appearing on the Calm Belt, Dragon appearing precisely in Chapter 100, the mini covers that are always of use for the future, and so on). Oda does not do these things for nothing and that is the greatest proof that they are on even footing.
And just to clarify that ON EVEN FOOTING DOES NOT MEAN EQUAL. People mistakenly like to believe that they are the same (the famous Zoro = Sanji), but that's not true ... each one has their own characteristics, if they were the same it would not make any sense. Why have two characters that have identical characteristics, identical traits?
"But Sanji does not have the strength like Zoro does"
He doesn't, but I say that he is smarter and that the difference in physical strength applies in that between Kaku and Jyabura, a difference in power that it's so small that it hardly matters, so there's a chance they even match up in this matter... I'd like to know if it's nice to be kicked by Sanji... Jyabura, Moomu, Satori and others must still have nightmares because of it. People talk about this difference as if it were meaningful. Nobody wants to take a hit from Sanji, nor do they want to take a hit from Zoro. Any smart person understands this.
And it's worth-noting that the red Databook has a chart going more in depth about the Straw Hats' traits. This is the one. This is Luffy's example:
Regarding Zoro and Sanji, it shows exactly a difference in physical strength and intelligence. But in dexterity they are the same. The dexterity may indicate some options ... but I will consider here balance and motor coordination, as I think it's more coherent with the two characters.
Surely they are not the same, because the graphic is talking about how the characters are, what they do, their peculiarities, techniques, and not trying to say that one is better than the other, let alone their level. This chart is done so we get an idea of how each Straw Hat is, it's not to be used as a reference for strength or combat, nor does it makes sense to be (the strongest in the world blow up the level of the chart in strength / intelligence / dexterity).
So even the Databook is not used to compare the two, let alone compare any other Straw Hat with another Straw Hat regarding their strength level. What we have to accept is that they will always be in "competition" with anything. The meat in Little Garden was an example, the one who first landed in Sabaody is another example ...Long Ring Long Land is also an example of their rivalry. That's what you have in the manga, not a comaparison between their strength.
Regarding their bounties, each one has the reward of what the World Government saw of them and judged to be fair. People in general talk more about Zoro by the way he is, by the way he acts, like throwing a cursed sword and seeing if it cuts off his arm, showing that he isn't there for the fun , that he won't try to get ladies, that he won't make jokes, although he will always get lost and think that he is still in the right! This way of acting makes him SHOW HIMSELF MORE to the world, to the point where some enemies fear him and even think he is the captain, and that's exactly what the manga shows, even as far back as when he was known as a pirate hunter. Let's say he would be close to being "inconsequential", that is, I leave it in quotation marks because Zoro is not Luffy, he thinks in his actions to some extent (like how to avoid becoming a "wanted man" before meeting Luffy), but he does not think in all the consequences, he does not care about details, if he is willing to do something, he does (example: when he started cutting his legs off in Little Garden so he could fight).
Sanji has always been quieter, not using force always, not being grumpy or serious, being known for being a womanizer, which would make people not so afraid of him, but that does not change his fearsomeness in a fight. Emphasizing that it would not be long before Sanji would be known of as a cook who beat up navy employees, and even if Fullbody didn't do anything due to having lost his morale, Sanji would have stayed there at Baratie in his calm but good life and would flatten up whoever said something he did not agree. Anyway, we find there a difference in personality, but the two are tough guys for sure. And that comes down to personal characteristics, don't confuse that with their strength level. Zoro already has a duty to have to put himself to the front, to fight always. Sanji already has a more reserved profession, and for that reason he does not show off as much, but that in itself does not stop anyone from being strong. Did it stop Rayleigh? Franky? Zeff? Law? Anyway, think about it.
The Red Databook was the first one to be released, it's obvious that the characters change throughout the series, but NEVER forget, this graphic is merely to draw us closer to the characters, it's talking about their traits, their characteristics and peculiarities, not power or that Zoro is the second strongest and that Sanji the third strongest of the bunch, those who constantly talk about it are the fans, and while we keep constantly talking and competing against each other, saying "Zoro is stronger", "No, Sanji is", Oda is laughing at our faces and getting A LOT OF money with One Piece, so fans, do not kill each other for mere characters. What the history has to offer does not lend itself in the power standing of the Marimo or the Love Eyebrow Cook, or how they compare against each other, we merely do know that Luffy comes first and that Oda has told us a long time ago that Usopp would occupy the last postion... that's all we know. The need of making clear a power placement between both is pure guesswork, don't treat it as fact. Oda has never answered to us who is the stronger between the two, and at least everywhere I read, Oda also never said that they are equivalent (besides the clues in the manga), because he really does not need to answer if what he has the most fun drawing is their rivalry.
To prove how Oda doesn't care about it and won't ever say who is stronger between them, in the SBS of volume 29, Oda ignores this type of question, where the person asks if Zoro is stronger because he fought Mr. 1 and Oda mocks the fan who asked such question. Check it out:
D: If Zoro and Sanji had a big fight, who would emerge victorious? Zoro beat Mr. 1, so I guess ... Zoro would be the winner, right ...?
O: Whoa! You scared me ... for a second it looked like "If Zoro and Sanji had a dick fight (big fight)". Hey man, learn to punctuate better or something. You know what I mean ... .Kay, see you next time!
So this is the Oda we know.
Now comes the main argument, that is the enemy that the two have faced. This is the annoying part because most fans stick to the numbers and not to the set of the work that Oda sets up. First they analyze superiority of enemies when they do not fight each other or do not show so much information (everything that happened to them) to the point we could really say who is stronger. We have this with Zoro and Sanji only, so we can't be sure based on the information that we get that one enemy is stronger than the other one, there's no way to say this for certain without a solid foundation.
Hacchan vs Kuroobi, does anyone there dare to say who is stronger? Seriously, what evidence do we have? Their ranks are the same, none of them were really dangerous, even Zoro, when all screwed up, managed to defeat the new enemy and in a convincing fashion Sanji takes a punch to the face and says it was rather weak, then goes to the water, gets screwed up, comes back to the land and defeats the enemy in an also convincing fashion.
People say that Zoro was all screwed up and rather injured after fighting Mihawk and so it should have been harder for him to win, which did not happen. But folks, have you guys forgotten that Sanji had been beaten and been punched from left to right by Pearl to keep him from killing the old man and was rather weakened when fighting with Gin, where he also got rather beat up? Yeah, do not forget that. The difference is that Sanji had a better treatment time than Zoro's. Sanji still managed to eat before going to the next island, take a break when having to wait for Luffy, as well as being able to still put band-aids in them. And then they went to Kokoyashi.
What changes in Sanji and Kuroobi's fight is that he did not even catch and thought that Luffy would be in trouble, and he would be the best qualified to get Luffy out of the water, due to be easier for him to break the stone. That was what screwed him up, getting into the water along with a Fishman, there in East Blue still, where they were not so evolved like today. It was not a good choice and that summed up Sanji's fight. Both were in disadvantage, Zoro for getting no medical treatment and Sanji for having faced a Fisman in the water when he was not in his 100% as well.
Then, after it, we have Alabasta. This is what gives rise to much debate and causes rivers of inks to flow, even moreso than Kaku and Jyabura.
Fans place Baroque Works as a tiered organization. For those who put it like this, re-take it, let's rethink together.
Everyone at BW had intentions within Crocodile's plan, there were years of strategies for everything to work out. The Millions and Billions were of the utmost importance, for without them the plan wouldn't be executed. The strongest agents (when I say the "strongest", I'm talking about the general utility of the agents) that were on the BW were part of the early numbers, and many of them were chosen for their intelligence. Just as Crocodile was an accomplished strategist, he put in high numbers people who were not only strong (force) but who had the ability / personality to make a perfect plan and defeat VERY strong people or recruit people who could not only fight, but get important information.
It was all a very closed scheme, each one with their function, with their goal. Mr.3 was thw cunning type, strategist guy, that along with his duo, always had ideas before resorting to h2h and charging at the opponent. Before fighting Luffy, it had all worked very well. What is Miss Golden Week's strength? Miss Valentine and Mr.5 are absolutely stronger than her (I say in hand-to-hand fighting), but the little girl had a cretin ability that would be very useful for the organization. She is still weaker than everyone else, but the ability summed it up. The same is true for Mr.3, where Crocodile, at the casino in Rain Base, says he should have put Mr.4 in his place because he would be better qualified in battle. That is, we already know that Mr.4 is stronger than Mr.3, but overall, by strategy, Mr.3 was ahead.
So why the hell do people use numbers to argue? The position there is analyzed not by force but general and utility. The more useful, the more dangerous it can be. Another example is Miss All Sunday, as she was totally in the plan (she gave orders as well) and for having an extremely important profession for Crocodile's goal, she was above Mr. 1, now tell me, how would she break the iron? How would she even bump into Mr.1 if he does blades itself? At least as far as Oda showed from Robin, she can not break the iron ... and even today, we barely know if she has haki to help. So do not use the numbers to say who is stronger than who, that's stupid.
What we know of the two characters is that Mr.1 had a partner strong as hell, Miss Double Finger was not weak, whereas Mr.2 was the only one who did his solo missions, as he is both male and female and therefore he was alone.
"Bon Clay had his band." But how can we judge whether they help in any mission if that wasn't even shown in the manga? They make the boat sail, they must assist in nautical functions ... we have seen that their strength is not significant, it is more for moral support than anything else more relevant.
Not to mention that Mr. 1 and Mr. 2 got in an argument in a scene of the manga, and there was no indication of who did the best. Just analyze, how to say with certainty who is stronger than the other?
"Mr. 1's Akuma no Mi is way more effective." I say maybe to damage others, but again, we get into a maybe, imagining a fight between the two is again revolving around assumptions and hypotheses. It's a bet, it's not fact. It is preference, not certainty. Do you understand where I'm going? The implications in the manga have never showed the difference in their levels as a fact, but rather that Zoro and Sanji take the strongest, but there is NO "Zoro always gets the second stronger" because I am proving it exactly now. If it was a matter of rank, Absalom is stronger than Ryumma, and the nice thing is that the fans of Zoro do not agree with that, irony?
Now we're going to talk about Enies Lobby. Now I'm going to tell you that this analysis is not because of the power the characters could possess or the attacks they have showed. We should never look at things like that. Each fight is a fight, each one has its happening and there can be changes in their directions, you can not prove anything if we reverse the roles (Sanji gets Zoro's enemy and Sanji gets Zoro's), it all depends. And when we get into the "it depends" road, again we go to the hypotheses, and this is wrong, we have to discuss what the manga has! I say this because I read a lot in my life people saying "Sanji could not withstand Kaku's Amedachi" and I think that's absurd for a discussion. So don't go this way.
People always talk about the difference of 20 dourikis between Kaku and Jyabura and already put one above the other by a considerable amount because of two soldiers... Do you know what a "difference" really is? The one between Kaku / Jyabura and Lucci. That is significant and has nothing to discuss. Another fact: Kaku and Jyabura didn't transform to hit Fukurou so he could analyze their dourikis and yet scored almost the same reading. Douriki is physical force, only physical force, that is, damage dealt... strength, you understand, right?
Now tell me, Oda has also displayed for us in the above chart (up there) that Zoro has a little more of brute force than Sanji (this still in the beginning of the Grand Line), and then emphasizes in this more recent information that the difference in their strength is of mere 20 dourikis.
"But if Kaku had transformed and hit Fukurou, his (pretty small, almost non-worthy, let's add) gap over Kaku would be more noticeable." Okay, prove it. Seriously, how can you debate this way? Is it even hinted if they were transformed the difference would increase? "Of course!"
NO WAY. There is no way to pass off something that the manga doesn't show or even hint at as a fact. Let's go back to hypotheses? The only thing you can argue about those Akuma No Mis is when Chopper says the carnivorous Akuma no Mi is perfect for a hand to hand fight. He flat out states carnivorous! Lucci later says that the Zoon type, the more they train, the stronger they get... but about Kaku, did he train something we can say was effective? He could barely connect the hits... this fight against Kaku was the one he got out the freshest until that part of the manga that will be commented below!
So if they had transformed, there is absolutely no certainty that Kaku would make the gap bigger. It could increase, the difference could stay the same or decrease, those are the three obvious options and the manga does not show any of them. Because of this, because we do not know how it would be, we will continue to consider the initial difference of 20 dourikis and be happy, two soldiers do not change anything in a fight, they are not captains, sergeants, commodore, vice admirals, they are two soldiers. Luffy defeated thousands as if they were ants. Zoro subjugates a sergeant (Tashigi) with two blows or even less, Sanji laughs at the face of Fullbody and beats him up easily... These two aforementioned Navy characters are stronger than two soldiers together, so it's as if these two soldiers were sheets of paper that we rip as if they were nothing. It's simple, it's VERY easy to understand something like that. The 20 dourikis is not a significant difference ... Not to mention that we are specifically talking about physical strength, the other traits don't even number possess. Next saga.
To apply the idea of numbers in Daz Bones and Kaku, they are all there shouting at God and the world that these two are stronger, but when talking about Absalom, they change goal posts or try to evase the conversation and say that he was a shitty character... but he was the "boss" of Ryumma, the zombies had to obey them! Okay, Ryumma had some freedom there because he was a "special" shadow. That's true. But in a matter of number (or position), Absalom is clearly ahead, but in a magic step, the roles are reversed and there goes again lots of hypotheses and guesswork to tell that Ryumma was stronger. Pathetic.
Regarding these two, it is even ridiculous to comment because the whole saga doesn't revolve around "levels", nor do the other sagas, but in the two previous ones where one can analyze, there's too much to discuss. In this case, it's simple, don't even think about strength levels. Ryumma was a samurai who had the shadow of Brook. The perfect character for Zoro to learn more about pride and the honor of the samurais, as well as still bargain for a new sword. Sanji also had this same situation, with the will to have the Akuma no Mi of invisibility and a rather funny part linked to his grudge against the one who desired to take Nami as his bride. It is so distinct that we should not even analyze, it's all guesswork, it doesn't fit at all. In fight between the two it is obvious that Absalom would win because he is the "owner" of the zombies, in fact, the zombies wouldn't even oppose him, only Luffy did. We wouldn't even have a fight, because they weren't enemies or anything like this, one gives orders and the other obeys.
Now on the Fishman Islands, it is not even possible to argue because the enemies were so weak ... it is simply pointless arguing. Sanji stayed there all the time, chilling, the same with Zoro... they didn't even meet a challenge nor anything like this. No one has been beaten, there's nothing to analyze. Zoro being badass the way he is, showed a monster superiority all the time, just like Sanji did.
"Zoro cut Hody in the water," but people, Hody was rubbish too, but in the water, even with this huge developement in strength and skills, Zoro did not beat Hody, he just bought time so the others would run away, and so did he, because he wouldn't be able to hold the breathe for much longer, just like Sanji could not at Arlong Park. They are monsters, but they do not have lungs of Fishmans. Even Luffy had trouble dealing with Hordy at the sea. It is too redundant to think that if Zoro remained there fighting he would have won... If they were on land, the story would be different, but the story is in the sea, so let's focus on the manga.
Now in Punk Hazard, in that case yes we can get what is the new World level... Monet and Vergo, Sanji also succeeded in delaying Vergo so the others could escape, but it's too redundant to think that Sanji would have won, which proved to be an extremely difficult fight, whereas in Monet's case, Zoro was only chilling there, and left a few dangerous openings, to which Monet could have injured Nami and Robin if she were better focused, but Zoro ended up leaving a suspense in a previous chapter (which I found kind of a nonsense from Oda, since what we mostly want to know is what the monsters can do) and then let the enemy underestimate him. When Monet left her guard down, believing the bullshit that Tashigi said, he simply made Monet shit in her pants, but even then she says she is not strong enough for Zoro, she would hang in there with her insight and could end up stopping Zoro like this as she did with Luffy earlier, but that's it. Anyway, there was a brutal difference in their enemies' powers. Vergo for years in the navy, being Vice Admiral, showing even a superiority towards Smoker, besides being Doflamingo's right-hand man, a loyal, trustworthy person and one of the "generals" of the Donquixote family.
Information behind information that shows that a fight between Vergo and Sanji would be fucking cool, Sanji would obviously find a lot of problems and would get beaten up badly, but we can't know anything else, there was no fight, it's all a bet. But at the very least, Sanji had the moral to do everything he did. Thumbs up for him!
Now we are at Dressrosa and we have seen some nice little things already [ahill's note: when she wrote this analysis the manga was still kind in the beginning of Dressrosa, Luffy and Doflamingo hadn't even begun fighting yet]. Sanji tried to stop Doflamingo, but it did not work, hahahaha, just as Zoro was shaking on his pants when he learned that Fujitora was an admiral, with the presence of this latter being so strong that Zoro's glasses even broke.
At last, the enemies were commented on. If you're still stubborn and insist on Zoro's superiority, just say: I think Zoro's stronger because he's fucking cool and a fucking boss. That way it's a disposable thing, a totally partial opinion, personal and without reason's. Just don't talk about hints on the manga.
Finally, I won't stretch it much longer, but people talk about the scene of Thriller Bark in which Zoro took the fatigue of Luffy. I'll just say one thing: Brook said Sanji would be equally ready/prepared to take it as well. End. No matter if Sanji would be more injured or anything like this, or if he would have fainted and spent a week in recovery, the intention is the same, the will of the two -- in taking Luffy's pain -- was the same. Zoro took much less damage from the bomb, it was even implied that he dodged it, the damage he has from one chapter to the next is much smaller than Sanji's damage, just reread the chapters, the places where they bleed in chapter 484 , continue to bleed in 485, the blood is only slightly larger, nor even Zoro's clothes are torn. If we compare with the others straw hats on page 17 of the same chapter, all the Straw Hats (only Brook can not be seen and Chopper that has barely any clothes), are with their clothes torn, showing that they have taken at least the worst part of the bomb.
Anyway, take a good glance at the chapters 484 and 485 and notice something! We're talking about an air bomb (Robin explains it), so it's natural for the clothes to be ripped off, showing this way the "strength of the wind" dealt by the bomb.
Just do not forget that Sanji got considerably more damaged in this saga than Zoro before this latter took Luffy's fatigue. And that same fatigue was practically just the fatigue of the captain right? Imagine if the fatigue had happened in Alabasta or Enies Lobby where Luffy got way more damaged/wonded, Zoro would have died, lol. And there are still peopke saying that Zoro is on equal footing with Luffy or can even defeat him... absurd.
Um, is there anything else? If you happen to talk about some anime filler or some movie, please ... spare me of that. Producers have a freedom to do what they want almost always, they leave the sagas faithful to a certain extent, but in all of them there are distortions, things that did not happen or even stretches to make the animation clearer. Oda does the manga, his participation in the anime, despite being one of the authors that has a certain authority, is still pretty small, he even speaks this in an SBS.
O: Hm-hmm. I have received thousands of questions. I'll just tell you everything I know about the anime, whether that answers those questions or just because I want you to know.
1 - First, what I must say is that I am a manga artist. I do not create anime. All I do is design the characters for the original anime stories and movies. Nothing serious. Basically, the One Piece world I create in the manga is entrusted to other people to put in the anime.
2 - I want you to remember that name. UDA KOUNOSUKE. This name is always on the opening credits list. It's the written "series director." So basically, "chief director." Not cool? Chief Executive Officer.
3 - For the anime of One Piece, Uda-san has 7 other directors who take turns doing the episodes. That's because you can not do a 30-minute episode every week. Every episode's director is listed at the end of the closing credits. And the person who puts them all together is exactly the UDA KOUNOSUKE! (Whistle)
Well, then, besides Oda talking about this, whoever understands even a little about the animes, knows that the producers end up with all anime that is adapted from manga. Almost no manga has a faithful anime, that is if even there's an anime at all, which happens in some cases. There is no shojo that has already been released here in Brazil that has an identical anime. Many of the shojos are even adapted to Doramas (novels) and even then, they are sometimes not faithful. Anime / Dorama / OVA are made to show the face of the manga, to have fame, and not necessarily to be good! Of course if it is, then that's even better, but the intention is to be working, to be building the marketing of the manga, draw the public attention. I can make an endless list of manga that has its story and plot, when animated, changed, contradicted, shitted on and the most terrible and annoying things that a fan might think. Pretty good mangas that, when animated, become disgusting, horrible, and the mangaka can't do anything about it.
One Piece is no different. If Oda worried about what the animation team did, Oda would not live in this world, he would be an Alien. The profession of a mangaká is sacrificial, when questions of animation are put in the middle, the thing [untranslated]. Oda made the script for the last films and of course, always has the gifts he also has to work on drawing, and many other issues, it's no wonder he hardly lives anymore and we also see weeks without manga's chapters (this year 2013 year may have been a record). Understood? So do not use too much of anime-only stuff, and even if such anime isn't as punctured as many other works, it still has several differences. It's even worse if you use the movies, the only movies that have Oda's hand are the last two.
And to endsaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa immense analysis and explanations, to leave all Zoro fanboys crazy (I kid)! A chapter cover designed by Oda............
So, this is her (yeah, it's a female fan that used to do videos of OP for youtube) huge analysis... I spent A LOT of time translating it all, so I'd appreciate if you guys give it a good read and let me know your thoughts.