10 anime characters similar to Shanks from One Piece

Shanks, a character from the popular anime One Piece, is easily recognizable for his iconic appearance. With vibrant red hair, a distinctive scar over his left eye, a meaningful straw hat, and a billowing black cape, Shanks exudes an impressive presence wherever he may be.

Despite possessing great strength, Shanks chooses to avoid confrontation whenever he can and does not actively seek out fights or dominance. He places importance on having a good time and enjoying parties with his crew, while also taking on the role of a mentor to young pirates like Luffy, guiding them towards reaching their full potential.

Shanks’ captivating personality, characterized by a balance of latent power and carefree restraint, is what makes him so intriguing. Given his widespread popularity, it is no surprise that many fans desire to see other anime characters embody similar traits to the iconic one-armed captain.

8 Anime Characters Like Shanks

Jiraiya Character Profile (Naruto)

Jiraiya (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Jiraiya (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Similar to how Shanks mentored Luffy, Jiraiya also takes on the role of a mentor to the main character Naruto. This experienced ninja serves as a wise and fatherly figure to Naruto, much like Shanks. Despite being one of the legendary Sannin and possessing immense strength, Jiraiya also has a passion for writing novels in addition to his skills in battle. However, when faced with formidable enemies, he proves his exceptional combat abilities.

Characters in anime, such as Shanks, often possess a combination of mentorship skills and impressive fighting abilities, which is also seen in Jiraiya. Jiraiya’s long, spiky white hair is reminiscent of Shanks’ red locks, making him just as visually striking. Additionally, Jiraiya is often seen wearing a red vest over his attire, mirroring Shanks’ signature red-haired appearance.

Despite their differing personalities, with Jiraiya being more eccentric and lecherous, both still manage to inspire others through their compassion.

Benn Beckman (One Piece)

Benn Beckman (Image via Toei Animation)
Benn Beckman (Image via Toei Animation)

Benn Beckman, as the first mate and right-hand man of Shanks’ Red-Haired pirates, bears many similarities to his captain. His unruly black hair, which often covers one eye, and his constant unimpressed expression reflect Shanks’ serious demeanor on occasion.

Despite his immense strength and skill, Beckman’s combat abilities perfectly complement those of Shanks. With a formidable rifle in hand, his fighting style serves as a perfect complement to Shanks’ mastery of the sword. Despite his incredible power, Beckman’s unwavering loyalty to Shanks remains steadfast.

He shares Luffy’s unwavering loyalty to Shanks and is willing to follow his captain wherever he goes without any hesitation.

Gojo Satoru – Protagonist of Jujutsu Kaisen

Gojo Satoru (Image via MAPPA)
Gojo Satoru (Image via MAPPA)

Despite being the most powerful jujutsu sorcerer, Gojo’s carefree and mocking demeanor often sets him apart from others. His near invincibility stands in contrast to Shanks’ easygoing and confident nature.

Just as Shanks serves as a mentor to Luffy in becoming a legendary pirate, Gojo takes on the role of guiding protagonist Yuji in mastering jujutsu sorcery. And like how Shanks bears permanent scars, Gojo also wears a white blindfold to control the immense power of his Six Eyes, which greatly enhances his perception and cursed energy control.

Gojo, like Shanks, is considered one of the top anime characters due to their ability to harness their strength for the betterment of others. Both possess a sense of restraint in their use of power for the sake of the wellbeing of those around them.

Gildarts Clive – Fairy Tail Character

Gildarts Clive (Image via A-1 Pictures)
Gildarts Clive (Image via A-1 Pictures)

Gildarts, Fairy Tail’s strongest wizard, holds the same status as Emperor Shanks. He also possesses Shanks’ tendency to lose body parts, as he is missing an arm and a leg. Despite facing overwhelming challenges, Gildarts bravely battles on, reminiscent of the time Shanks lost an arm while saving Luffy from drowning.

For those who admire characters in anime with an unwavering determination like Shanks, Gildarts is an excellent choice. Similar to how Shanks guides Luffy in piracy, Gildarts mentors Natsu in the art of magic. Despite his intimidating demeanor, Gildarts takes pleasure in a good battle and actively seeks out worthy adversaries, while also possessing a carefree and jovial personality.

Despite his unpredictable nature, he often frequents Fairy Tail, much like the enigmatic appearances of Shanks.

Silvers Rayleigh from One Piece

Silvers Rayleigh (Image via Toei Animation)
Silvers Rayleigh (Image via Toei Animation)

During the two-year time skip, Rayleigh served as Luffy’s mentor in mastering Haki, taking on a role similar to that of Shanks for the aspiring pirate king. As the former first mate of Gol D. Roger’s crew, Rayleigh held a position equivalent to Shanks’ as the right-hand man to the previous Pirate King.

Similarly to Shanks, Rayleigh stands out as an unmatched mentor figure among anime characters. Despite his hair turning a striking silver color with age, it is still just as iconic as his fellow Emperor’s vibrant red hair.

Despite his retirement from piracy, Rayleigh’s relaxed freedom remains similar to Shanks’ wandering spirit. His supreme skills and Haki abilities continue to be incredibly powerful when needed, and are crucial in training Luffy. Rayleigh’s combination of wisdom and power place him among notable anime characters like Shanks.

Shiba Miyuki, main character of The Irregular at Magic High School

Shiba Miyuki (Image via Madhouse)
Shiba Miyuki (Image via Madhouse)

Despite not possessing the same warm demeanor as Shanks, Miyuki shares many similarities with the Emperor. With impressive magical abilities and formidable combat skills, Miyuki is a force to be reckoned with. Her innate brilliance is comparable to the exceptional Haki mastery that Shanks has achieved.

Miyuki has a strong relationship with her brother Tatsuya, similar to the sibling bond between Shanks and Luffy. Her impressive strength and unwavering dedication make her a noteworthy character in the anime world, much like Shanks from One Piece.

Howzer: A Character from Seven Deadly Sins

Howzer (Image via A-1 Pictures)
Howzer (Image via A-1 Pictures)

Despite any physical resemblance, the Holy Knight Howzer finds similarities between himself and Shanks in their histories. Both were born into humble beginnings, yet rose to great heights through their remarkable strength and abilities. Howzer, like Shanks, ultimately became a formidable Holy Knight, mirroring Shanks’ rise to the position of Emperor.

Howzer’s journey mirrors the characteristics of anime protagonists such as Shanks, who achieve success through unwavering determination. He prioritizes leisure and revelry over rules and obligations, shirking his duties in favor of pursuing adventure, much like Shanks’ nomadic way of life.

In battles, he utilizes wind magic with his sword, reminiscent of Shanks imbuing his weapons and projectiles with Haki to enhance their offensive capabilities.

Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

Joseph Joestar (Image via David Production)
Joseph Joestar (Image via David Production)

Even though Joseph Joestar is more impetuous than Shanks, he shares many traits with him as a Hamon warrior and mentor. From his untamed, black hair to his love for over-the-top poses, Joseph’s flamboyant flair reflects Shanks’ grandeur when making memorable entrances.

Despite losing his left hand in battle and replacing it with a prosthetic, much like Shanks’ lost arm, Joseph remains determined and uses his power and clever tactics to continue fighting against younger challengers.

Joseph, acting as a seasoned mentor for protagonist Jotaro Kujo, serves as a guide for the upcoming hero, much like Shanks’ influence on Luffy’s journey. With his unique combination of mentorship and combat prowess, Joseph can be compared to other influential anime characters such as Shanks.

Asuma Sarutobi (Naruto)

Asuma Sarutobi (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Asuma Sarutobi (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Asuma Sarutobi, the leader of Team 10, had a leadership style reminiscent of Shanks in Naruto. His appearance, with spiky black hair, a short beard, and the use of chakra-enhanced trench knives in combat, was also quite striking.

Asuma mentored the next-generation ninjas Shikamaru, Ino, and Choji on their adventures, much like how Shanks guided Luffy on his journey to become the Pirate King. Asuma also shared Shanks’ approach of avoiding unnecessary violence and taking his duties seriously. However, when it came to fighting for important causes, Asuma displayed his exceptional skills.

Despite tragically losing his life in a battle against Akatsuki member Hidan, Asuma’s legacy continues to impact his village and students in a profound way, much like how Shanks inspired Luffy to embark on his pirate journey. Asuma’s unwavering dedication and exceptional mentorship solidify his place among the top anime characters, similar to the revered Shanks.

Kakashi Hatake (Naruto)

Kakashi Hatake (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Kakashi Hatake (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Similarly to Shanks, the renowned Copy Ninja Kakashi Hatake shares many similarities. While he may appear more serious in nature compared to Shanks, as a leader, Kakashi commands a great sense of loyalty and dedication from his subordinates, reminiscent of the devotion shown by Shanks’ crew.

Kakashi possesses remarkable leadership qualities that rank him alongside anime characters such as Shanks. Despite his immense skill, he tends to steer clear of unnecessary conflicts. However, when faced with the need to defend his loved ones, he showcases exceptional talent, similar to Shanks when protecting Luffy from his enemies.

In his role as leader of Team 7, Kakashi serves as a mentor to Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, helping guide them on their paths as ninja. This is reminiscent of Shanks’ role in setting Luffy on his own journey as a pirate. Both embody the characteristics of a wise teacher, knowing when to hold back their power and when to use it effectively.


Despite the fact that no one can fully emulate the iconic Shanks and his multitude of traits, there are numerous outstanding anime characters such as Shanks who possess certain aspects of the beloved Emperor in an effective manner. Characters like Jiraiya and Silvers Rayleigh, who serve as mentors, and powerful heroes like Gojo Satoru and Gildarts Clive, all showcase qualities that are reminiscent of the one-armed captain.

Shanks, among other anime characters, remains a beloved figure for their impressive abilities, guiding role, and unforgettable traits that continue to enthrall viewers.

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