Saturday, December 18, 2010

roronoa zoro ~ swordsman 'The Straw Hat Pirates"

Roronoa Zoro (ロロノア・ゾロ?, spelled as "Roronoa Zolo" in several versions), named after François l'Olonnais, nicknamed "Pirate Hunter" Zoro (海賊狩りのゾロ Kaizoku-Gari no Zoro, spelled as "Pirate Hunter" Zolo in several versions), is a 19 year old, skilled swordsman who uses up to three swords at once, clutching the third in his mouth. To fulfill a promise he made to childhood friend and rival, "Kuina", he wants to become the world's greatest swordsman by defeating Dracule Mihawk. Before joining Luffy, he made a living by bounty hunting. He joins Luffy's crew in exchange for his aid in escaping execution. He makes it clear that he would turn on his captain if he ever stepped between him and his dream , although during the "Thriller Bark arc" he says that he can't fulfill his dream if he did not help his captain fulfill his. His enormous physical strength is enough to lift a building, as well as inhumanly heavy weights on a regular basis. During a fight with Baroque Works Officer Agent Mr. 1 (Daz Bonez), he learns how to cut through solid steel. He can employ an "Asura" technique which gives him three faces and six arms, thus totaling nine swords. In addition, Zoro can expand the muscle mass of his arms, and emulate some of his sword attacks using his bare hands. He is extremely poor at understanding geographical directions and gets lost very easily. He also sleeps a great deal and loves to drink. Confirmed by Ugore to be the first mate of the Strawhat Crew (chapter 499 page 17 in the manga), Zoro's current bounty is 120,000,000 Berries, making him one of the 11 supernovas. He is voiced by Kazuya Nakai as an adult and Megumi Urawa as a child in the Japanese version of the franchise. In the English dubs, he is voiced by Marc Diraison as an adult and Andrew Rannells as a child for 4Kids, and by Christopher R. Sabat as an adult and  as a child for Funimation.
Zoro ranked second in all four Shōnen Jump character popularity polls. Furthermore, in a 2007 poll by Oricon, Zoro was voted as the 4th most desired character to receive a spinoff. DVD Talk praises Zoro's "hilarious" three-sword fighting style as a great example of the show's sense of humor. Holly Ellingwood from Activeanime praised Zoro's fight against Luffy as one of the best moments from the 10th DVD from the series released by Viz Media, praising the action scenes. Sabat's work with Zoro has resulted in him being a nominated of the category "Best Voice Actor (English)" in the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) Awards from 2008. Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network commented on Sabat's work with Zoro as a "standout", noting that Zoro and Sabat are "well-matched. Kimlinger also found that he and Sanji's flashbacks from the anime "really do jerk tears, even if they are less than gracefully executed".

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