Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoro are two characters that have been together the longest out of any members of the Strawhat crew. Surprisingly, a pirate hunter and the future pirate king have one of the strongest relationships in the show. Zoro is Luffy’s right-hand man and pseudo-second-in-command. He is the ship’s first mate essentially and one of the more mature members of the crew. Until it comes time to read a map, of course!
Both Luffy and Zoro are partners in crime. It’s easy to see why many believe Zoro to be the best crewmate out of the entire Strawhat crew. Both in terms of strength and loyalty. They have the advanced Conqueror’s Haki, and they both were trained by top-tier fighters in the One Piece universe. Additionally, they both took on a powerful Emperor in combat (and lived to tell the tale, no less). Luffy and Zoro are set to conquer the Grand Line. So, let’s take a look at the history between both Luffy and Zoro and decide if Zoro is the best crewmate.
Monkey D. Luffy and Roronoa Zoro are the first to meet
As mentioned, Luffy and Zoro formed the Strawhat pirate crew together. Before Luffy and Zoro met, Luffy was adrift, fumbling around in barrels and unsure what to do with his life. After meeting, Luffy and Zoro quickly formed an alliance and shipped off in search of adventure. Zoro is clearly one of the most, if not the most, essential members of the Straw Hat crew. If not for him, there would be no story to tell!
Luffy and Zoro meet at one of the lowest points in Zoro’s life. Tied to a set of stakes outside, Luffy is the one who frees him from his shackles. With the caveat that Zoro must join his crew as recompense. Zoro is bound by all things honorable. This is seen in Zoro’s purposeful taking of a frontal attack from Mihawk). He agrees to follow Luffy as the first member of Luffy’s crew to save him. This initial meeting allows their relationship to develop more throughout the Alabasta arc, the Punk Hazard arc, the Wano arc, and more.
Both Luffy and Zoro have the same dream
Both Luffy and Zoro want to become stronger. Luffy wants to be the pirate king or the strongest pirate in the world. Similarly, Zoro wants to become the world’s strongest swordsman. Becoming the world’s strongest swordsman is just as challenging as becoming the pirate king. The fellow crewmates have very different dreams in One Piece. For example, Nami wants to draw a map of the world, and Sanji wants to find All Blue. Only Luffy and Zoro can understand each other when it comes to growing more powerful.
This is seen very recently in the unwillingness of both Luffy and Zoro to give up in their fight, trying to defeat Kaido. Despite not being able to defeat Kaido, Luffy and Zoro continue to stand up and fight. After Luffy used all his power, he had no problem telling Zoro that he needed ten minutes to recover. To which Zoro said he could count on him. Luffy and Zoro trust each other deeply, and it is likely because Luffy and Zoro are so similar. Having the first and second-highest bounties of the Straw hat Pirates makes them a genuinely formidable duo. Luffy and Zoro will only continue to get stronger as the series continues.
Luffy and Zoro have great respect for each other
Both Luffy and Zoro have vast amounts of respect for each other, as seen over the course of the series. Luffy can comfortably rely on Zoro to handle any enemies standing in their way. Luffy needs to fight the big bad of the season, after all. Additionally, Zoro, despite being a former pirate hunter and stating he will do whatever he wants, respects his captain greatly. Zoro respects strength and can see how powerful Luffy is as a fighter. Luffy proved this throughout the whole series. Luffy defeated tons of strong enemies that, if Zoro fought them, he would probably lose.
Nowhere better is Zoro’s respect showcased more than in the Water Seven arc and the Going Merry. After Usopp leaves the crew after a fight with Luffy involving the Going Merry, the gang is ready and willing to welcome Usopp back. However, Zoro refuses to let anyone do such a thing until Usopp apologizes for disrespecting their captain. When Luffy objects, Zoro states that he needs to “stop showing signs of weakness.” Zoro says he will not follow a weak captain. Despite everything the pair have been through over the years, Zoro makes it clear to Luffy how he feels. If Luffy ever falls below a power level that he can respect, Zoro has no problems leaving the crew entirely. Both Luffy and Zoro accept this, and so do the other crew members
By staying together, Luffy is able to bring out the more playful and joking side of Zoro. While Zoro is able to remind Luffy that he is a pirate captain first and foremost and has responsibilities.
Luffy and Zoro would die for each other
Time after time, Luffy and Zoro have shown a willingness to go above and beyond for their crew. Luffy regularly puts his life on the line with every opponent he faces. However, lesser-discussed is Zoro’s valiant acts of heroism that are brushed under the surface. The best example of Zoro’s selfishness comes after Nightmare Luffy finishes his final battle in the Thriller Bark arc. Bartholomew Kuma agrees that it would not be honorable to attack Luffy and Zoro in such a disheveled state. So, he promises to leave as long as Zoro takes on all of Luffy’s pain experienced in his fight. Kuma says that, as Zoro is close to death after his own fight, taking on Luffy’s pain will kill him. Despite this, Zoro agrees to take on all of Luffy’s pain.
Thankfully, Zoro did not die but can be seen surrounded by a mess of blood after Sanji discovers him. When asked how he got into such a sorry state, Zoro keeps his mouth shut and says, “nothing happened.” Not wanting to dishonor Luffy by making a deal with the enemy. We see this again in the more recent Wano arc after Luffy and Zoro are put out of action after trying to defeat Kaido. Zoro receives an injection that will cure his wounds but double his pain after the battle. Zoro doesn’t think twice about taking the medicine in order to fulfill his captain’s wishes. It is hard to imagine someone like Usopp, Nami, or even Sanji going to such lengths for Luffy. Even less surviving such an ordeal. Zoro is the ultimate friend and teammate. It is clear why Luffy and Zoro have stayed together all this time.
Luffy and Zoro are the only Supernovas of the Worst Generation
The Supernovas of the Worst Generation are eleven of the strongest up-and-coming pirates of the modern era. Luffy and Zoro are both considered Supernovas. Other members of the Worst Generation include Trafalgar Law, Eustass Captain Kid, and X Drake. Among the Supernovas, 9 are all captains of their respective ships. Only Killer (a member of Kid’s crew) and Zoro are crewmates.
Only Luffy and Zoro, along with Killer and Kid, are characters as powerful as the other Supernovas, making Luffy and Zoro a perfect pair. Captain Kid was the only Supernova to rival Luffy’s bounty during the first visit to the Sabaody Archipelago. It is only fitting that the two strongest captains get to stand by the two strongest first mates. Sanji, the number three of the Straw hats, was not heralded as a Supernova, despite his humongous strength. Even the rest of the world recognizes the strength of Luffy and Zoro as a partnership.
Luffy defeated Zoro and Zoro defeated Luffy when they fought
Despite it being a filler arc, Luffy and Zoro have had a duel before in the One Piece anime. During Usopp’s fight with Luffy, the long-nosed liar managed to get a few good hits. However, he was utterly defeated by the Strawhats captain. Additionally, Luffy’s “fight” with Sanji on Wholecake Island was hardly fair, as Luffy refused to hit him back. This was when the straw hats tried to save Sanji from his wedding.
The brawl between Luffy and Zoro shows both of them giving it their all. This is represented by Zoro placing the third sword into his mouth. Something he only does when he gets serious. The captain of the Strawhats has never really had a draw with any opponent to this date. Luffy has lost fights in the past. However, any enemy he has lost against, he has trounced in their rematch. The only opponent Luffy has never beaten would probably be Magellan of Impel Down. Now that Luffy has gained immunity to poison thanks to his fight with Magellan, Luffy would probably win the rematch. The fight between Luffy and Zoro is the only battle still left unanswered. Who knows what kind of havoc Luffy and Zoro would wreak if they ever had a falling out?
Luffy and Zoro are best friends like Roger and Rayleigh
At the end of the day, Luffy and Zoro are best friends, although the latter would likely never admit it. Luffy and Zoro share similar dreams and act as security for the rest of the crew. Luffy’s desire to be the pirate king draws instant parallels to the former pirate king, Gol D. Roger. Naturally, this means Zoro can also be compared to Roger’s first mate, Rayleigh. Luffy and Zoro are then comparable to the former conquerors of the ocean.
Roger and Rayleigh ushered in a new wave of piracy across the Grand Line. Luffy and Zoro are poised to do the same for their generation. Only time will tell what the future has in store for Luffy and Zoro. But it is clear to see by these details why Luffy and Zoro make such a good pair and why Luffy and Zoro will conquer the Grand Line together even if the rest of the straw hats fall.