Powerful, determined, and honorable, Roronoa Zoro is a true icon of One Piece. An absolute fan favorite, Zoro is the right-hand man of Monkey D. Luffy, whom he serves faithfully, like Silvers Rayleigh used to do with Gol D. Roger back in the day. In Wano, Zoro ascended to new heights as a warrior.
After partaking in the battle between the Worst Generation and Emperors, in which he showcased his outstanding prowess, he went on to fight King, a Lunarian survivor who became Kaido’s strongest subordinate. During the confrontation, Zoro gained awareness of his dormant potential and revealed his Conqueror’s Haki.
Not only was Zoro able to use that power to enhance his attacks, a feat that only a few characters can perform, but he even merged the advanced versions of Conqueror’s Haki and Armament Haki to create a new sword style. With that being said, along with increasing his strength, the adventure in Wano reserved Zoro for another unexpected development.
One Piece episode 1084 brings back the focus on the Zoro x Hiyori ship
Even Zoro is not immune to shipping wars
For the author’s own admission, love and relationships aren’t major issues of the One Piece story. Still, that doesn’t mean that there are no signs of sentimentalism, although they are probably more subtle and peripheral compared to other aspects of the series.
Zoro’s greatest appeal undoubtedly lies in his fearsome combat prowess and inspiring life philosophy. Still, as one of the franchise’s core characters, it’s inevitable that fans will be curious about his eventual love interest.
The mangaka Eiichiro Oda teased Zoro’s unusual relationships with certain female characters, which might suggest that, in the future, he might develop a romantic relationship with one of them.
Granted, it might also be just a red herring on Oda’s part, considering how much the author likes to mislead the One Piece fandom. Even then, the community can’t help but come up with some theories about Zoro’s future love interest.
The main ships involving the green-haired swordsman together, depending on the case, are Tashigi, Perona, or Nico Robin. With the Straw Hat crew’s arrival in Wano, another candidate has been added.
Since the first appearance of Kozuki Hiyori, Oden’s daughter and Momonosuke’s sister, fans have immediately spotted her as a major candidate for becoming’ Zoro’s love interest in the series. Admittedly, the two interacted in a significant way.
How Zoro and Hiyori bonded in One Piece
After their defeat against Kaido, Killer, blackmailed with Eustass Kid‘s life, was forced to work as an assassin at the service of shogun Kurozumi Orochi. Under the alias of “Kamazo”, Killer was tasked with murdering Toko, the adopted daughter of Yasuie, as well as Hiyori.
Just as Kamazo was about to slay them, Zoro stepped in and blocked the former’s strike. After a brief confrontation, Zoro overpowered Killer, inflicting a crushing defeat on him.
Hiyori not only treated the wound that Zoro received during the battle but even took him to a house where they spent the night. Impressed by Zoro’s strength as well as reassured by his attitude, Hiyori felt at ease with the swordsman and revealed to him that she was the daughter of Oden and the sister of Momonosuke.
As Zoro revealed to Hiyori that her brother has been traveling with him and his companions, the bond between the two grew even more, as did Hiyori’s gratitude towards the “Pirate Hunter”. She told him what happened twenty years before, and Zoro became truly sympathetic to her grief.
Through Zoro, Hiyori also heard of the Red Scabbards’ return to Wano, which she was ecstatic to hear, especially as he learned that the green-haired swordsman would fight alongside them to free the country from Kaido.
When Yasuie was about to be executed, Toko ran up to him, and Hiyori chased after her. Resolved to protect the two from whoever could hurt them, Zoro went after them, once again showing his care for Hiyori’s well-being.
Upon witnessing Yasuie’s heartbreaking death as well as Toko’s sorrow, which was even worsened by her SMILE curse, Hiyori burst into tears and sought solace in Zoro’s chest. Zoro was truly enraged, but she held him back from making a scene.
As several ninja assassins from Orochi’s Oniwabanshu started pursuing Hiyori, aiming to kill her, Zoro once again stood as her personal protector, defeating all the enemies. Hiyori then asked Zoro to return the sword Shusui, which the people of Wano considered a national treasure.
Zoro had received the blade two years earlier, directly from the hands of Ryuma’s zombie. In exchange for the weapon of the legendary “Sword God”, Hiyori offered Zoro another amazing sword, Enma.
The issue emphasized Hiyori’s trust in Zoro’s strength, as only the most powerful Haki users can wield Enma without having their energies immediately drained by the sword. It also highlighted how close she felt Zoro was to her, as Enma was one of the two swords that belonged to her father, Oden.
During the conflict in Onigashima, after using Enma to fight and injure Kaido, Zoro decided to unleash all of his Conqueror’s Haki and Armament Haki simultaneously. As such, he started wielding the blade properly, like Hiyori’s father used to do.
Can Hiyori and Zoro become a couple in the future?
Whether Zoro reciprocates or not, it seems highly implied that Hiyori has a crush on him. Episode 1084 of the One Piece anime, titled Time to Depart – Wano Country and the Straw Hats, pointed out this rather clearly, although with a filler scene.
With the Straw Hat Pirates about to leave Wano, Zoro decided to visit the graves of the fallen. While the green-haired swordsman was paying homage to the tombs of Pedro and Yasuie, Hiyori approached him.
As she asked Zoro if he would miss her, the latter didn’t answer. Although some fans interpreted the scene as a clue that Zoro isn’t interested in Hiyori at all, the objectively underwhelming reaction of the “Pirate Hunter” must be contextualized.
Zoro is an extremely stoic individual who rarely shows his emotions. Answering directly to Hiyori’s underlying declaration of interest wouldn’t be in his style. So, while clearly confirming Hiyori’s interest in Zoro, the scene absolutely doesn’t portray the latter’s disregard in return.
At one point, Hiyori openly teased Zoro, asking him, with a rather provocative tone, if he appreciated sleeping with her. While maintaining his trademark laconicism, the swordsman didn’t seem grossed out at the occurrence.
Fate and love work in mysterious ways. While Zoro’s main goals are to surpass Dracule Mihawk and become the World’s Strongest Swordsman, as well as help Luffy’s rise as the Pirate King, he might also want to settle in life.
In that case, spending his life with Hiyori, a woman with whom he has an evident emotional connection, would be a feasible option. Everyone knows how important the ambition to rise as the most powerful swordsman is to Zoro, and, as the person who gave him Enma, Hiyori plays a part in his path to becoming the strongest.
This emphasizes their bond, and, within the context of One Piece’s narration, sincere relationships have a concrete chance to turn into romantic love. Interestingly, Zoro and Hiyori’s acquaintance heavily resembles the way Oden and Toki, Hiyori’s parents, met.
Like Hiyori was rescued from Kamazo by Zoro, who beat him on her behalf, Toki was saved from some pirates by Oden’s arrival. The fact that Hiyori entrusted Zoro with Oden’s beloved sword, a precious heirloom of her father, is another major clue of their connection.
In Hiyori’s eyes, Zoro is her savior, as well as the man who took up Oden’s legacy by wielding Enma and using it to fight for Wano’s sake. Likewise, Zoro deeply respects Oden and feels compelled to surpass him as an even stronger user of Enma.
The fact that Hiyori is Momonosuke’s caring sister and that Zoro considers the latter a little brother is another attachment that links them. Also, an eventual marriage between Zoro, a descendant of the Shimotsuki Family, and Hiyori, a member of the Kozuki Family, would bring together the Wano Country’s two most renowned households.
Oden was an exceptional samurai, and Zoro, as the future World’s Strongest Swordsman, is set to follow a similar and even greater path. Moreover, he shares Oden’s values of integrity, determination, and selflessness.
In all likelihood, Hiyori has a crush on Zoro because she sees him as a powerful and honorable man who resembles her late father. Zoro, for his part, might be reluctant to express his emotions, but surely he has a special consideration for Hiyori. It remains to be seen what will happen and whether the two will meet again.
Keep up with One Piece manga, anime, and live-action as 2023 progresses.