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Zoro recently (in the anime) unleashed an impressive torrent of attacks using Busoshoku (Armament) Haki infused blades. This was not all that surprising but his flashback was (to me).

Zoro flashed back to both his training with Dracule Mihawk and his fight with him in the Baratie arc. Mihawk's main blade, Yoru apparently, is clearly shown to be black throughout this fight and the flashback stresses the fact that it is the strongest Black Blade. Yet, the episode seems to say that Black Blades refer to swords turning black when infused with Haki. As Mihawk is the strongest swordsman, it seems guaranteed that the world's strongest "Black Blade" may or may not have anything to do with Yoru's color itself.

In addition, you can note that both replicas of Yoru we see (Mihawk's mini sword and the one wielded by the Mihawk-like monkey Zoro trained against) have silver blades.

This all leads to 3 closely inter-related questions:

  • Did I understand this right? Does "Black Blade" refer to the sword or the technique?
  • Did Mihawk use Haki on Zoro so early in the series?
  • Does Yoru (as we've seen it but in universe) look black, silver, or does it vary from person to person? What if Yoru is not wielded by Mihawk?
  • In chapter 937 which is quite recent, there is some strong indication that Black Blades may become black due to the swordsman's use of it rather than it being originally created that way. – kaine Mar 25 at 14:28
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  • Firstly, I would like to reply to this:

    In addition, you can note that both replicas of Yuro we see (Mihawk's mini sword and the one wielded by the Mihawk-like monkey Zoro trained against) have silver blades.

    Mihawk's pocket knife, also known as Kogatana is not a replica of Yoru:

    It is an ordinary knife, so bland and small that Mihawk enjoys demonstrating his skill with it.

    As for the Human Drill having the same sword as Mihawk, it was a filler. There is no mention of the Human Drills in the manga. Hence, it doesn't have much relevance to the story, and it's assumed that the sword carried by it is nothing but a replica.

  • From the One Piece Wiki page on Yoru:

    The blade itself is pitch-black with a very strong sheen..

    Some conclusive evidence in favor of this is:

    • It has been black since the start of the series when the blackening effect of Haki wasn't introduced
    • It is black even when it's on Mihawk's back
    • As you pointed out, if it were Haki, even Mihawk's short knife would have appeared black in color to the audience.
    • It's not the only black sword shown in the series. Zoro's Shusui is also shown to be black in color (and in this case, it's definitely not the Haki that makes it black).

    enter image description here

Hence, I'm inclined to say that it refers to the sword rather than the technique.


Based on this image:

enter image description here

It may have been clad in Haki even during the earliest part of the series, but I doubt that he actually used Haki against Zoro during their first fight, simply because he didn't have to. We saw him defeat Zoro using his short knife, so there was no need for him to actually worry about getting his sword nicked.

However, there's no conclusive evidence on this. It may have been clad in Haki or it may have not. I believe that it wasn't.


Yuro being a black sword appears black even in-universe. Tashigi even describes it as a Black Sword, although I don't seem to remember in which chapter. Not only that, the name of the sword is "Yoru", which means "Night" and can also be translated as "Black Sword".

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For all we, the audience know, the black color we see when people use Haki, could potentially be there solely to inform the audience of when it is being used. This is reinforced by the fact that we never saw the black color before the timeskip despite seeing powerful Haki used by various characters. I, however, wouldn't be surprised if the black color of Haki was acknowledged by the characters in-world, proving that it was actually a thing.

"Black blade" refers to the sword, and yes the sword is black. It is likely still black, even when Mihawk is not holding it, just like his coat is still red when he's not wearing it, etc.

I kinda doubt that Oda had thought about Haki at the time Zoro fought Mihawk, but It's almost a certainty that Oda would retroactively say "Yeah, that was Haki".

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