Is Zephyr canon in One Piece anime? Explained

One Piece is home to a massive cast of characters with rich and varying backgrounds, but many have not been recognized as canon characters. Eiichiro Oda’s story-telling and world-building reputations are acknowledged worldwide and the growing named character count has exceeded 900 as of today.

However, the anime has included several characters with influential backstories, mostly during filler arcs or movies. These characters have enough potential to be canon, thanks to their influence in the world of One Piece and their achievements. One such character is “Black Arm” Zephyr, also known as “Z”, who was introduced as the main antagonist of One Piece Film: Z.

Hence, this article discusses whether an influential character like Zephyr is canon or not in One Piece.

Is Zephyr, a former Marine Admiral, canon in One Piece?

Zephyr’s backstory

Zephyr in One Piece Film Z (Image via Toei Animation)
Zephyr in One Piece Film Z (Image via Toei Animation)

Zephyr was a victim of a poor justice system implemented by the World Government which urged him to strive for his own version of peace. However, before he faced a series of unfortunate and unfair events, Zephyr was well-respected among his fellow marines.

He rose to the ranks of Vice Admiral during the prime years of Gol D. Roger and Edward “Whitebeard” Newgate, which is an astounding feat in itself. Despite having incredible strength, Zephyr has been beaten down by life at several crossroads.

His heroic ideologies were shattered during his time in the Marine squadrons and he learned that the Navy did not prioritize serving justice at a very young age. His family was massacred by a pirate who held a grudge against him and his arm was slashed off by an unknown pirate with Devil Fruit powers.

Zephyr was still not discouraged by his fate and decided to withhold his resignation from the Marine forces to train talented marines. Furthermore, the current fearsome admirals along with several notable marines like Hina and Smoker have trained under his supervision.

However, his trust in the Marines was shattered when the World Government invited the pirate who cut his arm off to be one of the Warlords of the Sea. This would obviously mean that all of the pirate’s previous crimes were to be pardoned. Zephyr had enough and resigned from his position in the Marines to pursue his ideal sense of justice.

This included ending the Golden Pirate Era by destroying the New World altogether. He created a militant group of self-trained marines and they called themselves the “Neo-Marines,” symbolizing their differences in ideologies. However, he would have a change of heart, thanks to Luffy’s persistent and carefree character.

Zephyr ended up sacrificing himself to make way for his subordinates and Luffy. His mechanical hand still stands tall above his grave as everyone who knew the true Zephyr mourned his death and sacrifice.

Is Zephyr Canon?

Admiral Zephyr (Image via Toei Animations)
Admiral Zephyr (Image via Toei Animations)

Unfortunately, Eiichiro Oda has never mentioned Zephyr’s character in the manga, and he’s not expected to be added any time soon. Many believe that Eiichiro Oda missed out on an opportunity to create a more dynamic perspective on the current Marines’ lore by not recognizing Zephyr as a cannon character.

Meanwhile, he has acknowledged Uta, the daughter of Shanks, as a canon character in a subtle way by not making the events of One Piece Film: Red canon. One could hope for the same in the case of Zephyr, but the odds of that being implemented in the manga are slim to none.

Final Thoughts

Best non canon one piece fights in no orderLuffy vs world (3d2y special)Bullet base form vs everyone (stampede)Luffy vs zephyr (Film Z)Luffy vs baron (Baron omatsuri)This is some peak one piece action

Although Zephyr did not make the cut for being a canon character in One Piece, his character is one of the most likable antagonists among the long list of One Piece movie villains.

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