Many One Piece fans and Fairy Tail compared two key characters from both series: Shanks, one of the Four Emperors, and Gildarts, one of Fairy Tail’s S-class wizards. Their similar appearances, personalities, and even backstories drew intrigue from fans and made them wonder why they were so alike.
Whether the fact that Gildarts and Shanks are so similar is a coincidence or not, despite the speculations and theories that have been made about them, the truth is that there are several similarities between both characters. Although there are real differences that separate the two, there are also striking similarities. These similarities include both physical characteristics and personality traits. In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that they both have key differences in terms of the other characters they mentor and the respective series they come from, it would be easy to mistake Gildarts and Shanks for the same character.
5 Shanks and Gildarts have the same hair color
This was one of the first similarities fans noticed between the two characters, but both Shanks and Gildarts are redheads. What also helped this similarity in hairstyle is that her hair is gathered behind her ears on both sides of her face, and is also combed back to reveal her broad foreheads.
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The length of their hair is also more or less the same, since they are longer than the chin but do not reach the shoulders. They both also have similar facial hair and thin eyebrows.
4 Both characters have a laid back personality
Many people expect people in these types of positions to be rather ambitious, confrontational, or simply exceptionally serious and focused. Both Shanks and Gildarts are capable of getting serious when the going gets tough, especially when their loved ones and allies are threatened. However, outside of these situations, they are quite relaxed and calm in general. Shanks has always preferred to take his time exploring the world with his crew rather than rushing from place to place. Although he fought many battles, Shanks was also a pacifist at heart and did not actively seek chaos, disorder, or unnecessary bloodshed.
Similarly, Gildarts will fight in a way that avoids human casualties despite being a high-ranking magic user. He also won’t turn down a combat offer, although he could postpone it if something important comes up.
3 Shanks and Gildarts became mentor figures for the leads
Shanks was the person who inspired Luffy to become a pirate and eventually the king of pirates. Gildarts, for his part, inspired Natsu Dragneel to become a dragon slayer despite Gildarts initially warning Natsu not to fight the Black Dragon. While Luffy and Shanks have yet to meet since their last meeting, although they both hope to see each other soon. It is quite rewarding to be the person who inspires someone to do great things, adventures, and achievements.
Meanwhile, Natsu and Gildarts worked together several times as members of the Fairy Tail guild. Natsu came to challenge Gildarts to battle, although he ended up losing to him.
2 Shanks and Gildarts are amputees
One of the main points in common between Shanks and Gildarts is that they are both amputees. Shanks lost his left arm after saving Luffy’s life from the monstrous Lord of the Coast. As for Gildarts, he lost his left arm and leg after fighting the Black Dragon and later showed these injuries to Natsu to warn him not to try to fight the dragon.
However, there was a key difference in the way Shanks and Gildarts treated the loss of their limbs. Shanks never replaced his left arm, but Gildarts replaced his missing limbs with wooden prostheses. Both options are totally valid. Not all people with limb differences find that prosthetics provide the help they need. Some consider that they even harm them. While others feel that these aids are a great help and that they provide them with great assistance in their daily life.
1 Both characters observed the progress of the protagonists in some way
Although Shanks and Luffy have yet to meet in One Piece, Shanks was shown several times noting Luffy’s efforts as a pirate and being proud of the latter’s accomplishments. Shanks also stated that the time to meet Luffy was getting closer and closer, after learning about Luffy’s actions in Big Mom’s territory. Meanwhile in Fairy TAil, Gildarts stayed with the Fairy Tail Guild upon their return to serve as their fifth Guild Master.
It also worked well with its new members, including Natsu, and Gildarts expressed a lot of interest and optimism in the new generation of Fairy Tail wizards. In turn, Shanks and Gildarts’s disciples Luffy and Natsu fondly remember their mentors and always look forward to the next time they see them. It’s always a rewarding experience to mentor a younger character, especially when you can track his progress and watch him grow so tangibly.