Shanks is Luffy's idol, inspiring him to take up a pirate life, and one of the Four Emperors that rule over the New World. Unlike Whitebeard (or presumably Kaido) he doesn't lord this status over everyone else, preferring to travel to different stops and party, with a special fondness for drinking. When Shanks was younger, he and Buggy were both apprentice pirates in the Jolly Roger Pirate Crew, the crew of the late Pirate King, "Gold" Roger, and clashed with Whitebeard's crew several times. They were subordinate to Silvers Rayleigh, the first-mate of the crew, and spent their time fighting each other. Both of them attended their captain's public execution, where they parted ways to form their own crews. Sometime afterward he became the rival of Dracule Mihawk, and their duels are now legend throughout the Grand Line, remembered even by Whitebeard.
During Luffy's youth, The Red-Haired Crew stopped at his town, and usually went to the town bar. Luffy always used to plead with him to join the crew. Shanks not only refused, but teased Luffy about not being able to swim, and that he's just a kid. Shanks saved his life when a bandit tried to drown him, which cost him his dominant arm, but Shanks said that it didn't matter as long as Luffy was safe. Shanks then gave Luffy his favorite hat, telling him to return it once he surpasses him, and set sail.
Powers and Stats
Name: Shanks, epithet "Red Hair"
Origin: One Piece
Age: 37 pre timeskip, 39 after the timeskip
Classification: Human, Yonkou, Captain of the Red Hair Pirates, Former Member of the Roger Pirates
Powers and Abilities: Superhuman Strength, Speed, Durability, Endurance, Agility, Stamina, Dexterity, Superb Swordsmanship, Masterful Haki user
Attack Potency: Country level via power-scaling (Is one of the top dogs of One Piece as a Yonkou, Neutralized a punch from Sakazuki (Admiral Akainu), and his duels with his rival Mihawk in the past were also said by Whitebeard himself to have "shaken the Grand Line" and he also clashed equally with Whitebeard, which split the sky as a side effect)
Lifting Strength: Class T
Stamina: Superhuman, exact extent is unknown but should be extremely large, given that two of his fellow top tiers demonstrated the reserves to continuously battle one another for ten days
Range: Extended human melee range with sword
Standard Equipment: His saber “Gryphon”
Intelligence: Highly accomplished fighter with over two decades of battle experience (sailed and fought with the Roger Pirates as a young boy, and after they were disbanded he formed his own crew), an august battle leader, with an authoritative presence that commands battle fields, should possess advanced strategic intelligence and tactical ability given his status as a Yonkou.
Weaknesses: He's missing his left arm (though he has adapted perfectly to it, so it's not really a handicap for him at this point).
-Haki: There are normally two types of Haki regular people can tap into: the Kenbunshoku Haki which allows individuals to sense the presence of others, and Busōshoku Haki which allows individuals to create an invisible armor around them. There is however a third type of Haki, Haōshoku Haki, that only a few individuals can use. Shanks is one of these people.
- -Haōshoku Haki (Color of the Conquering King): Shanks was the first character in the series to display Haoshoku Haki. While his limits are never displayed, he is capable of utilizing Haoshoku Haki effectively on a whim.
- -Busōshoku Haki (Color of Armaments): Shanks has displayed the ability to utilize Haki by at least a basic level of application. He should be comparable to Whitebeard in this field, seeing as how he was able to clash with him equally and is a notable threat to him.