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Kuina

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Kuina
Kuina
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Japanese Name: くいな
Romanized Name: Kuina
English Name: Kuina
First Appearance: Chapter 5; Episode 2
Occupations: Trainee swordsman
Japanese VA: Machiko Toyoshima
4Kids English VA: Priscilla Everett
Funi English VA: Monica Rial; Laura Bailey (Unlimited Adventure)

Kuina is the late childhood friend of Roronoa Zoro. She is the daughter of Koshiro and she is the reason why Zoro developed the Santoryu technique.

AppearanceEdit

She has short, dark blue hair and dark brown eyes.

The Marine officer Tashigi bears a strong resemblance to Kuina (in appearance, personality, and sword style), to the point where it makes Zoro extremely uncomfortable around her. However, it is unknown if they are somehow connected.

GalleryEdit

Kuina infant
Kuina as an infant.

PersonalityEdit

She was always living with the knowledge that since she was a woman, it would only get harder as she gets older for her to compete with men and had been informed by her father of her future woes. Her gender would force her to give up the swordsman's life as she grew. Eventually, Zoro made her believe that it's willpower, not strength, that makes one a swordsman.

Abilities and powersEdit

Kuina was the strongest among her fellow trainees in her father's dojo, being able to overpower even the adults, leading to the other students to accuse her father of giving her special treatment. She had been known to use a one-sworded style of fighting. She also defeated the young Zoro 2001 times showing the great skill she has in using a sword. Since she died, it is not possible to know how strong she would have become.

HistoryEdit

ZoroKuina

Zoro and Kuina making their promise to become the world's greatest swordsmen.

Twelve years before the current storyline, she is seen briefly, training outside her father's dojo, attacking a pole with her sword.

Zoro fought Kuina regularly, but found that after 2000 fights he could never beat her. Zoro challenged her into fighting with real swords, in which she used her family's Meito Wado Ichimonji.[1]

Kuina had come to the conclusion that Zoro would soon pass her in skill and strength. This is because she believed that boys grow up to be stronger than girls, and she noticed just how much Zoro had already caught up to her current skills. So, when she started growing breasts, she became discouraged. Zoro then told her that if he ever beat her, it was because of his skills. The fact that he was a boy and she was a girl did not matter. It was his goal to be as good as her. They promised that one of them would become the greatest swordsman in the world.

However, the day after making their vow, Zoro learned she had fallen down the stairs while trying to get a sharpening block and died. Zoro was angry with her, accusing her of running away from their promise. Finally, Zoro asked her father for the honor of taking the Wado Ichimonji with him. With this, Zoro promised to fulfill their shared dream of becoming the greatest swordsman to fruition and develops Santoryu so he may wield both Kuina's sword and his own.

Major BattlesEdit

  • Kuina vs. Zoro x 2001

Anime and Manga DifferencesEdit

Kuinatombe

Kuina's grave in the manga.

In the anime expansion of the flashback, when Zoro was young, he challenged every dojo he came across and claimed their signs (in Japan, the sign signifies the dojo is to be respected). When he came across Kuina and her family's dojo, he finally met his match.

In the anime, her progress against adults and other students is shown more. It is also stated by her father that she began to surpass her status as a female because of Zoro's rivalry with her, although no such statement was made in the manga. In the manga, her dead body was seen with the face covered by a cloth, but in the anime a proper funeral was seen being held.

Kuina's grave is not seen in the manga until Chapter 617's cover. However, at the end of the flashback in the anime, Zoro is seen praying in front of it before leaving on his journey. It should be noted that the two gravestones are different, since Oda only showed it much later. However, Bell-mère's original grave and the one that appeared after the timeskip are also different, so this may be a similar case of a grave being changed overtime.

Translation and Dub IssuesEdit

In the 4Kids dub, she was injured by the friends of a man she defeated, and could never fight again. However, despite this change of storyline by 4Kids, many media based sources, such as One Piece Grand Adventure, still referenced the fact that she died in the original storyline.

MerchandiseEdit

She was issued alongside Zoro in a One Piece Block Figures set featuring the Straw Hats and their past mentors/loved ones.

TriviaEdit

  • She is a playable character in the U.S. and Australian-only video game, One Piece: Grand Adventure. Her appearance in the game is said to be an illusion that Zoro (and later Tashigi in Smoker's storyline) experiences during Luffy's story.
  • Speculations have been around for a very long time within the fandom based on her appearance matching Tashigi.
  • Like Tashigi, her name comes from a flightless bird. The fact she is named after a flightless bird is a reflection of herself. In regards to the bird itself, Oda stated: "though a bird cannot fly, it does not mean it never will."[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. One Piece AnimeEpisode 2, Zoro's challenge against Kuina is expanded in the anime.
  2. SBS One Piece MangaVol. 16, Fan question: do Kuina's and Tashigi's names come from birds?

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