Welcome to Odyssey: the Weeaboo Special Edition! Today, we’re going to talk about my favorite anime series in existence: Eiichiro Oda’s masterpiece One Piece. This series has been going on since 1999--that’s 17 years of airtime--and is still going strong. And In that time, it has introduced a vast medley of characters. Some good, some sketchy, and some just plain awful. In this article, I’m going to list off some of my favorite villains based on their strength and the quality of their maliciousness.
10. Klahadore/Captain Kuro
Let’s start off simple with someone from a simpler time. Captain Kuro was the main antagonist from one of the first arcs in the One Piece storyline: the Syrup Village arc, when there were only three members of the Straw Hat crew. I decided to start here because even though Kuro isn’t exactly the strongest villain the Straw Hats have ever faced, he’s definitely a terrifying human being. I mean, look at those gloves. He has a blade at each and every one of his fingertips. That, combined with his Stealth Foot technique, makes him an unstoppable machine of destruction.
Aside from his weapons and abilities, he’s a very level-headed and cunning person who plans things down to the most minimal detail. He waited hand and foot on a trust fund kid for three years in order to gain her trust, get her to make him the sole benefactor in her will, and then kill her for everything she’s fiscally worth. The one thing he didn’t count on was Luffy barreling through and playing hero.
Kuro has always been one of my favorite villains from the early arcs. I always thought he was really intimidating and cool. Plus, he’s still the reason I adjust my glasses the way I do.
The main antagonist of the appropriately-named Arlong Park arc was introduced way too early in my personal opinion. Arlong is a shark-species fishman. Fishmen’s claim to fame is that they are faster, stronger, and smarter than humans on land and doubly so in water. If Luffy is able to fight an opponent that is objectively more of a challenge than a human, where do we go from there? That pretty much sets the stage for just how overpowered Luffy is going to be.
Criticisms aside, Arlong knew how to use his home field to his advantage. Hell, had it not been for Genzo and Nojiko’s intervention, Luffy would literally be dead in the water thanks to Arlong. This guy is armed at the teeth (no seriously, he can remove a set of teeth to use it as a weapon and immediately have another set of teeth behind it) and seals the deal with a serrated sword. If that’s not enough for you, his entire crew is made up of fishmen, which means anyone who challenges Arlong is in for a bad time. Unless that person is Luffy.
8. Sir Crocodile/Mr. 0
A former member of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, Crocodile is responsible for four different arcs and the addition of Nico Robin to the Straw Hat crew. This guy was so messed up that he tried to start a civil war in the country he oversaw so that he could take out their ruler and run the country himself, as if being the anime-equivalent to a privateer wasn’t good enough. Crocodile is also the head of an underground organization called Baroque Works, which aided in the fight against the Straw Hat crew in Alabasta.
Crocodile is the eater of the Sand Sand Fruit, which gives him sand powers. He is able to start sandstorms, dissipate into sand, and even drain the water out of a person’s body. He’s a terrifyingly difficult foe who has actually defeated Luffy twice before his ultimate fall. The main reason he’s so low on the list is, to quote CinemaSins, he has the same weakness as the aliens from Signs.
I have mixed feelings about the big bad of the Skypeia arc. His lightning power, granted to him by the Rumble Rumble Fruit, is quite possibly my favorite of the Logia class (that is, until Oda confirms that Monkey D. Dragon ate a wind-based Logia Fruit). However, it’s also extremely overpowered, even by Logia standards--Oda even wrote in a cop-out so that he would actually stand a chance against Luffy, the one and only person who could stand his strongest attack without even batting an eye or taking his pinky out of his left nostril.
“I can use my lightning powers to generate blades.” Seriously, Oda? Let’s think about that logically. If Eneru could blast any living being into oblivion without having to use that alternate ability, when and why would he have taken the time to develop that technique? There’s no way he was thinking to himself, “What if one day I come across a man made of rubber? My attacks will be useless against him. I must find an alternative way to fight, should I ever have to fight such a man.” He didn’t even know what rubber was.
In any case, this villain who looks a lot like Eminem with ridiculously long earlobes had a serious superiority complex. His claim to fame is that with his lightning abilities, he decided he wanted to start playing god and took control of Skypeia. He was also the first character to introduce the concept of Haki, showing traces of Colors of Observation. Then he got Gum Gum Bazooka-ed to the moon.
6. Hordy Jones
Probably one of the more disgusting villains in the One Piece universe, Hordy Jones has a visceral hatred for the human race, in his own words, for absolutely no reason. His hatred is so great, in fact, that he had Queen Otohime of Fishman Island assassinated in order to scare the inhabitants into denying a peace treaty with the surface world. Oh, and on top of that, he tried to force a creepy fishman pirate captain by the name of Vander Decken IX onto the 16 year-old princess of Fishman Island, Shirahoshi. Yeah, he’s icky.
Hordy Jones grew up hoping to join the Arlong pirates, training in the King’s military until he felt the time was right to turn against his country. There are two big details that separate Arlong from Hordy. The first is that Arlong actually had a reason to hate humans (his captain of his old crew was killed by humans in response to the crew returning a lost child to their village). The second is that Hordy Jones spends most of his time hopped up on drugs (the Energy Steroids), and that’s pretty much the only reason he put up more of a fight than Arlong.
5. Gekko Moriah
The first thing you have to know about the main antagonist of the Thriller Bark arc is that he does not photograph well. Seriously, this is the best picture I could find of this malproportioned freak. The second thing you need to know about him is that he is 115 percent off his rocker. This guy uses his Devil Fruit ability to steal people’s shadows and use them for sick, twisted horror movie-type experiments with them and dead bodies.
Moriah’s objective is to create an army of zombies to fight and defeat Kaido, one of the Four Emperors, as payback for killing off Moriah's crew. A noble cause if ever there was one, but stealing other people’s shadows is not the way to do it. Moriah was at one point one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, but was removed from his position after the War of the Best right before the timeskip. He fled before one of the other Warlords could kill him and was never seen or heard from again.
4. Rob Lucci
The unspoken leader of Cipher Pol 9 is a simple man. He just wants to kill people. That’s just the person he is. This guy grew up with cold blood in his veins that could only be warmed by absorbing the escaping heat of a dying man’s body. He also enjoys long walks on the beach and reading romance novels.
This antagonist of the Water 7 and Enies Lobby arcs is well versed in and very fond of the Navy’s Six Powers fighting style, which is what he uses to tear Luffy a new one in their first conflict. Lucci is inarguably the strongest member of CP-9, an already formidable organization. CP-9 is so strong, in fact, that Luffy had to unleash his Gear Second ability just to be able to defeat one of their weaker members, then had to use Gear Third in his fight against Lucci in the same arc. And we haven’t even discussed his Devil Fruit power. The man is part jaguar. The only thing worse than an overpowered man is an overpowered man-jaguar.
3. Marshall D. Teach/Blackbeard
Teach has yet to be the main villain of any particular arc, but Oda has done a really good job of setting him up to be the final boss of the story. For starters, as a member of the Whitebeard pirates, Teach killed a crew mate to get ahold of what is called the Dark Dark Fruit, which grants the power of--you guessed it--darkness. He then captures Portgas D. Ace and turns him over to the World Government to guarantee himself a seat as one of the Seven Warlords so that he could sneak into Impel Down, the most secure prison in this universe, and break out some of the most vicious criminals in the world to get them to join his crew. Then, just to add insult to injury, he pops up in the middle of the War of the Best to kill Whitebeard after an entire war complete with a cannonball through the chest and attacks from the Navy Admirals softened him up. Then, somehow--we still don’t know how he did this because Oda hasn’t even tried to explain it--he stole Whitebeard’s Devil Fruit ability, which allows him to create earthquakes.
So Blackbeard is the only person in history to have two different Devil Fruit abilities, which just so happen to be the powers to engulf the world in darkness and the power to crack the Earth in half. Yeah, Blackbeard puts the “OP” in One Piece.
2. Donquixote Doflamingo
How is this guy so powerful? His Devil Fruit Power is string. He makes string. How do you become one of the most feared and notorious pirates of your time when you’re basically Spider-Man minus all the cool things about Spider-Man?
Doflamingo was introduced in the Skypeia arc, not as a true antagonist, but as a foreshadowed villain. He showed up again in the War of the Best to fight against Whitebeard’s crew. That being said, we don’t really get to see who Doflamingo really is until the Dressrosa arc, which is now in its final stages in the anime.
Doflamingo is an absolute monster. In dealing with underground businesses, he has taken it upon himself to manufacture artificial Devil Fruits, kill his own brother, overthrow a country, turn people into toys, and subject an entire island to a game of “Try to knock me out as quickly as you can because if you don’t, you’re all going to die.” He’s a complete psychopath, but I guess that’s what happens when you’re raised to be a spoiled brat with the Celestial Dragons. We thought Eneru was the one with a God complex!
People like Doflamingo can kill off hundreds of civilians, and no one including and especially the fans would so much as bat an eye.
And then there’s this guy .
Let me put it this way, Akainu is single-handedly responsible for the death Portgas D. Ace in episode 483, (the shot heard ‘round the world for the One Piece fandom). That alone is enough to earn him this spot.
Many officers in the Navy are known because they seek true justice and morality, like the Captain-turned-Vice Admiral Smoker,the retired Vice Admiral Garp, and the disgraced former Admiral Kuzan. Sakazuki is not one such man. Sakazuki is very strict on the World Government’s “absolute justice” policy and refuses to back down from it, which causes friction with other officers. Sakazuki holds no respect for pirates whatsoever, and wants them all to perish. He’s a terrifying man, and since the departure of retired Fleet Admiral Sengoku, Sakazuki is now running the show. His totalitarian perspective is now the face of the Navy. I can’t help but think he and Luffy going to have a really intense showdown at the end of this storyI should point out that none of this is objective. This is based on my own personal take on these characters. I didn’t even touch on the Celestial Dragons, Eustass Kidd, Big Mam, and others. But if at some point I made you nod and say, “Yeah, he has a point,” then I’ve done my job right.