10 One Piece characters who were disliked but redeemed themselves
Many One Piece characters are often dubbed as 'evil' or are largely disliked. As the plot advances, however, these characters transition from being a 'zero' to a 'hero' through their actions and dialogue.
This is expected as One Piece has spanned over 1000 episodes - giving each character a scope to have a developing arch. Here are 10 Characters that One Piece fans despised but rooted for in the end.
Disclaimer: Spoilers for One Piece anime and manga ahead.
One Piece characters who were initially disliked but ended up winning fans' hearts
1) Captain Buggy
Captain Buggy made a comeback in Impel Down as he was held hostage by the Marines. However, him and Luffy worked together to infiltrate the prison of Impel Down for the Straw Hat to save his brother Ace. Captain Buggy even escorted Luffy to Level 4 of the building to find Ace to exchange Luffy’s armband for Captain John’s treasure.
Fortunately, Luffy and Captain Buggy managed to escape the prison unscathed. Some fans may believe that Captain Buggy only helped Luffy out of concern for his own safety. It is unknown if Captain Buggy will make an appearance in the future. Still, it is safe to say that Captain Buggy has redeemed himself at least a little bit since East Blue.
Another early villain in One Piece, Helmeppo’s despicable nature was driven by his sense of superiority. Knowing that his father controlled the 53rd Branch of the Marines, Helmeppo took on the role of a dictator (albeit not the strongest), threatening people with execution for his own benefit.
Eventually, however, Helmeppo’s father was arrested, causing Helmeppo to take on the role of Coby as a Marine. More specifically, he trained with Luffy’s grandfather Garp. While One Piece does not delve deep into Helmeppo’s story, fans were pleased to learn that Helmeppo had understood his place in the world.
3) Saint Donquixote Mjosgard
Ever since Sabaody Archipelago, celestial dragons have been viewed as the most powerful and corrupt menaces in One Piece. Even their appearance suggests so. One celestial dragon depicted in the Fishman Island arc was Saint Donquixote Mjosgard, who desired to enslave the inhabitants of the island.
After the mermaid Otohime saved his life from a Fishman, Saint Donquixote Mjosgard agreed to go with her to the World Government. There, he learned the power of migration and released the Fishmen from enslavement. Furthermore, in the Riverie arc, Saint Donquixote Mjosgard assisted in relocating Fishmen Island to an area that was safer with both Fishmen and Humans.
Similar to Helmeppo, Saint Donquixote Mjosgard understanding equality redeemed himself from villain status. It is unknown whether he will make an appearance in future arcs.
4) Bentham of the Wild/Mr. 2
Formally a member of Baroque Works throughout Alabasta, Mr. 2’s ability was quite unique, being able to change his appearance to characters he touched. He initially used this ability in fighting the Straw Hats, but after losing to Sanji, he quickly regretted his decision.
In return, he sacrificed himself twice, once in Alabasta and again in Impel Down on behalf of the Straw Hats. In all fairness, Mr. 2 was portrayed as a comic relief character with minimal malicious intent. Still, converting from enemy to ally of the Straw Hats was rather jarring, especially during One Piece’s beginnings.
5) Bartholomew Kuma
If Captain Buggy was seen as a nuisance, Bartholomew Kuma was seen as a true danger to the Straw Hat crew. His first appearance was in Thriller Bark where he practically killed Zoro through Luffy’s own pain and fatigue. However, he wasn’t a true threat until Kuma separated the entire Straw Hat crew in Sabaody Archipelago.
After the events of the Summit War saga unfolded, it became apparent that Luffy would have never made it in the New World. The enemies were far more powerful and far more deceptive than Straw Hats training had prepared them for. The Straw Hats defeated Kuma after their training, deeming him a worthy test of the Straw Hat’s strength throughout the Grand Line.
It can be argued that the Straw Hats would never have become stronger if they weren’t separated at Sabaody Archipelago. Kuma was a villain, but a necessary one for Luffy to improve his skills.
When Usopp was introduced in Syrup Villiage, he was depicted as a fraud. He claimed to the village that he had millions of men who supported him and how he fed impoverished villiages. He even told lies to Princess Kiya, whose parents had passed on, all in the hopes that Usopp would “get noticed.”
Ever since joining the Straw Hats, however, Usopp has saved Luffy numerous times from demise. Notable examples include fighting Baroque Works in Alabasta as well as Enel in Skypeia. He also encouraged Luffy to defeat CP9 in Enies Lobby as well as declare war on the World Government.
He can likely defeat other enemies as well. Usopp may be a liar, but it no lie that he redeemed himself throughout One Piece.
Hatchi was first seen in Arlong Park where he worked with Arlong to conquer Nami’s villiage. He assisted the other Fishmen in drowning Luffy. He even helped Arlong in killing off Nami’s mother.
In Sabaody Archipelago, the Straw Hats encountered Hatchi again and released him from enslavement. In return, Hatchi became an ally of the crew and looked after the Thousand Sunny while fighting the Flying Fish Riders. Hatchi’s conversion from evil to innocent was crucial as it established Fishmen as simply another race of people, rather than antagonists.
8) Nico Robin
Robin was introduced as Baroque Work’s Vice President in Alabasta, which itself established her as an antagonist. She had aided in attempting to defeat Luffy in Alabasta and escaped from the Straw Hats solely for her own benefit.
Her true motives and backstory were not exploited until Enies Lobby when she came to realize that the Straw Hats would never let her die. Ever since, Robin supported Luffy in his efforts, while translating Ponyglyphs to topple the World Government. Robin’s backstory made fans develop pity for the archaeologist, leading them to encourage her to emerge victorious and follow her dreams.
Nami shares a similar character timeline to Robin. She travels with the Straw Hats to her own benefit and steals their money for her villiage. After learning about Nami’s backstory in Arlong Park, however, fans grew more sympathetic towards Nami and wished defeat on Arlong.
Since Arlong Park, Nami has stayed with the Straw Hats combating their opposition. In this way, Nami changed from a minor antagonist to a main protagonist in One Piece, which is a rather drastic change.
10) Cutty Flam/Franky's
Throughout Water 7, Franky was one of the strongest members of CP9 and one of Luffy’s biggest obstacles. During Water 7, he pummeled Usopp, eventually causing him to leave the Straw Hats. He also stole Luffy’s wealth, causing fans to lose hope of Franky ever redeeming himself.
However, through the magic of Oda’s storytelling, Franky fought alongside Luffy against CP9. In Enies Lobby, Franky was seen destroying CP9’s plan for their weapon, Pluton, to ashes.
After defeating CP9, fans considered Franky a more-than-welcome member of the crew. He helped in defeating villians such as Gecko Moria and Bartholomew Kuma and has served as a worthy machine-member since.
When watching One Piece, not every character is a villain. While their actions may appear unlikeable, it is important to consider the reasonings or circumstances of their actions. Nobody can judge a book by its cover and One Piece says it best.
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