One Piece: 4 battles that lived up to the hype (and 4 that didn’t)
There's a reason why One Piece is the most successful manga in history, let alone the shōnen category.
One Piece may not have a complex fighting system like Naruto or Bleach, but it makes up for it with emotionally high stakes. Eiichiro Oda knows how to build up a tense confrontation between characters. Luffy versus Rob Lucci will forever be highly regarded among fight scene enthusiasts.
Despite hitting plenty of home runs, One Piece does have a few missed swings. More than a few battles end up disappointing fans for various reasons. Even so, they don't take away from other hype-worthy moments.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the manga.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.
One Piece fights that absolutely delivered
4) Gol D. Roger vs Whitebeard (Wano Country, flashback)
This brief skirmish was seen during Kozuki Oden's flashback, the longest in the One Piece series.
Longtime fans waited over two decades to see Roger in action. They finally got their wish in this epic confrontation.
When their weapons clashed for the first time, they weren't even touching each other. Roger and Whitebeard had ridiculously strong Haki, so physical contact wasn't necessary. They even shook the entire island with their legendary encounter, along with their respective pirate crews.
Roger and Whitebeard are the measuring sticks for power levels in One Piece. Their clash was arguably the second-most popular moment in that flashback, right behind Roger's famous laugh.
3) Luffy vs Rob Lucci (Enies Lobby)
Luffy absolutely needed to win this fight, or else he would lose Nico Robin in the process. He needed to bring down the most dangerous agent in the CP9 organization, but that wouldn't be easy.
Lucci was clearly beyond the Straw Hat's power level at this point in the One Piece series. His offensive and defensive stats were incredibly high, not to mention that he could turn into a leopard hybrid.
Luffy could barely stand on his own two feet, yet he still kept going. He ultimately ended his fight with Gomu Gomu no Jet Gattling, sending Lucci flying across the Enies Lobby Tower.
2) Luffy vs Charlotte Katakuri (Whole Cake Island)
The Sweet Commander made Rob Lucci seem like an easy-mode boss fight. Katakuri could do anything Luffy could with his Devil Fruit abilities, only stronger and faster. He could also see into the future with his Observation Haki.
Luffy had to give it everything he got in the Mirror World. This grueling fight lasted over ten hours. Nonetheless, Luffy learned from Katakuri's attacks and incorporated them into his own.
By the end of their fight, Katakuri showed Luffy the respect he deserved. This is a rare act of approval from a One Piece villain. Katakuri was truly a man of his honor, unlike the rest of his family.
1) Luffy vs Kaido (Wano Country)
Kaido is truly the strongest creature in the One Piece series. He survived multiple waves of powerful fighters (including Luffy) and defeated the vast majority of them with ease. Kaido fully lived up to his reputation in the Onigashima Raid.
Luffy lost multiple times against Kaido, even more so than Crocodile in Alabasta. Conqueror's Haki wasn't enough, so the Straw Hat needed to awaken his legendary Devil Fruit instead.
When describing legendary moments in the One Piece series, Gear Fifth should be up there. Luffy finally reached his peak in terms of power. He now has the means to liberate Wano Country and beat the unbeatable.
One Piece fights that were very disappointing
4) Akainu vs Aokiji (Fishman Island, flashback)
The One Piece series has a nasty habit of having off-screen fights.
During the timeskip, Akainu and Aokiji dueled to the death for ten days straight. It was a fierce battle to determine the next Fleet Admiral. However, it was relegated to a brief explanation from Jinbei's perspective.
Fans were understandably disappointed since they wanted to see these powerful Admirals going at it. Neither combatant has been seen fighting since Marineford, which also doesn't help.
3) Luffy vs Hody Jones (Fishman Island)
The main antagonist of Fishman Island already looked weak against Zoro during an earlier confrontation. With that said, One Piece fans didn't buy him as a credible threat to Luffy, who has only grown more powerful since the timeskip.
Indeed, this fight involved constant interference from third parties like Shirahoshi and Fukaboshi. Hody Jones relied on multiple steroid doses, yet he was still no match for the Straw Hat.
Luffy was more focused on the giant boat that was about to sink into Fishman Island. Hody Jones was a mere warm-up to the New World.
2) Jinbei vs Who’s Who (Wano Country)
Who's Who was hyped up as the strongest member of the Flying Six. The man held the highest bounty of 546,000,000 bellies. He even had the confidence to challenge King and Queen of the Beasts Pirates.
Not only that, he used to be a member of the CP9 agency. His fighting skills were said to be on par with Rob Lucci. One Piece fans held very high expectations for this supporting antagonist.
However, Jinbei didn't have any trouble dispatching Who's Who. It took an Onigawara Seiken to break his back. Who's Who couldn't even bypass Jinbei's Haki defenses. Rob Lucci would've had a much better showing.
1) Jack vs the Minks (Wano Country)
The Minks had a very personal rivalry with Jack. Sadly, they never got to fully showcase their combat potential. During the Onigashima Raid, Jack was swiftly defeated by Inuarashi and Nekomamushi in their Sulong forms.
The All-Star didn't look nearly as strong as his counterparts, King and Queen. Instead, he was taken out rather easily, which took away his original hype. Remember, his bounty was the first one shown in the billions range.
Jack was defeated yet again by Inuarashi a short time later. Around this exact moment, Nekomamushi also took down Perospero, who isn't even a Sweet Commander in his own crew. The contrasting parallels made it seem like Jack was on Perospero's level.