10 One Piece characters who will be protagonists of the final saga

The battle between Luffy and Blackbeard will be one of the key events of One Piece
The battle between Luffy and Blackbeard will be one of the key events of One Piece's final saga (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Since the closure of the Wano Arc, One Piece has officially entered its endgame. However, with a message during the recent Jump Festa 2023, Eiichiro Oda reassured fans that the series is still many years ahead before its conclusion.

After decades of entertaining serialization, fans have immense expectations for the final saga. The series has built up incredible storytelling, which leaves many unanswered questions as well as narratives to be developed.

Undoubtedly, Eiichiro Oda will end the series with a big hit, between thrilling revelations and heated fights.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to chapter 1073 and reflects the writer's personal views.


From Luffy to Trafalgar Law, 10 characters who will play a major role in One Piece's final saga

1) Monkey D. Luffy

Monkey D. Luffy (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Monkey D. Luffy (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Luffy is the main protagonist of One Piece. He is the captain of the Strawhat Pirates. Throughout the series, Luffy challenged every sort of enemy until his recent triumph over Kaido, which raised the young pirate to the status of Emperor.

A master of Observation, Armament, and even Conqueror's Haki, Luffy recently awakened the true potential of his Human-Human Model: Nika Fruit. This granted him a form called Gear 5, which allows him to fight following his imagination.

No one more than him can overtake the oppressing World Government and grant freedom to the world. Admirals and Emperors will try to oppose him, but he is fiercely determined to become the Pirate King.


2) Im

The mysterious Im (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
The mysterious Im (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Being a figure even the Five Elders bow down to, Im is the person with the highest authority in the entire One Piece world. However, Im's existence is kept a secret from the public.

This cryptic figure gives direct orders to the Five Elders, the highest-ranked Celestial Dragons. Through unknown means, Imu can completely destroy an entire island, such as Lulusia, within seconds.

Fans can only speculate about the true identity of Imu, as well as how this individual managed to become the supreme leader of the World Government. It's highly likely that all these secrets will be disclosed in the final saga, which Im will be a key figure of.


3) Marshall D. Teach "Blackbeard"

Marshall D. Teach, also known as Blackbeard (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Marshall D. Teach, also known as Blackbeard (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Teach is one of the main antagonists in the series. The founder and captain of the Blackbeard Pirates, he is the only known person in the story to wield two Devil Fruits. During the time skip he became one of the Four Emperors.

Teach has unbelievable endurance and physical strength. He possesses the powers of two of the mightiest Devil Fruits, the Dark-Dark and the Tremor-Tremor Fruit. As such, he is undoubtedly one of the strongest One Piece characters.

While he is yet to reveal his true ambitions, Teach certainly aims to become the Pirate King. A deceptive individual, he will go to any length to satisfy his lust for power. As the series moves to its conclusion, he will certainly make his biggest move.


4) Shanks

Shanks (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Shanks (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Shanks is one of the most iconic One Piece characters. Starting as an apprentice in the Roger Pirates, he created his own crew, the Red Hair Pirates, and eventually became one of the Four Emperors.

Shanks has an immense reputation for his strength, being an individual who can fight Dracule Mihawk, the World's Strongest Swordsman, on equal grounds. Even Ryokugyu, a Marine Admiral, was scared to fight against Shanks.

Luffy's mentor and role model, Shanks has always been very protective towards the former. However, Shanks' true goals are still surrounded by mystery. He recently declared to Benn Beckman, his right-hand man, his intention to compete for the Pirate King's title.


5) Monkey D. Dragon

Monkey D. Dragon (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Monkey D. Dragon (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

The founder and leader of the Revolutionary Army, Dragon is the son of Marine Hero Garp and the father of Luffy. He is the strongest member of the only military force that actively seeks to overthrow the World Government.

As such, Dragon is known as the "World's Worst Criminal". A very idealistic person, Dragon wants to liberate the entire world from the shackles of the World Government. Interestingly enough, he seems to be on friendly terms with Dr Vegapunk.

Dragon's true abilities are yet to be revealed, but there's little doubt that he will be one of the strongest One Piece characters of all time. He is likely waiting for the right moment to make his final move. Possibly, he will find a great ally in Luffy.


6) Roronoa Zoro

Roronoa Zoro (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Roronoa Zoro (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

The second strongest member of the Strawhat Pirates, Zoro acts as the crew's first mate. Since the beginning of the series, Zoro has always been at Luffy's side, as his loyal right-hand man.

A powerful swordsman and Haki master, Zoro's fighting prowess is outstanding. He can even use the Advanced Conqueror's Haki, a game-changing ability that it was stated that only the strongest characters can perform.

To honor a promise made to his childhood friend Kuina, Zoro aims to become the World's Strongest Swordsman. To realize this dream, he will have to fight Dracule Mihawk. This incredible battle will likely be one of the main events of One Piece's final saga.


7) Dracule Mihawk

Dracule Mihawk (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Dracule Mihawk (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Being the World's Strongest Swordsman, the former Warlord Dracule Mihawk is one of the most powerful characters in the entire series. He is known for being a man as strong, if not stronger, than even Shanks, one of the Four Emperors.

Since Shanks lost an arm, Mihawk is waiting for a challenger even stronger than him. Most likely, that person will be Zoro, who is continuously improving until he reaches the strength needed to fight Mihawk on equal grounds.

As the co-founder of Cross Guild, Mihawk may be featured in some interesting plots involving the organization.

Moreover, he will have his big moment in the fight with Zoro. During the battle, Mihawk will showcase the true scope of his abilities.


8) Sakazuki "Akainu"

Sakazuki, also known as Akainu (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Sakazuki, also known as Akainu (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Better known as "Akainu", Sakazuki is the current Fleet Admiral. A strict follower of Absolute Justice, he would even sacrifice innocent lives as long as it would lead to the eradication of all evil and illegal activities.

During the time skip, Akainu and his colleague Aokiji confronted each other in a ten-day-long fight to decide who would take the office of Fleet Admiral. Akainu won the battle and became the new leader of the Marines.

A fearsome fighter, using his Mag-Mag Fruit Akainu can inflict deadly wounds on even the most powerful characters. In the final act of the series, he will certainly take personal action to carry high the Marines' pride. Luffy will likely confront him, given that he is the killer of his beloved brother Ace.


9) Eustass "Captain" Kid

Eustass Kid (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Eustass Kid (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Eustass Kid is the captain of the Kid Pirates. Despite joining forces with Luffy and the others during the Wano Arc, Kid is a violent and bloodthirsty individual. However, he has a great bond with Killer, his right-hand man.

The owner of the Magnet-Magnet Fruit, he recently awakened this ability's full potential, obtaining control over magnetic forces. Joining his efforts with Law, Kid managed to land some devastating blows on Big Mom, leading to her defeat.

Kid is arrogant and fearless, with a childish competitive side towards Luffy and Law. Aiming to meet the "man marked by flames," Kid just arrived in Elbaf. Never backing off from a challenge, Kid will likely try to compete with Luffy for the One Piece.


10) Trafalgar D. Water Law

Trafalgar Law (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Trafalgar Law (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

"Surgeon of Death" Trafalgar Law is the captain of the Heart Pirates. One of the Eleven Supernovas of the Worst Generation, Law has been an ally of Strawhats since the Punk Hazard Arc up until the end of the Wano Arc.

Law's tactical skills and the power of his Ope-Ope Fruit made him a very dangerous pirate. He recently achieved the Awakening of his Devil Fruit abilities, gaining lethality and versatility on a whole other level.

A cautious and scheming man, Law is a determined individual who possesses the Will of D. and aims to discover its true meaning and purpose. However, he has recently been challenged to a battle by Blackbeard. If Law manages to survive, he is likely to play a major role in the final saga.


Final thoughts

Among the active characters, all the most prominent will be featured in the series' final saga (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Among the active characters, all the most prominent will be featured in the series' final saga (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

One Piece author Eiichiro Oda has masterfully built up several storylines. With the series having entered its endgame, the time for all the subplots to be developed has finally come.

Whether they are major antagonists or friendly allies, there are several characters who will certainly play a pivotal role in One Piece's final saga. With some of them being introduced back at the beginning of the series, fans can't wait to see them make their move.

Hopefully, Eiichiro Oda will be able to properly fulfill the immense narrative potential that he crafted in all these years of serialization. After all these years, he certainly can't afford to disappoint fans.

Supernovas, Emperors, Marines, and members of the World Government are ready to partake in the greatest battle the world has ever seen. Regardless of who comes out on top, the final act of One Piece will be unforgettable.