One Piece is a record-breaking manga that was first serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. Among the distinctive features of the manga, there's the incredible variety of characters that the author, Eiichiro Oda, introduced and developed. Every different arc shows Strawhats meeting new friends and facing new enemies.
A recurring theme of the One Piece series is Luffy, Zoro, and other Strawhats fighting against established pirate captains and their crews to free the island that they were oppressing. Other enemies of Strawhats are also the Marines, who pursue them.
Among the many One Piece villains, some have become fan-favorite idols despite opposing the protagonists. Others had high expectations from them, but no matter the massive amount of screentime they received, they weren't able to fulfill what fans desired.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1055 and reflects the writer's personal views.
From Buggy to Kaido, 10 One Piece villains ranked from most likeable to least
Buggy the Clown started his pirate career as an apprentice in Roger Pirates, together with Shanks, and eventually became the captain of Buggy Pirates.
After the events of the Marineford arc, he became a member of Seven Warlords of the Sea and the leader of the pirate dispatch organization "Buggy's Delivery," becoming famous as "The Genius Jester."
Buggy was later stripped of his Warlord status, but after Kaido and Big Mom's losses in Wano, and their subsequent decay from the Yonko title, he was declared one of the Four Emperors. The event thrilled One Piece fans, who have always appreciated Buggy's ability to get out of trouble and even increase his influence through a somehow opportunistic and comic behavior.
Even if he is a decent fighter, Buggy's achievements aren't because of his strength, but thanks to his ability to take advantage of the situation.
He uses others to build up his public image as a dangerous and influential pirate, and sometimes he also benefits from significant amounts of sheer luck. Despite Buggy's cowardly nature, his words and actions are often misconstrued as indicators of strength.
In battle, Buggy is a crafty fighter who exploits the powers of Puzzle Puzzle Fruit, which allows him to split his own body in pieces that he can fully control, as well as making him immune to cutting attacks. He also uses knives and powerful bombs, the Buggy Balls and Muggy Balls, to damage his opponents after he tricks them with his Devil Fruit powers.
2) Charlotte Katakuri
One of the three Sweet Commanders of Big Mom Pirates, Charlotte Katakuri is Big Mom's second eldest son and her strongest subordinate. He is an exceptionally powerful fighter who is said to have never lost a single battle. Katakuri's carefulness towards his siblings and his immense strength granted him immense respect and admiration from them.
Katakuri is a genius fighter, a serious and calm man who never loses his temper. At the same time, he has a goofy side that he wants to hide from everyone. When Katakuri is alone, he relaxes and reaches an intimate state of bliss by eating donuts, his favorite food, to his heart's content.
During his fight against Luffy, Katakuri was impressed by his bravery and developed a sincere respect for him, even openly acknowledging him as his equal. Katakuri is a very honorable fighter who wants to fight fairly. Despising his sister's attempt to weaken Luffy with a cheap shot, he apologized to the latter for what happened, and even injured himself to make the fight fair.
Katakuri is a genius combatant with remarkable hand-to-hand fighting skills. He possesses incredible speed and reflexes, further enhanced by his Observation Haki. He has reached such a high level that he can see slightly ahead in the future. Through a combination of Mochi Mochi Fruit powers and his signature ability, the Future Sight, Katakuri can swiftly dodge most attacks.
3) Donquixote Doflamingo
Donquixote Doflamingo is the captain of the Donquixote Pirates and a former member of the Seven Warlords. He tyrannically ruled Dressrosa as its illegitimate king until his loss at Monkey D. Luffy's hands, after which he was stripped of his Warlord title and imprisoned at Impel Down. Prior to that, Doflamingo was one of the most dangerous and influential pirates in the New World.
Born as a Celestial Dragon, Doflamingo double-crossed the World Government. He took part in the Paramount War in the Marineford arc, as a Warlord. At the same time, though, he took care of his own interests, acting as an underworld broker and supplying Beasts Pirates with artificial Devil Fruit.
Doflamingo is a prideful and strong-willed individual. On the other hand, he is also sadistic, violent, and overconfident. Since he was a child, he had a vicious attitude that was typical of a Celestial Dragon. While hating them for rejecting his return, he also believes that he has their blood, the blood of the gods, flowing through him. Doflamingo's evilness is such that he killed his father and brother in cold blood.
Doflamingo is a dangerous and versatile fighter, and is both very agile and resilient to damage. He ate the String String Fruit, which allows him to create and control strings. With those powers, he can fly and perform powerful attacks at all ranges. Doflamingo took a few seconds to brutally defeat Sanji. He also overpowered Trafalgar Law and was the first opponent to force Luffy into using his Gear 4.
Sakazuki, also known by his moniker "Akainu," is a former Marine admiral and the current Fleet Admiral. He is a strict follower of Absolute Justice, a philosophy which places the eradication of all evil and illegal activities, and the prosecution of those who violate the government's laws at the highest priority. These tenets are followed even if it requires sacrificing innocent lives or engaging in immoral acts.
Before resigning, former Fleet Admiral Sengoku suggested Admiral Aokiji as his successor. But a deep contrast ensued between him and Akainu. The two Admirals confronted each other in a fierce battle that lasted for ten days. Akainu emerged as the winner of the furious fight and assumed the office of Fleet Admiral. He immediately decided to relocate Marine Headquarters in the New World.
Akainu is a fearsome man. He proved himself to be a strong and capable leader. Since becoming Fleet Admiral, he has been able to consolidate the power and prestige of the Marines. His extremist beliefs led him to act completely ruthlessly, even killing innocent soldiers and civilians. Nonetheless, he decided to spare his colleague Aokiji's life, after defeating him in their tremendous battle.
Akainu has immense endurance and physical strength. He is one of the strongest characters in the One Piece world, and his mere presence being enough to intimidate a pirate of Blackbeard's caliber. He owns the lethal powers of Mag Mag Fruit, which allow him to burn and melt everything in his path. He was even able to inflict deadly wounds on Whitebeard, a Yonko hailed as the World's Strongest Man.
Enel was the self-imposed tyrannical God of Skypiea. He constructed a massive airship made of gold, the Ark Maxim, to reach the Fairy Vearth, which he thought to be a legendary land in the sky. After suffering defeat at the hands of Monkey D. Luffy, Enel somehow managed to reach Fairy Vearth, becoming its ruler, though that legendary land was nothing other than the Moon.
Enel is childish and arrogant, with no regard for any form of life, except his own. He considers himself a divine immortal being who has the authority to do whatever he pleases. Ener was even willing to completely destroy Skypiea, feeling no regret for the victims. Because of his overconfidence, he often lowered his guard during fights, thinking of himself as an invincible god.
Enel's presumptuosness noticeably impacts his fighting abilities. In the presence of unexpected scenarios, he gets thrown off-guard and loses his ability to use his refined Observation Haki, a power that goes under the name of "Mantra" in Skypiea.
The Rumble Rumble Fruit grants Enel control over lighting. It allows him to transform his body, move at lightning speed, and strike his opponents with tremendous bolts. He can combine his Devil Fruit powers with his Observation Haki, greatly increasing their range. During the Skypiea arc, the only one who was able to defeat him was Luffy, whose rubber body was immune to electricity.
6) Rob Lucci
Lucci is the strongest agent in CP9 history. He is a sadistic assassin who believes in Absolute Justice. From his perspective, being weak is as much a sin as being a criminal.
After a fierce battle during the Enies Lobby arc, he was defeated by Monkey D. Luffy. After the timeskip, Lucci joined CP0, the greatest secret agency at the service of the World Government, together with former CP9 agent Kaku.
Lucci always acted like a calm and emotionless individual. Without a second thought, he attempted the brutal murder of Paulie, a person he got to bond with during the five years of undercover inflitration in Water Seven. Even as a 13-years-old boy, Lucci was already wicked to the point of killing hundreds of people in cold blood, making him one of the most merciless One Piece characters.
Lucci had the highest Doriki and the best Rokushiki mastery in CP9. He was the only agent able to perform Rokuogan, a powerful secret technique. The Cat Cat Model: Leopard Zoan allowed him to transform himself into a human-leopard hybrid. Thanks to this boost, he was able to fight on equal grounds with Luffy's Gears. Even Bartholomew Kuma of the Seven Warlords praised Lucci's strength.
7) Marshall D. Teach
Better known as "Blackbeard," Marshall D. Teach is one of the main antagonists in the One Piece series and the only known person in the story to wield two Devil Fruits. Teach is the captain of the Blackbeard Pirates and one of the current Four Emperors. He is a weird individual, who is both ambitious and cowardly at the same time. He is one of the very few people who carry the initial "D." in their name.
Teach started his pirate career as an apprentice in the Whitebeard Pirates, which he defected after murdering a crewmember, Thatch, in order to steal the precious Dark-Dark Fruit. He later defeated and captured Portuguese D. Ace, offering him to the Marines in exchange for the status of Warlord. However, he resigned after using it to enter Impel Down and enlist new powerful fighters for his crew.
Teach is a deceptive and greedy man, who is willing to do anything to become the next Pirate King. He has a dual nature, sometimes looking strong and fearsome, others seeming weak and pathetic. Most fans consider him to be Shanks' sworn enemy. Shanks is one of the few people who consider Teach a significant threat for the One Piece world.
Born with superhuman endurance and physical strength, Teach quickly became one of the top dogs in the One Piece world. He became more pronounced after adding the destructive powers of the Quake-Quake Fruit, which he stole from Whitebeard, to the ones of the Dark-Dark Fruit, which he already possessed.
After inflicting a brutal defeat to Marco and the remnaints of the Whitebeard Pirates, Teach was declared a Yonko.
Crocodile is an experienced and powerful pirate who is a former member of the Seven Warlords. He was the leader of Baroque Works. During the Arabasta arc, he was defeated by Luffy and was imprisoned in Impel Down. Following the events of the Impel Down arc and the Marineford arc, Crocodile eventually escaped. He then headed out to the New World together with Daz Bonez, his right-hand man.
Crocodile's biggest weakest point is his tendency to be overconfident, overestimating his abilities and underestimating his opponent. This is widely recognized as the main reason of his brutal defeat at Luffy's hands, despite having much better experience and greater fighting skills overall than the young captain of the Strawhat Pirates.
Crocodile ate the Sand Sand Fruit, which allows him to create and control sand. He has remarkable mastery of his Devil Fruit, being able to use it to transform his body into sand, create sandstorms and dehydrate his opponents until they get mummified. Crocodile is a dangerous and cunning fighter, who can even poison his opponent by using a hidden venomous hook.
9) Big Mom
More commonly known as "Big Mom," Charlotte Linlin is the captain of the Big Mom Pirates and the ruler of Totto Land. She was also one of the Four Emperors, the four great pirates who dominate the New World. Linlin formed an alliance with Kaido, but the Straw Hats and their allies defeated the two Yonko and their crews, which led to them losing much from their Yonko status.
In her childhood days, Linlin was raised by Mother Carmel, a child trafficker who used to run an orphanage as a facade to hide her business. Many years ago, Linlin was one of the core members of Rocks Pirates, along with Xebec, Whitebeard, and Shiki. She met and befriended Kaido during those days, who was a young apprentice in the crew at the time.
Due to her strength and tough body, Big Mom has been considered a freak of nature ever since she was a child. She ate the Soul Soul Fruits, which allowed her to manipulate human souls, even creating some weird creatures, the Homies. Big Mom's most powerful Homies changed during the One Piece series, as she replaced Zeus with Hera, adding to her faithful Prometheus, and Napoleon.
Two of the strongest rookies, Trafalgar Law and Eustass Kidd, needed a numerical advantage to fight Linlin evenly. A testament to her strength is the fact that she survived all their attacks, and was defeated only because of some bombs dropping on her at the right time.
Kaido is the captain of the Beasts Pirates and a former Yonko, hailed as the World's Strongest Creature.
He started his pirate career as an apprentice in the Rocks Pirates, where he befriended Big Mom, who gifted him the Fish-Fish Fruit Model: Azure Dragon, a rare Mythological Zoan. Kaido made Wano Country his property, driving back Oden and the Red Scabbards who tried to stop him.
Kaido has a violent attitude and has acted cruelly even towards children like Momonosuke or his self-declared son, Yamato. He only praises individuals who have exceptional strength, such as the five Supernovas from the Worst Generation, who challenged him during the Onigashima raid.
The person he respects the most is Oden, whom he regards as one of the strongest enemies he has ever faced.
Kaido possesses an incredibly powerful Haki and is one of the very few people able to use Conqueror Haki to coat their attacks, an ability described as the power of the strongest. Thanks to his Devil Fruit powers, he can transform into a fully fledged dragon, or into a dragon and human hybrid, increasing his already exceptional physical prowess.
During the the Wano arc, Kaido single-handedly annihilated the nine Red Scabbards. Later, together with Big Mom, he faced and dominated the five strongest Supernovas. The only real damage he suffered was because of Zoro's tremendous Ashura attack, which inflicted a scar on him. Kaido's impressive feats make him one of the strongest One Piece characters.
A testament to Kaido's strength is the amount of power it took to defeat him. He defeated Luffy easily, even when the latter unlocked the advanced stage of Conqueror Haki. The Yonko met his demise only after Luffy gained a tremendous newfound resource, the Awakening of the Gom-Gom Fruit, which was revealed to be the very rare Nika Nika Mythological Zoan.
One Piece villains have left a drastic impact on both the fans and the series as a whole. Many of them have memorable traits, from their fighting styles to their backgrounds or their personalities. Every fan has his preferences, but some villains seem to be generally appreciated.
However, some characters disappointed the expectations that One Piece fans were holding for them. Two main examples of this are Big Mom and Kaido. While Linlin appeared very intriguing, her performances in battle were too clumsy sometimes.
As for Kaido, he proved himself to be a flawless fighter, but many fans were disappointed by the lack of a satisfying focus on his ideals and motives.
The Strawhat crew's journey is yet to be completed, so fans are wondering if the final villains of the One Piece series will measure up to its most iconic ones. Judging by Eiichiro Oda's abilities, there seems to be little doubt about that.
Poll : Did you like Kaido as a villain?