The record-breaking manga One Piece, Eiichiro Oda's masterpiece, was first serialized on the Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. The manga is currently in the final events of the Wano Arc, which marks a milestone for the endgame of the series. Luffy, Zoro and the others are entering the decisive phase of their adventure.
The One Piece series is divided into two halves and many fans claim that there's a noticeable difference in quality between the first half and the second one. Indeed, one of the most appreciated aspects of the part set before the timeskip is the intensity of the fights between Straw Hats and their arc opponents.
Sometimes, the Straw Hats had to face challenges that they simply could not overcome, such as their meetings with the World's Strongest Swordsman Dracule Mihawk, the Admirals Aokiji and Kizaru from Marine Headquarters, and the Warlord Bartholomew Kuma. Out of those unfortunate circumstances, most of the time, Straw Hats inflicted overwhelming defeats on their opponents.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the writer's personal views.
From Mr. 1 to Ener, 10 One Piece villains that Straw Hats defeated before timeskip, ranked
10) Mr. 1
Daz Bonez is a former bounty hunter who joined Baroque Works under the codename of Mr. 1, thus becoming Crocodile's strongest and most loyal subordinate. After his defeat at Zoro's hands during the Arabasta Arc, Daz was imprisoned in Impel Down. Following the events of the Impel Down Arc, he and Crocodile escaped the prison and traveled to the New World.
Being an experienced assassin and martial artist, Daz Bonez is a dangerous and merciless fighter. He ate the Dice-Dice Fruit, which allows him to turn any part of his body into sharp blades made of tough steel, making him a sort of a living weapon. Thanks to his powers, Daz gave Zoro a hard time, losing to the swordsman only when the latter unlocked the ability to cut steel.
9) Ryuma Shimotsuki (zombie version)
Ryuma was a legendary samurai, hailed as the "Sword God". A native of Wano, he single-handedly protected the country. Ryuma got such a powerful Haki that he managed to make his sword Shusui a Black Blade. A feat that no other One Piece character ever achieved bar him and Dracule Mihawk, the current World's Strongest Swordsman.
Hundreds of years after Ryuma's death, Gecko Moriah stole his corpse and had Doctor Hogback turn the corpse into a zombie by putting Brook's shadow inside it. The zombie thus created was really powerful, to the point that, even holding back and using merely a fraction of its strength, it could easily defeat Brook, a Mid Trio level fighter.
Brook was saved by Zoro, who took his place in the battle and defeated the zombie, after a thrilling duel that Brook and Franky watched astonished. As a samurai, Ryuma followed a strict personal code. For this reason, believing that the soul of the sword would be pleased to serve under the man who defeated its preceding owner, he gifted the sword Shusui to Zoro.
Jabra was the third strongest member of CP9, a secret organization at the service of the World Government. He is especially competitive and short-tempered towards his former colleagues, Lucci and Kaku, because he despises the fact that they are stronger than him. During the Enies Lobby Arc, Jabra fought against Sanji, but lost after the latter upgraded his kicks with his newfound Diable Jambe.
Trained in the Rokushiki martial arts style since his childhood, Jabra had the third highest Doriki among the CP9 members. He would use Tekkai Kenpo, a special technique which allowed him to move and attack while mantaining his Tekkai defense. Jabra ate the Dog Dog, Model: Wolf Zoan Devil Fruit, which granted him the ability to transform himself into a human-wolf hybrid.
Kaku was the second strongest member of the CP9. After the time skip, he joined CP0. Despite being an assassin and one of the main antagonists of the Enies Lobby Arc, Kaku is an honorable and honest man. He fought valiantly against Roronoa Zoro of the Straw Hats, but was brutally defeated once the latter unleashed Ashura, his strongest technique, on him.
Kaku had the second highest Doriki in the CP9. In fact, that was only a part of his abilities. He also proved to be a skilled swordsman with a peculiar style called the Four Sword Style, which combines his dangerous Rankyaku techniques with his swordsmanship. The Ox Ox, Model: Giraffe Zoan Devil Fruit allowed him to transform into a human-giraffe hybrid, enhancing the power of his Rankyaku.
6) Rob Lucci
Lucci is a sadistic and emotionless assassin, the strongest in CP9 history. From his perspective, being weak is as much a sin as being a criminal. During the Enies Lobby Arc, Lucci fought against Monkey D. Luffy, but after a tremendous battle, he was defeated by the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates. After the timeskip, he joined CP0.
Lucci had the highest Doriki and the best Rokushiki mastery in CP9. He was the only one who could perform Rokuogan, a powerful secret technique. The Cat Cat Model: Leopard Zoan Devil Fruit granted him the ability to transform himself into a human-leopard hybrid and allowed him to fight on equal grounds with Luffy's Gears. Even Bartholomew Kuma, a Warlord, praised Lucci's strength.
The Pacifista are cyborgs developed by Doctor Vegapunk, the Marine and World Government head scientist. They are made of metal stronger than steel and replicate the exact appearance of Seven Warlords member Bartholomew Kuma. The cyborgs lack Kuma's Devil Fruit power, but can use laser beams very similar to the ones created by Kizaru's Devil Fruit.
The Marine can dispose of dozens and dozens of Pacifista cyborgs. During the Sabaody Archipelago Arc, a few units were sent to capture the Supernovas. A cyborg appeared in front of Straw Hats and attacked them. After a complex battle that left the crew very tired, the Pacifista was struck by Sanji, Zoro and Luffy's strongest attacks in quick succession and ended up defeated.
4) Oars (zombie version)
Oars was an ancient giant who became notorious as the Continent Puller more than 500 years before the current events of the One Piece series. A few years before the start of the narration, Gecko Moriah and Doctor Hogback found his frozen body and reanimated it as a zombie. When Straw Hats came to Thriller Bark, Moriah stole Luffy's shadow and put it into Oars, awakening the zombie.
The zombie version of Oars retains the outstanding physical strength that made him infamous when he was alive. Thanks to Luffy's shadow and Moriah's powers, the revived Oars can somewhat imitate attacks such as Gom Gom Pistol and Gom Gom Gatling. These capabilities, combined with his durable and surprisingly fast body, made him a tremendous opponent for the Straw Hat crew.
The revived Oars attacked and defeated the Straw Hats, then faced Luffy in his Nightmare version. Back on their feet, the Straw Hats challenged the zombie to a second battle, which they won thanks to a perfectly executed sequence of combo attacks. After the other Straw Hats immobilized Oars, Zoro severely wounded him and Luffy finished the job with a powerful attack that shattered the zombie's spine.
3) Gecko Moriah
Gecko Moria is a former member of the Seven Warlords. He is the captain of the Thriller Bark Pirates and the owner of Thriller Bark, the largest pirate ship in the world. Many years ago, he tried to challenge Kaido, but he was brutally defeated and lost many of his companions during the fight. For this reason, Moriah decided to create the strongest zombie army in the One Piece world.
During the Thriller Bark Arc, Moriah tried to defeat the Straw Hats, but ended up losing to them after a prolonged struggle. Because of this and his other poor performances in the Paramount War, the World Government decided to strip him of the title of Seven Warlord.
Gekko Moriah is a lazy and laid-back man, but proved himself to be an experienced pirate with remarkable tactical skills and physical endurance. Moriah ate the Shadow Shadow Fruit, which granted him full control over the shadows. He can either manifest his own shadow or steal other people's ones and manipulate them at will.
Crocodile is a powerful pirate, former member of the Seven Warlords and former leader of the Baroque Works. After his defeat at Luffy's hands during the Arabasta Arc, Crocodile was imprisoned in Impel Down. Following the events of the Impel Down Arc and the Marineford Arc, he escaped the prison and headed out to the New World together with Daz Bonez, his right-hand man.
Crocodile is a ruthless and intimidating mastermind, but sometimes he is too overconfident, overestimating his abilities and underestimating his opponent. This is widely recognized as one of the reasons for him losing against Luffy, despite having much better experience and greater fighting skills overall.
Crocodile's best asset is the Sand Sand Fruit, which allows him to create and control sand. He can transform his body into sand, create sandstorms and dehydrate his opponents until they get mummified. Crocodile is a tough man with noticeable resilience, who can endure extreme conditions. He is a dangerous fighter, who can even poison his opponent by using a venomous hook.
Before his defeat at the hands of Luffy, Enel was the tyrannical self-imposed 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. In fact, the Fairy Vearth was the Moon and in the end Enel somehow managed to reach it, becoming its ruler.
Enel considers himself a divine, immortal and invincible being who has the authority to do whatever he pleases. He is childish and arrogant, with no regard for any form of life, except his own. He was even willing to completely destroy Skypiea, feeling no regret for the victims. Because of his overconfidence, Enel often lowered his guard during fights.
The Rumble Rumble Fruit gives Enel control over lighting. He can transform his body, move at lightning speed and strike his opponents with tremendous bolts. He can also combine his Devil Fruit powers with his Observation Haki, which in Skypiea gets called "Mantra". During the Skypiea Arc, the only one who was able to defeat him was Luffy, due to his rubber body being immune to electricity.
Many fans claim that the pre-timeskip battles are the most entertaining ones in the entire One Piece series. Everything seemed so cool and refreshing because Luffy and the others were so inexperienced and had room for growth. Straw Hats went on many adventures and emerged victorious from numerous fights.
But some opponents have been too much for the Straw Hats, forcing them to improve and be ready to face their greatest challenges in the New World. Hopefully, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda will gift the fans exciting battles in the second half of the series as well.
Poll : Do you think that Crocodile can defeat Enel?